2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

This is the seventh of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions in ’16. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.

Wide Receiver will be a position of strength for us in this coming season almost surely.  I say that because as we wrote about the QB position early in this series I think we’ll have a downgrade there – so the ripple effect may impact the overall production of our WR corps for ’17.

To start let’s look at who departed Pitt over the off-season.  rsSR Dontez Ford and rsJR Zach Challingsworth.  Well, that was pretty simple wasn’t it? 

Of course our main WR coming back is the exciting and inconsistent – which is part of the excitement because we hold our breath hoping he’ll come down with the ball – rsSR Jester Weah.

Weah is a great example of kids who are just average in their recruiting rating (3*, 5.5) and don’t burst right out of the gate in college… but learn the new game and flourish in their upperclassmen years.  And yes, that is what a good player will do. 

Great players usually do make an impact earlier and Weah may have also if he hadn’t been stuck behind Tyler Boyd and Dontez Ford for his first few years.  But for now he’s pretty darn good and may just be great this season.

Weah has had the catching yips and was publicly open and refreshingly honest about that which I like him even more for.  He has great downfield speed and good moves – but his hands used to let him down when it came to gameday.  More on that later…

Continue reading “2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”

The Three Star Offer Myth, and Why Do We Believe It?

The Three Star Offer Myth, and Why Do We Believe It?

Can we just drop the pretense that all of a sudden we are getting great 3* recruits who have fantastically better offers than those young men whom Paul Chryst, Todd Graham and Dave Wannstedt recruited?  It isn’t true.  Yes, some of those past 3* kids had more minor offers but we have seen that in the last two years also.

That said, I do like these recruits Narduzzi is bringing in – I just don’t think a roster with a large majority of these 3* players are going to make a huge difference in the future (regardless of where their offers come from)…  But we’ll how that comes out later as the games are played, right?

Here are some recruits listings I went through from Rivals.com which showed the Power 5 schools (and BE schools in the earlier years) from the players’ offer sheets.  These individually listed recruits are from 2012 and 2013… with the 2014 Chryst recruits at the end of the article.  I got tired of cutting and pasting by then.

Remember, the below names are only the 2* and 3* recruits who had these ‘Power Five school offers.  if there were less than two of those  offers I didn’t list them (but almost every player had one or two besides Pitt).

It isn’t any coincidence that Wannstedt started winning more games when his recruiting in 2006 and onward started being populated by more 4* and 5* players… even in the lesser quality BE conference. 

Continue reading “The Three Star Offer Myth, and Why Do We Believe It?”

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”

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”

Keep That Wallet Closed!! New AD.

Keep That Wallet Closed!! New AD.

The University of Pittsburgh has a new Athletic Director – Heather Lyke.

r154524_800x450_16-9
Won’t do this with our new live Panther mascot “Stevie”

I’m not too surprised the new AD’s a woman and have zero heartburn with it.  She seems qualified in short – and I say ‘in short’ because we really don’t know her yet.  Her list of achievements at Eastern Michigan is OK I suppose.

But it is blatantly obvious we went the most inexpensive route we could with this hire…

In 2015, she received a contract extension through July 21, 2020, that included her original annual salary of $245,000, The Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported. She also was eligible for $103,000 in possible bonuses.

Before Barnes came to Pitt he was making $572K

Gallagher refused to reveal Barnes’ contract in terms of salary and length but said, “We tried to be fair and competitive. We want this to be a career move for him.”

At Utah State, Barnes made $572,169 in fiscal year 2014, according to the Utah Department of Finance.

Continue reading “Keep That Wallet Closed!! New AD.”

POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12

POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12

Note – I said “Reese” when I meant “Reeves” in talking about our young TEs for 2017.

Just How Bad Have Our Defenses Been?

As I said above I think it is funny that fans who pilloried Paul Chryst for in-staff hiring of Matt House as the DC and then hated House with a passion… while we gave up only 26.3 ppg in ’15 and 27.2 ppg in ’14.  In ’13 Chryst’s defense gave up 21… and that was without a real DC on board.

Let me go deeper – in 2014 we gave up 27.2 ppg against a strength of schedule rating of 3.49… compare that to last year’s giving up 35.2 ppg against a 3.51 SOS. So much for the “harder schedule” argument there.

Year Conf W L SOS PPG Nat’l Rank Coach DC
2016 ACC 8 5 3.51 35.2 106th Narduzzi  (8-5) Conklin
2015 ACC 8 5 3.78 26.1 54th Narduzzi  (8-5) Conklin
2014 ACC 6 7 0.97 26.3 59th Chryst      (6-7) House
2013 ACC 7 6 3.49 27.2 70th Chryst      (7-6) House
2102 BE 6 7 2.05 21.1 23rd Chryst      (6-7) None

Continue reading “POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12”

POV Sunday Podcast; This & That

POV Sunday Podcast; This & That

Below is a copy of the Golf Outing flyer I sent out via email email yesterday.  The POCs are Rick Caldwell and myself.  For the actual Golf outing issues; reserving spots, sponsorship, “will attend”, etc.  please either call Rick at 717-838-4855, x246 or email him at rcaldwell@whiteoakdisplay.com.  

Please make any check payments out to either Reed Kohberger or The PITT POV.

pov-golf

For other stuff you can call me at 410-997-0388 (H) , 410-782-9981 (C) or email me at rkohberger@gmail.com.

We really hope to see you all there  and have the gifts, prizes, food and drink ready for you.  BTW – we need suggestions for the name of the trophies.