have talked a lot about what Head Coach Pat Narduzzi will do in his third year at the helm of Pitt’s football program. We have heavily debated whether it truly is “his team” in terms of players he either recruited or acquired by transfer (it is in my opinion).
We speculate on how well his own guys will do in terms of the previous head coaches’ players they are replacing. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we go around and around as to whether experience or talent wins out in the end when it comes to the quality of play he will get out of his roster.
First let’s take a look at what some previous Pitt head coaches have done in their third year. We’ll go back to the time period right after that great winning run Pitt had from 1974 to 1981.
I highlighted the 3rd years of the respective coaches and only showed their first three years.
So – here is the first Pitt HC to review in Foge Fazio:
I think we all remember what happened in Foge Fazio’s 3rd season in 1984 – it crashed and burned as the offensive and defensive wings fell off and hit at 3-7-1… and that was the end of his time here. We started that crappy year at 1-7-1 with a win over lowly East Carolina.
A voice from the past, Kevin Gorman of the Tribune Review, used to be the Pitt football beat writer and a reporter who I always made sure to read every word he put out because I thought he was that good and very detailed.
He’s back with a piece looking at our 2017 season’s ultimate goal.
In thisTrib article Gorman makes a pointthat The POV has been singing all along since Pat Narduzzi became the head coach of Pitt, and that was the main goal of any season is to win the ACC Coastal and then the ACC Championship. That is the only way we have a chance to be in the football playoffs at the end of the season. Anything else is nice but an unfulfilled season.
I love that 2016 Penn State win I love our Clemson upset also, but the bald fact is that if we don’t get it done in the ACC matches we’re not fulfilling the mandate that Pat Narduzzi has been given as a head coach at Pitt…play championship football.
The question going into Year Three of Narduzzi’s tenure is if he can pull that off. To which I say “sure he can” – if he’s what we think he is as a head coach.
There is a big disconnect from how the Pitt fans view the football program and how the coaches, staff and players view the football program. We fans love those emotional wins, and those two great OOC wins last year were certainly emotional and were great to watch. But, and there is always a “but” involved when comes to Pitt football, in the long run they didn’t really advance the program as much as a championship would. Any type of championship.
We had a blast with the call-in show last night and again we proved that no matter who shows up at the Roundtable we are the most knowledgeable Pitt fans in existence. Of course that is facetious as I’ve met many fans through other venues who know a ton about Pitt football also.
The civil tone was lowered just a smidgen from last week with both Ike and the infamous Dr. Tom coming onboard. I’m ordering a cut-off button today for future short-story answers to pretty simple and plain questions.
Some items discussed were:
The role of Pitt’s AD and how we feel Heather Lyke is doing… and what she needs to do.
Did Scott Barnes leave the department in good shape?
How we would feel if we had a third consecutive season with 8-5 including a bowl loss.
(Sorry about the audio – I forgot to use my professional microphone so the audio is recorded through my laptop’s mic…)
Hello all, enjoy the above Podcast and here is some supporting text to mull over while you listen:
Recruiting vs Attracting
USC coach Clay Helton said Wednesday he had not been contacted by any coaches interested in Browne, but would do whatever he could to help him during the process.
Browne graduated from USC prior to this season and is two semesters short of an MBA. He said he plans to finish that program eventually.
Recruit Flipping – Here is an interesting article by Brian Batko of the P-G regarding recruits changing their minds after verbally committing to one school – note that in the class of 2017 we had six players who committed elsewhere sign LOIs with us:
The marquee college program in this town won its share of other schools’ losses. Of Pitt’s 22 committed or already-enrolled players in the 2017 recruiting class entering signing day, eight were originally pledged to another school, including three of its most highly regarded.
Two of those eight picked the Panthers in mid-December, then arrived on campus less than a month later. Defensive end Deslin Alexandre was a true “flip,” announcing that he was decommitting from North Carolina State and committing to Pitt at the same time. It wasn’t something he took lightly but felt it was better late than never to get it right.
Pitt placed 10 players on Athlon Magazine’s All-ACC four (!) deep listing.
Here is the article:
PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team received 10 selections to the recently released Athlon Sports’ 2017 All-ACC Team as the widely recognized college sports magazine published its predictions for the first team through fourth team performers in the ACC this upcoming season. Returning consensus All-American Quadree Henderson led the way with three total selections. After Henderson joined Tony Dorsett in 2016 as the only players in Pitt football history to top 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season, Athlon touted the junior wide receiver as a preseason first team kick returner, second team offensive all-purpose player and second team punt returner for 2017. After Pitt had its most potent offense in school history in 2016, Athlon expects the Panthers to be talented and explosive again on the offensive side of the ball, naming six Panthers to its preseason All-ACC Team for 2017. Continue reading “POV: Sunday Podcast; July 2nd, 2017”→
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.
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.
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.
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):