April 27, 2010

Several things for this post, but let’s start with a press release from the Big East announcing the bowl line-up. Take it away Commissioner Marinatto:

“By all accounts the BIG EAST bowl lineup is stronger than it’s ever been.” said Marinatto.  “We have aligned ourselves with great bowl games in first-class destinations.”

So let’s go to:

BCS Bowl – BIG EAST Champion
Champs Sports Bowl – BIG EAST vs. ACC
Meineke Car Care Bowl – BIG EAST vs. ACC
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – BIG EAST vs. Big 12 Bowl/AutoZone Liberty Bowl – BIG EAST vs. SEC or C-USA
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl – BIG EAST vs. C-USA

Yes, instead of going to Birmingham, Alabama to play someone from the lower-half of the SEC. A Big East team could find itself in Memphis to play something from C-USA (or possibly a different lower-half SEC team).

This might well be the best bowl line-up for the Big East in terms of pay-outs and compared to the last deal. But it hardly serves as a reason why any Big East team would say to a Big 11 offer, “no thanks, we’re good.”

The Indy Star spoke to ex-Purdue president and 1954 Pitt grad, Dr. Steven Beering about Big 10 expansion:

When Penn State joined, Beering was optimistic a 12th school would come along.

“There were a number of us that were hopeful of adding the University of Pittsburgh as well,” said the 77-year old Beering, a 1954 graduate of Pittsburgh. “We had, at that time, a number of new presidents who were not secure in what they knew about the situation to cast a vote. They abstained and we never got a unanimous vote to add a 12th member.”

Beering said the same schools being discussed today – Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Rutgers — were the ones talked about nearly two decades ago.

You know, given the way Pitt was being run at that time, I’m not totally convinced the Pitt administration wouldn’t have still botched it.

Ray Graham is happy at Pitt.

Now, though, Graham has had a full offseason to digest the playbook and work on his technique. He’s also bulked up considerably, going from 170 pounds when he reported to campus to a sturdy 194 this spring.

“I’m not second-guessing myself now,” he said. “When I hear the call on a play, I’m like, ‘OK, I know that. I know my reads.’ And now, I can run through people to get where I’m going.”

Where Lewis excels in bouncing off tackles, Graham is more of a home-run threat with a great stutter step who thrives in open space. Picture them both in the backfield at the same time. Then picture a nervous defense.

“Teams can’t just focus on one type of running back because we’re both different kinds of runners,” Lewis said. “That’s going to help us out a lot.”

There’s no question who the No. 1 tailback is, but Graham is staying patient for his turn in that role. It could happen as soon as next year, since Lewis will be eligible to enter the 2011 draft because he attended prep school. Wannstedt has told him to have faith, because his time will come.

The Panthers don’t have to worry, though, about Graham going somewhere else.

“I’m here to stay,” he said. “Pitt is like my family.”

Unless the middle of the O-line gels a lot more than I expect, Lewis’ style is going to accomplish more. Lewis has an easier time bouncing through and outside to where Pitt’s O-line is stronger.

Graham is a strong back, but getting to the open space may be more difficult, unless Pitt follows through on the spring practice talk of using Graham out in space to catch passes.

Well, writers seem to think Pitt “looks” like a football team.

Finally, the ACC commish Swofford offers BC and WF to the Big 11.

Apologies if it’s been mentioned already, but Ricky Williams 30for30 is on Espn tonight at 8pm. Chance of seeing the ‘Stache could be high.


Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 04.27.10 @ 5:02 pm

I have been a supporter of the Big East and keeping it entact, but looking at those sickly Bowl games, I have to agree- maybe going elsewhere wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Comment by Eric R 04.27.10 @ 6:43 pm

I want to once again remind Pitt fans just how pathetic the OL looked in last spring’s scrimmage. Except for the long TD pass to Baldwin, the defense dominated the offense much more than it did this year. And I also want to remind people that even throughout much of last August, both Gorman and Zeise kept reporting about the 1st team’s defensive dominance.

I’m not implying the OL is not a concern, but I have faith in Coaches Cignetti and Wise, and just as in the case of B10 expansion, I will withhold my pessimism until the time of reckonng actually arrives.

Comment by wbb 04.27.10 @ 7:14 pm

wbb–Have the same view of the OL and, like you, trust Wise to develop it. I don’t believe spring OL problems stem from a lack of raw talent (size, strength, athleticism); but, have mostly to do with the inexperience of a some new younger OL combined with insufficient practice time as a unit to fully develop needed unit cohesion. So, I see the problem as being more on the the mental rather than the physical side and one that will diminish over time.

Comment by pitt1972 04.28.10 @ 8:40 am

[…] Continuing the hilarity Chas breaks down the Big East’s new bowl ties over at Pitt Blather.  Wait, that wasn’t comedy?  Those are the conference’s actual bowl […]

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pitt Panthers Buzz. Pitt Panthers Buzz said: Pitt Blather >> Football Notes: Bowls Set link to […]

OT: Pitt baseball team (#24 ranked) playing at home split a double header with Connecticut (#13 ranked) yesterday. The third game is noon today (Sunday, May 2). A Pitt win would put Pitt into a tie for 1st with UConn in BE.

Comment by pitt1972 05.02.10 @ 8:03 am

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