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December 9, 2017

8pm ESPN2

I should be looking forward to this game more then I am.

I love games between Pitt and WVU. The natural, good hate that bubbles around the teams and the fans. This should be the kind of game where you hear the cliche, “You can throw out the records when these two…”

Except you really can’t. Not tonight. These teams haven’t played in five years. The overwhelming majority of players have no real connection to the Backyard Brawl. Pitt has a coach that has no familiarity with it.

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December 6, 2017

Extensions. Contract lengths. Those are all vague concepts when it comes to contracts for college coaches. The buyout is the thing, and a new contract/extension for 7 years (or a 2 year extension if you prefer) certainly will up the buyout.

Sorry, burying the lead. During the basketball game last night, there were tweets coming out of an extension in the works for Coach Pat Narduzzi. Along with increasing the salary pool for assistants.

Sure enough.

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Pitt Survives Its Lack of Defense

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:39 am

Clearly, I underestimated the ability of this young Pitt basketball team to play down to the level of its competition.

Pitt may have won four in a row, but there is an inconsistency even in these wins, as this one and making it past High Point illustrated. Whether it is effort, coaching, youth and/or talent.

Mount St. Mary’s was as close to assuming a gimmee even for Pitt this year. The Mountaineers are the worst team on Pitt’s schedule to this point. Yet, Pitt gave them a huge opportunity to get the win.

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December 5, 2017

7pm, ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Have to admit, I like Pitt’s chances tonight. The — Google’s “Mount St. Mary’s mascot,” double-takes, clicks a few links to verify, well, okay then — Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Oh, my. Their mascot is one, “Emmit S. Burg.” Oh, and let’s not get started on drowning bunnies.

Sorry, definitely went down a rabbit hole.

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December 1, 2017

Hey, It’s City Game Night

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:28 am

I swear, if Pitt basketball ruins 13-9 Day for me… Well,  I’ll rant and complain so uselessly…

It’s been a while since I got around to — well, much on this site. But especially basketball. In that time, Pitt has gone 2-2.

After bottoming out against Penn State (I recognize the words, but not the arrangement), Pitt played better against Oklahoma State — but still lost. They seemed to be showing improvement by handling Lehigh relatively close to how they should. Then fell back a step, struggling to close out High Point.

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November 29, 2017

Seeing Schiano In Everything

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 8:44 am

I can’t stop thinking about the Tennessee-Schiano stuff. It has been absolutely fascinating in so many ways. Whether seeing the stuff play out like an alternate dimension Pitt-Stallings hire. To the media aspect. To use of a highly questionable narrative to torpedo the hire. So much stuff is there.

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November 27, 2017

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 7:19 am

Bit of hyperbole, but this has been quite the holiday weekend.

Friday, Pitt upsets Miami.

Saturday, Pitt basketball beats Lehigh and even showed that it is taking some steps to becoming a team.

Sunday. Oh, Sunday. The coaching carousel went beyond tilt-a-whirl. It went Michael Bay explosions crazy. The damn thing spun off its axis and went ripping through the whole amusement park.

It was the effing Silver Streak ripping through Chicago (for those of you old enough to remember this one).

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November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving and Relaxing

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 3:12 pm

A few weeks ago, there was an article talking about holidays in terms of handling them as a parent. It was superficially amusing, especially in terms of the male/female dynamic in coping. But Thanksgiving stuck with me, because it is the most food-centric. And by food-centric, I mean preparing dishes. Kitchen and prep time. Most of the others can be faked, and/or unless you live in a warm weather climate can be done on a grill — which sets up a better division of labor for the adults.

Which again sets up that male/female dynamic of cooking vs. grilling. Unless, you are like me, who handles both because my wife can’t cook to save a dying man’s life. She pretty much gave up after serving me a hockey puck (it was supposed to be a boneless chicken breast that she tried to roast in the oven(?)) as part of my birthday dinner during our first year of dating. She can handle baking, because it involves very specific instructions and no room for improvisation, but not  anything that involves margins. But I digress.

The point is,  for me, Thanksgiving is a hell of a lot of stress. Mainly leading up to it. Planning the menu. Figuring out what I need. Going out to get it (total Bill Parcells on this aspect). Thanksgiving is fine. I’ll happily work in the kitchen all day preparing the meal, drinking wine and whiskey. Letting people float in and out to talk, asking insincerely if they can help (I make the kids serve as prep cooks with peeling and cutting, so they don’t get out of earning the meal).

But everything leading up to it while squeezing in the crunch of work with a short week. FTS. I really should take the week off and make it easy on myself.

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November 20, 2017

9:30 pm, ESPN3– It’s WatchESPN.

I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready for this.

This past Saturday was rough enough. And for all the the supposed acceptance of Pitt not being anything close to a good basketball team this year. For already seeing them lose to a team coached by Ed DeChellis. For losing to Montana, while this other team won by 13. And now to be a 10 point underdog to Penn State?

You’re asking a lot of me.

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November 18, 2017

Open Thread: Pitt-VT

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:01 am

12:20, ACC Network (very limited)/ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Be interesting to see what kind of crowd shows up at Lane Stadium, following a disappointing loss that officially eliminated the Hokies from repeating as ACC Coastal champs. The weather is going to be in the upper 40s and very gray. Rain is supposed to hold off until the evening. And the dreaded noon-ish start.

It’s also Senior Day and the last home game of the season to counter the reasons not to show. Plus, you know, the Hokies have been a pretty good team.

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November 17, 2017

Cultural Exchange with the Key Play

Filed under: Bloggers,Football — Chas @ 6:29 am

Haven’t done one of these in ages.

Joey Coogan from The Key Play — your best source for VT news and analysis — reached out to do a Q&A ahead of this weekend’s game. My responses to his questions came out yesterday.

Like Pitt, the Hokies are coming off a frustrating and disappointing loss. In their case, to Georgia Tech. Both shared “honorable mention” in last week’s Misery Index.

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November 16, 2017

The Dream of A Perfect Season Is Dead

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 12:52 pm

Phew. That nightmare scenario is done within the first week of the season.

Pitt finally notched its first win in basketball last night. I would go with some cliche about how it wasn’t pretty, but let’s face it. Nothing about this season is going to be pretty.

I missed the first half (apparently this was a good thing), where Pitt continued to show no awareness on defense and left shooters on the perimeter alone. To the tune of UCSB going 8-15 on 3s.

The lack of defense on the perimeter coupled with no fear of the frontcourt defending the rim has led to an all-hands-on-deck approach. Redshirts be damned.

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November 15, 2017

Open Thread: UCSB-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 5:39 pm

7pm ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Aw, hell I don’t know.

UC-Santa Barbara is in the Big West. They went 6-22 last year and fired their head coach. Joe Pasternack is now the guy. Pasternack had been the head coach at the University of New Orleans. Succeeding some guy named Buzz Williams. UNO folded their basketball program in 2011, and Pasternack became an assistant at Arizona under Sean Miller. He was also the associate head coach there.

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Why Risk Disrupting What Hasn’t Worked

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 8:43 am

I’m glad Justin took to venting before I could. I’m still not over that loss from last week, but I’m not in a dark, angry place. Now it’s just a dark, bitter place.

Pitt prepares for a visit to Blacksburg to face a team with fans almost as pissed off as we are over an inexcusable loss. A ranked Hokie team that claims that opening game win over West Virginia and… that’s it?

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November 14, 2017

Big Sky Problems

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:46 am

Oh, boy.

That new team smell wore off real fast.

83-78 in OT. In front of a home crowd just north of 3,000.

The backcourt of Montana — their admitted strength — just destroyed Pitt. All game long. On offense. Forcing turnovers.

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