Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pittsburgh 20 Iowa 24

Well, that didn't go well.  After it looked like Pitt had things in hand, they let it get away. Some thoughts:

1. The biggest thought I have is that, like I said in my season preview, Pitt has the talent of a 7-5 team. And the weaknesses that make them just a barely above average team is the reason why they lost the game. Those weaknesses are the ability for Chad Voytik to win a game when needed, no playmakers on defense, no pass rush, and a poor secondary. Pitt may very well do better than 7-5, and I predicted 8-4, but that's mostly because of a schedule devoid of excellent teams. The truth is, quarterback and defense is a weakness, and I don't see it getting better anytime soon.

2.  James Conner was great again, but Iowa is good enough that when they knew Pitt was going to run him in the second half, they could slow him up some. He did run for 155 yards on 29 carries, and a TD. But only 55 yards of that came in the second half. And only on 12 carries.

3.  Statistically, Voytik did a letter better than usual but when your best game is 19-29, 250 yards, no TDs, and an interception, it's a problem.  He may get better but if he doesn't he's going to lose his job to Adam Bertke next season.

4.  Somehow Tyler Boyd with 10 catches for 153 yards.  I say somehow because he's pretty much the only player Voytik throws to, so it's amazing he can even get open.

5. Once again the tight ends aren't involved at all, and despite his nice fourth quarter grab, Manasseh Garner has proven to me that he's pretty mediocre.

6.  Iowa came in with the reputation of having one great offensive tackle but a struggling line as a whole.  But when it came down to it, they stopped Pitt's pass rush cold and ran down their throats when the game was on the line. They had such little regard for Pitt that they continually went for it on fourth and one.

7.  The secondary is below average. Lafayette Pitts gets most of the heat, but none of them are above average.

8.  At least Pitt has a good kicker and punter.

9.  Total yards: Pitt 435, Iowa 311.  But when it came down to crunch time Iowa crunched the Panthers.

174 comments:

  1. Same ole' Pitt. Another winnable home loss, continuing the tradition since 1983

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  2. Ti've Saudi it at the start of the season and say it again....6-6. Once the other teams build up to stop the run we are pretty much stagnant. Thank God for a weak schedule or we would have a losing season.

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  3. Hey, I said that on last week thread, if Voytik doesn't improve he will lose the starting job to Bertke next season. Why, not just stats but Bertke is the prototypical QB. 6'6" with strong arm.
    I like Voytik but seems he is a running QB that can has a dink/dunk passing game.

    We all know the defense (especially the secondary) was going to be bad this year. That is a recruiting issue solely on House. But then again, Chryst is the one who promoted House to DC!

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  4. Not sure Iowa is much better than 7-5 or 8-4 either. This was a winnable game so it should be a tough loss for the squad. Penalties certainly hurt some drives. Chad will get better as he gains experience and more confidence. Let's watch some film and get ready for Akron.

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  5. Outcoached.. lack of creativity..screen pass.. what is that? And quarterback with very sub par.. play calling was pretty poor in 2nd half with no adjustments.. you would think play action would be gold for us with our running game... watching Alabama now.. wish we could call offense like them..

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    1. It's easier to call plays when everybody is a five star player.

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    2. Guys they r the youngest team in the NCAA they're growing and learning

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    3. Better players yes.. but they are at least creative and take shots downfield... last year we did.. This year.. not so much..

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  6. I like Voytik - good kid and all of that but, if Tom Savage was the QB today, we win - no question.

    I'm very disappointed in Chad's accuracy - I don't know if just getting more reps?

    The play calling was just bad too - I mean, mix it up some would ya please?

    So our mantra is - run the ball down the opponent's throat and by the 4th period, we have them.

    Iowa was like - "Ok, we can do that too BUT, we also have at least one QB who can make the pass when needed."

    We're like every other mediocre team out there - we have a few guys that can play but just not enough of them.

    Speaking of making plays ...or NOT - Todd Thomas made one play today - make that he has made one play in 4 games! - a 5th year senior?

    I don't know - I thought maybe we got a bad game out of our system at FIU - when your up 17-7 with the ball at home, you need to get that "W".

    Let's hold off on the extension on Chryst ok?

    Did he ever hear of a misdirection? Does he know that tight ends can sometimes catch the ball too beside block?

    Yeah, we're young...blah blah blah and Voytik has only played so much....whatever.

    But, with the new S&C coach, this team is in the best....I'm not going to say it.

    Does KK Smith and Tyrique Jarrett look in shape? I understand that they're run stuffers but you can't tell me that they're in good shape - My God.

    We needed to win that game and had them and we didn't so you know what we are?

    Yep, you guessed it - "Same 'Ole Pitt."



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    1. Jarrett is enormous and he was getting pushed five yards down the field.

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    2. For Chryst to get an extension, he needs to show progress. In my opinion, 8 regular season wins due to easy schedule or 7 wins but 1 must be a signature win.

      I still don't know why so few passes to TE's this season. TE is a strength of the offense.

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    3. Chris, I disagree with you. I believe it was more like 10 yards on some plays!

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  7. 1st down run, 2nd down run, 3rd down pass = predictable and conservative offense = 3 2nd points. Coupled with a defense devoid of talent = recipe for mediocrity at best.

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  8. Chris - Very fair assessment. We will get better as the season goes on, but as you said we will need Voytik to step up and make plays. The running game can not carry the team alone. I still have faith.

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  9. Absolutely no originality in the passing game. No screens, no TE's over the middle for some rhythm passing, just hand-offs or balls thrown way downfield. No roll-outs either. Voytik was playing well until we turtled in the 2nd half after Iowa made adjustments and slowed Conner and we didn't respond. At some point a pass to a TE on 1st and 10 is a great change-up.
    And how about the PA screwing up Sweet Caroline, you know what I mean if you were at the game, the fans were booing like crazy until they started the song again! PGHFAN1992

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    1. The lack of screen passes is puzzling considering how many chryst ran at Wi

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  10. I should also say the defense was bad. It's all scheme which House has done reasonably well, but no players are good enough to make plays consistently. When we face a talented offense we will be in trouble. There was never a play where one of our front 7 beat his man and got to the QB. We were always waiting for the next wave to get through and by then it was too late.
    I'll get criticized for this but the secondary played okay considering there was absolutely no pressure at all. The one pass interference penalty when the Pitt CB tripped and fell into the receiver was bad luck more than poor secondary play. PGHFAN1992

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    1. Iowa has a very pedestrian offense so the secondary shouldn't have struggled at all with them.

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  11. Was disappointed in the results but also very disappointed in the crowd. Apparently Pitt "fans" had better things to do on very nice afternoon.

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    Replies
    1. It's because everyone knew what was going to happen, we've seen this play before about 30 times over the last 30 years.

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  12. Very disappointing loss...Pitt is up by 10 at home, need to come away with a win.

    I'm absolutely mystified why the TEs are so under utilizied. Chad is a young QB who struggles with accuracy, why not throw some underneath passes to Holtz and Orndoff? I will never understand that.

    The DBs looked bad, and with no pass rush, they really get exposed. The two long passes by Iowa were killers, especially the 60 yarder. That really changed the momentum.

    I like Chad, but right now, he's not a game changer. If the run game gets shut down, that could spell big trouble.

    Obviously Conner and Boyd are studs, but Pitt seems to rely on them too much. We need to get more people involved (again the TEs).

    Iowa adjusted at half, and Pitt just couldn't make plays when needed, and Iowa did.

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  13. It boggles my mind why the TEs aren't used more (or at all). Pitt has some decent ones and it seems like they would be a staple in a Chryst offense.
    The positive is that the Coastal is winnable and we are 1-0 with a road ACC win -- that's a good start. Also, while it is embarrassing to lose to the Big Ten, at least this should wake up Pitt to not lose to a MAC team (which would be more embarrassing, even though Akron is a good MAC team).

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    1. The only way you can think the Coastal is winnable is if you've not watched any other Coastal teams play. Best case scenario we go 5-3 in ACC play. We will not beat UVA, we will not beat Duke, we will not beat Miami. 5-3 isn't winning the Division, period.

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  14. For all the whining about the TEs... Chryst can't throw the ball to them for Chad. At some point Chad has to actually take his eyes off Boyd... JP couldn't have been more open when Chad threw to Boyd in triple coverage in the end zone. I'm talking no one within 15 yards of him.

    All that said, should have won that game.. Can't settle for field goals at home.. Especially when the other guy is goin for it on 4th down and shoving it down your throat.

    Ugh.. Bounce back against Akron.. See y'all in Charottseville.

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    1. Agreed about Chad locking in on Boyd. Whether it's schematic, or Chad just not looking for/seeing them, the TEs need to be a bigger part of the offense.

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  15. first half was a great half for Pitt football...unfortunately there are two halves to the game.
    we received the second half kickoff and needed to score to put this one away and we fizzled out with penalties and suspect play calling.
    Iowa adjusted and we did not.
    two long pass plays show the inexperience and our weakness in the secondary. no pressure on Iowa qb all day. this makes it harder for the weak secondary.
    might not have been as close if iowa players would not have dropped passes..
    need more tight end involvement and I am not sure if we are not throwing to them because we are using them to pass block.
    screens and play action need to be used more.
    chad did throw the ball down field more but we have to get more players involved in the offense so they aren't so tight at the end of the game,especially when the game is on the line.
    third and 10 on the last drive do you think pitt would like a mulligan on the next two playcall?
    easy to be an arm chair quarterback and I understand this is a very young team but you are at home in a close game you need to dig deep if you are a player or coach to find that special something to pull it out.
    officer looks to be a good run blocker, line still needs work on pass blocking,did have chad rolling out but blitz gave offense problems.
    conner and boyd great games...
    for those thinking it is time to not reup hcpc remember the past few coaching searches. do we really want to go through that again?
    need to review staff and hire dynamic recruiters and coaches and be willing to pony up the cash to get them..
    we lost one that we should have won need to win the rest we are supposed to and steal one that we are not to make up..

    H2P
    gary from cleveland

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  16. I can understand that you think that Voytek didn't play well, but what is your basis for saying that Bertke will start next year. What specifically has he shown you (and where did you see it) such that you can make that comment ?

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    1. I didn't say he would start next season. I said if Voytik doesn't improve. He may improve.

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    2. "He may get better but if he doesn't he's going to lose his job to Adam Bertke next season.".......Oh, OK

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    3. Bertke universally had the stronger arm per accounts of camp, and he happens to be the only QB currently on the team recruited by Chryst. With the exception of Wilson who was uniquely gifted, not a single one of Chryst's QB's looked or played like Voytik and that is not a coincidence.

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    4. Wilson was 1 and done at Wisky. Came from NCState. He wanted more pro-style to prep for NFL and that is one of the reasons why he transferred to Wisky.

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    5. That proves the point Im making. Wilson was the only QB he wasnt the prototypical prostyle QB.

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  17. And in other bad news, Mike White of PG is reporting Mav Rowan has opened up his recruiting and has decommitted to Pitt.

    I think we all saw that one coming. Quid Pro Quo. Dad Rowan is using his son to get an assistant coaching position at the college level. Not the first time AAU coaches do that.

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    1. Mike is a day late on the breaking news. I was talking about it on twitter yesterday.

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  18. Conner is is ron dayne 2.0.

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  19. We witnessed today the results when you pay cheaply for a coaching staff. A staff, BTW, that hasn't been to one of Jordan Whitehead's games this season. And we wonder there are no playmakers on this defense: the staff is lazy at recruiting. We heard the complaints from the Henry's about the staff. I guess the family are jerks if they raise a stink about the Pitt staff.

    Not to get off the rails, but this wasn't Chryst's first screw-up job on game day. He's an average coach who runs the same schemes that Wannstedt team seemed to. The only difference was Dave's teams had defensive lines who could get pressure on the QB.

    Where's the No. 2 wideout on offense? This staff got lazy toward the end of Robert Foster's recruitment and is paying the price for it. Why are tight ends coming to Pitt? Totally ignored in this offense. If Chad isn't looking their way then shame on him in year three of being in the system. Can Chryst implement one trick play into the offense? It might help score some points. Ronald Jones can throw the ball and never has under Paul. He did under Graham, who I'd take over Chryst in a heartbeat on game day.

    Why can't Biz pass block consistently? Virginia defense ends will be licking their chops in two weeks.

    Another blown chance to make a statement. How many of those have we seen since 2000?

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    1. That is why Whitehead went to WVU game with the boys from Beaver County and Clairton. None of them were at Pitt game today.

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    2. Stop w. these stories about these over-rated yinzer recruits! News flash... western PA hasn't given quality and quantity since 1975. It's time to move on. If Chryst was smart he would recruit ZERO western PA players.

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    3. Don't be silly. No, it's not the 70s but there are still quality players. Just need the top ones in area, not the scrubs. Pitt isn't going to get the best kids from OH or FL so be realistic.

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    4. John R.
      So, we should kick Boyd off the team.
      Forget about recruiting Foster or Whitehead.
      Forget about Biznowtowy, Johnson, Holtz, Orndoff, Aaron Donald, etc.
      Dumb post as usual from you.
      We need the elite from WPIAL because we are not getting them or the chances of getting them elsewhere is slim to none.

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    5. Some wpial players are overrated. Specifically those that came out of Gateway because Coach Terry knew how to market his players.
      But then again, from what I've seen so far, I could say Voytik is overrated and he was in the Army game and had tons of offers from top schools.

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    6. Overrated, period. Of your list, only Boyd and Donald are All-Conference caliber players. The rest are mediocre. The glory days are long gone. LONG gone. Thankfully, it looks like Chryst will give the final 2 scholarships to 3-star players *not* in yinzerville. Great move.

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    7. For the record, there is absolutely no way for you to know if a Pitt coach is at Whitehead's game. Even if you're Whitehead or his coach. They don't have to sign in and identify themselves. Whitehead is as good as good, even before this season, and thats just the way it is. Im not insulting the young man, but he was never coming to Pitt.

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    8. Ok genius, where should Pitt recruit?

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    9. Just for the record, all of our 4 stars (2) are from Ohio. Last year 2 of our 4 were from NJ and IL.

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    10. In 2011, Woodland Hills had nine graduates in the NFL, the most of any school in the United States.

      Please explain John boy.

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    11. Why are no TE's coming to Pitt? Are you really that ignorant of the roster and recruits, because if so, just stop commenting. Holtz, Orndoff, currently on the team and Bowers is a Pitt commit. Do us all a favor and at least Google stuff before posting.

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  20. The defense was not great but only gave up 178 passing and 140 on the ground. That is not awful. They could not get off the field late in the game which is concerning. With that said Pitt had the opportunity to take over that game early in second half. Penalties and bad execution on offense killed them in the second half.

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    1. Iowa doesn't have a good offense and Pitt couldn't stop them when they had to. It was a failure.

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    2. Pitt gave up the most points to Iowa's offense all year. an FCS team, a MAC team, and a garbage big 12 team held Iowa to fewer points AT Iowa. There is not way to spin the defense.

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  21. O-line run blocked great in first half. Most of conners yardage came without being touched. This is good for future since just about any decent back will look good.

    tight ends are supposed to be top guys but have no role in offense

    blewitt is a great kicker. nfl teams should be looking at him.

    crowd sucked today. completely empty sections. pitt has no home field advantage and compared to morgantown/happy valley, it's sad. recruits have to notice

    virginia seems like a bad matchup

    is conner going to last a season? so many caries every game.

    they still can win the acc. still no hard games.

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  22. Excellent recap as usual, Chris.

    To allow a back-up QB from a 1950's offense to abuse you - what is going to happen when they face a QB who can actually consistently throw the ball downfield? It will get ugly.

    Poor crowd, too. For all the talk around town about Chryst being a guy a typical Pittsburgh fan would love - the state of the program has led to an apathetic fan base.

    I expect 3-4 more of these types of losses. I hope they get to 7 - but with that defense and a high school QB... I just don't see it.

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  23. Doke

    Love your blog.

    Tell me more about what you thought about the atmosphere at Heinz Field. Do you sit in the press box? What were folks saying there about the Panthers?

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  24. Good analysis Chris. Please use the same critical eye for Dixon's hoops team - you know, in the spirit of fairness.

    At this rate, when Pitt - Penn State play their four-game series, I predict Pitt will be lucky to win 1 game. Four star recruits will out-perform two star.

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    1. Don't start that again. I am fair to both. The football program has been mediocre up to this point and the basketball program has been very good. That's reality.

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  25. I don't understand the offensive line tiring in the 2nd halves. When an offensive line is pushing the d-line around, like Pitt's has been, the d-line is supposed to the one tiring. In both the BC and Iowa games, Pitt's o-line was the one tiring. That's the most frustrating thing for me. Time of possession is supposed to help the offense and hurt the defense but in Pitt's case, it is reversed. Can someone please explain this to me?

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  26. While yesterday's loss was disappointing, it wasn't surprising. How many times have we seen this act before? Pitt starts to generate some buzz, and then loses a game it could've/should've won, which then generates the following comment, "Same old Pitt".

    Obviously, Pitt isn't going to win every game, but this program has a knack for seemingly being on the cusp of something bigger, and then losing a very winnable game.

    And I'm tired of all the excuse making, "we're young", "PC's still learning", etc. You know what, how about just shut up and win a game like this? It's just football, not nuclear physics. At its core, it's running, passing, blocking and tackling. It ain't that complicated.

    I've been a Pitt fan for many years, and always will be, but it's extremely frustrating watching this program get over the hump. Frankly, I'm not sure it ever will.

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    1. That's just the program. It's going to get between 6-8 wins a year, 9 on a good year, 5 on a bad. Not terrible, not great. Takes the chancellor and
      AD to really want a great program along with money. Best Pitt can hope for is to get lucky with an unknown coach who turns out to be great like Saban at MSU, Sumlin at Houston,Dantonio at Cincy, Rich Rod at WVU and has a great year or two before they go to a power school.

      Pitt fans to need to understand they prob will never win another national title.

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    2. yeah, I understand all the issues mentioned, and I get that Pitt may never win another national title. All I'm asking for is to win a game like yesterday that could provide some real momentum to move the program forward a bit.

      Instead, as usual, Pitt gets the fans hopes up, and then finds a way to crap the bed. I guess I'm venting a bit, but it just gets so tiresome.

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    3. Anonymous pretty much nailed it. Pitt could be a better program. They just decided it's not important to them.

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    4. Chris - three questions if you don't mind:

      1) - do you think the new chancellor may decide if winning at Pitt FB IS important and put more emphasis on it?

      2) - why do some colleges PUT so much emphasis on a FB team's success whereas others - seemingly like Pitt are ambivalent or worse disinterested in putting a winning product on the field?

      It was so strange in that after Wannstedt was fired, they tried to go cheap with Haywood then....when they saw the wheels coming completely off of the program, they throw a bunch of money at Graham.

      And when he leaves, they go back to the cheap w/ Chryst.

      Point is that if the Pitt administration really wanted to field a competitive FB team, they showed their willingness to do so with the Graham hire.

      3) - do you see Steve Pederson here before the season starts next year?

      Thanks in advance.

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    5. 1. Doubt it

      2. Pitt's football budget is in line with second tier programs. The problem is, unlike most second tier programs, Pitt actually has the potential to be a first tier program if they invested more. But the people at Pitt don't want to risk a bad reputation that often comes with a top tier program. Most schools don't care but Pitt had some ugly things going on up until about 25 years ago, and they freaked out and dropped out. Not coincidently, Pitt has been mediocre since.

      And, by the way, Graham's salary was the going rate for a coach with mid-level success. Top tier schools pay more for a successful high-major coach.

      3. Yes

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    6. Some colleges that put emphasis on football or basketball, it really increases the number of applicants to the college. This is a result of being on tv primetime throughout US. Eyeballs. Free advertising when college football game on tv.

      More applicants means more selectivity. Higher SAT scores and higher GPA needed to get admitted.
      More selectivity means higher rankings in USNews.
      Higher rankings means you can charge more for tuition.
      Higher rankings means you can hit up alum for donations as their degree is "worth" more.

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    7. It's true. It sounds stupid but when a football or basketball program does really well, their enrollment goes up.

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    8. Ask the President or Chancellor of Robert Morris.
      He was loving the basketball team when they played Kentucky.
      He said, he couldn't afford the free advertising the school got as a result of 1 game!!!
      Applications increased as a result. Don't know if enrollment increased but typically a school is more selective.

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    9. Enrollment does increase when, there is more exposure. But that is not a guarantee - or even a driver - of an increased ranking in surveys such as US news or USA Today. Some schools simply let more students in. As an example, VCU has done just that with the whole Final Four/Shaka Smart buzz.

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    10. Increase enrollment doesn't increase USnews ranking. Agree.
      However, increased selectivity (meaning more are rejected due to more applications) increases rankings on USNews. This assumes enrollment stays the same because they are at capacity.
      Acceptance Rate of some Public Colleges
      UNC - 27%
      Michigan - 33%
      UCLA - 20%
      Pitt - 54%

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    11. Completely agree with what all is said here. Pitt is a mid-level team, but no reason they can't be on the same level as the UCLA's, Michigan States of the world. I think the new Chancellor will help, but as long as Pederson is at the helm expect a lot more of 5-8 win seasons.

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  27. I was very optimistic for Pitt going into this season and predicted 8 wins in the regular season due to an easy schedule.
    Now, it's looking more like 6 wins again because the other ACC teams are playing much better than expected. I have 2 more wins penciled in: Akron and Syracuse. That gives 5 wins but I'm not sure where Pitt will get another win after that. UNC?

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  28. I'm not sure what you're watching but the ACC stinks.

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    1. He nailed it.. The conference is not that good.. If voytik can get more accurate and if we can start running more than 8 or 9 different plays on offense then the chance of winning our side of conference is not impossible...throw in more playaction..more screens(or should I say one screen to start)... tight end over the middle... then we could contend for title game and likely lose to fsu by 3 tds

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  29. Despite earlier comment posted I saw Whitehead at the Pitt - Iowa game hanging with 4 other guys.

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    1. Confirmed... My seats are a few rows back from where the hosted recruits sit.

      Whitehead was present... Along with half of the central catholic team

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    2. Not sure where you got this inane information but Whitehead checked into wvu

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    3. The game was over by 3:30. Plenty of time to drive down to Morgantown to see WVU run their record to 4-13 in their last 17 conference games... They give up more points than the 76ers.

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    4. Wasn't this the weekend that Whitehead was scheduled for his official visit to West Virginia?

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    5. Whitehead nor the Beaver County crew nor the Clairton crew were at the Pitt game!

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    6. You're giving false information. They never stepped foot in Pittsburgh. You're spreading lies and propaganda

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    7. To the person claiming Whitehead wasn't there, how do you know that?

      Were you at the game?

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    8. How about this, if I missed them, then Chris Peak would have written they were there... which they WERE NOT!!

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    9. Chris Peak doesn't sit in section 138 right behind the hosted recruits..

      Look man, false information, lies, and propaganda is for the Gestapo..

      You can believe what you want, but I have no reason or motive to do what you accused me of.

      I saw the kid there. I saw a lot of kids there.

      But I didn't say anything about Wade, Matthews, or Pugh... Cuz I didn't see them.

      What's the big deal anyway, I'd be pleasantly surprised if any of them signed.

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    10. You didn't see Whitehead because he wasn't there. Must have been someone else.
      Chris Peak gets his info from Pitt as to who attended.

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    11. Chris Peak also comes to speak with the recruits at some point during the game. Kevin Gorman from the Trib as well as Mike White from the Post Gazette also does interviews or will introduce themselves to recruits too. None of them reported anything about (Whitehead - Pitt's biggest recruit) because he wasn't at the Pitt game.

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  30. Positives:
    - Pitt was able to maintain their running game even against the #6 ranked run D.

    - Kicking game was strong again.

    - Boyd and Conner performed as expected.

    Negatives:
    - Front 7 on the D did nothing, no pressure and zero plays made by the LB's. Someone needs to buy House a tape that explains how to blitz your opponent, especially when the DL is doing nothing on it's own.

    - Agree with posters above, if Voytik can't progress through his reads or throw more accurately this team's in trouble. Better QB play also would have won this game for them.

    - Adjustments weren't made fast enough on the offensive side of things in the second half. 3 points out of them is shameful.

    Overall:
    I know people want the D to be perfect but it's not a reality in today's football. While I was disappointed in the D, the lack of offensive performance in the second half was the reason they lost. Iowa only scored 24 points, not an amount that should have even bothered Pitt.

    In the end they're 3-1, tied for first in the Costal Division, and still looking improved over last year.

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  31. It will not happen, but what I'd like to see is this: Gallagher should let Peterson go at the end of the season, replace him with an AD with a proven record of managing football programs and hiring good coaches (yes, that will cost money; we should have hired Whit Babcock from Cincy before VT did last year because he flat out gets his football coaches right) and have the new AD evaluate Chryst and his program during year 4 of Chryst's current 5 year contract to make a determination as to whether we're going in the right direction or if Chryst is a bust. SP has done some great things for Pitt, but the time has unquestionably come. We're in a situation now where we need truly expert eyes evaluating whether or not Chryst is capable of turning us into a 9/10 game winning, Coastal division player. I dont trust SP to make the right decision about whether Chryst is the guy. I really like Chryst, honestly, but he's not recruiting well and not winning the X's and O's - it's entirely possible that he will, but I want someone other than SP making that call.

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  32. Via live games and ESPN3 I have had the chance to watch at least one game of each of our remaining opponents. Based only on what they've done, I'd guess our season plays out as follows:

    Akron - W
    UVA - L
    VT - L
    GT W (would be L but our run D is OK)
    Duke - L
    UNC - W
    Syracuse - W
    Miami - L

    As Chris said, 7-5 seems likely to me, and I frankly, missing a bowl and going 5-7 is more likely than us going 8-4.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Pitt only mustards 2 more wins the rest of the season, heads will roll.
      But 7 seems likely and 8 is doubtful.
      The over/under at the beginning of the season was 7.5.

      Delete
    2. Bro, it's "musters", not "mustards".

      Delete
    3. I didn't have the heart to tell him, lol

      Delete
    4. Pitt will beat Akron. After that, their talent is fairly equal with everyone else on the schedule, and they will likely go 4-3 or 3-4 in those games. 5-2 is not out of the question, and neither is 2-5.

      Count on a 7 or 8 win season.

      Delete
    5. If we do manage to get to 8 wins this year, that is a promising sign. That would mean 5-3 in ACC play, and probably a better bowl than we've been in in quite some time.

      With Officer taking over for Rowell and Jones-smith getting playing time, if we move officer to guard and Rowell is healthy, we should have a very stable oline again next year. And don't forget Bookser.

      I say this because I find it very unlikely that our style of play produces big swings in wins. I don't buy winning 10 next year if we can manage 8 this year.

      Delete
  33. The whole complexion of the game changed when Pitt's opening drive in the 3rd quarter stalled. After a big run by Conner they moved the ball some more but then had to punt. Had they scored a touchdown and gone up 24 - 7 I think it's a completely different outcome.

    I'm not giving up on Voytik. He has started three games and played part of a fourth. Most of his experience thus far is handing off to James Conner. He needs to get more comfortable distributing the ball to his receivers but at the same time, how does he not look to his BEST receiver as often as possible? One thing though, could they please stop running the jet sweep to the short side of the field?!

    Pitt could not generate a pass rush and they were pushed off the ball on several short yardage situations allowing Iowa to sustain a long drive for a TD.

    In the end though, the Panthers scored 3 points after halftime. To me that was the difference despite the defense's poor second half performance.

    I am still optimistic about the team improving on last season's record. I think most fans are looking at next year as the true determiner of overall progress.

    Thanks for keeping the blog going Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  34. After watching the Pitt - Iowa game which played out in typical B1G fashion - that is, power running between the tackles with some passing when necessary - I watched some of the WVU - Okla game. It was like watching 2 different sports. The speed of the backs and receivers was in stark contrast to those at Pitt and Iowa. Over time speed wins out over the lack of speed that both Pitt and Iowa displayed. And I won't go into the QB play by comparing Trickett to Voytik because there is no comparison.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was impressed with Trickett.
      He will be an NFL draft pick.

      Delete
    2. Well yeah, generally comparing a QB who is two years older and started 7 games the previous year to a first time starter who is two years his junior will result in the older QB looking good by comparison.

      Delete
    3. The point is Voytik will never have the arm Trickett has regardless of age or number of starts.

      Delete
    4. When you play no defense and it's like a 7 on 7 game it look fast when you play football like the steelers game last nite it don't look as fast or the Pitt game .

      Delete
    5. Arm strength means little in college.

      Delete
    6. @8:21 I imagine a lot of people said the same thing about Trickett when he was riding pine and never seeing the field at FSU as a sophomore. Which is why he transferred to the no-defense Big 12. WVU is still a joke, they make Pitt's transition to the ACC look like dominance. Did they lose to Kansas again yet this year yet?

      Delete
    7. WVU lost to #4 Oklahoma & #3 Alabama. Pitt lost to Iowa. No comparison. WVU would destroy Pitt's mediocre db's. Actually, take a look at the latest AP Top AP & USA Today Coaches polls. WVU has more votes than both Pitt and Iowa in both polls

      Delete
    8. And Pitt would run for 400 yards against WVU.

      Delete
    9. But they wouldn't beat WVU as usual

      Delete
    10. @ Done

      Arm strength means something when comparing Savage to Voytik. Now by the time CV is a senior I expect him to be a very good college QB but he'll never have Savage's arm. That will keep from being great.

      Delete
    11. A weak arm would stop a QB from being a great pro but many excellent QBs in college have had average arms.

      But Voytik has a stronger than average arm. His problem is accuracy.

      Delete
    12. Like Tim Tebow. :-)

      Delete
    13. Actually, more like Taysom Hill from BYU if you ask me. I only saw him play once year and twice this year, but more than Tebow, Hill is who Voytik reminds me - especially if you watch Hill's game last year. His stat line against UH earlier this year, 200 yards passing 160 running. Similar body type. Hill's passing game didn't impress last year but looks a lot better this year, maybe Voytik will be the same.

      Also, an aside: I keep seeing people misstate voytik's starts and I'm not sure why. Voytik has played 4.5 games. Just count the numbers of games so far this year and add half for the bowl.

      Delete
    14. Why not compare voytik to Winston (FSU) first game in college which was last year against Pitt??

      Delete
    15. Because when you watch them they don't play the same style unlike the two other QBs mentioned maybe?

      Delete
    16. I'd say don't compare the two of them since fsu had nfl type talent at just about every offensive position. hard to make a fair comparison.

      Delete
  35. Tyler Boyd would be the number 3 receiver at WVU based on stats. If he were actually at WVU, he'd be the #1 receiver in college football. In their offense, there's always a one on one matchup. Boyd consistently gets doubled at Pitt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For once I agree with you Mole. LOL

      Delete
  36. From ESPN: In 24 years of playing in a conference, Pitt has never gone undefeated in non-conference play.

    Granted, most of those years involved 5 non-conference games, with Notre Dame and/or a decent BCS school on the schedule. But it's still depressing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Screen pass, shovel pass, reverse, trick play, play action to tight end over middle, jet sweep to the non short side of field, a wildcat package with jones... can we at least add 2 of these to our play book Monday to double digits on offense? I thought Cavanaugh was terrible as OC but his offenses were less predictable which I thought could never happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One had to wonder if they still keeping some of the play book under wraps until ACC play. It is discouraging though to see such a limited game. It does also seem like they've sprinkled a few new sets in each go, so maybe it's more about Voytik's progress than anything.

      Delete
  38. Anyone who thinks the new chancellor will make the FB program a higher priority than it is, not happening. Anyone who thinks that SP will be gone after this year, also not happening. Pitt wants to further its academic stature. Pitt won't pay the $$ for a top 10 type FB program. Pitt will settle for 6 - 8 or 9 wins a year (which is good for a bowl game) as long as there are no off field embarrassments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep, exactly, make money, stay out of trouble, do ok.

      Pitt fans need to just enjoy it or quit caring.

      Delete
    2. You are correct. Pitt has no real interest in being a top 10 program. Everything I've seen about Gallagher screams status quo.

      Delete

  39. Have been posting since before the Season that Iowa was going to turn out to be one of the TOUGHEST Games for this Pitt Team.

    Going into the Game last week, saw Iowa's Front Seven doing a GOOD job of slowing down Conner and Company. Not exactly the case in the First Half... but in
    Second Half the Hawkeyes were able to keep Conner Out of the End Zone and from ripping off the kind of Big Runs we've grown accustomed to seeing.

    Chad Voytik did show IMPROVEMENT as far as numbers go. However, if it wasn't for Tyler Boyd and his ability to be counted on to be OPEN almost every play in his short to intermediate routes, those passing numbers would obviously be a lot less encouraging.

    On the other hand, the REAL DIFFERENCE in the Game was Quarterback... but the one for the Other Team. Pitt simply ran into a Young Backup who came off the bench with a HOT HAND and Pitt's Defense proved incapable of mounting enough pressure to either dent his confidence or take him out of his rhythm.

    The GOOD NEWS is that it will GET BETTER from here. Most Defenses are NOT going to have the same ability as Iowa to keep "Panther Beast Mode" out of the End Zone.

    However, for Pitt to have a REALLY Successful Season... it's going to require a Quarterback with the ability to operate the Chryst Offense on "all cylinders." This means Voytik showing he can spread the ball around to more receivers, especially the Tight Ends... instead of simply dropping back and throwing it in the direction of #23.

    If not... expect to see Trey Anderson.

    PittofDreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. POD - do you have to start every post by reminding everyone how smart you are because predicted something that happened? Assuming you did post the prediction because who remembers? Are you short on self esteem? BTW...we won't see Anderson unless it's an emergency situation.

      Delete

    2. Not "short on self esteem." More about being long on being right.

      In any case, how about putting a name to your Posts so we can see how much YOU know?

      Makes for more interesting conversation.

      PittofDreams

      Delete
    3. Your reply proved my point.

      Delete
    4. Good one. I guess POD is thin skinned.

      Delete
  40. Chris, who do you think will end up filling out the 2015 recruting class? Shareef Miller, Jay Stocker? Is there any chance with Anthony McKee? Who gets added and do you expect anyone to decommit and go elsewhere at this point?
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doubtful on McKee. Miller is a possibility and I'm guessing probably Petrishen.

      Delete
    2. Is petrishen any good? Seems like if going to use one of our last spots on a 2 star we might as well take a chance a 2 star speedster from FL.

      Delete
    3. Does Pitt recruit Florida anymore though?

      Delete
  41. If Whitehead chooses PSU, OSU, or WVU, will everyone do like they did with Rushel Shell, Shia McKenzie, Robert Foster, Dravon Henry, Montae Nicholson, Sterling Jenkins & and every other local kids that doesn't sign or commit to Pitt and say we didn't need him or like the way he plays anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. We will question their character and work ethic.

      Delete
    2. Not me.
      I hate Pitt fans that do that. First they beg for them to pick Pitt, then when they don't they become haters of the kid. As Chryst would say, consistently inconsistent!!
      btw, Shell did sign with Pitt, however, he had to go due to his attitude.

      Delete
    3. Anony 6:17 and 7:18,

      People may do that but I can guarantee that your type will be crying, bitching, and insulting Pitt for "allowing" a kid to go to a school he chose. How pathetic..

      Delete
    4. To be fair to Pitt fans, almost every fan base does that.

      Delete
    5. Pitt fans should be out there talking about Chryst inability to recruit. If he only wins 6 regular season games this year (3rd season), I'm sure everyone will blame Wanny recruits, AD, etc but the real problem is lack of recruiting.

      If Whitehead selects WVU, there is a pipeline being started of top talent from wpial to wvu. Don't put your head in the sand.
      Shell, Henry, perhaps Whitehead. Those are the 3 top players out of wpial the last 3 years.

      Delete
    6. Actually, EVERY fan base does the same thing, not ALMOST every fan base. This is a non-discussion issue pertaining to fans. You can claim it's right or wrong, but has nothing to do with "Pitt" fans. College football fans in general, yes, Pitt fans in particular, no.

      Delete
    7. That doesn't make it acceptable because you say every fan base does it. Everyone on a blog isn't at true fan that's attending games. There's a difference between watching games on tv weekly and watching games live cheering your team on. I went to the Alabama vs Penn State game a few years back. Alabama had the most respectful fans even though they beat the life out of Penn State. With that said, have your own mind and don't follow every college fan bases lead.

      Delete
    8. All this pipeline nonsense is so stupid. Such a homer issue. WHO CARES what high school a kid goes to.

      Delete
    9. Pipelines aren't just a local issue. Pitt has a New Jersey that's not as strong but still alive. Pipelines are very important buddy

      Delete
    10. True, that's what bummed me out about wanny being fired. Pitt was finally getting harrisburg area kids and with the psu thing he'd of cleaned up. Lots of talent in that area.

      Delete
  42. First of all, no, we won't. We do need him. I also don't think people said that about Nicholson. Henry has been trashed a bit - but that's what you get for chosing the rival school, if WV ever produced a desirable product who chose Pitt over WVU they'd do the same. But, we didn't need Shai and we don't now. We didn't get Foster, but we landed Boyd and wouldn't have gotten them both. Shell is not in any way better than Conner who and was toxic so good riddance - he can't even beat out 3 guys who would be ridding pine behind Conner. And it never seemed like Pitt wanted Jenkins all that much frankly. You can call that last one sour grapes if you want, but it didnt seem like they put much effort in to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes zero sense. You need quality depth. Kids get hurt, transfer, drafted and graduate. No one turns away top talent.

      Delete
    2. What part doesn't make ense That we piss on a kid who chose our rival? That Shell was suspended, quit the team, and transferred and we're better off with out him? That Boyd committed only after Foster spurned Pitt? It's hardly a stretch to think he came as a result. That Pitt got a 4 star recruit who was better and higher rated (James) than McKenzie so his loss was irrelevant?

      Delete
    3. Yikes, you don't understand football or recruiting. How about getting both Boyd and Foster. Both James and Mckenzie. To be a top school you need top players and top depth.

      Bama doesn't just get one good RB/WR and call it a day.

      Delete
    4. Yikes you don't understand the reality of pitt's situation. You have to win first. There are only 2 things we can offer - playing time and being close to home. there is no program in the country that recruits well who has a head coach with no history of winning at a program with no history of winning. When Chryst shows he can win, he'll recruit better and land multiple elite players at the same position in the same year. Until he does that were not going to recruit better than we are.

      Delete
    5. Strawman. You just named all the typical excuses for why Pitt is a second tier program. . Wanny recruited after a 5-7. Look at Virginia's class after a terrible season. Maryland got a 5 star recruit after terrible seasons. Good recruiters can recruit regardless of record.

      Pitt has no history of winning? Did you just start watching two years ago?

      Delete
    6. I believe what he meant was Pitt doesn't have a recent history of being a winning, top-tier program.

      Delete
    7. Wanny was a former NFL head coach, that makes a big difference. Virigina's coach Mike London won a National Championship as an FCS coach before he got to UVA. We got one 5 star too and a slew of 4 stars, that's not what we're talking about. You people seem to think we have to get single local blue chip or the coach is failing.

      And no, we don't. You need to wake up. Pitt has not been relevant on the national stage for 30+ years. In the last 30 years we are only about 5 games above .500. We have no history of relevant winning of winning, especially not in the minds of recruits. That is, unless you want to start recruiting guys who were watching college football in the early 80's.

      Delete
    8. Didn't you say that pitt didn't need more recruits in your first post? That's why they didn't need mckenzie, shell, foster?

      Delete
    9. So more excuses. What about kentucky, maryland, even franklin at psu?

      Delete
    10. How was oregon relevant before they got really good? Boise?

      Delete
    11. No way man , Pitt hasn't been bama but they haven't been indiana. They have good facilies and a base much better than alot of schools. Plus Fitzgerald, Baldwin, Revis, Donald, mccoy I do believe played at Pitt recently

      Delete
  43. Of course we want the top local talent to stay home, and we're disappointed if they go elsewhere, but if another school is a better fit for their long-range future, then best of luck to them. Although as Chris has previously mentioned, the local kids who stay home seem to do better. (I hope I'm quoting you correctly Chris)

    ReplyDelete
  44. 2015 Basketball Top 20 class recruiting ranking is out!! Pitt is not in it however 4 other ACC teams are.

    http://scouthoops.scout.com/2/1454951.html?utm_content=bufferdc35b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pitt made it to the semi-finals of the ACC conference tournament. That would be top-4 for someone at your level of intelligence. I take that over top-4 projected recruiting. It's called *actual* results over perceived results. Again... for your level of intellect.

      Delete
  45. Well obviously Dixon can't recruit and must be fired. Hell, he even let the one elite WPIAL recruit decommit. There goes the pipeline. You guys can fill in the rest. We know it by heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dixon has 1 more offer available for 2015 (2 total). Who will it be? or what position?
      Only 1 - 2015 verbal so far.
      As far as Rowan, that was expected.
      But you are correct, Dixon can't recruit nor does he have anyone on staff that can reel in the elite.

      Delete
    2. I was actually attempting to be satirical and draw a parallel to the way we talk about Chryst and the football program.

      Delete
    3. Anon@8:25

      I got your sarcasm and enjoyed it.

      Delete
    4. I think that was obvious to everyone except Anon@3:11. He'll take the bait if you post anything negative about Pitt, even if it's obviously satirical.

      Delete
  46. Chris,

    What is the likelihood of Whitehead committing to Pitt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody that would know does know so it's a complete unknown.

      Delete
    2. Ah, so it's a "Rumsfeld".

      Delete
    3. Slim to none. It's a two headed race between PSU and WVU

      Delete
    4. Like I said, nobody who would know does know.

      Delete
    5. Wow Arizona State played really fast last night hammer down

      Delete
  47. That's your opinion Chris. I know what I know. Pitt (House lied to Jordan's family) and Ohio State (Too many young DB's) have less than a 1% chance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not my opinion. I talked to a member of his family and a friend of his. They both said he likes all four and even they don't know who he will choose.

      Delete
    2. Anon@10:42...What was the lie that House supposedly told? Many recruits say how upfront and honest Pitt's staff is.

      Delete
    3. I'd be willing to bet that the person who accused House of lying without offering any proof, is the same person who suggested people show class if they commented about WVU or Shell.

      There's nothing more low-class than accusing someone of lying without offering any proof. Denigrating someone's character without backing it up with facts shows what little character you have.

      Delete
  48. Cameron Wright broke foot. Out 10 weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will allow Newkirk and Jeter to showcase their talents. #MoreMinutes

      Delete
  49. There was no lie nobody knows what goes on when you're recruiting.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Penn State is receiving a beatdown by Northwestern while hosting Jordan Whitehead. Gotta love it

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  51. I hate to say this but after watching this game today pit is nothing more than a Mac school with Mac players and they are in for a long season and until they prove me wrong that's what I see.

    ReplyDelete
  52. New forecast after watching Akron...
    Pitt won't win 6 regular season games this year.
    Chryst won't get an extension!

    ReplyDelete