A Bit of Pitt Football History

This was sent to me via email from an older Pitt fan. It is interesting and opinions expressed are his.

I was just thinking about recruiting and fan interest in regard to Pitt football.  Here are some thoughts:

Looking back, the two periods of time that I have been most interested in Pitt football were from 1951 until 1965 (from when I first began going to games with my family, until I graduated from Pitt), and from 1973-1983 (when I was more active as an alumnus).  What was Pitt football experience that we knew like then?

1951-1965 During these 15 years, Pitt played the following teams (number of times in parentheses):

Penn State (15)

West Virginia (15)

Notre Dame (14)

Syracuse (11) (the Jim Brown years)

Miami (10)

Army (8) (Earl Blake’s time)

UCLA (7)

Navy (7) (Who can forget 1963 and Roger Staubach?)

Oklahoma (6) (Bud Wilkinson’s teams)

Southern Cal (5)

Nebraska (5)

Duke (5) (Made a powerhouse by Wade Wallace, Duke remained highly successful under Bill Murray.

The 1951 Pitt/Duke game on NBC was the first nationally televised sporting event in American history)

Minnesota (4)

California (4)

Oregon (4)

Ohio State (3)

Michigan State (3)

Washington (2)

Baylor (2)

TCU (2)

Iowa (2)

Northwestern (2)

Indiana (2)

Virginia (2)

North Carolina State (2)

Rice (1)

Boston College (1)

Holy Cross (1) 1958 (Holy Cross had finished in the top 20 five times from 1937-1951)

Marquette (1) 1959

William & Mary (1)

Other than Marquette and William and Mary, in these 15 years, every Saturday’s competition was against a good opponent.

1973-1983   During these 11 years, Pitt played the following teams

Penn State (11)

West Virginia (11)

Syracuse (11)

Temple (10)

Army (10)

Notre Dame (8)

Navy (8)

Boston College (7)

Florida State (6)

North Carolina (4)

Louisville (4)

Tulane (3)

Georgia (2)

Georgia Tech (2)

Tennessee (2)

Maryland (2)

Illinois (2)

Rutgers (2)

Kansas (2)

Cincinnati (2)

Duke (2)

William & Mary (2)

Oklahoma (1)

Miami (1)

Florida (1)

Washington (1)

South Carolina (1)

Baylor (1)

Northwestern (1)

Southern Cal (1)

The Big 10 and Pacific Coast Conference teams had largely disappeared, but there were some SEC teams, and other than William & Mary, Temple and perhaps Tulane, Pitt played good competition each week.

2008-2017  Who have been Pitt’s opponents during the last 10 years?    

Syracuse (10)

Notre Dame (7)

Virginia Tech (6)

Miami (6)

Louisville (6)

Cincinnati (5)

Georgia Tech (5)

Virginia (5)

North Carolina (5)

Duke (5)

UConn (5)

Rutgers (5)

USF (5)

West Virginia (4)

Youngstown State (4)

Buffalo (4)

Iowa (4)

Navy (3)

Oklahoma State (2)

Penn State (2)

Akron (2)

FIU (2)

North Carolina State (2)

Utah (2)

Boston College (1)

Rice (1)

Clemson (1)

Florida State (1)

There were also single games with Villanova, Marshall, Maine, Gardner Webb, New Mexico, Old Dominion, Bowling Green, New Hampshire, Delaware and Temple. (When you add to these the 4 games with Buffalo, 4 games with Youngstown State, 2 games with Akron, and 2 games with FIU, the scheduling in recent times is quite different from the prior eras.)

Penn State and West Virginia are gone as rivals.  We seem destined to play Notre Dame less frequently.  Future schedules will consist of the ACC Coastal Division teams and Syracuse (our crossover opponent), and the non-conference schedule (which will apparently have one or two cupcakes every season.)  We old Pitt football fans are certainly living in a different time.

Giving up its on-campus stadium, scheduling so many scrimmages against inferior competition, and getting only one major bowl game in the last 35 years (2004 Fiesta Bowl against Utah), it seems that Pitt has in fact done what fans long feared they would do, de-emphasize football.

Maybe Pitt could at least improve fan interest by getting games with some premier teams, becoming one of those teams’ cupcake games.  Wouldn’t it be better than hoping to eke out a seven-win season and play each year in some no-name, who-cares “bowl” game against some other mediocre team?   It might be better to lose to Ohio State than to beat Akron.  Pitt will never return to prominence on an ACC Coastal Division schedule with a non-challenging non-conference schedule.  Pitt has a mostly attractive non-conference schedule this season, but If Pitt wants to get good crowds at Heinz, I think it needs to drop Albany, Toledo and the rest of those lesser teams, and get some games with Big 10, Pac 12 and Big 12 teams.  And if we could get some games with SEC teams, all the better!

But then, what do I know anyhow?  Times have changed!

 

 

POV Sunday Afternoon Podcast; June 17th

POV Sunday Afternoon Podcast; June 17th

Sorry I missed the Sunday morning podcast for this week – my family took me out to Father’s Day Brunch at Laurel Racecourse for the all-you-can-eat buffet and wagering on the horseys.

Spent $87 on brunch and lost $25 on the nags so Dad was out of pocket $100 on the day. Thanks Family!!

Here are Pitt’s nine 2019 verbal commits as of this writing; not a bad haul for the 15 guests here on Official Visits weekend – and that is just up to now.  Maybe we get one or two more. Those fans who get off on Florida players will be excited – although the only other FL schools to have offered our recruits so far are USF, Florida International, FL Atlantic and FL A&M. Wondering where Florida, Florida State Miami and UCF are with these kids?

From Rivals.com:

NAME POS LOCATION HT WT RATING 
Davis Beville QB Greenville, SC 6’6″ 205 3*  5.7
Brandon Mack DE Montgomery, AL 6’4″ 215 3*  5.7
Travis Koontz TE Ventura, CA 6’5″ 260 3*  5.7
Brandon Hill DB Apopka, FL 6’0″ 190 3*  5.6
Deandre Jules DE Germantown, MD 6’3″ 220 3*  5.6
Calijah Kancey DT Miami, FL 6’1″ 265 3*  5.6
Vincent Davis RB Fort Lauderdale, FL 5’9″ 160 3*  5.5
Leslie Smith LB Miami, FL 6’0″ 189 3*  5.5
Khadry Jackson DB Orlando, FL 6’2″ 200 0*  NR

Funny that our recruit with the best offer (Nebraska) is non-ranked, however that is the best of the bunch.  The others have similar P5 offers as Pitt’s offer out are.

As I said in the podcast – if you really want the best take on Pitt’s current recruiting then you should listen to Rivals.com’s Chris Peak’s twice weekly “Panther-Lair” podcasts found here.

Here are our past Florida kids. I bolded those who were above average players:

Rashad Duncan
Tommie Duhart
Gus Mustakas and Steve Dell
Tamarcus Porter
Dexter Davidson
Jared Martin
Ricky Gary
Greg Romeus
Jabaal Sheard
Greg Williams
Sherod Murdock
Anthony Jackson
Joe Trebitz
Shane Gordon
Jason Douglas
Roderick Ryles
LaQuentin Smith
Ronald Jones
James Folston Jr.
Malik Henderson
Keyshon Camp
Henry Miller
Zack Williams
Rashad Weaver
Anthony Davis
Deslin Alexandre
Albert Tucker

Here are the Top 50 Recruiters Nationally for 2019 – notice salaries

https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CompositeCoachRankings

2019 Top ACC Recruiting by Team (Pitt has nine with one NR kid)

https://247sports.com/Season/2019-Football/CompositeTeamRankings?Conference=ACC

2018 Top ACC

https://247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/CompositeCoachRankings?Conference=ACC

POV Fundraising – got first one today and haven’t even started yet.

 

 

Happy Birthday & The Power of Pitt POV

Happy Birthday & The Power of Pitt POV

I have written on here before how the Pitt POV has grown in leaps and bounds since it’s start on June 16th, 2016…exactly two years ago tomorrow… so happy birthday to all of us POVers involved with it.

That means me as the owner and writer (on most articles anyway), but more importantly a great dose of thanks and appreciation go to you regular readers and especially you commenters who make this blog the best and most popular non-profit site there is on Pitt football.  Hell, we even beat a lot of those for-profit sites also.

So anticipating this two-year birthday I have been wondering if I should do something special with the POV… and then I received an email two days ago from BigB (Bernie B.) about a conversation he had with Pitt’s Executive Associate Athletic Director, Media Relations E.J. Borghetti.  I don’t think Bernie will mind if I share this bit of his email to me with you all:

One other thought is I just made my contribution to the Pitt club… Have you ever thought about doing a fundraiser for Pitt sports through the POV… You know the volume of numbers of readers in true Pitt fans… Wonder if we could make an impact… The shakers and movers…Money talks… Just a thought that I wanted to run by you… 

So that is exactly what we are going to do on the POV to celebrate our two-year anniversary – we’ll do a fundraiser to get money to donate to perhaps the Pitt Championship Fund or possibly another Pitt-affiliated entity where our donations will make the best impact. I would like your thoughts on all of that please.

fearless-fundraising-coverWell, my friends, as you know I have stopped accepting donations to The Pitt POV itself this last year for a few personal reasons.  However, when this fundraiser gets off the ground I will ask that you send any monies that you might have donated to the POV blog and to please divert it towards the fundraiser we’ll run through this site.

I see it being a “matching” format where we get some readers with the financial ability to match donations up to a certain amount.  That way our general donations double automatically.  I’d also like to host a nice Pitt POV Dinner Event in the Pittsburgh area in conjunction with this and maybe we can auction off some nice Pitt memorabilia or some such items or services… we’ll see.

We aren’t starting this right now – I want to discuss specifics with the Associate Athletic Director for Major Gifts Pat Bostick Jr and with E.J. so we can do this in the best and most efficient way to move forward.  I am also asking any of you readers that if you are experienced in this, or any,  sort of fundraising to email me or call me – that info is on the front page of this blog so that we do this the best way possible.Image result for pitt football team photos

I think we POVers can make a real difference and maybe bring some strong attention to issues we have been discussing on here and also help Pitt football at the same time. I’ll try to target July to do this.

P/S:  If you want to be a “Matching Donor” up to an dollar amount your are comfortable with then please do let me know via email also.  I know you are out there….

HAIL TO PITT !!

Football Bits & Pieces; June 14th

Football Bits & Pieces; June 14th

Here is a piece on the Top 6 Safeties in the ACC.  Don’t worry, there is no undue pressure of any of ours because no one on Pitt made the list.

This article (lower on the page) however makes me sit up and take notice. It lists the best Running Backs we square off against in ’18.  I believe we really need to worry about Miles Sanders  when we play PSU at Heinz and wouldn’t that be a kick in the ass after the hard push Narduzzi did to get him to Pitt. Coming out of HS he was the nation’s #1 RB and was right in our backyard at Woodland Hills HS.

Plus when the hell is 10th year SR Trace McSorley going to leave PSU?  He’s chewed us up over the last two games to the tune of 39/63 (62%) for 496 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INTs… but his 12.7 yards per completion is the killer.

I also worry about UCF’s Adrian Killins ripping us up.  He’s an awesome breakaway threat and I don’t think our LBs will be good enough or fast enough to limit his yards. He averaged 6.25 ypc last season.  Just when you look at UCF and see they lost their HC and QB you think that’s going in our favor…but this kid’s still there.

In 13 games, Adrian Killins rushed 122 times for 790 yards and 10 touchdowns Killins also caught 25 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown. Killins rushed for 110-plus yards in games against SMU (Week 10), Navy (Week 8) and Memphis (Week 5). His season-high in rushing yards was against SMU where he carried the football 14 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns

Wow – look at all the great HCs UCF has had in their time as a D1 football program… Lou Saban along with these guys. Honestly I don’t think the Golden Knights are going to miss a beat with Heupel at the helm as he’s very offensive minded.

 

 

Watch this film of Killins and tell me who he reminds you of as a Pitt fan.

Continue reading “Football Bits & Pieces; June 14th”

POV’s 2018 Golf Outing Follow Up…

POV’s 2018 Golf Outing Follow Up…

The 2018 Golf Outing was another resounding success and mostly due to Erie Express’ dedication to making it the best it could be – thanks again Rick.

We had 20+ golfers and Dan72 and I were there for moral support. Our friend Ike had to cancel last-minute but because we were talking about him so much it was a good thing.

Here are some photos taken after golf rounds were finished and before the auction and dinner were held.  BTW – let me tell you something about this group. The auction itself raised $230 for the Way Recovery House… then without being asked the guys dug into their wallets and donated even more for an additional $335 so our total $565. That will go a long way to helping people in need and that is the high quality of guys and gals we have on the POV folks.

Enjoy these photos. I was the only guy wearing long pants and in the group one you can see I’m trying to figure out the hit my credit card took as The POV bought the after-golf drinks (not too bad actually – around $130… better than last year when one foursome ordered Patron Tequila x 4 guys x 3 rounds):

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The Pitt POV Fellowship
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Tom Emsurak, Brad Emsurak, Bob Liptak and Chris Liptak – all POV readers
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UPitt (2nd from left), Jay91 (to right of UPitt), and 2 of UPitt’s baseball friends.
Zach Hixson and Chris Delsignor
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Nathan Graham
Tyler Wassel
Wlat
Alexander Graham
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Team #3
Tom Emsurak (winning team at -10)
Tom’s friend and their sons
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Team #2…Gordon Conn (GC) in center and son far left with Matt Musser (PITT in the Ville) on right
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JoeKnew (Randy Medwig) and friends (Sorry if I missed names here)

So you can see how much fun this was – all smiles all day with meeting new friends, putting names to faces and just enjoying golf and talking about Pitt football.  Here are some details from the day…

Here is a photo of Bernie (BigB) with the WUP flag…

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Continue reading “POV’s 2018 Golf Outing Follow Up…”

Live From Champion Lakes Golf Course (Bar)!

Just rolled into the Championship Lakes Golf clubhouse – BTW Route 30 West is a beautiful drive – and the POVs guys are coming in from the front nine to grab a drink and some conversation.  Saw Rick (Erie Express) , Fran (Lastrow), UPitt (brought his own beer and cigars), Jay91 (who brought some just awesome Pitt memorabilia), Rand ( JoeKnew), John (MajorMajors) and a bunch of their friends… and I apologize if I skipped someone.

Funny that  most of the friends read the Pitt Blather but just like at the Pitt alumni meet and greet I went to on Thursday they didn’t know about the Pitt POV.

Speaking of which I was just outside having a smoke with UPitt and we were talking about the Blather as opposed to the POV and Mark(UPitt) said “Well, the POV is real life.” and you know what? I think it is.

We care about each other on here; we go out of our way not to offend others with our comments even if they get heated sometimes and we all want the same thing to happen – to see Pitt represented well both on the football field of play and in general.

That is the beauty of The Pitt POV – I truly consider the blog belongs to all of you and it is not just mine. I go onto the message boards sometimes and when The POV is mentioned there is almost always a negative discussion of it to follow.  I understand that part of that is how I personally view Pitt football and those principals involved in it – but I see that there are really huge misconceptions about what we do on here.

One commenter on a pay board said, in response to a post about the POV, “That’s why nobody goes over there.”  Which cracked me up a bit so I rebutted with the statistics of the POV and pretty much shut him up.  I don’t write that in bragging but that there is, among those who haven’t read us on here, a wrong impression of the give and take we have.

In nine days the POV will be two years old. Just to throw some numbers out…

Continue reading “Live From Champion Lakes Golf Course (Bar)!”

If I Was the AD…or WWRD?

If I Was the AD…or WWRD?

A commenter asked me a question yesterday that was basically “Reed – if you were the Athletic Director what would you do to help the football team?

Well, since I have been following Pitt football for a very long time and have been writing about it for years also you’d think I’d have some opinions on this subject… and I do.  My first official statement as a new AD would be this:

“It is important for every Pitt fan to know and understand that the intent and business of the University and the Athletic Department is that the football program be self-sufficient in financial terms”

That is the at the center of almost every fan’s complaints about the state of Pitt football today.  If you don’t understand that premise then you can’t understand the true state of Pitt football.  And that isn’t unusual in Division 1 schools either; it is more the norm than a deviation actually.

Look – Pitt has the 29th largest endowment fund in the U.S at $3.52 Billion dollars and none of it will ever go towards athletics and it shouldn’t.. That says something right there about where priorities lay…

First let’s go over the major complaints and/or reasons Pitt fans have as to why Pitt football is the way it is.  Which begs the question what exactly what is Pitt football’s state right now; was in the in the modern past and will be in the near future?

We know about the past.  With a two-year exception over 2008 – ’09 when Dave Wannstedt was the head coach and had a nine then a 10 win season along with a singular 2002 nine win year under Walt Harris Pitt has topped off at eight wins.  Put another way Pitt has won eight or more game only nine times in 30 years.

I read somewhere that Pitt was one of only three D1 colleges who had only one 10 win season in that time period… out of 129 D1 schools. That is low company folks.

On the flip side Pitt has won five or fewer games 10 times in that same time period. So you can see that over the last three decades Pitt has been an average football team with bouts of good play and bouts of poor play.  Pretty much middling and mediocre ball when every season is averaged out. As discussed below over our last 34 years we have a 207/201 record or just above .500 ball – so we Pitt fans aren’t unfamiliar with averageness at all.

We just saw that writ large over Pat Narduzzi’s first three years when he had back to back eight win years followed by a drop to a five win season. Personally I believe that inherited players Narduzzi was handed had more to do with those eight win years than his coaching did.  But that isn’t the first time that has happened in Pitt history.  If Foge Fazio were alive he could talk about that.

So that is where we are today. Coming of a five win season and looking at a new 2018 season with a tough schedule and question marks throughout the team.

So  let’s take a look at some of the reasons Pitt fans feel we are in this position of mediocrity.

  1. Not enough financial and administrative support from the Pitt administration for athletics and football in particular
  2. No on-campus stadium
  3. The drop in quality of WPIAL football quality
  4. We have too hard competition in our out-of-conference scheduling
  5. The Football Gods are out to get us

Since I’m now the AD and have been one long enough to see the inner-workings of the Pitt athletic department and to try to do something about, it here’s my answer to those.

First off Pitt fans really don’t get exactly how Pitt football fits into the University of Pittsburgh’s overall mission areas.

The University of Pittsburgh, founded in 1787, is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States.  As one of the nation’s distinguished comprehensive universities, the resources of the University constitute an invaluable asset for the intellectual, economic, and social enrichment of Pennsylvania, while the international prestige of the University enhances the image of Pennsylvania throughout the world.

 The University’s mission is to:

    • provide high-quality undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields, with emphasis upon those of special benefit to the citizens of Pennsylvania;
    • offer superior graduate programs in the arts and sciences and the professions that respond to the needs of Pennsylvania, as well as to the broader needs of the nation and the world;
    • engage in research, artistic, and scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge and creative endeavor;
    • cooperate with industrial and governmental institutions to transfer knowledge in science, technology, and health care;
    • offer continuing education programs adapted to the personal enrichment, professional upgrading, and career advancement interests and needs of adult Pennsylvanians; and
  • make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the University in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to social, intellectual, and economic development in the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

The trustees, faculty, staff, students, and administration of the University are dedicated to accomplishing this mission, to which they pledge their individual and collective efforts, determined that the University shall continue to be counted among the prominent institutions of higher education throughout the world.

Not a single word about athletics.

Continue reading “If I Was the AD…or WWRD?”