Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pitt needs more elite prospects to be elite program

With the current Pitt football staff recruiting a lot of 2 and 3 star caliber prospects, a lot of fans are saying that's good enough and that elite prospects often fail anyway. It remains to be seen if getting mostly 3 star players will be enough for Paul Chryst to have success, but life without elite prospects would have made the Pitt football look a lot different over the last 40+ years. Here is a list of some of the best Pitt players ever, who also happened to be elite prospects at the time they came to Pitt.

Tony Dorsett- One of the best college players ever and an NFL Hall of Famer.
Dan Marino- Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks in history.
LeSean McCoy- Currently one of the biggest stars in the NFL and a possible future Hall of Famer.
Larry Fitzgerald- Maybe the best wide receiver in college football history and a definite future Hall of Famer.
Tyler Palko- Very successful career at Pitt.
Rod Rutherford- Same as Palko.
Craig Heyward- Big college star and an All-American.
Tyler Boyd- Current star and possible future All-American.
Aaron Donald- He was not lowly rated as is often reported. One of Pitt's best players ever.
Jonathan Baldwin- First round draft pick.
Dorin Dickerson- All-American.
Jeff Otah- First round draft pick.
Jason Pinkston- Good college player who also started in the NFL.
Bill Fralic- Maybe the best college offensive lineman of all-time.
Mark Stepnoski- All-American and NFL All-Pro.
Ruben Brown- All-American and NFL All-Pro. Probably future Hall of Famer.
Keith Hamilton- All-American and successful NFL career.
Tom Tumulty- Very successful college career on some awful teams.
Curtis Martin- Hall of Famer and one of the best NFL running backs ever.

Bottom line, do all elite prospects pan out? Of course not. And likewise a lot of lesser rated players turn into stars. And I have no doubt that Chryst and his staff will turn less heralded prospects into elite college players.  On the other hand, it's extremely difficult to win big without exceptionally talented prospects, too. Last season, Pitt's best two players- Boyd and Donald- were elite prospects. That's not a coincidence. More players of that caliber are needed if Pitt ever wants to be considered a national power. Without enough of those players Pitt could still be a good program, but an excellent program would probably be out of the question.


  1. Pitt needs 4-5 "elite" players every year. 4star or better.
    IF they want to be Top 25 ranked team.

    Can you imagine a team with 20 Aaron Donalds and Tyler Boyds coming out of HS?

    1. First, "elite" players usually don't stay 4, let alone 5 years. Therefore, the most Pitt would have under that scenario is about 15.

      Second, that's assuming all those "elite" prospects pan out. Many of them don't (see: Hale, S; Bostick, P; Cross, G, Saddler, C; Mathews, M; et al).

    2. Anony 6:08
      Are we really going to have a discussion of 4 stars? Really.

      I will take a team with 80 4star players... (Alabama)
      you take a team with 80 2 and 3 star players..
      who will win?
      yes some are overrated and some are underrated. I go by what college coach offered the players as that is the ultimate judge.

    3. The OP & my post had absolutely nothing to do with the value of 4 star vs 2 or 3 star recruit.

      My only argument is that recruiting 4-5 "elite" players each year will not result in 20 "Aaron Donalds and Tyler Boyds." Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. What's the reason we are not getting these kids? What do UNC, UK, WVU, or Northwestern have to offer -- all of which have multiple Rivals 4 star commits -- that Pitt doesn't?

    1. It is called "recruiting". Which is selling. Or as Dana Holgorsen accurately stated, "lying". Paul Chryst and company are good men, but they are not good recruiters.

  3. I agree as to needing elite players ... plus .. 1 or 2 on the entire team is not enough ... we won't consistently beat FSU, Miami or top out-of-conference foes that routinely have 3-4 elite guys on each side of the ball. I like what Chryst is building and am willing to give him 2-3 more years to get what he needs to win 8+ games a year. After that, the recruits will flow and we will be back to the glory days !

  4. 1. Pitt has to be willing to spend some money. Once Bobby Engram left, there, also went the NFL guy on the staff that could relate to these young talented athletes because he's already been where they're going. He could pull a Tyler Boyd or an Adonis Jennings because he's someone they respect and look up to. Greg Lewis is unproven and has no ties to Pittsburgh whatsoever. Bobby Engram's wife is from Pittsburgh and he actually lived in Pittsburgh while in the NFL and before he became a Pitt Coach.

    2. Pitt isn't pulling in top recruits on defense because ABSOLUTELY NO DEFENSIVE COACH is known for being a savvy RECRUITER. Troy Douglas was a step in the right direction as far as coaching but not recruiting. There's no young guys on the staff for high school players to relate to.

    3. The Pitt coaching staff has no one of color who's voice REALLY MATTERS. 90% of the 4/5 * kids that Pitt is trying to recruit are Black. There's no Black men on Pitt's staff in a position of power. When you come from a predominantly Black school, you're looking for someone in an authoritative position that you can trust and confide in as a coach that will also have your back or look out for you.

    4. HCPC has to get a lil more involved in the recruiting process. The head coach has to be someone you believe in and actually want to play for. It's hard to want to play for a guy who barely gives you a chance to know who he really is. HCPC still seems to have no personality.

    1. 1. Bobby Engram was just as unproven when he first came to Pitt as Lewis is now. Having a wife who is from Pittsburgh means nothing. Do you think Engram dropped his wife's name when he visited local schools & they just swooned? Pitt has enough guys with local connections. They need more guys who can recruit other areas.

      2. Troy Douglas is a step in the right direction, vis a vis recruiting. He took over Whitehead's recruitment & improved significantly. He also has the connections that are reopening FL for Pitt.

      3. No. Recruits are looking for someone whom they can trust, who can coach them & their teammates to successful seasons & the NFL, no matter the color of their skin. Where were all the black coaches in authoritative positions when Wannstedt was getting more 4/5 star recruits?

      4. This demonstrates that you have no idea what your talking about. PC is very involved in the recruiting process. All of the guys who have committed to Pitt since he was hired rave about how he is a guy who cares about then & whom they love to play for. Don't mistake PC's public perception for what he is like in person.

  5. How many stars was Donald? I don't remember that he was even a four-star.

    1. He was a 4-star on Scout and was in the top 10 in the state. I also had him top 10. It's a common misconception that he was a sleeper, mostly because, as Rivals tends to do, they evaluated him poorly.

    2. This is demonstrably untrue. The following are lists of prospects, during the Wannstedt era whom Rivals & Scout rated differently.

      Scout was more accurate, IMO, on the following: Myers, Imoru, Donald, Douglas, Street, Lippert, Holley, Turnley, McCoy, Lindsey, A Wright, Hynoski, Caragein, B Jackson, D DeCicco, Berry, A Smith, Davidson, J Thomas, Pinkston & Loyhede.

      Rivals was more accurate, IMO, on the following: Gonzalez, Clemmings, S Williams, Sacco, Tinker, B DeCicco, Ezell, K Adams, Hale, Cross, L Nix, Reed, Mo Williams, Roberts, Matha, Fieger, Bostick, Jacobson, M Mathews, Fields, L Robinson, Byham, K Smith, Hargrove, Tkach, N Nix, & Dickerson.

      Rivals was correct more often, 27 to 21. Moreover, of the 21 on whom Scout was more accurate, 11 were actually rated higher by Rivals than Scout. Of the 27 on whom Rivals was more accurate none were rated higher by Rivals.

      Therefore, Rivals underrated just 10 prospects, whereas Scout overrated 27 prospects. Rivals clearly does not tend to rate more poorly than Scout.

    3. So your entire methodology is based on what your opinion of what each player should truly be ranked? That's hardly scientific.

    4. Better yet, you made the claim that Rivals tends to evaluate poorly. Prove it.

    5. I take it that you're one of those Pantherlair groupies.

    6. I'm no "Pantherlair groupie." I'm simply someone who looks at the facts objectively & has come to the conclusion that Rivals is more accurate than Scout. 247 doesn't have enough track record.

      Again, if you conclude otherwise make your case.

      Ad hominem attacks are the last resort for those without a leg to stand on.

  6. I agree with everything you say, except on Aaron Donald who was not a highly coveted recruit. You're wrong to include him on this list. He was a consensus 3 star who only had offers from Toledo, Akron and Rutgers - that's the resume of 3/4 of the guys Chryst is bringing in.

    1. Not wrong at all. I was even more immersed in recruiting then and Donald was a big time prospect. People need to stop with that myth.

    2. Actually I just went back and looked at my ratings, which you can easily google. I had Donald No. 5 with a quote from Terry Smith calling him the best defensive lineman he's ever coached against. Like I said, you can read Rivals evaluations or you can read people who actually know what's going on.

    3. Plus, people forget that he blew up in his senior season but committed to Pitt four months before his senior season started. He was off the market before anybody else had the chance.

    4. Ok, I can defer to your first hand knowledge, you certainly know more and have been at this a lot longer than me. But, by the same taken, how can you be so sure that the many guys who have similar objective rankings but who are not from the area and you presumably haven't seen won't turn out to be just as good?

  7. We have to win some games. If we win 8 or 9 games two years in a row the recruiting will improve. You have to show you can win with what you have and/or are able to get by default before you can convince most blue chip guys to select your program over others. That is particularly true when the school has a history of mediocrity, the head coach is a first timer with no record of achievement to point back to and isn't a super charismatic. Pitt's program on it's own doesn't bring in recruits and Chryst's 13-13 record as a HC isn't impressive either. Gotta win some games.

  8. I'm less worried on offense. Ball control and a big O-Line with decent RB's will be enough ... they do have to recruit a QB however.

    Defense though - you can't gimmick your way to success. Without athletes, you will be exposed. That was always Wisc's achilles heal - the defense always kept them 2nd tier in the Big 10.

  9. I agree with the above poster. This is really a defensive issue. Chryst, to no one's surprise really, has done a good - not elite - job of recruiting on offense. But it's completely the opposite on defense. I mean, it's not even close. There isn't even a single border line blue chipper on defense yet from Chryst's staff. Not one guy on defense that was on the cusp of being "highly touted" by my estimation.

    I also want to bring everyone's attention to the actual headline of this article. It's "elite" not "good." We are not recruiting at an elite level, and we will not be an elite team with this level of recruiting from the coaching staff. (Elite being capable of consistent top 15 finishes.) I think we've done a "good" job recruiting offensive talent (top 20-25 level) and probably about top 60-75 level talent on defense which is unequivocally poor.

  10. Based on your analysis. Pitt should have finished in the top-10 at least 5 times in the 80's based on talent. Reality says something different.

    1. How do you figure that? There's six on the list for the entire 1980s.

    2. Pitt was ranked in the Final Top 25, 5 times in the 80's.
      80 - 2
      81 - 4
      82 - 10
      83 - 18
      89 - 17
      Source: Wiki

    3. The teams from '83-'89 were loaded. You failed to mention in your list of elite recruits Sean Gilbert (Gatorade POY) and Curtis Bray (Gatorade POY) as well as the Woods' brothers.

      I stopped counting at 17 future NFL players on the '84 team which finished with 3 wins.

      Mr. Anonymous... notice only 1 top-25 after '83. Go check Wikipedia on those losses to Temple in the 80's - trust me... they happened.

  11. Pitt is not recruiting a lot of 2 star prospects. 2 this year so far and unlikely to be any more, 4 last year. The last time Pitt recruited a lot of 2 star prospects was 2013 when they took 9 because they needed to recruit whoever they could get thanks to Fraud skipping town and depth being terrible.

    1. 2 and 4 is a lot considering the best programs usually have none.

    2. Both of Michigan State's shut-down cornerbacks on their Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship teams were two stars. Darqueze Dennard was a first-round draft choice and Trae Waynes may be next year. MSU is an emerging big-time program that knows how to develop two-star players. Let's hope that Pitt can do as well.

    3. Furthermore, it is not unheard of for a former walk-on to play a significant role for an elite program.

    4. I'm no fan of Chryst taking 2 stars bc he hasn't shown an ability to spot talent or coach em up. But Leveon Bell of MSU and the Steelers former first round pick and current starting RB was also a 2 star recruit.

    5. The only 2 stars whom PC has recruited haven't had time to show that this staff can coach them up yet. The very nature of a 2 star recruit means that they take at least a couple of years to develop.

  12. Jerry "The Mole"July 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Forgot Sean Gilbert - USA Today Defensive Player of the Year

  13. Is it just occuring to people Chryst can't recruit? We are picked #6 in the ACC Coastal Division! There are 11 teams rated ahead of us in the total ACC! In a Wall Street Journal article today, Pitt was not even listed as a team to be considered to play in a national title conference. There were about 50 teams listed!

  14. Why would a an elite recruit come to Pitt? I have been a Pitt fan all my life and I am currently a college coach that recruits. Part of recruiting is selling why you school is the best option for a recruit. Looking at Pitt, I don't know how you sell any top recruits on Pitt.

    They play in a stadium that is half empy. Umm do you play for Penn State in front of 100,000 fans or at Heinz Field in front of 40,000 (actually 20,000 but we will got with the AD's math)

    Pitt Campus is in the middle of Oakland.

    Pitt does not own their football facilities. The facilities are on the South Side, a pain in the butt drive through traffic from Oakland.

    The chances of winning a national title are slim (come on be honest, the competative balance in college football is worse than Major League Baseball and the differences between the halves and the have nots is worse)

    About the only thing you can sell them on is that they will get an actual educaiton at Pitt and not put in some B.S. major like at some other schools.

    So for all the critics, you are the HC at Pitt, how would you sell the program? Don't even go into tradition because for most recruits, the stuff that happened in the 70s is ancient history for them.

    1. The major flaw in your statement is that over the last 40+ years Pitt coaches have convinced a lot of great players to come.

    2. Yes chris, but they sell them "playing time"
      All in all, Pitt is a hard sell to a 4star recruit.
      No practice facilities on campus is a biggie. I don't want to hear about the Steelers because how many Pitt players have they drafted, etc. I use to think that helped, but it doesn't quite frankly.
      Pitt hasn't had on campus facilities for the last 12 years or so... so don't use 70's and 80's data.

    3. Top recruits can play anywhere. They don't need to be promised playing time. And Pitt's facilities in the 70s and 80s were significantly worse. They came then because Pitt won. That's all these kids care about. If Pitt had a big budget and an excellent coach Pitt would have to beat elite prospects away with a stick. They only don't come now because who willingly chooses to be mediocre?

    4. @Dokish 7/24 11:00 AM

      20 players over a 40 year span is hardly "a lot."

      As you yourself stated, "there's six on the list for the entire 1980s."

    5. Who willingly chooses to be mediocre?

      The Pitt administration (at least as it pertains to football). It's been demonstrated multiple times through history.

    6. Chris was being nice. The actual major flaw in your argument is that there is zero chance you're a "college football coach in charge of recruiting" because d3 coaches don't recruit.

    7. Uh, yes they do. They just don't offer scholarships.

      How else do you think they get players over other D3 schools?

    8. They key here is that you didn't deny you're at a d3 school, so any Jr high school coach and you have the same standing really, since neither of you can offer athletic scholarships.

    9. Only one problem, Sherlock. I'm not the same guy who posted at 10:25 AM on 7/24.


  15. Post Gazette reporting Dave Wannstedt turning from Coaching to Broadcasting.

    Seems he may have run out of friends in position to offer him a job. Should help put to rest all the "How GREAT of a Coach Wanny was/is" talk.

    Nice Guy. Great Pitt Guy... and Pretty Good Recruiter. But BAD Head Coach, especially on Game Day when the pressure was on.


  16. Jerry "The Mole"July 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Truth be told, Pitt hasn't fielded a GREAT team in over 30 years and I seriously doubt if these kids are watching those old games. There's been great individual players in that time spam. The last good team was the 2009
    Team that finished 10-3 & ranked 15th. That team was better than the 9-4 team that lost to Utah in the Fiesta Bowl.

    1. The problem has been that Pitt hasn't brought in a great coach since Sherrill left.

  17. Jerry "The Mole"July 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    What makes Pitt attractive? Right now, we're a resumÄ› school for up and coming coaches. What would make a great coach want to come to Pitt?

    1. Money, like anywhere else. A bigger budget will lead to better coaches which will then lead to more wins.

    2. Jerry "The Mole"July 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      When have you known Pitt to shell out money though? That's more of a fantasy

    3. He's persona non grata around here but Todd graham actually. He was making over 2M a year to start. The problem with Pitt is not money. We have the 6th largest endowment of a public school in the USA and a 1.9 billion dollar yearly budget. It's that SP has no clue how to evaluate football coaching talent or run a football program. That's why he was fired at Nebraska and why Pitt has been average since he returned. Nordenberg didn't care if Pitt football was good because it didn't factor in to his plan. And no doubt Nordy was god for Pitt overall. But from a football perspective, a change in chancellors can only help Pitt football.

    4. The university definitely has the money. They just don't use it on football. 2 million is average for a veteran head coach in a major conference.

    5. Nordenberg wanted a better Pitt football program than Johnny Majors II built which is why he brought Pederson here in 1996. But you are right. He is not committed to building a great football program. I do believe Nordenberg, not Pederson, really pulled the strings for the ACC.

      You are absolutely right about Pederson. He has no ability to nurture a Top Ten football program at Pitt. Playing at the Steelers stadium does make a difference - a negative one that is. That could change if Pitt could ever win the big games at Heinz consistently.

      Only two universities have played in rented facilities and win consistently
      USC practically owns the LA Coliseum based on their latest agreement with Los Angeles. UCLA already had a better program when the Bruins opted to use the Rose Bowl and their home stadium.

      Note that when Miami was winning big it played its home games at the municipal Orange Bowl but was the only football tenant. It was Miami's home stadium.

      USF, Temple, Miami all play in rent-a-stadiums. All have underachieved although Miami is running all over Pitt in recruiting. It's difficult to see a season where Pitt prevails over the Canes based on talent and coaching.

  18. I agree with Chris's arguments ... here is some more ammo ...

    we can argue all day long as to whether the list is correct or not; however, from a relative perspective ... are we going to beat the FSU's with 9 players on the list when we have 0. OK .. maybe it should be FSU with 7 and Pitt with 2 .. so what .. the results will be the same.

    Let's get the ELITE guys (plural) here asap ! Hail to Pitt !

    1. If you expect Pitt to compete with FSU right now, you have completely lost touch with reality.

  19. Seriously Chris what makes you assume that Chryst isnt a better coach?Hes had 2 years so far. A bigger budget wont keep what you think are better coaches from schools like Alabama, OSU and the like. If it is so easy to get those 4 or 5 stars and so-called better coaches dont you think almost every College would have a bigger budget if they could.

    These young men dont think about that. They just want to know if that team is successful and can get them to the NFL. If Chryst teams win the recruits will come. Its that simple. Why does everyone keeps beating a dead horse about recruiting and everything else.

    This is my first ever post and Chris you clearly are not a Chryst fan and diss him in every one of your post. Where you are completly different when it comes to Dixon. Like all posters say. Just my opinion.

    1. There's a lot wrong with this so I will break it down.

      1. Without elite talent you have to be an EXCELLENT coach to compensate and have great success. Paul Chryst has shown nothing yet to show that he's an EXCELLENT head coach. So the odds are he won't be. Is is guaranteed that he won't be? No, but the odds are against ANYBODY being a great head coach. Until he proves he is it's only rational to assume that he won't be.

      2. Of course a bigger budget will get Pitt into the same rarefied air as Ohio State, Alabama, etc. It's not like they're great programs because Columbus and Tuscaloosa are so bitchin'. Look at the budgets of the elite programs. There's a reason why they are elite and it's not the food or hot coeds.

      3. I hear this I'm not a Chryst fan crap all the time, and it's only because I won't say that he's going to turn Pitt into a power. The truth is, he probably won't. That's just reality. If I truly didn't like him, I would be hoping he would be fired. Instead, I tweet often about how he'll be an 8-9 win coach at Pitt and how I hope he succeeds because he's a classy guy that does it the right way. But like I said, if I don't say he's going to turn Pitt into a top 10 team I hear how I don't like him. I like the guy a lot. I just have my doubts that he'll turn Pitt into a power, and for that I am guilty.

      4. I defend Dixon and not Chryst is another one I hear all of the time. Newsflash: Dixon has accomplished a helluva lot more than Chryst at this time. If Chryst ever wins as consistently as Dixon them I will defend him, too. But at the moment he's 13-13 at Pitt. It is what it is.

    2. If you follow Chris on Twitter he hardly bashes Chryst - in fact he supports him. That doesn't mean you can't criticize him ... and Chryst has left him open to criticism with is unorthodox take on recruiting.

  20. I woould like to say 'success breeds success' and a few winning seasons will turn things around .... but then, how do you account for WVU''s current class?

    1. Jerry "The Mole"July 25, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      The difference between Pitt and WVU's current classes.

      Defensive Coaches
      Chris Haering vs Damon Cogdell

      Chris Haering- former Mt Lebanon coach that was supposed to have a relationship locally from a recruiting aspect has done slim to none as far as impact players since his hiring and he's locally known as an a**hole. Gotta give him credit for Bookser though.

      Damon Cogdell- former WVU linebacker, just like Haering, but was the head coach at National Powerhouse Miramar High School. Cogdell is known in Florida, a place where every National Championship team for the past 10 years, recruits strong. He has his hand in 5 commitments from the sunshine state, 4 of the 5 played for him and the 5th transferred to Miramar after he left.
      Recruiting win =WVU

      Inoke Breckterfield & John Palermo vs Tom Bradley
      Bradley should've been Pitt's Head Coach. no need to even elaborate
      Recruiting win = WVU

      Brian Mitchell vs Troy Douglas
      Mitchell has 3 2015 commitments while Douglas has 0. Pitt has 4-5 spots left in the 2015 class and I seriously doubt that 3 or more will just be from kids Douglas is recruiting
      Recruiting win = WVU.

      Offensive Coaches

      JaJuan Seider ranked ahead of every coach on both teams

      Lonnie Galloway ranked second out of every coach for the 2015 class between both teams.

      Ron Crook ranked 3rd out of every coach on both teams.

      Seider was on the top 15
      Galloway was in the top 100
      Crook was in the top 125

      No Pitt offensive coach was in the top 300 for recruiting rankings for the 2015 class. Jim Hueber was the highest ranked coach at 336.

      Defensive Coordinators
      House vs Gibson
      House hasn't been allowed to talk to a recruit since the Henry/Nicholson debacle
      Gibson became known as Mr Western PA because of of Henry. Now It's a race to see who will get Whitehead with House's job probably depending on it.
      Recruiting win=WVU

      All data was per 24/7 rankings

    2. Bradley was complicit in the worst scandal in American sports history.

      I don't care if he could recruit 25 5 star players every year. I wouldn't want him anywhere near the Pitt program.

    3. Jerry "The Mole"July 25, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Nothing came out of that scandal against Tom Bradley. You cannot make him guilty by association. He would do more for Pitt than the last collection of coaches have. Coach Chryst's resume doesn't compare to Bradley's, let alone any of his assistants.

    4. Jerry you're an idiot. That is not true. Christ. Bradley was implicated by multiple victims including most pointedly by victim 4. WVU had no choice but to hire him which is the only reason they did. Seriously. Just Google Bradley. It's not hard.

    5. "Coach Chryst's resume doesn't compare to Bradley's"

      Really? How many Rose Bowls did PSU make during Bradley's loooong time there? How many did Wisconsin make during Chryst's tenure?

      How many head coaching positions did Chryst interview & was recjected for?

    6. Jerry "The Mole"July 31, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      2 National Championships
      1994 undefeated season
      Won Orange Bowl (2005), the Fiesta Bowl (1980, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996), the Liberty Bowl (1979), the Sugar Bowl (1982), the Aloha Bowl (1983), the Holiday Bowl (1989), the Citrus Bowl (1993 and 2010), the Rose Bowl (1994), the Outback Bowl (1995, 1998 and 2006) and the Alamo Bowl (1999 and 2007)

      Coach Chryst's 2 Rose Bowl wins don't compare.

  21. Everything you said is reasonable. But again you are judging the man on 2 seasons. Yes you have to have the players to win. Thats obvious. What isnt obvious is simply having a bigger budget will get those players. Pitt never had a big budget.

    I dont care who was coaching Pitt the last 2 years there was no way those teams were going to more than maybe a win better. Its just insane to make a statement about how good a coach he is with no real sampling of him getting his players on the team. He has to be judge by his players because as everyone has pointed out over and over. Pitt doesnt have any talent. But then the same people say he is not been a good coach for having those same players. You cant have it both ways. Either he has had the players to win and he didnt Or those were not.

    As far as his resume compared to Dixon. Football is 12 games. You win a half or more and go to any bowl game its on par with making the field of 64 and never make it past the elite 8. The only football games that matter are the 4 big ones. Same is in basketball. It only really matters if you get to elite 8 and above. Hes done it once.

    You may not like posters saying you have these feelings with these 2 coaches but its clear you do. Dixon cant recruit niether and all he does is get 3 stars who he thinks fits what he wants. But you dont judge him the same way and he has been here like 8 years longer.

    All Im saying is lets all wait to judge the man until he had a fair chance to implement his plan because at this point he has not been given a chance by the reaction on some of these boards.

    1. Dixon can't recruit? He just had a top 5 recruit and he has a top 25 and a top 50 player coming in. And it's harder to do that in basketball because there's less HS players and more high level college basketball teams. Dixon has finished in the top 10 and top 20 multiple times. Chryst hasn't done that yet. Until he does you can't compare them.

      As for Pitt's budget, I know it's never going to be high. That's my point.

      All you have to do is look at the budgets for the most successful teams. The only successful program that I can think of that didn't have a huge budget and they compensated by having Chris Pederson. I don't think it's wrong of me to have my doubts that Chryst will be Pederson. Like I keep saying, it's rare to have a great head coach and a coach who is 13-13 in his first two years is not somebody that screams greatness. Don't get me wrong. He may prove that. In my opinion, I see no signs that he's a GREAT coach that can compensate for lack of a ton of talent.

    2. Last sentence... well said.

      "I see no signs that he's a great coach that can compensate for lack of a ton of talent"

      Translation: Pitt fans need to stop thinking Chryst and his assistants can "coach'em up" better that any other major conference head coach.

      Bottom Line: Pitt needs elite players (4star). 4-5 every year.

  22. "Pitt needs more elite prospects to be elite program"

    No kidding? In other news, water is wet & the sky is blue!

    The headline alone tells you what a fool's argument this is. Pitt hasn't been "elite" in 30 years but you expect them to bring in elite recruits? Recent recruits came of age & developed their perception of Pitt at a time when it was going thru 4 head coaches in 2 years & the 6-6 records that precipitated, thanks to the bumbling administration.

    1. I take it that you're young and don't know your history because Pitt has recruited a lot of excellent players in the past 30 years, despite their incompetent coaching and administration. And that's the point. If they had an even better coach, and a bigger budget, then the sky is the limit. But instead too many Pitt fans cry and say "we can't do it!! Waaaa!!" That's why Pitt is mediocre. Too many fans are okay with mediocrity.

    2. Ur on a roll Chris.. another good sentence.

      "Too many fans are okay with mediocrity."

    3. I'll bet a dollar that I'm older than you. I remember every one of the elite recruits that Pitt has gotten over the last 30 years, so why have they been so mediocre over that same period? Again, you listed 20 players over a 30 year period. This isn't basketball. Even a good program needs more than an average of 2 outstanding players every 3 years.

      Pitt has not been mediocre because the fans are okay with it. Pitt has been mediocre because every time over the last 100 years that the program has gotten elite the administration steps in cuts the legs out from under it.

    4. It's not rocket science. Pitt hasn't had enough elite recruits in the last few decades because they haven't had great head coaches and assistants. And the reason why is because they're too cheap to hire such people. The fact that great players have still come here proves my point that they are a sleeping giant that merely needs somebody at Pitt to care enough.

    5. Wait.Now it is the administration's fault?

      In your last post it was the fan's fault. Which is it?

    6. At Pitt it's almost always the administration's fault. The Pitt leaders de-emphasized football when Jock Sutherland ruled the East and won the second acknowledged A.P. national championship.

      After Micheloson had Pitt respectable in the late 50s the Pitt administration refused to make its academic requirements competitive with other top football schools (the '63 season was the best and almost last for Johnny; he was fired in 1965.)

      The administration refused to give Jackie Sherrill what he wanted to stay at Pitt. I'm pretty sure Pitt's 1982 team would have won the national title with Jackie at the helm.

      Of course Mike Gottfried was doing some excellent recruiting but clashed with Pitt officials over entrance and grade requirements. He resigned.

      The Pitt administration, going cheap, hired back Johnny Majors who was hindered by heart problems and maybe alcoholism. His awful second tenure helped seal Pitt Stadium's fate. If Pitt had had a winning program, it might have found the funds to refurbish the stadium, remove the track, etc., much in the way Cal redid Memorial Stadium.

      Then, of course, when Pitt finally cracked the Top Ten, losing to Cincy in the Big East championship game with the best array of talent assembled at Pitt in quite a while, Pederson came out of the woodwork (there is no evidence Pederson did anything to help Wannstedt improve the program or make adjustments that might have helped the on-field coaching) and fired him.

      Of course, there's the Haywood fiasco created by Pederson hiring this unqualified, cheap candidate in the first place.

      Sorry to bring this up as the group think on the PAC 12 Coach of the Year Todd Graham is that he's scum, but Graham said there were problems with the Pitt administration "he wished he'd known about" along with his general miserableness living in Pittsburgh. Perhaps we will hear more from Graham in the future. Pitt fans will have something more to bash him with.

      If you can find any reasons the state of Pitt football is not a direct result of regular mismanagement, please comment. I'm curious to hear what you have to say.

  23. I like Paul Chryst. I root for him not only because he's Pitt's coach, but because I want to believe that the good character guys have a shot. But, if I am honest with myself I know that his best attribute as Pitt's head coach is that he'll provide 4 maybe 5 years of stability and recruit at decent clip that will let the next guy do well.

  24. The key to getting higher ranked recruits is winning. If Pitt wins ten games this year, some of the last minute recruits will come aboard. Along with winning comes better bowls which further helps the situation. Pitt has great facilities. What high school kid would not want to practice at a facility located next to an NFL team such as the Steelers. As the reputation of the city of Pittsburgh continues to grow, that too will help recruiting.

    One only has to look at the Pitt basketball program. Ten years ago Pitt would not have had a chance at the kids they are recruiting now.

  25. So, if they had a big budget and a "better" HC then Pitt would be elite and winning national championships every year right??? Well that sounds great but I have some questions:

    1. What should the budget be? I "think" Pitt's around $60M for their athletic budget and "think" OSU is around $120M. So per Chris, Pitt needs to be at that number to win National Championships every year.

    2. How do you plan on Pitt getting that extra $60M? Raise tuition? Find a sugar daddy to make it all better? Maybe we should ask the PA tax payers to pony up some more money so we can be "elite". Oh, I get it, it should come from Pitts trust since I'm sure there's nothing better they can do with that money...

    3. Say Cuban decides to make a play in college sports and gives Pitt the money to equal OSU. What exactly are you going to spend it on to sudden make them "elite" and annual national champions? More gym equipment, new uniforms, pay-off's to get those "elite" players, bribes to coaches?

    4. Now that Pitt has the big money, all that's left is to hire that great HC. So, who's it going to be? I really gotta know.

    So in summary, you're missing a lot of detail to support your "theory". And last I checked, it looks like some of those other big-money schools with on campus stadiums are having some troubles too:

    Top 10 Athletic Expenses, 2013 Football Record (USA Today):
    1. Texas, $146M, (8-5)
    2. WI, $146M, (9-4)
    3. MI, $131M, (7-6)
    4. AL, 116M, (11-2)
    5. OSU, 116M, (12-2)
    6. PSU, $110M, (7-5)
    7. Tenn, $110M, (5-7)
    8. FL, $106M, (4-8)
    9. Iowa, $106M, (8-5)
    10. LSU, $105M, (10-3)

    Maybe Pitt's pretty smart keeping their $60M and winning one or two less games than most of these "elite" spenders...Mediocrity's looking better by the dollar.

    1. Yeah those ten programs are really hurting. LOL. I can't believe that is your actual argument.

    2. Still waiting for your answers to questions 1-4..

    3. I think everybody reading this knows your argument is ridiculous so I'm not going to waste my time.

    4. Dumbest post ever Kent.

    5. Ridiculous, LOL, ok. You're the one who said Pitt needs to spend more (mentioning OSU) and hire a better coach to become elite. Well, how much do they need to spend, where does it come from, how will you spend it, and who's the better coach?

      Since it's a waste of time, I'll take that as "I don't know". What's next, if Pitt only gave out pecan pies the 5*'s would be flooding the campus.....

    6. Thanks for your insightful analysis Anony. You've set the bar high my friend..

    7. Pitt has a current endowment of 2.98 Billion... yes, billion.

      Listed as the MOST expensive "Public" university in the USA...

    8. I'm glad you put that in quotes.

      Pitt receives less funding now, by a percentage of its operating budget, than it did the year before it became "state related."

      Pitt is not a public university.

    9. Jerry "The Mole"July 25, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      @ anonymous 4:46
      Pitt used to be a private university. It has been a PUBLIC University since 1966

    10. When Pitt charges 1 price to PA residents and another price to out of state residents....
      it is a PUBLIC university.
      It takes state money.
      It's not owned by the state. Doesn't matter. Its a Public college! And the most expensive public college per USNews report in the US.

  26. Ok, Kent, Pitt does need to spend more. But, those 10 programs bring in more, which is why they have it to spend. They sell more tickets, at a higher price, have better media deals, and most (all as of the SEC network launch) have their own network. The answer to your question is that Pitt needs to spend at least $6 million minimum on the coaching staff in order to play at a high level. I'm not making this up, there are tons of sites listing coaching salaries. Right now, Pitt is spending less than $4M on our 11 man coaching staff. You need a $2M+ for your head coach, and two $1M Offensive and Defensive Coordinators and 7 assistants splitting the last $2M. Pitt hasn't committed the resources to win. Maybe in a couple years - post Chryst, because let's stop lying to ourselves, he's gone in 2 years - when SP's gone we will spend it. But we are genuinely behind in football coach spending.

  27. Behind in spending is an understatement for Pitt athletics..
    1. Pitt has a football team but no on-campus practice field, S&C, offices.
    2. Pitt has a football team without an on-campus stadium.
    3. Pitt has a track team but no track!
    4. Pitt finally invested for BB, soccer, baseball but still don't field teams for many sports such as LAX.

    Pitt raised over $2billion in the past 10 years I believe yet keep raising tuition.

  28. In 1966, Pitt got something like 50% of its financial support from the Commonwealth of PA. It is now down to what? 8% or less? Pitt is headed in the direction of returning to being a private institution by default because the Commonwealth's demographics dictate that state funds, like money from the lottery, goes to support the elderly. As we all know, large numbers of younger folks have fled the state since the collapse of heavy industry in the early 1980s due to the resultant lack of good employment opportunities and PA has an aging population base. As a result, Pitt's funding from the Commonwealth is unlike that of many sates with younger populations. A case in point is the Commonwealth's use of lottery proceeds to support older folks rather than higher education as in a number of other states. So, in state tuition being higher than public universities in other states isn't something anyone should blame Pitt for--it simply isn't the Pitt's fault. It is unfair to compare PItt's attendance cost to public colleges in other states that receive significantly higher state funding support.

    Also, the primary purpose of any University is education and research; not running athletic programs even if we fans wish it were otherwise. So, complaining about Pitt's athletic spending is a non-starter. Pitt fans simply do not provide contributions specifically directed to athletic programs in nearly the amounts that fans of other universities do. Maybe this is because so many older and more affluent Pitt grads had little or no connection to Pitt athletic programs because so many were either daily or weekly commuters with more attachment to the high school teams in their home town than to Pitt. This was certainly the case when I attended Pitt as an out of state student in the late 1960's-early 1970's. The dorms became a ghost town on weekends with many going home to mom and dad and to catch Friday night lights with their H.S. honey rather than to staying on campus and attending FB and/or basketball games over the weekend.