1. Chryst was great at the press conference announcing his hiring. He was not polished but he was sincere and showed much more stoic charisma than many could have guessed. Since then, however, we haven't heard much from him.
2. Chryst hired away Bob Bostad, Joe Rudolph, and Dave Huxtable from Wisconsin. Bostad and Rudolph were huge coups.
3. Bostad left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
4. Running back coach Eddie Faulkner left to join Wisconsin not longer after being hired.
5. Chryst hired some potentially good young assistants in Bobby Engram, Matt House, and Chris Haering.
6. Chryst had trouble finding a DL coach then hired Inoke Breckterfield, who was fired after one season at UCLA and only has west coast ties. While he may end up doing a great job, the hiring was suspect, especially when nobody on the staff has recruiting ties to New Jersey, Washington, DC, Florida, or eastern PA.
7. Chryst still hasn't found a replacement for RB coach Eddie Faulkner.
8. Chryst and his staff has moved at a slower pace then his competitors on the recruiting trail. Penn State, West Virginia, and Ohio State have already invited groups of prospects for junior days and other events, while Pitt has yet to announce when their junior day will be held. The staff has also offered significantly less scholarship offers initially, even amongst top rated PA players, and have had less contact with recruits than most of their competitors.
As we can see, there are some good things, some bad things, and some things that are still to be determined. But what we do know is that Chryst has an excellent offensive mind. That shouldn't change. Chryst and Rudolph also proved at Wisconsin that they don't need to recruit stars, they make stars.
Those are the facts. My opinion is that the Pitt administration continually fires 8 win coaches and replaces them with more 8 win coaches that will be fired, too. To me, Chryst has enough brains and offensive expertise to be an 8 win coach at Pitt. What he needed to be better than that is a great staff and to be able to recruit extremely well. The staff started out excellently with Bostad and Rudolph. Then Bostad left, an out of the blue DL coach was hired, and a RB coach still isn't hired. So my initial excitement over the staff has waned some. But that doesn't mean there still isn't hope. House, Engram, Haering, and even Breckerfield may turn out to be excellent recruiters for all we know. Time will tell.
Speaking of recruiting, Wisconsin did well with lesser recruits, that's true. But it was a process that took many years, first started by Barry Alvarez. They had their system down and did it well. Maybe Chryst and his staff can do the same, but they also don't have the recruiting restraints that they had at Wisconsin.
Above all, this is the point I want to make. There are much better prospects available to Pitt and with better prospects, Pitt needs to make a killing if they want to do better than 8 wins. And with an all out assault in recruiting, they can make a killing. If Pitt is ever going to be excellent again, and if Chryst is going to be a coach who can do better than 8 wins, he can NOT let the elite WPIAL prospects go. Wisconsin had to turn average prospects into players because they had no choice. There aren't a lot of elite players in that state. But Pitt has them right in their backyard. Bottom line, if the Pitt staff lands Robert Foster, Patrick Kugler, Tyler Boyd, Scott Ordoff, and Dorian Johnson, then they have the makings of a team that has an offense that could seriously contend in the ACC in the future, and has the potential to be a legitimate top 20 team, if not better. If Chryst doesn't land a great recruiting class locally then he is still too good of a coach not to fail miserably, but we all know what 8 wins gets you at Pitt.
It's only been two months that Chryst has been at Pitt and the 2013 recruiting class is just a little over two weeks old. But Pitt needs to be aggressive. Find a running back coach who can recruit in a strong recruiting area. Recruit like hell in PA and OH especially, but be aggressive in neighboring states, too. Maybe they will turn up the heat soon. Maybe methodical is part of their process and they know exactly what they're doing. None of us know what they're thinking and none of know how it will turn out. But I want Chryst to succeed because, one, I like him personally, and, two, I'm sick of having 8 win coaches get fired.