Pitt Spring Game Weekend Wrap Up

Pitt Spring Game Weekend Wrap Up

What a weekend.  It all started on Friday when Pitt announced that Aaron Donald was giving a seven-figure donation to the program.  Then, for the first time in a long time, the spring game actually produced some offense.  Paris Ford culminated the afternoon with an INT and then Pat Narduzzi anointed him the starter.  To top it all off Pitt got their second commit of 2020, an offensive tackle no less.  And to top that all off, Tiger Woods won the Masters. Continue reading “Pitt Spring Game Weekend Wrap Up”

First Man Off the Board – Pitt Spring Game Preview

The first pick in today’s Blue and Gold (yellow?) draft was not a quarterback.  It was not an offensive tackle.  It was not a running back.  It was a safety.  Jazzee Stocker to be exact.  And it was done to open up the passing game.  Gold captain Maurice Ffrench picked him and he did it because he wanted him out of his way.

As a fan, you might take something away from that.  Maurice Ffrench thinks Stocker covers better than Paris Ford.   Continue reading “First Man Off the Board – Pitt Spring Game Preview”

Heather: “Hey Pat, What’s McNeese State’s Phone Number Again?

hfe4qafelvfkhnfoujtpmtz2bi

Hey – the fighting “Cowboys and Cowgirls” had a better record than we did wearing the blue and yellow so maybe things are looking up for us.  And what the hell is this guy talking about?  But at least those pants are semi-gold…

… 4. The whole uniform design is a throwback to what any reasonable observer would call the most beloved sports era in Pitt history.

The football team was a national power in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, dressed like this:

I could live with the look below if the “PITT” was in the old script (and in real gold coloring).

2013 Pitt Panthers Blue Uniform with New Helmet Stripe

But really, how hard would it be to just stick with the actual, formal, school colors as shown in Pitt’s own Public Affairs guidance... But if we do that we can’t switch apparel out every time we need money to extend PN’s contract another 15 years.

School colors

I do like the new Panther logo – that goes back to 1930’s tradition when the Cathedral was built.  I think my Dad proposed to my Mom while swimming in that fountain after a night of heavy drinking in the Phi Gamma Delta basement.

I’ll pass on the “arched” numbers though, personally I think that looks silly.  Again, we’ll revisit this is a few years when Nike tells us “OK, time to do it all over again Pitt!”  And that will happen as soon as this version’s sales start dropping off.

I’m actually OK with it all but just think they could have done better. Let’s hope this is the uniform that sees us win a bowl game.  OK – Back to OC Whipple promising the moon.

If anyone in Maryland is bored this Saturday evening come join me for a bit of the Bard…

H5 Program

MM Note – here is the pic “Big B” referenced below.  A throwback’s throwback.  That helmet looks like a toy!

1970's throwback

The Last Week of Spring Ball

The Last Week of Spring Ball

It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Pitt’s big unveil was an unquestionable success, with ahem the large majority of Pitt fans getting behind the new colors and logo with enthusiasm.

Nearly lost in all the hubub is the fact that Pitt Football also landed their first recruit of the 2020 class.  Samuel Williams is a 6’4″ 205 lb “defensive end” from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  I put “defensive end” in quotes because it’s clear from his game film that Williams is a tall and fluid athlete more than anything else.   If you watch his film long enough they’ll flip to his TE highlights, where he regularly is the fastest guy on the field.

Continue reading “The Last Week of Spring Ball”

A Logo Retrospective

A Logo Retrospective

We have Johnny Majors to thank.

Or maybe to blame.

He invented the Pitt script as we know it today.

And if he had never decided to use it, it would never have been taken away.

I’m stealing this from Reed, who borrowed it from the New York Times.

When Majors arrived on campus from Iowa State, taking over a team that had won only one of 11 games the year before, he decided to give the program a makeover in every way. He put together a real weight room, but he also wanted his team to look good on Saturdays. Continue reading “A Logo Retrospective”

A Follow-On About Media/Scout Access and Recent Recruiting

A Follow-On About Media/Scout Access and Recent Recruiting

In light of the recent article Mike put up the other day and our responses to it I’d like to share a Rivals.com Podcast by Chris Peak that addresses both subjects very well.  It was done last week and you should listen at least from the 3:00 mark to 6:15 or so for his take on media access then the rest of the podcast is about ‘What happened to the 2016 recruiting class?”

I wanted this up for readers to listen to because he echoes exactly what I have been saying about the total shutdown of information save for what is force fed us from Pitt and the football staff.

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-4fxqq-abe2e7

Now – Chris’ idea of what makes a “star” player differs from mine.  My criteria is that the player be named to All-ACC 1st or 2nd teams or, of course, All-American.  His is that the player plays well in his role as a starter.  But that aside – I agree again with his ideas here.

2016’s class was just as Peak says it was – hyped to hell because it was Narduzzi’s first full recruiting class and it held five 4* recruits.  Here it is:

'16 part 1

'16 Part 2

Granted these kids have a year or two left but the reality is most often that ‘star’ players usually show their talent and worth in their first three years.  There are exceptions sometimes – RB Darrin Hall is one who broke out in his SR season, but really, if a kid hasn’t shone by the time their third year rolls around odds are that they will continue to be basically regular players.

In other words Pitt has to field 22 starters and someone has to do it.

And that is what Pitt has had last year and I believe, going into the 2019 season. The fact is that out of those 24 players who joined in the 2016 class only one has made any post-season teams and that is 3* WR Maurice Ffrench.  Peak lists two others – DB Hamlin and DL Weaver are the other two but I wouldn’t call them “star” players…  good players yes, great players? No.  I think Peak calls them “major contributors” – that I can agree with but IMO they aren’t star players (yet).

Honestly, I see much the same when I look at Narduzzi’s 2017 and 2018 classes also.  We are becoming a roster overwhelmingly full of 3* players and thus are playing (less than) 3* football over the last two seasons.  This is why PN has to rely on so many transfer players who come in for a season. The recruits he’s been able to convince to come to Pitt have been lacking.

Some kids will surprise – that happens every year  but I think we have to keep fingers crossed with both hands to hope we get play above what it looks like we’ll get.