From the Vault: Why Pitt Is the Way it Is

From the Vault: Why Pitt Is the Way it Is

This is an article which entails some heavy lifting in the reading department so it may be best taken in chunks rather than sitting down for the whole shebang at one time. But do take a very close look at the Title Photo (Oakland in the 1930s) before you get into the linked articles.

For a weekend’s reading I have included two excellent and well-written Saturday Evening Post articles about the University of Pittsburgh and our football program’s history back in the 1930s and 1940s.  Before you click on those let me add a few things about why I did this and why I did it today.

I truly feel like Pitt is on the cusp of having to make some pretty hard and maybe unpopular decisions about just where the Football program fits in with the rest of the Athletic Department and even more importantly where it fits in relation to the rest of the University.

Why now you may ask?  Because this is the season where our won/loss record will determine if Pat Narduzzi restructures his contract to be Pitt’s HC for the long run or not. His existing contract is low for a continually winning Power Five school and can easily be bought out by any other program who wants him badly enough.

If he wins big this season, and by that I mean 9 or 10 wins including that elusive bowl win, then the rest of the nation is going to really sit up and take notice of what he and Pitt have done over the last three years.

I’ve written many times that last season’s bowl loss really hurt us in a lot of ways – mainly because it kept us from being listed in 2016’s  post-season Top 20. That would have been a real solid achievement for him on the national stage and made him more valuable to others than he actually might be to Pitt.

Instead the bold truth is that even as excited as Pitt fans are about the program and Narduzzi we are one win better that his predecessor’s best season – Paul Chryst’s 2013 year when he beat Notre Dame at home and won his bowl game.

Before you jump up and down in indignation please understand that I wholeheartedly believe Narduzzi’s 2016 season, with the wonderful wins over PSU and Clemson, was way better than 2013. It certainly was for us fans. But with only eight wins per year and no bowl game wins he hasn’t put all that much concrete distance between the program now and then.

Continue reading “From the Vault: Why Pitt Is the Way it Is”

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The Rich Get Richer in Recruiting

The Rich Get Richer in Recruiting

Here is my take on the basics of college football recruiting – I’m not a professional on a recruiting website and so some of this may be off-base a bit, but I think it is in essence how things work…

We all know the recruiting sites’ star rating systems are somewhat suspect but they are the thing most regular football fans use as recruit comparisons and for a conversational baseline when discussing the recruiting game.  Which, as we are in the doldrums of college football until August, is a continuing main topic on here so let’s explore it a bit.

Recruiting stars awarded aren’t the only thing to look at when trying to decide how much you feel a recruit is going to contribute to your future teams.  Two other equally important issues are offers and official visits.  We’ll get to those in a minute but first the star system.

It is for the fans way more than for the actual decision makers. The recruiting sites live and die by the star system because it captures the fan’s interest and keeps them coming back to the sites to see how their school is doing in the star chasing game – which is also how the school’s recruiting classes are nationally ranked week to week.

Here is a very good USA Today piece on the ranked 2017 recruiting class as composed of all the recruiting sites.  It is explained as this:

The composite represents an average of the rankings by the four major recruiting services: 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout. All rankings went to Top 50, except ESPN, which is Top 40. Teams not ranked in ESPN’s Top 40 received a 41; teams not ranked in the other rankings received a 51.

Rank Team 247 ESPN Rivals Scout Avg.
34 Pittsburgh 33 31 34 42 35
35 TCU 31 37 39 37 36
T36 Baylor 39 39 32 36 36.5
T36 Oklahoma State 38 35 34 41 37

Continue reading “The Rich Get Richer in Recruiting”

Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers

Historical Pitt  4* &  5* Recruits’ Careers

We have talked many times about the need for highly rated recruits to build a high-quality nucleus for a successful team.  There is no doubt that the longer a HC stays at a school, especially during his first contract, he gets better recruiting opportunities.  We saw that with Dave Wannstedt when his recruiting took off after the 13-9 win in Morgantown during the 2007 season.

But recruiting young players isn’t enough and is truly just the beginning.  With all the standards, rules and regulations, both internal of the university and external of the NCAA and ACC, it makes a college career into a minefield for a lot of student/athletes.  Some thrive at Pitt to become the star players they were projected to be and some fall by the wayside due to either inattention to responsibilities, bad actions, injuries or by just plain being recruited over so they feel they must look for playing time elsewhere.

Just to show how this player attrition works let’s look at who of the 4* and 5* blue-chip players Pitt has landed over the years either left on their own accord or were forced out before their eligibility expired (those who departed the program are in bold): 

Continue reading “Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers”

POV Sunday Podcast; April 30, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; April 30, 2017

I have a few Pitt POV car magnets left – the big ones like this:

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Let me know if you are interested – send an email to me with your contact info (address & phone) and I’ll get one out to you if I have enough.  Please put “Car Magnet” in the subject line.

Don’t forget Tuesday night’s POV Roundtable Call-In show. It has been a resounding success and growing by leaps and bounds.  Here is last’s weeks recording if anyone missed it – we cracked ourselves up until Ike peed his pants.

I’ll post up the participant particulars in Tuesday’s article. I start a meet around 7:45 or so then start recording when everyone is set and ready around 8:00.

News for the uncaring: Rushel Shell was chosen by the Steelers as an undrafted Free Agent… now it gets even more interesting.on the Southside in May – July before they leave for training camp.  BTW – Shell and Conner didn’t overlap on the Pitt roster.

RS:  Hi, I’m running back Rushel Shell. I went to Pitt too.

JC:  Hey, I’m James Conner – you know, the guy who made you an answer to a trivia question.

Also – The Doctors and I are talking about back surgery, up until now they have been giving me the 50/50 walk again line, which I told them to cram where the sun don’t shine.  I kind of hope we can do it but if so I’ll be calling for more donations for booze and earplug money if I’m to be trapped in the house for weeks with my wife.

Correction: Staunton, VA to Blacksburg, VA is actually 117 miles so it would be a ‘going to or from’ stop.

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POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17

POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17

First off, as promised, here is the donation of your golfing money to the Grassroots of Howard County Day Resource Center.

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It was a check for $300, was well received and is needed – as you can see by the missing drywall in the ceiling of the rooms behind us.

I can’t thank you guys enough for chipping in the way you all did and I will say that I made sure your donated fees are being expressly used to support the homeless services in our county. Not only did we all have a great time – you probably put some new boots on, or food in the stomach of, someone living out in the woods.

Continue reading “POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17”

Who are the Guttmans and where did that $$$ come from?

Who are the Guttmans and where did that $$$ come from?

We Pitt people, and especially us Pitt football fans, just became familiar with a Pitt alumni name when Steve and Kathy Guttman casually dropped a cool $2,000,000 into the Pitt Football Championship Fund. 

“Finally!” we all cried “here is a donation that will start the financial donation ball rolling”.  And it well might do so, or at least let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Steve Guttman was a 1968 graduate of Pitt and then went on to complete his law degree at George Washington.  He wasn’t raised in one of Pittsburgh’s arty families, of which there were many back in the ’60s:

Steven Guttman fell in love with art at the heels of a hound. “I grew up in Pittsburgh, in a modest family, and we had no art in our house,” says the 68-year-old collector at his Greenwich Village town house.

The founder of Storage Deluxe Management Corp. and former CEO of the Federal Realty Investment Trust, Guttman is surrounded by hundreds of paintings, sculptures and furniture created by some of the world’s most desired artists. Along with his wife, Kathy, he has amassed one of the nation’s foremost collections of American folk and contemporary art, but he still remembers when he was a blank canvas.

“No one in my family had ever really been exposed to art,” Guttman says.

steve2020kathy20guttmanWe’ll get back to the Guttmans in a moment but I think it is safe to say most Pitt fans had never heard of or knew Steve Guttman before yesterday unless you may have been a childhood friend or attended Pitt in the same years he did.

But very few of us also had even heard of the Pitt Football Championship Fund or “The Quest For Ten” as it is known in the athletic department.

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2017 Spring Game Impressions

2017 Spring Game Impressions

I invited readers to send in their impressions of the Spring Game and Eric Wassel took advantage.  I will put his article up under the Monday Morning QB piece that will be posted tomorrow morning.

Well, after all that talk from me about ‘if you are going to discuss the Pitt team in detail after the offseason then you really should get to the Spring Game so you know what you are talking about’… I missed the whole day even when I was up in Pittsburgh just this morning.

But we here at the POV had our “stringers” at the game so you know we’ll be getting detailed reports as soon as they put the beer cans down.  Here is one group who showed up at the modified tailgate: see if you can guess who they are (I’ll answer in the comments section later):

Spring Game Tailgate 2017.JPG
Lastrowofsection4/Dr. Tom/Craig Richards (Tom’s Son) /MissingWlat/Richman/RayinPGH/Sorry Spaced on this one and majormajors

Bunch of blood thirsty SOBs right there I tell you.  BTW – I’m doing up a separate Golf Outing article today also – pretty interesting and fun as hell day for everyone – I’m really proud of the turnout at the golf club but also at the number of commenters who wrote me saying they wished they were there.

We’ll find something else to do during the season I’m sure.

Here are the Pitt’s detailed stats for the scrimmage this afternoon.

as provided by the Post-Gazette’s Craig Meyer on his Twitter feed.

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Continue reading “2017 Spring Game Impressions”