masthead.jpg

January 10, 2011

Thanks to Michael Franklin and Chelsey Rovesti

Big thanks to Michael Franklin for the idea,  Chelsey Rovesti for executing it, and both of them for the permission to use the image.

The press conference is scheduled for 3:30 pm on Tuesday. Presumably it will be streamed live on Pitt’s website.

I won’t lie. I am extremely curious to see how AD Pederson dances around the Haywood stuff. I’m guessing the focus on Graham will be on his on-the-field success. Not his integriy, discipline and intangibles.

The other thing that I will be curious to hear. His staff. Already rumors that he is bringing a bunch of his Tulsa staff and/or guys that worked for DickRod at WVU/Michigan.

In case you haven’t gotten the official press release from Pitt:

Widely regarded as one of the finest offensive coaches in the country, Todd Graham today was named the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh by Athletic Director Steve Pederson. Graham will be formally introduced at a news conference on Tuesday, January 11.

Graham comes to Pitt after a highly successful head coaching tenure at Tulsa, where in four years he had three 10-win campaigns and three bowl victories. He compiled a 36-17 overall record with the Golden Hurricane, including a 10-3 mark this year highlighted by a 28-27 victory at Notre Dame and decisive 62-35 win over 24th-ranked Hawai’i in the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. Tulsa’s win over Notre Dame was called the biggest upset of the year by ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.

Prolific offenses have been Graham’s hallmark. Under his direction, Tulsa led the nation in total offense twice (2007 and 2008) and ranked fifth this year. While he has a well-deserved reputation for devising high-octane offensive game plans, the 46-year-old coach built his career on defense and has also distinguished himself as a defensive coordinator and position coach.

This will be Graham’s third collegiate head coaching appointment. In addition to Tulsa, he served as the head coach at Rice for one season (2006), leading the Owls to their first bowl game in 45 years and earning Conference USA Coach of the Year honors. Graham’s career head coaching record is 43-23 and includes four bowls in five seasons.

“We are thrilled that Todd Graham has agreed to become the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Pederson. “His innovative, creative and energized approach to football makes him an exciting leader for our program. He has a proven track record of success at all levels of football and his wealth of experience on both sides of the ball gives him a unique set of credentials.

“The outstanding job he has done at Tulsa – double-digit win totals in three of the past four seasons and an undefeated bowl record – has been noticed across the country. I know he is excited to meet his new team and the great people of Pittsburgh.”

“My family and I are honored to join such a prestigious university and rich football tradition like the University of Pittsburgh,” said Graham, who becomes the 35th head coach in Pitt football history. “Pittsburgh is a tremendous football city with great fans. We will work diligently every day to earn their respect and build a program that competes for and wins championships. I’m also excited to return to the Big East, a conference that plays tremendous football.”

Graham’s 2010 Tulsa team rolled up 505.6 yards per game to rank fifth nationally and averaged 41.4 points to rank eighth. The Golden Hurricane also took exceptional care of the football, ranking second in the country in turnover margin (plus 17).

Under Graham’s watch, All-America all-purpose player Damaris Johnson was one of the most exciting performers in college football. The 5-foot-8 dynamo led the country in all-purpose yards for the second consecutive year (202.2 yards/game in 2010) and established himself as the NCAA’s career leader in that category with 7,796.

“I don’t think I can say enough good things about Todd Graham,” said College Hall of Fame coach John Cooper, who formerly coached at Tulsa as well as Ohio State and Arizona State. “If I was named the head coach of some school tomorrow, I would send my entire coaching staff down to Tulsa to learn a few things. I really believe TU’s football staff is on the cutting edge of what is going on in college football these days.”

In Graham’s first two seasons as Tulsa’s head coach, the Golden Hurricane made program history by posting consecutive 10-win seasons and winning a school-record 11 games in 2008. He went 21-7 his first two years, the best start by a Tulsa coach ever. Tulsa was one of just 11 schools on the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level to achieve back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007, Tulsa led the country in total offense, averaging 543.9 yards per game, and set 29 school records, 15 Conference USA marks and four NCAA records. The Golden Hurricane routed Bowling Green, 63-7, in the GMAC Bowl, the largest bowl margin of victory in NCAA history.

In 2008, Tulsa again led the country in total offense (569.9 avg.) while ranking second in scoring (47.1 points/game), fifth in rushing (268.0 yards/game) and ninth in passing (301.8 yards/game). Graham’s team finished with an 11-3 record, capped by a 45-13 victory over 22nd-ranked Ball State in the GMAC Bowl.

Tulsa’s 661 points in 2008 established a school record and marked the second highest single-season total in the modern era of the NCAA (second only to Oklahoma’s 2008 total of 716 points).

Before elevating to head coach at Tulsa, Graham served as its assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2003-05. The 2005 team finished with a 9-4 record, captured the Conference USA title and shut down a high-flying Fresno State team, 31-24, in the Liberty Bowl. Graham’s defense ranked among the nation’s top 40 in five categories, including takeaways (third), interceptions (third), pass efficiency defense (11th), pass defense (17th) and total defense (40th).

Taking over as head coach at Rice in 2006, Graham led the Owls to a 7-6 record and the school’s first bowl berth in 45 years. That historic success earned him Conference USA Coach of the Year honors. Rice began the year 0-4 before reeling off victories in seven of its next nine games, including six consecutive wins.

Graham broke into the collegiate coaching ranks as defensive coordinator at East Central University (1991-93) in Oklahoma, where his work as defensive coordinator helped transform the Tigers from a .500 program to NAIA national champions in his final year.

During the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Graham served at West Virginia under Rich Rodriguez and helped the Mountaineers achieve the biggest turnaround in college football over that period, improving from 3-8 to 9-4. After coaching WVU’s linebackers his first season, Graham was promoted to co-defensive coordinator, defensive scheme coordinator and safeties coach. The 2002 Mountaineers forced 34 turnovers, including 19 interceptions, and ranked fourth nationally in turnover margin (plus 19).

From 1995-2000, Graham distinguished himself in the ultra-competitive Texas high school ranks as both a head coach and athletic director. As head coach at Allen High School, he led a program that had no district wins the year prior to his arrival to five playoff berths in six seasons. His final year, Allen posted a 9-3 record and captured the 5A Division II bi-district title while defeating four teams ranked among the top 10 in the state of Texas.

A native of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Graham was an all-state defensive back at North Mesquite High School. He went on to play at East Central University in Oklahoma, where he was a two-time NAIA All-America defensive back and three-time all-conference performer.

Graham earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1987 from ECU before signing a free agent contract with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals. He later earned his masters degree, also in education, from ECU.

He and his wife Penni have six children: Bo, Natalie, Hank, Haylee, Dakota and Michael Todd Jr.





Count me out! No money, no support. Welcome to the return of the Paul Hackett era and the Killer Bs! I never thought I would say this but I’m now an EX-Panther, in search of a collegiate program who actuall cares. Look what they have done.

Comment by IowaPanther 01.10.11 @ 10:28 pm

Well, We got our big splash coach. I personally like the pick. Lets just hope that the hype is matched by the on the field success that eluded Mr. Wannstedt. The bad news is Graham will have about two years to prove his hire was not just a bunch of smoke and mirrors before the atmosphere becomes toxic for him. Good luck Todd!! Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.10.11 @ 10:29 pm

Amazing how they use a quote from John Cooper, the biggest Buckeye “Blackeye” in the past 50 years.

TG had an “distinguised” career coaching Texas High School.

Meanwhile since 1980 Tom Bradley is 11-5-1 against Pitt.

I don’t know Todd Graham but after all the slime over the past month I’m totally disgusted.

Comment by mill67 01.10.11 @ 10:32 pm

Dr. Tom–Two years, if he is lucky. Must win 8-9 minimum in 2011 and bring in an excellent 2012 recruiting class. If neither happens he is toast with the fans by this time next year. Even with a good 2012 recruit class he will be toast if he wins less than 8 games in 2011 since the standard is to do better than Wannstadt.

Comment by pitt1972 01.10.11 @ 10:36 pm

Yinzers just aren’t happy unless they’re bitching about something. This guy was a head coach who won at Rice and Tulsa – not two of the easiest places to win at. But they don’t know who he is so he must suck or something. Cause ain’t from arahnd here an’ ‘at. Whatever.

Comment by maguro 01.10.11 @ 10:39 pm

Tom Bradley is 11-5-1 against Pitt since 1980? So he has been running the program there for 30 years? Really? Why hasn’t any other program snatched this hot property up by now? I just can’t understand it.

Comment by Jaimz 01.10.11 @ 10:44 pm

I’m not excited but he deserves a chance. Seriously people, threatening to not support the University is silly at this point.

We have no idea how well or not he will perform, nor would we know how well Bradley or any other coach would until they actually coach some games.

Comment by JoeP 01.10.11 @ 10:47 pm

Good call Maguro. Better than Haywood that everyone was excited about.

Comment by POLE 01.10.11 @ 10:49 pm

fyi – Calvin Magee was Assoc Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator at Michigan under RichRod and had been at WVU since 01 … thus, was there when Graham was also on the staff

Comment by wbb 01.10.11 @ 10:51 pm

People dissed Jamie Dixon when he got hired.

Comment by alcofan 01.10.11 @ 10:54 pm

This is an awesome hire…This hire takes a lot of the sting out of the Haywood mess…I really like the fact that Graham talked about winning Championships in his brief statement to the press…I don’t think there is any doubt that DW was fired because he failed to get us to a BCS game in six years, when for at least 3 of those years, he had arguably more talent than any team in the league…There are no guarantess, but this hire tells the fans that the administration feels our pain! They opened up the wallet an placed their bet on a horse that has (IMHO) much higher odds of winning than Mr. Haywood did (and dare I say than Mr. Bradley does)…I don’t think we are looking at any rebuilding period…A few games of adjustment yes, rebuilding, no…17 starters back, 23 redshirts available from last year’s good recruiting class, 8 home games…are you ready for some football!!!! Hail to Pitt

Comment by HbgFrank 01.10.11 @ 10:55 pm

maguro…right on with your sentiments. The whiners would have been bitching if we had signed Bill Cowher. If the whiners would stop and think about it (and I know it’s already been written) but Graham was highly thought of by some big time schools. Temple, TEMPLE, would not hire Bradley.
Have a nice life IowaPanther.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 01.10.11 @ 10:56 pm

Well, hopefully he doesn’t get arrested! That being said, it’s a coach, he’s had some good offenses, and we’ll see how the program is a year/3 years/5 years from now.

Comment by merlin 01.10.11 @ 11:06 pm

Some of the guys on this site that didn’t get their man, sound like a kid that didn’t get what he wanted and is taking his ball and going home. Give the new coach a chance to screw up first before you turn on him.

Comment by ltl 01.10.11 @ 11:08 pm

as a Grad Asst at PSU, Teryl Austin is 2 – 0 against Pitt

Comment by wbb 01.10.11 @ 11:12 pm

Watching a Wannstadt-coached football team made me cry. Seriously. Tivo was technically incapable of letting me fast forward the games fast enough, they were so absolutely boring to suffer through. And from all I’ve seen and read, I doubt Bradley would have coached a more exciting brand of Pitt football. He may have saved a few recruits, and may have stayed for 20 years, but his football would have been as boring as Wannstadt’s.

When I have the chance, I love watching teams like Tulsa, Boise St., Nevada, etc. Unconventional offenses that make the game significantly more exciting to watch.

Graham will make Pitt football more exciting to watch. Even if he goes 5-7, they’ll be more exciting to watch, and I’d rather lose to Miami or WVU 56-39 than 35-0.

Great bold move by Pitt, and a necessary move for Pitt to keep up with the Joneses in the Big East (TCU/WVU).

I frankly could care less who on what committee made it happen or tried to stop it – he’s our coach and can’t do worse that what we’ve seen the past decade.

Comment by Theweenis 01.10.11 @ 11:14 pm

We beat PSU the last time we played, so was that due to Austin not being a Grad Asst any longer?

Comment by ltl 01.10.11 @ 11:17 pm

ltl,

Bradley man here…and I agree. Graham’s job is going to be hard as hell. Harder than it needed to be.

winning will heal this rift, but losing will also exacerbate it. There is a shorter leash because of how this was handled by the administation.

The Bradley thing only makes that harder. I am hoping he succeeds…I just hope that implementing a new system will result in a 5-7, 6-6 record.

That would not be a good thing.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 01.10.11 @ 11:17 pm

ltl:
you mean the coach that was not good enough to hire the 1st time around?

I don’t know the new coach, I’m more concerned with the AD, how this process was conducted, and how Pitt has lost a considerable amount of credibility. Faulting Bradley for being loyal and successful for several years at PSU is silly -only if we had such a problem!

I wish the new coaching staff success. That said, if I chose to withold my “ball” (funds)until full discovery of this process is unveiled that is my choice.

I’m tired and done for the night – watching the BCS game – amazing how all of the posts desiring strong offense are watching a game that will be decided by defense – as it alway is!

Comment by mill67 01.10.11 @ 11:17 pm

ltl, when we were beating PSU 12-0, Austin was recruiting the likes of McLintock, Breston, Jackson and Mundy right from under our grasp

Comment by wbb 01.10.11 @ 11:22 pm

I’m not one of the pro-Bradley voices — and I wanted an up-and-comer — but I hope this guy doesn’t turn out to be RichRod Junior. I don’t know anything about his character, but I have a queasy feeling in my gut. I hope we haven’t made a deal with the devil. Should I care if he goes 10-3?

Comment by Scott 78 01.10.11 @ 11:28 pm

I think this is an excellent hire. he has been a HC for five seasons and has had a winning record in 4 of the 5 years. Pitt and Big East fans must accept the fact that in football our league is a stepping stone league. It happened at WVU, Cincy and this year at UConn. Graham, hopefully, will be the next to go – as that will mean he has had success at Pitt.

I understand the idea of stability with Bradley – which makes some sense – but honestly, I’d rather they shoot and miss then re-load with a DW clone.

Comment by JB '90 01.10.11 @ 11:28 pm

Like the choice a lot. He and Pitt will have my full financial and fan support. I will double it if they fire Pederson!

Screw Bradley! and all the PSU’rs that were pushing him out of state college making up names on this web site. What an idiot, leaking news of a potential hire!

Comment by Dan 72 01.10.11 @ 11:30 pm

For all of you Bradly lovers buy your tickets to the State Penn of Conn. if he gets that job. I never knew their were soo many closet PSU fans disquised as Pitt Panthers. What has PSU ever done for Pitt except refuse to play us. They won’t even play us in BB. What makes you think Paterno pushing him on us was a great idea?

Comment by J.P. 01.10.11 @ 11:31 pm

My biggest question is whether Graham can recruit. Looks like he can coach but can he get the horses? He has a month to do something. First impressions are a big part of it. If he is good he only needs 3 weeks to put a class together.

Pressure is already on. He gets no slack. No excuses. Time to win.

Comment by Pitt in Atlanta 01.10.11 @ 11:32 pm

mill67:

Why do you assume that Graham was not good enough to hire the first time. My guess is that he was SP’s choice the first time, but his salary demands got him nixed by Pitt Admin. After the Haywood fiasco they realized they needed to open the purse strings to avoid another embarrassment.

Comment by JB '90 01.10.11 @ 11:33 pm

I was on the Bradley bandwagon along with the majority of others, but it didn’t happen, so I’m willing to move on. Because I didn’t get my guy, I refuse to turn on Pitt or the new coach. Trust me, I’m as negative as the next guy, but at least give me something to criticize before I make a butthole out of myself. Now Pederson is another story….He has earned all the darts that are thrown his way.

Comment by ltl 01.10.11 @ 11:34 pm

IowaPanther that is easily the most irrational post I have seen on here. Graham lead the country in total offense for two years at Tulsa, and this pass year was 5th. This is exactly what Panther fans wanted.

HbgFrank, great post.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 01.10.11 @ 11:35 pm

Enough of these whiney, “I quit being a Pitt fan” comments. I’ve seen so many posts saying that over the past few months from people pouting about Wannstedt, Haywood, Pederson, Bradley-vs.-Graham. Graham might be terrible, but give him a chance to prove it– he might be great. We won’t know for a while.

Comment by Navy Panther 01.10.11 @ 11:36 pm

When Rich Rod started WVU, they were terrible the first year, the same thing at Michigan. It takes a few years for the players to learn and execute in a new offence like the spread. That’s why I was hoping we go with talent we have in a Pro type system. We could run the ball, but after Palko we never really had good consistant quarter back play. With the running game we had, a really good quartback we would have tough to beat.

Comment by Justinian 01.10.11 @ 11:38 pm

People who say they won’t be a Pitt fan anymore weren’t Pitt fans to begin with. Stop with this sense of entitlement. He’s our coach. Everyone had an opinion during the hiring process and now we have a coach. I know it’s a but emotionally draining, but it’s time to step back and take a deep breath. Let’s see what he’s got before we make absolute statements about his success.

Comment by Glen Frankenfield 01.10.11 @ 11:45 pm

Word has it he is bringing a few from Tulsa and Michigan. Little birdie said rich rod has been contacted (oc). Not sure if he is interested but offer is there.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 01.10.11 @ 11:49 pm

I know a lot of people would be unhappy, but I would love to stir the pot with WVU by taking on Rodriguez as OC. Hard to believe it could happen, though.

Comment by Navy Panther 01.10.11 @ 11:52 pm

I asked this question in the previous post by PittBlather. I say go for it and make WVU hate us more!
I hope Graham keeps Buddy Morris and gets rid of the 3-3-5 defense I believe he ran at Tulsa.

Comment by QuipPitt 01.10.11 @ 11:57 pm

Chas,
I don’t think Pederson mentions Haywood. And it’s not like it’s his fault Haywood didn’t work out. I mean he was cleared by one of the top national search teams. It was unfortunate, but not something that could be forsee.

Comment by auggie from latrobe 01.10.11 @ 11:58 pm

Wbb, nothing against Austin, but he had a real upper hand recruiting Jackson seeing they both were from Sharon, and unless Austin mysteriously coached at WVU, he didn’t recruit Mundy.

Comment by ltl 01.11.11 @ 12:03 am

IMHO, freshman QB Anthony Gonzalez should be excited about the prospects for himself. Mark Myers? not so much.

Rich Rod as OC? …..very intriging.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 01.11.11 @ 12:06 am

Great, great, great hire.

Comment by J-Maile 01.11.11 @ 12:08 am

Mill67: Who are you kidding? You are a PSU troll, not a Pitt fan. That’s fine, but be honest about it.You know Bradley would have kept a clean program, but you don’t know about Graham and Pederson….On what basis do you say that? You have a lot of nerve questioning the character of people you don’t even know.What “slime” did Pitt perpetrate? Your boy wasn’t hired so you cry and resort to name-calling.In case you haven’t noticed, all the local “pundits” think it was a good hire. Also, if it makes you feel better, KDKA tonight said that when Bradley cancelled his UConn interview, it was to go to a second interview with the Pitt committee. Do you think that maybe Tom just didn’t wow them?
Comment by auggie from latrobe 01.10.11 @ 11:54 p

Comment by auggie from latrobe 01.11.11 @ 12:10 am

Rich Rod for OC. Works for everyone.

Graham gets instant local credibility
Rich Rod get a shot at his wvu haters and buys a yr or two

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 01.11.11 @ 12:11 am

Jeff, you are right on the money with the QB situation. Gonzalez is a heck of an athletic and best suited for Graham’s style of offense.

Comment by ltl 01.11.11 @ 12:13 am

Hate to see Dion go. Right move for him though as he is best in a pro style offense. Don’t think he would have near as much success in a spread and it would drop him lower in draft.
Feel bad for Hyno. Hopefully some team in NFL wants a very good FB. Probably no place for him in Graham offense.

I am guessing that most if the offensive recruits we lost would not have worked in Graham’s system anyway.

Should we really expect Graham to win big games right away? Won’t it take ar least until 2013 season until he has the players to run his offense and defense?

Comment by AZPANTHER 01.11.11 @ 12:13 am

I was on the Bradley bandwagon but I am excited and I am looking forward to the next football season. We all wanted a change in leadership. We got it! Be it Graham, Bradley or one of the other recent candidates, I feel a lot more energized and enthused than I felt on December 16 when Coach Haywood was hired. Graham appears to know how to hire a successful staff. I can’t wait to see the new look Panther football team!

Comment by JW in Raleigh 01.11.11 @ 12:14 am

I am praying Bradley lands the JOB at U Conn. I really want to see that game. Graham Versus Bradley ….My $$ is ON Graham.

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 01.11.11 @ 12:40 am

If We get DickRod as OC the masses in Hoopie land will collectively Shat their pants as soon as it is announced.

Can’t Ziese put a rumor just for kicks?

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 01.11.11 @ 12:42 am

What is all this talk about players NOT working in the spread??? Hyno wouldn’t because he is a fullback and to slow for the spread but you NEED a good running back. Did anyone watch the National Championship game tonight???

Auburn ran out the spread all night, Oregon tied the game on a running play.

We won’t need three years to get players in here..that was a Wanny excuse as to why he couldn’t beat a drum his first few years even with Palko starting at QB.

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 01.11.11 @ 12:50 am

Iowa panther, stay in iowa and drop the panther. We don’t need you.

Also, can we please stop the bradley BS! If he wasn’t such an insecure whiny pansy and didn’t leake the story that he had the pitt job in the first place he’d had been better off. Time to move one, graham is the man, htp!

Comment by THEdirtyO 01.11.11 @ 12:56 am

Great respect for what anyone accomplishes at Rice and Tulsa…as a PITT alum/fan, he has my support….I know some would never be happy unless Vince Lombardi or Chuck Noll were coaching the Panthers—but Graham is our man!

Hail to PITT!
-al-

Comment by Oregon_Panther 01.11.11 @ 1:57 am

I love the hire, but is there really an out clause for the LSU job?

Comment by The Rooster 01.11.11 @ 2:27 am

I keep going back and forth on how I feel about the hire. I may be blinded by the soap opera that has unfolded around us.

On one hand, I can see him being quite successful, but on the other I can see him leading a 9 win team to a Fiesta bowl win against a run-of-the-mill Big 12/MWC team and jump ship to climb further up the ladder, just to have us reset the program once again.

Bradley I could have seen sticking around forever, but who’s to say he would have been good enough at the helm. He’s a great recruiter. Hopefully he’ll get a shot at a HC position so we’ll be able to compare the two.

One thing is for sure, DickRod as OC is so far outside the limits of reality, it’s not even funny. The Rod returning to his old conference with his tail between his legs as a OC would be way too much. Plus, once he steps away from HC openings, he ain’t never goin’ back.

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 01.11.11 @ 2:53 am

The big news is that Pitt put its money where its mouth is. I for one hope its a great hire. Even though I liked Bradley it time to screw the naysaying and get on board. Hail to PITT! Go Coach Graham.

Comment by gc 01.11.11 @ 6:57 am

If you have children, here is an analogy:

your son is seeing two girls – one a wholesome pollyanna, attends church, personality galore, helps mom with the dishes, and will always be in bed by midnight;

the second, is a girl who is just trying too hard. She’s seen way too much sun in her life. Her skin is like an old piece of luggage. Her hair is over-processed, usually way too blonde. The hair is almost always a bit big. Her nails are usually long and acrylic, sporting the Carmela Soprano french mani. Her clothes are just a tad too snug. She has her boobs on display, with a wrinkled, freckly chest exposed. There are rhinestones. Perhaps an ankle bracelet. Occasionally said anklet may be seen over/under suntan colored panty hose. You can tell she’s been around the block, so to speak. She’s lived hard. Lots of booze. She’s a bit puffy in the face. She’s got her cocktail and she’s laughing a bit too loud.

He chooses door number 2. What are you gonna do? Hey, she’s family now so you just put the clothespins on when she comes for dinner, because you will always love the grandchildren no matter what.

This was the last, best opportunity to heal old wounds. Pitt let Bradley twist in the wind and kicked him to the door for the world to see. Nordy and Steve made this bed and we all have to sleep in it.

Graham will probably win. Even if he does, a lot of us will not go to Fathead’s after the game to celebrate. We will be going home to take a shower.

Comment by wally 01.11.11 @ 7:06 am

Hey, ever see this Graham guy on the Tulsa sideline with his white button down shirt? Take a gander at him, he looks just like Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.

Comment by Cocaine Dan Marino 01.11.11 @ 7:30 am

I think Graham is a much better hire than Haywood – hands down. So in that respect I feel better than I did three weeks ago. I am a Pitt alum and a fan – always will be. But I will need to vent for a few weeks before I let this sink in and throw my support behind Graham. My biggest concerns with Graham:

1.) He runs a system that Pitt is not equipped to run. I am afraid we could see a downturn like Michigan. Pitt has a good foundation and is a team that can win right now. I am just afraid that a major shake up will really set us back. And having said all that, I would be ok with a major shake up if I was convinced that Graham was here for the long haul to see it through. But I think he is here a max of 3 years successful or not.

2.) Second concern is as stated above. I dont see him staying at Pitt any longer than three years wether he is fired or leaves for more money. At which point we will have to do this all over again and endure another “system change” that could take years.

3.) Graham, despite a good resume, is a risky pick especially when we had a guy like Bradley in front of us for the taking. He seems to be a little bit of a maverick and judging by some of the comments from Rice and Tulsa fans he is not that well liked with the games he plays.

4.) It may be a dumb reason to not like a coach but if Steve Pederson wanted him, I am skeptical to say the very least.

5.) Over time Graham may be a great recruiter in this region of the country be he has to start from scratch. He has no ties, no relationships, no inroads – this is ground zero.

6.) Grahams strength is obviously his high powered offense and his OC isnt coming with him!!! This troubles me.

7.) Graham’s defenses have not exactly been the steel curtain. As much fun as it is to watch a high flying offense you still need a stout defense to win. As seen last night when Auburn held down the most potent offense in the country.

8.) Obviously discipline issues played a big part in the reason for DWs departure, what kind of a program does this guy run??? Havent heard one word??? I undertsand why they want to de-emphasize this after Haywood but I think its important to ask.

9.) And finally, the interview process. I was very disenchanted with the way this was handled from start to finish. Of all the candidates they paraded around, Todd Graham is the ONLY one that got to meet with Nordenberg!!! After the Haywood fiasco I expected Nordy to put the tight leash on SP and be more involved…obviously he was not. Maybe he purposely stayed away to let Steve know this hire was his career. This is your guy – if he fails you fail. Never the less, just disappointed that other candidates weren’t given more serious consideration. Why even bother if they knew Graham was their guy. Had they done this sooner we may have been able to salvage our dead on arrival recruiting class.

So, I have a lot of big concerns with this hire. I think it was a big gamble. This is the kind of gamble you take when you need to rebuild a program not when you have a solid foundation that is close to winning at a high level right now. Again, just my opinion. I will eventually come around but he has a lot to prove to me and many others.

Steve Pederson needs to begin his ass kissing tour right now. Ticket prices better be coming down, script logos should be coming back, and we better win!

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.11.11 @ 7:32 am

Reasons why Todd Graham Doesn’t Feel Like the Guy Now:

1) Graham HC’d at Tulsa and Rice. The average East Coast football fan doesn’t know him and doesen’t care about his non-BCS accomplishments. I am worried he will have trouble recruiting locally and he won’t be able to bring any decent prospects from Big XII country because those kids don’t give a damn about the East Coast.

2) Most local people including myself salivated over Tom Bradley. Why? 1) Diehard Pitt fans hate PSU because they are better than us and we would have stolen half of their coaching staff. 2) Bradley could have had a chance to rekindle Pitt vs. PSU 3) Dream staff with Mike McQuerry, Larry Johnson Sr., and Terryl Austin possibly, these are people we know and are relevent to us in PGH, also non-Pitt people in the tri-state area may have become interested in the program

3)The Graham hire reeks of Pederson arrogance. It was Steve’s hire. He most likely thought the hiring of Bradley was provincial and how dare he do anything to excite the average folks of Western Pa.

4) Todd Graham’s offense is going to take years to evolve at Pitt. We do not have the personell. Is Kolbe Gray or Gonzales the new QB?

5) Bye bye Mark Myers. Even though you have the arm, the size, and they hype, you will not stay with the spread because you want to make it to the NFL.

6) Why did we fire Wanny now and not after the first three years? The last 3 years have been a blast. What am I talking about? Those that hated Wanny may not remember the early and mid 90’s when we would be lucky to win 3 games a year. Wanny was starting to be a consistent winner. He was fired because the fans wanted more…but we are not Florida, Texas, Alabama, or even PSU. We should have been happy the way things were.

Good luck Mr. Graham. I am rooting for you, but things look bleak now.

Comment by AJ 01.11.11 @ 7:50 am

I want Pederson gone, there is no undoing that. Really, don’t understand those who think this is some kind of redemtion for him. He got the guy for 2 million dollars a year, the going rate.

Comment by joe v 01.11.11 @ 7:51 am

wally — got a kick out of your post, but two clarifications required:

*the Pollyanna wouldn’t have “personality galore” in the Bradley analogy. She’d be a bit boring and you’d always wonder if life should have been a bit more exciting when you’re with her. Girl #2, on the other hand, would be more vivacious, but you’d always be wondering if she was laughing a bit too loud at everything you said and you’d be worried about why she just smiled at the guys at the table behind you.

* Why would you put the clothespins on when anybody comes to dinner? What does that mean? :)

Comment by hugh green 01.11.11 @ 7:52 am

Yeah AJ, I know there are a lot of Tino haters, but I’m hoping he’s athletic enough to run the Offense. If not, wow, 3 or 4 years of rebuilding (i.e.sucking), I wonder how that will play out and where Pederson will be

Comment by joe v 01.11.11 @ 8:03 am

[…] So maybe Tom Bradley will get out of this rootable after all. […]


Wally – Let’s take your analogy to it’s logical conclusion.

He marries girl #2 because she is totally getting it done in the bedroom. He gets five great years of fun out of her before she moves on to some other dude with more money.

That’s the best case scenario for Pitt. Graham gives Pitt fans an exciting brand of football for five years. He brings high octane offense, boom or bust defense and hopefully a Big East championship or two. Then he’ll be off to Texas or LSU or someplace where they’ll pay him more money and give him a shot to win the national championship.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.11.11 @ 8:16 am

I find it really interesting that a lot of the non regular posters on here are huge Bradley supporters. So let me get this right… a lot of Pitt fans will not celebrate Pitt being successful because they failed to “heal old wounds” by hiring a lifetime PSU assistant?

And seriously, how many Pitt fans in the end of November would have wanted Pitt to fire Wanny in order to hire Tom Bradley? I think most people would have thought that would make little sense. I mean just a year or two ago people were suggesting Wanny should hire Bradley as D-Coordinator.

Also, people seem to be attacking the character of Graham. I mean what indication is there that he has done anything shady? And no leaving one school or entertaining interviews in order to make money is not shady it is the name of the game.

Finally, people are talking as if being like RichRod is a bad thing? I never knew winning BCS games and getting close to national championship games is a bad thing? I would have taken the RichRod WVU year over the Wanny years in a second.

Coach Ditka,
1.) Graham won right away at Rice and at Tulsa with another coach’s players. He will have more talent at Pitt so I think they will win his first year.

2.) He won’t be fired within 3 years. There is no way Pitt will pay 3 coaches at one time. If he leaves for a better program that means Pitt was in a BCS game. I’ll take a BCS birth over the next 3 years and another coaching search than 3 more years of lame Big East bowls.

3.) Bradley would have been as risk or even more risky, as he has no head coaching experience. Graham has won has a head coach every where.

4.) No one likes Steve Pederson.

5.) He doesn’t have to start from scratch. He coached at WVU before, and is rumored to bring in coaches who can recruit in Western PA. High schoolers are going to go Pitt if they think they can play and win. Not because their head coach is buddies with the Pitt coach.

6.) This isn’t the first time Graham has had to replace an OC. He was smart enough to hire the offensive genius Gus Malzhan and then get another good offensive coach. So he has proven he can find good assistants.

7.) BCS title games have routinely been low scoring, which may be more of an indication of rust. Also, withtout a high powered offense Auburn doesn’t win the title because there is no way they come back from being down big to Alabama.

8.) Haven’t heard anything bad about how he runs his programs. And while Bradley has been at PSU there have been quite a few problems.

9.) You really have no idea how much consideration other candidates got. I mean there was enough buzz within Pitt that people thought Bradley got the job last week, which means he was obviously given serious consideration. And the recruiting period isn’t over, let’s see how the class turns out.

A program that is close to winning at a high level? Pitt took a slide back this year. Pitt was beginning to stagnate under Wanny. I think a change was needed.

And I really should have been keeping track of Pitt script comments the past week…

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 8:17 am

And just maybe if he’s lucky, Girl #2 will have a shy but kinda hot young friend who you can hook up with and eventually marry for life when Girl #2 bolts for UCLA, err I mean the other dude…..

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.11.11 @ 8:22 am

XBlackMagicX, #10) JoePa recommended Bradley, the kiss of death to anybody Pitt.

Comment by steve 01.11.11 @ 8:28 am

“I’m also excited to return to the Big East, a conference that plays tremendous football.”

So we know he’s a liar…

Honestly, though, I’m pretty happy about this. We’ve been wanting a team that can score for forever, and we’re going to get it. The defense should be interesting, and hopefully Graham can get the kind of athletes he needs to make it work.

I feel bad for Bradley, but there’s got to be a reason he hasn’t gotten a head coaching job in 30 years at PSU. I know we think SP didn’t want him, and that’s probably true, but there must be something about him must not inspire confidence from administrators. We may find out soon enough.

Mostly, just glad this nightmare is over. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by 85 01.11.11 @ 8:28 am

I wanted Bradley to be the guy because I thought that he would be the best man for the Job.

Recruiting, stability, loyalty, experience were all things that I thought that Bradley would have offered.

Now that Todd has been hired I will be open minded and hope for the best. He certainly has all the credentials.

TCU, Cincy, WVU, Pitt. These teams will all have high flying offenses in the next few years. The Conference has a chance to get much stronger with the new faces and offenses.

I guess having a Coach who not only can compete in that environment but thrive in it is the best thing for Pitt. This coach is the number one guy at running that kind of system.

So although there may be a transition in the long run it may be for the best.

Comment by Pitt Man 01.11.11 @ 8:29 am

I heard one of the unsuccessfull candidites had a drinking problem.

Comment by alcofan 01.11.11 @ 8:34 am

What no Freddy Kruegger speech? (very dissapointed) I dont understand what the deal is everyone wanted offence so we got it. Lets see who he hires as his assistants before we pass judgement , cant be any worse that the 75 year old man that was comming with Haymaker Haywood, and who knows maybe Juncko and the remaining assistants stay .

Comment by POLE 01.11.11 @ 8:36 am

Not sure why people are writing off Mark Meyers. Bobby Petrino has Ryan Mallet running a very successful version of the spread offense down at Arkansas. I think there is a misconception that you need a fast running style quarterback to run the spread, and that isn’t true.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 8:41 am

All of the PG stooges, namely Cook and Smizik, are falling in line this morning. After cheering for Bradley…all of the sudden this morning they knew the whole time that Graham was the right guy for the job…

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.11.11 @ 8:46 am

You’ll rue the day you passed on Bradley, if he ever was interested. This guy is a snake oil salesman, he’ll be gone in 3 years to the highest bidder. He’s all about the $$$$.

Comment by Cocaine Dan Marino 01.11.11 @ 8:50 am

Ditka, I haven’t agreed with you much, but you are right about cook and smizik.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 8:52 am

mill67, Joe Paterno may be 11-5-1 against Pitt since 1980, Tom Bradley isn’t!! As stated before I was a Bradley guy, but wouldn’t have minded Graham. As the news was building momentum, I’m big on the hire and ready to go!!!

Wow, if Pitt and WVU can get moving (yes, WVU, as much as we may hate them, better for the conference to have them winning) and adding TCU, we could have one wild conference in 2 or 3 years!!

Holgerson and Graham apparently have a history mouthing off at each other, excellent, should give the Backyard Brawl a nice little extra.

Hell ya, bring DickRod in, would be hysterical to see him on the Pitt sideline in WVU. Would have to go in a protective bus, but, what the hell!!! LMAO

Comment by Dan 01.11.11 @ 8:52 am

Cocaine Dan, 12-0, seem to remember that one. Now, go visit all of your coaches at the nursing home. Enjoy the next 40 years of Jay-Pa!! ha ha LMAO

Comment by Dan 01.11.11 @ 8:54 am

Opinions are like belly buttons, everybody has one. And I respect the fact that everybody can decide for themselves. I just think that the way this played out, Pitt made the wrong choice. Maybe Graham would have been the best way to go if it had happened in round one, but with all the dirty laundry that Pederson let be hung out there, Bradley was the choice of destiny, in my view. That Nordy allowed Pederson to influence him to make this decision, again after all the Bradley noise, will haunt him forever. Pederson has done the same thing he did in Lincoln, destroy a once proud program. The only difference is they had the stones in Nebraska to him a one way ticket out of town before it was too late.

Comment by wally 01.11.11 @ 8:58 am

In regards to Mark Meyers, I don’t think he’s going to be QB at Pitt. Zeise reported that the ocoordinator is probably either going to be the pass game coordinator from Tulsa or Michigan’s ocoordinator. Tulsa’s QB last year ran for nearly 600 yards. And Michigan was very run happy with Denard Robinson running for 1700 yards. I hear Denard is looking to transfer. But seriously, Kolby Gray and Anthony Gonzalez are both dual threat QBs or at least they were at one time.

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 9:01 am

Forget about DickRod, hes not coming here no way – no how – ain’t happening.

He was making $2.5 mil a year at MI, you really thinks hes coming to Pitt for a few hundred thousand???

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.11.11 @ 9:04 am

Do we know for sure Dion wouldn’t thrive in Graham’s offenses?? Many teams that run the spread are successful running the football. I do see how Hyno may become ,for a lack of a better word, not as useful. Also, I’m not sure that a running qb is essential. Mobile and athletic, yes! A running qb, I’m not sure that is required. There are many variations of the spread, I just don’t know how Graham uses his exactly.

What about DC?? Any rumors? Thoughts??

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 01.11.11 @ 9:08 am

An Open Letter To Mark Nordenberg

Dear Mark:

Wow! What a month. First you fire a coach with a winning record, to bring in a coach with a record.

Then so disenchanted with Stevie, you don’t let him cross the street without asking permission, you set up a search committee to find a new coach.

Did you find the right one? I have no idea. I know the process really was handled poorly.

You went on the cheap and you got a coach in an orange jumpsuit.

It is a positive side that you spent money for a coach and staff.

Now it’s time. Steve must go.

He has alienated alumni everywhere he has been. At PITT, at Nebraska, at PITT.

I don’t want to hear about Steve and the Pete. The Pete was on the drawing board several years before Steve got here. I know because as a donor, I was shown the plans and asked for more money.

Steve is a snob. He is NOT the smartest man in the room and he needs to learn how to deal with fans and donors.

I am not a big time donor by any stretch of the imagination. In the last ten years, I have averaged $7,500. a year, which is down from the previous ten years of $12,500. All of that is peanuts to you. I bet your wine bill at the Pitt Athletic Club is bigger than my donation.

But you know what? As long as Steve remains the AD, my $7500. will stay in my pocket. So will the $750 per seat (I have 12) in the club section. I will keep my 6 seats in the end zone because I don’t have to donate to the fund. I also won’t be renewing my membership in the Athletic club.

I don’t care what you or other members of the school think. You don’t care what the regular guys who pay the freight think.

Fire Steve and my money will be back.

I don’t think I am the only one who feels the same way. From what I have read, the guys with the “real” money are thinking the same thing.

Comment by WH-Lovin' MEDIOCRITY' 01.11.11 @ 9:08 am

I was hopeful Bradley was the man becuase he might have been able to keep some of the Pitt recruits but am excited about the potential for Graham. Two points that I would like to make: As a Pitt grad from the year they won their championship and a true PSU hater, we have to get over the fact that PSU is now not a part of what Pitt is- they are in a different conference so let’s get on with life=bringing Bradley on board might have brought PSU on the schedule but it wouldn’t make a difference at the end of the year; 2. Let’s not get to excited about if Graham would leave in 3 or 4 years-which one of you has not taken a job for more money!!!!!!!!

Comment by B Foss 01.11.11 @ 9:19 am

If you wanna get down……….

Comment by Cocaine Dan Marino 01.11.11 @ 9:19 am

…heard a rumor that TG is one of the top three candidates for the LSU job if Les Miles bolts to Michigan!

Comment by Leaseman 01.11.11 @ 9:26 am

A lot of people are complaining about the fact that if Graham has a good 3-4 years (maybe less?) that he’ll bolt to the highest bidder, a scenario that people think may not have happened with Bradley.

Which makes me think…

Serious question to everyone: If you were told, right now, that Pitt won the Big East outright three out of the next four seasons, two of those three BCS bids representing BCS victories, and that Graham has bolted for a higher paying job. Would that scenario upset you?

Personally, it’s great news when your coach is being mentioned as a potential candidate to get stolen for higher paying jobs. Obviously, you don’t want to see him go, but I’d rather that than to have a coach that no one wants.

Comment by Mark 01.11.11 @ 9:29 am

Ditka,

Yes No one likes Steve Pederson and yes we all want the script back.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 01.11.11 @ 9:30 am

Hey I was thrilled when Wannstedt brought “PITT” back. no one liked Pederson’s “Pittsburgh” stuff. John Steigwald once commented on WTAE that anyone who ever went to school at Pitt, was form western PA, or grew up within a 100 miles of the university ever called the school any but Pitt. It’s part of our idenity, and Pederson just didn’t get it.

Comment by Justinian 01.11.11 @ 9:41 am

Living in the heart of SEC land, I must admit, comments on this Blog spew less vitriol than UGA’s Blog wanting Mark Richt’s head. Admittedly, some of the Blogger’s are disguised GA Tech fans. I love the passion this Blog spews, all of it. If you are TRUE Pitt fans, accept reality and accept that Pederson made a good hire for Pitt. Forget about Mike H., he’s history. Dave Wannstedt will always be a Pitt Panther but it’s over for him at Pitt. Pitt’s football program opens a new era in Todd Graham, an outstanding offensive-minded coach, something Pitt fans will enjoy watching.

If Todd wins the big games as a Pitt coach, his salary will be a good investment for the university. If he stays at Pitt only 4 or 5 years, there will always be another young gun-slinger out there to take his place. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride. And please keep me entertained on this Blog. I’m getting cabin fever with all this snow and ice down here in SEC land. :-)

Comment by MariettaMike 01.11.11 @ 9:44 am

From my perspective: After three years, DW has a winning program. He is recruiting All-Americans and filling the pipeline with quality players and doing it on a salary below market rates. His 5th year at Pitt, a kid muffs an extra point snap that keeps us out of a BCS Bowl game, but we still win 10 games. His 6th year, prognosticators say that DW has recruited great talent and pick Pitt to win the BE. Pitt doesn’t win the BE outright but shares 1st place with two other teams and doesn’t go to a BCS bowl. Why? One reason for not winning it all was one of Pitt’s star HB fumbles deep in Pitt territory against UConn. Pitt still wins eight games. Another L for the season could have been a W if a star player didn’t quit while chasing down the ND QB. But, hey, a great positive: Pitt has recruited an outstanding in-coming class.

What to do? Simple. Fire DW while continuing to pay his salary. Hire a new coach at twice DW’s salary. (Hey, that is for each year, not just a one-shot, one-year occurrence.) Pay the new assistances much more than the old assistants. The recruiting class? Who cares if they go elsewhere and leave a gaping hole in the system? It will have a negative affect for, perhaps, only two seasons.

I’m waiting for the call from the Pitt athletic department. “Hey, BigGuy. We need your help in paying for all this.”

“Er… ah. I’d help, but all of a sudden I’ve lost interest in Pitt football.”

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 9:47 am

In my scenario, I dont care if TG leaves after three or four years because he was highly successful. That would mean he was a great hire and so be it.

I picture the opposite, a Dick Rod like three year period where Pitt struggles to adjust and TG is forced out. Is that really a stretch??? remember it took almost four years to make a rather simple adjustment from Walt Harris to Wannstedt. Im just saying, I think this is going to be a much tougher transition than people think.

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.11.11 @ 9:50 am

HA, I will be thoroughly entertained if Graham considers the LSU job. He will get an offer for $2.5 mil and tell Pitt to up it or he’s gone….now wouldn’t that make for some entertaining chat on here…

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.11.11 @ 9:54 am

About Todd Graham, he’s our new coach and I wish him well, but I’m not a spread guy. With the running game we had, if had good quaterbacks we could have had a terrific team. Actually, we were pretty good last year in Billy Stull’s final year. We really haven’t brought in the talent we needed to have at the quarter back position, since the Walt Harris years. I think a lot of the top prospects want to play in a pro-system. That being said, the spread is an exciting brand of football and wish Graham all the success in the world. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Justinian 01.11.11 @ 9:54 am

I would have to think that Pitt is on the short list of possible schools for Denard Robinson to transfer to. Especially if we’re getting much of the offensive staff that is working with him now. That would certainly help ease the transition.

Comment by someweirdguy 01.11.11 @ 9:55 am

Like the hire, but admit, I need to take a shower after this process.

Gonzalez, Graham, Street and Shannahan will make a nice core to start the spread development in 2011. We need an innovative offense and a QB that can run it, and we are on the right path now. I’m a little concerned about the talk of bringing BitchRich’s UM defensive coordinators & co to Pitt… did you see Michigan’s defense…ugh!

Not sure QB Myers would have been as good as advertised…the kid only started one year in HS and looked relatively pedestrian; definately has the size, but not sure why everyone had him as the next Dan Marino?

One thing for certain– no more Tino the meatball or Billy Boy Stull or Cry Baby Bostick types…. maybe now we can get true production and value out of the QB position!

Comment by Pauly P 01.11.11 @ 9:56 am

Coach Ditka – I agree. It will be terrible if the reason he leaves is due to poor performance. However, a LOT of people like Bradley more than Graham for the reason that Graham’s going to leave for more money after a few seasons, and they think Bradley wouldn’t. If that’s someone’s biggest concern about this hire, then I think, right now, it’s a great hire. If he leaves after four seasons of very successful football, I’ll be happy. On top of that, if he leaves after four seasons, he’ll probably be under a new contract at the time with a large buyout.

The big issue right now is salvaging some of this recruiting class. Can he do it? We’ll see.

Comment by Mark 01.11.11 @ 10:00 am

Watch film on the Tulsa offense. The offense needs an accurate down field passer. A major weakness for Tino. Myers must get a shot this spring. I hope he is good as advertised.

Comment by why me 01.11.11 @ 10:00 am

BigGuy: you keep on repeating the same points. The Uconn game shouldn’t have been even close. Mistakes happen in good games, good coaches overcome those mistakes. And what are your excuses for the Miami and WVU games?

“Balls,” said the Queen, “if I had them, then I’d be king!”

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 10:01 am

I heard they’re having a drug problem up at Penn State actually, running out of Geritol and Dulcolax!!!

Comment by Dan 01.11.11 @ 10:02 am

BigGuy, I feel the same way about the moves that were made. Unfortunately, nobody in the administration asked us our opinions. The reality now, is that we have a new coach and he likes to run the spread. Despite my feelings, I still want the university to do well on the field.
Hopefully they will.

Comment by Justinian 01.11.11 @ 10:03 am

“no more Tino the meatball or Billy Boy Stull or Cry Baby Bostick types”

Pauly P, you and I are not following the same Pitt team. Your post is so ridiculous, I am questioning why I am lowering myself to respond.

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 10:04 am

Let’s get one thing straight, Pitt didn’t lose to Cincy in 2009 because of an extra point, they lost because DW took the foot off the gas and because of special teams blunders. Special teams blunders were also why we lost the UCONN game.

These mistakes became patterns in the DW era. Its ludicrous to say that if the ball bounced a different way or we made an extra point we would have played in BCS games the last two years. With the talent DW had we should have blown UCONN out of the water.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 10:06 am

Big guy, anyone can have a winning program when you beat New Hampshire and Florida Internationale, geez!! Other than 13-9, tell me about a victory on national t.v against someone. Please, tell me, show me. Beating Umass, Vermont and a couple low tier Big East teams is the epitome of the word “mediocre”. Stop, for the love of heaven, stop!!!!

Comment by Dan 01.11.11 @ 10:07 am

BigGuy,

do you derive joy by going on every single Pitt Blather thread and saying “gee oh boy we were so close why did we fire wanny hes the best coach ever”

kinda weird that he never got another offer and will probably be unemployed?

you may judge your football program on how close it was and all the players it sends to the pros who win there and all these fuzzy dreams on what would have happened had a ball bounced right (dave’s been saying that since Chicago days… this place is in pieces, anyone?)

im sorry, i judge it by success… you know, winning?

ill take graham and a bcs bowl versus an undisciplined team of wannyball who looked like they wanted to go home during the 3rd quarter of the backyard brawl… the one where an average team whacked them at home by 4 touch downs

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 10:08 am

BigGuy,

do you derive joy by going on every single Pitt Blather thread and saying “gee oh boy we were so close why did we fire wanny hes the best coach ever”

kinda weird that he never got another offer and will probably be unemployed?

you may judge your football program on how close it was and all the players it sends to the pros who win there and all these fuzzy dreams on what would have happened had a ball bounced right (dave’s been saying that since Chicago days… this place is in pieces, anyone?)

im sorry, i judge it by success… you know, winning?

ill take graham and a bcs bowl versus an undisciplined team of wannyball who looked like they wanted to go home during the 3rd quarter of the backyard brawl… the one where an average team whacked them at home by 4 touch downs

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 10:08 am

woulda, coulda, shoulda, woulda, coulda, shoulda, if this point wasnt’ blocked, if this interception had been made, if he would have tackled that guy we’d be national champs!!!! woulda, coulda, shoulda!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 01.11.11 @ 10:09 am

…ya and 13-9 was a huge win, but it wasn’t a big game. Big games are games where two big time teams face off against one another, or there is a lot of pressure on a team to win…DW didn’t win a SINGLE big game in his tenure as head coach. We were huge underdogs in the 13-9 game and had absolutely no pressure to perform whatsoever.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 10:10 am

I’m very excited about the hire- i’ve been skeptical about his past defensive problems at Tulsa but the prospect of exciting spread offense, high scoring Pitt games is much better than what we’ve had.

Hail to Pitt

Comment by Dan35 01.11.11 @ 10:11 am

and before you send out another ridiculous rebuttal about the amazing 10-3 season against 13 teams he was favored to beat and not beating one top 25 team that year… that season was a mirage

this season was reality… 5 losses against teams that all finished outside of the top 25!!!!

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 10:11 am

the national championship showed that dinosaur pro set football is the past…

cant wait for Graham vs Holgerson

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 10:15 am

PLEASE, let’s drop the (meatball) name calling. Remember, these guys are still kids. If we must pick someone to blame, let’s pick on the coaches. If a player is under performing, its up to the coach to remedy the situation. And we all make mistakes. I do ,every day. On second thought, my wife needs to be given a talking to about her mouth… :-(

Comment by MariettaMike 01.11.11 @ 10:15 am

Coach Ditka, I have the same concerns about the transition period. Yes the spread offers an exciting brand of football, but the transition will take time. It will take time, retooling, and bringing in people who fit the system. Even if he hits the ground running, I still think it will take at least two years to get things going. That’s one of the reasons I wasn’t falling over myself about this hire. That doesn’t mean that he can’t succeed, just don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Comment by Justinian 01.11.11 @ 10:16 am

Glad to see so many people defending the hire and the program and completely at a loss for the vitriole towards the AD. To anyone who is saying they’re going to withdraw support from the program, good riddance. A decision has been made and its time to support the program.

I really don’t see what the big issue is. Sure each step in this saga a debatable decision was made but every single step reasonable things were done:
-Fire or keep wanny? reasonable to fire him.
– Pedersen being arrogant? If it gets you the right hire, WHO CARES!?!?! Look I don’t think the guy is perfect and maybe we should consider a new AD. However, from my perspective the vitriole is more about whiney and/or small-minded alumni than an arrogant AD.
-Hire Haywood? Reasonable considering that NOONE forsaw the arrest, even the Miami (OH) people.
-Fire Haywood for the arrest? Very reasonable thing to do.
-Take the necessary time to choose a new coach? Of course. 9 days is not that long.
– Not choose Bradley? Very reasonable considering he would have been Wannstache without the ‘stache. If he was such a good candidate, then he wouldn’t have been an assistant for 30yrs.
– Hiring Graham? Look i don’t know how his coaching style will translate to western-PA, but this is not a terrible choice by any stretch.

I just can not see why there are people who are so upset that they’ll cut off their nose to spite their face (ie withhold money from a program they want to do better). SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL! HAIL TO PITT!

Comment by PantherP 01.11.11 @ 10:16 am

Fell asleep early last night without a PITT HC.
Woke up this morning checked the Trib and wallah ,
we have a new HC. Everything appears brighter today, uncertainty will do that in any aspect of life.

Welcome Coach Graham to Pitt !

We alumni are all rooting for your success.

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 10:17 am

PantherP,

that is 100% incorrect

talked to notre dame boosters… said he was a disaster, couldnt recruit like he promised, couldnt call plays, was partying

talked to notre dame grads… said he had a baby mama and was out of control

some background check

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 10:21 am

I was a Bradley guy myself and Ill cheer for Graham but the one thing that will make me forget is winning on the field.

Comment by WC Steve 01.11.11 @ 10:24 am

Auburn may be National Champions BUT their reign may be short-lived thanks to Cecil N. Life has flaws, every where, even in War Eagle land. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.11.11 @ 10:26 am

Yes there have been a plethora of non-regular posters on here. And the majority of them have been lambasting Pitt, SP & any potential HC hires other than Bradley. And have become almost visceral about Graham.

Please go back to the State Pen or Hoopie U blog you came from. The Gig is up !

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 10:29 am

That includes IowaPanther. Maybe he means Northern Iowa Panthers, cause he didn’t go to Pitt.

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 10:30 am

At last our long National nightmare is over…can’t we all just get along?

Comment by Leaseman 01.11.11 @ 10:32 am

XBlackMagicX:

“And what are your excuses for the Miami and WVU games?”
We got our asses kicked.

“Balls,” said the Queen, “if I had them, then I’d be king!”
“Hey, how come the grass in the picture looks greener than our lawn? I think that we should hire the guy holding the rake in the picture to be our gardener.”

As far as schedules are concerned, maybe we should toughen up like our brothers to the east have done: Youngstown State, Kent State and Temple.

DeVanzo, the logic of your posts about Pitt being favored in every game and that is a negative escapes me. Help me out. Pitt has done such a good recruiting job and as a result is favored; however, that is bad. If Pitt would have not done a good recruiting job and would not have been favored, why that would be a positive.

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 10:33 am

Only time will tell if this was a good hire or not. Truth be told, Wanny’s time was about up, whether it was this year or next. He had 3 straight chances to win the BE, the ball was in his court, and he failed. That (and a-clown SP) is the reason he was fired.

For all those saying it is rebuilding time, I have a few thoughts. First, his track record and Rice and Tulsa does not show the need for transition years, which was done with surely alot less “in the cupboard” than he has at Pitt (if DW’s recruiting classes were as good as reported). Second, just because he is not from here does not automatically say he cannot get recruits from here. Plenty of successful D1 coaches get recruits to come play at their schools, despite not being natives. Third, I don’t understand the “we won’t get any more NFL players through here” opinions. Last time I checked the NFL is becoming a spread/ pass-based league. Kids are growing up w/ exposure to these systems more and more, thus increasing the pool of potential fits. One of the main issues with power-I running game is that the really good kids to fit that system are increasingly rare.

The healing can finally start – boy does the administration got its work cut out for them. I suggest they call the Pens for some PR tips….

Comment by Big A 01.11.11 @ 10:35 am

Pulling all financial support for athletics is also absurd. We have a phenomenal basketball program and coach that also need the support of boosters. Let’s not ruin that good thing because you don’t like the AD or new football hire.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 10:39 am

Wanny should not have been getting his ass kicked in home games that far into his tenure. They were playing WVU for a spot in a BCS game at Heinz field and they got blown out. How is that acceptable?

But really, everyone on here knows you still Wanny to be coach. But he’s not coming back.

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 10:40 am

are we really going to the spread offense and the 3-3-5 defensive scheme?
See what happen to Michigan when Carr left and Dickrod took over.. The foundation was laid but Dickrod destroyed and lost first round qb in mallet and the offensive lineman to their rival school…
I am nervous about this hire.. No matter what we will be in this process 3 years from now bc graham will get fired or jump ship..

I hope the powers to be know more than we do….

Comment by cdmoore25 01.11.11 @ 10:42 am

For those who are worried about him jumping ship. Answer this question: was Ben Howland a bad hire because he jumped ship after 4 years?

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 10:50 am

As far as financially supporting the program:

My neighbor says to me, “My son is leasing a car and I am helping to pay the cost on the lease. Some of the roads in our area are bumpy and when he hits a bump, he is unhappy. But on the whole, the car is relatively comfortable. He now leased another car at twice the payments of his current lease. The current lease will continue along with the new payments. He hopes that the new car will be able to travel over the bumps better, but no one can tell for certain. My son wants me to help him pay for the new car and the old car at the same time.

“BigGuy, what should I do?”

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 10:50 am

I think Graham will tailor the spread to the talent that he has. Running a spread offense doesn’t necessarily mean we need to have a Denard Robinson at QB. The spread means using multiple receivers, motioning backs, running receivers across the formation and getting guys the ball in space using quick/short passes.

Also, Dickrod’s offense at Michian was pretty good, he just couldn’t stop anyone.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 10:52 am

All of this “see what happened to Michigan when they switched to the spread” stuff is nonsense. There are far more teams that have thrived since switching to the spread than failed so pointing to one failure is getting absurd.
Pitt fans will find a reason to gripe about anything. Everyone wanted lots of scoring and a spread offense weeks ago and now they are terrified of it for some odd reason. Why didn’t we just keep Wannstedt if we wanted local recruiting and pro-style bore me to death offense. Because it was not, and will not be successful here, you can’t recruit the level of talent and depth you need to dominate with that kind of offense in the Big East.
If Pitt hired Graham the first time around I think people would have been thrilled, but the Haywood debacle caused so many recruits to jump ship that I think many fans were more concerned with getting our recruits back this year and a coach that could do that, rather than finding the right coach, thus they wanted Bradley. I don’t remember as many friends being gung-ho for Bradley until the second attempt at hiring. One recruiting class won’t make or break a program, but hiring the right coach can do wonders. I think Pitt got its guy.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 01.11.11 @ 10:52 am

meant fans not friends

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 01.11.11 @ 10:54 am

Well said Henry Hynoceros.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 10:55 am

Coach Ditka, I have the same concerns about the transition period. Yes the spread offers an exciting brand of football, but the transition will take time. It will take time, retooling, and bringing in people who fit the system. Even if he hits the ground running, I still think it will take at least two years to get things going. That’s one of the reasons I wasn’t falling over myself about this hire. That doesn’t mean that he can’t succeed, just don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Comment by Justinian 01.11.11 @ 10:16 am

Justinian, Graham’s record suggests otherwise.
He was only at Rice one year and took them to their first bowl game in 40 years and in year one at Tulsa his team won 10 games and averaged over 40 ppg. Just sayin.

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 11:00 am

Devanzo, having a baby mama doesn’t make you out of control. And some ND boosters claiming he couldn’t call plays doesn’t hold a lot of water in light of evidence to the contrary (not to mention ND boosters for the last 20yrs haven’t exactly proven to be reliable judges of competency). Moreover, Miami(OH) hired after this alleged out of control behavior at ND, so doubt it was that obvious he was trouble. (btw, he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet.)

I don’t think Haywood, even without the arrest issues, was the best choice. It was the low point in the saga. But I don’t think it was a fireable offense, it doesn’t warrant the extreme response it got and it doesnt warrant anyone withdrawing support for the program. Any of these “big money” boosters who are considering withdrawing their money are only doing so because one of their buddies wasn’t hired. I’m glad Pitt didn’t submit to the nepotism.

Comment by PantherP 01.11.11 @ 11:05 am

I understand your point carolinapanther and i will support the new hire. But, Tulsa ran the same offense before Graham came. Not much change of personnel needed.

Comment by why me 01.11.11 @ 11:09 am

Check this out, on the morning after the Big National Championship game, Pitt hiring Graham is the lead story on Yahoo’s NCAA football page.

link to rivals.yahoo.com

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 11:10 am

@ carolinapanther – I completely agree, his record does not indicate time to install a system. Plus, he did that turnaround w/ talent that could not be anywhere near what we have at Pitt (if all the hype bout DWs recruiting is true).

I say there is no honeymoon period – better start winning immediately, especially with how this all went down and 8 home games.

Comment by Big A 01.11.11 @ 11:13 am

carolinapanther, here is another story to check out:

link to nj.com

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 11:16 am

@why me

I think most of that stuff about personal is vastly overrated. If a kid is a good athlete he can play any offensive style. The only players that might be affected are fullbacks & quarterbacks. The 2 or 3 fullbacks on Pitt’s roster can be converted to LB’s or TE’s and I believe the backup to Hyno was a walk on so…..

As far as QB, that is a good thing if we change QB’s, but I found it hilarious to hear Congemi mention several times during the Compass Bowl ,,,
‘how athletic Tino is”. Can’t remember him saying that in the other Pitt games he was color announcer on, which were several.

Anthony Gonzalez led Bethlehem HS to the PA 4A championship as a dual threat QB and Kolby Gray quite by coincidence is a Texas dual threat QB, who made the big recovery on the blocked punt in the bowl game. So I’m not worried about who will play QB, basically ABT.

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 11:21 am

We knew Nova was going to be gone a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t sound like he was interested in Pitt at all.

Comment by why me 01.11.11 @ 11:21 am

The Gonzalez kid could be interesting. Zeise has said he is one of the best athletes on the team. DW wanted to switch him to safety. Maybe the kid will get a shot. Either way, we should be safe with Meyers and Gonzalez. Graham at RB should be a great fit. It’s not that bad once you look at the young talent we do have. A lot of redshirt kids this year.

Comment by why me 01.11.11 @ 11:26 am

Thanks BigGuy,

Nice spin by the writer on that Gary Nova story.
Tom Savage was rated the #3 QB in the country when Rutgers recruited him and he had a great true freshmen year.

Gary Nova while a good recruit, was nowhere close to #3 QB in the country, I don’t think he was even #3 in NJ, article mentions he is a 3 star rivals. That doesn’t seem to quite equal losing Savage, does it ? But good try by the writer.

Comment by carolinapanther 01.11.11 @ 11:35 am

hahaha Big Guy you are the best!

DeVanzo, the logic of your posts about Pitt being favored in every game and that is a negative escapes me. Help me out. Pitt has done such a good recruiting job and as a result is favored; however, that is bad. If Pitt would have not done a good recruiting job and would not have been favored, why that would be a positive.

they were favored in every game BECAUSE THEY DIDNT PLAY ANYBODY THAT WAS GOOD!!!!!

you are delusional man

they played ONE RANKED TEAM ALL YEAR… it was the easiest BCS schedule I have ever seen (save Rutgers this year?)

and they played that ranked team at home! then that ranked team got beat by 532 points by the 2nd place SEC team… SMOKE AND MIRRORS

played ZERO major BCS teams (no, UNC and NC State dont count!!!!!)

we would not have been favored had we scheduled any Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10, SEC teams… unreal dude… WAKE UP!!!
link to en.wikipedia.org

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 11:57 am

I can’t believe DeVanzo and BigGuy are still going at it over the 2009 season! LOL

But I have to admit it’s a refreshing change from some of the psychitzophrenic conversation that’s gone on here over the last few weeks from “experts” who never post otherwise.

Hopefully, this coaching search and search brought Pitt Blather some new fans who will be valuable contributors on other topics.

Comment by TampaT 01.11.11 @ 12:13 pm

“we would not have been favored had we scheduled any Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10, SEC teams”

DeVanzo, your post was a real eye-opener. I didn’t realize that even the bottom feeders in the conferences that you cited would have all been favored to kick Pitt’s ass. Good thing that we didn’t play anyone in the SEC. We really would have been thumped.

BTW, whoever authored that Wikipedia piece did a nice, informative job.

Comment by BigGuy 01.11.11 @ 12:18 pm

haha good point TampaT

bigguy…your boy wanny got fired… accept it, move on… or go root for him at his next job

oh wait hes clueless and wont be hired by ANYONE

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 12:29 pm

First.. I dislike the spread offense.. Someone please tell me what is the love with the spread offense? Its a joke… The BCS Championship game was boring..

The spread doesnt equate to more pro prospects.. Wanny is gone but Wanny developed a strong pipeline from Pitt to the pros.. Pitt is a blue collar town and I know this spread offense wont go over well in the city..We will be back to gimmick trickery and will get bullied by any team that plays power football.

Pitt was developing into a very balance team which was attracting the top prospect in the tri state area.. Yes, lineman didnt developed the way we hope along with corners and qb but they were improving…Now it is ALL gone.. Everyone knows that Bradley would have been able to salvage this recruiting class and would have provided pitt with stability.. Pitt would have been preseason ranked, favored again and would have had a top 10- recruiting class.. It aint happening now

I guarenttee that in three years we will hear the following- We need to hire a coach who is defensive minded instead hiring an all around coach..
Todd Graham is not that.. He only cares about offense ..

Well.. it is done.. I will have to stick behind the decision and hope it works out..

KISS all top prospects in PA buh bye

Bradley would have secured a PITT/PSU game which always beneifts pitts with recruits.. There is no chance that is happening again….

I spoke my peace…

Comment by cdmoore25 01.11.11 @ 12:50 pm

Good (or Great??) Coaches win games with the players he has by adapting, not by whining about getting players to “fit” his system.

I’ll be interested in seeing whether Coach Graham is a winner or a whiner……….

Comment by mtoolmn 01.11.11 @ 12:56 pm

cdmoore25 what are you talking about

it sounds like youd rather have 4 guys go in the draft then win a national title with the spread?

so would you rather be Pitt under wanny or Oregon/Auburn?

that logic is nuts… john calipari much?

winning over everything

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 1:02 pm

BTW…….. I was NEVER a Bradley fan. Dark-Glasses Joe had to been laffing his butt off that Pitt might have to hire one of his minions. Good riddance. He can go to Conn and I can quit listening to these closet State Penn lovers pretending to care about Pitt.

Comment by mtoolmn 01.11.11 @ 1:12 pm

cdmoore25 Pitt was not developing in any way. That team was never going to win a championship under Wannstedt period.
And as for the spread offense like it or not it is the only way to win the Big East (unless its a year where its a shared title and you have 4 losses), beat non-Big East top 25 teams and win a BCS game. Why? The only way to beat talented, top 25 teams consistently when you are a Big East team is to have an innovative offense that allows you to use the skilled players you have and hide those that aren’t as skilled. A pro-style run focused offense can work if you are a team like Alabama, or USC and bring in so much talent that you don’t have gaps at certain positions. You can simply overpower people. This will never work for a Big East team in today’s football…they simply cannot accumulate the talent that is necessary. They don’t have the recruiting areas, reputation, or media attention to get that much talent. Pitt would forever be doomed to an automatic 2-loss and probably more season by running the run-based prostyle. The margin for error is so small that you must be able to out talent and overpower teams that you play. This would never happen.
Spread teams are able to confuse defenses, dictate favorable matchups, take chances, and score quickly. These are all things that Big East teams must do to succeed nationally in college football. If you want to be respected, win championships, and want to beat teams that are in better recruiting areas than Pitt, you must have innovation.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 01.11.11 @ 1:17 pm

BigGuy,

I agree with you. The new standard going forward must be 10 win seasons and BCS bowls. Pederson has left this program in shambles.

Comment by matt42 01.11.11 @ 1:20 pm

Two years from now, as we’re walking out of Heinz Field to the chorus of “Eat $h!t Pitt!” at the hands of another humbling beat down by hoopies, I’ll remember this day. He’ll be gone in 3 years after at least one losing season and further plummeting ticket sales.

Comment by apm74 01.11.11 @ 1:27 pm

So let’s get this straight… a guy who has been successful as a head coach is guaranteed to be a failure in 3 years. Besides owning a Delorian or being Naustrodamus, can you please explain how you know failure will occur.

Comment by XBlackMagicX 01.11.11 @ 1:32 pm

DeVanzo,
We were 8-5.. Isnt that winning?? We were tied for 1st place in the big east. We won our bowl game and the big east had a winning record in the bowl season… Im sorry…. If we dont go on a uconn women’s basketball win streak we arent winners..

Questions- How excited were you about Pitt football this preseason? I betcha you were so excited that you were blinded by the glaring holes we had that Zeise highlighted… Zeise called this- 8-5 or 11-2 – 11-2 if everything went well which it didnt and never will…

Auburn got lucky and got the Number 1 qb.. Oregon played ONE team Stanford.. TCU was the best team this year and they arent consider winners…

The spread is not the answer for a blue collar city.. We need to run the ball and punch people in the face… That wont happen with the spread…

BTW- You werent proud of our team this year?? I thought they did very well. Yes, losses hurt but they happen.

To answer your question- I want our young men to have every opportunity to win, grow as player, student, man and also extend their football career. If the NFl converts to spread than I am all for it..

Did you enjoy watching Michigan this year? That was bad sandlot football..

BTW- We havent won a national championship in many years so I am happy with a winning record, players graduating and playing in the pros.. Oh yeah, i really enjoy hearing nfl players claiming Pitt Panthers as their college…

HAIL TO PITT!!!!

Comment by cdmoore25 01.11.11 @ 1:32 pm

“The spread is not the answer for a blue collar city.. We need to run the ball and punch people in the face…” And continue to lose games that are winnable when you have more talent but are out-coached by more innovative teams. What type of city Pittsburgh is should have no effect on the offense they run, that is absolutely ludicrous. I would rather have a championship winning team then a team that tries to implement a system that fits a culture and fails.

Again one example of a spread failing (even though Michigan did improve each year) does not prove the spread fails. It works countless places. This Michigan example needs to stop being brought up.

This season was a major league disappointment, if you are happy with a team that tries to “run the ball and punch people in the face” and then gets smacked back even harder, has no response, and loses to less talented teams important game after important game then yes, lets keep the power offense, run the ball when 9 guys stack the box, keep Dave Wannstedt on the sidelines and be happy with 4 loss seasons when we have more talent then the rest of the league.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 01.11.11 @ 2:05 pm

Just my opinion, again — 1) I don’t give a crap if Pitt ever has a player go to the NFL as long as they help contribute to winning games for Pitt. Pitt should not be a farm club to the NFL. 2) For those complainers about Graham moving on after a few successful years at Pitt; well, I remember quite well when Pitt won the National Championship in 1976 and it’s coach bolted to Tenn several days after the national championship game. Leaving Pitt high-and-dry in ’76 didn’t hurt the program, $$ did. 3) Pitt can be a destination for top-level coaches if it plans properly or it can continue to be a stop-over for the next highly motivated gun-slinger looking to better his resume and $$ situation. 4) Regardless of the outcome of 1 through 3 above, I’ll always bleed blue and gold. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.11.11 @ 2:06 pm

It’s no nice to see that all the Graham bashers have another thing in common — they all have crystal balls. How do we know what this guy is capable or not capable of doing until they kick the ball off next season? Give Todd Graham a chance. We were going to give Haywood a chance, and his resume was a lot thinner than Graham’s. He may not have a great recruiting class at this late date, but there is talent coming back. I for one, am excited to see what he can do to coach these players up, bring some excitement back to Pitt football, and most of all, win some football games.

Comment by Scott 78 01.11.11 @ 2:47 pm

wow…cdmoore, thank you for showing the logic that ruined pitt and hired foge fazio

“DeVanzo,
We were 8-5.. Isnt that winning??”
NOPE
we were 5-2 in the worst BCS conference in football. we went 2-3 in the non conference, 0-3 against real teams
we went 0-3 against teams that did not finish ranked, and went 1-2 in bowl games. the one win coming because two played each other, and somebody had to win that pillow fight

“We were tied for 1st place in the big east. We won our bowl game and the big east had a winning record in the bowl season… Im sorry…. ”
AHAHAHAHA come on!!!! The big east played NOBODY in the bowl season. Oh wait, we played a team that went 2-5 in the SEC… BIG EAST > SEC!!! we would have lost by 40 to Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, etc etc etc. UCONN got blown out by Oklahoma. WVU got blown out my friggin NC STATE!!
The big east had ZERO ranked teams, and rightfully so. Conference USA had two teams!!! UCF>Big east this year… wake up!!!!

“If we dont go on a uconn women’s basketball win streak we arent winners..:”
that joke wasnt funny

“Questions- How excited were you about Pitt football this preseason?”
VERY… this team had 10-2 or 11-1 talent against its putrid pathetic easy schedule

“I betcha you were so excited that you were blinded by the glaring holes we had that Zeise highlighted… Zeise called this- 8-5 or 11-2 – 11-2 if everything went well which it didnt and never will…”
PLEASE WANNY APOLOGISTS LISTEN UP!!! THIS IS WHERE YOU FALL FLAT ON YOUR FACES!!!!
pick one….
a – the team was weak and we shouldnt have expected to do so well
-then he should have been fired for gaining zero ground in 6 years and regressing from where walt had us
b – the team was really really good and he underperformed as coach countless times in countless games and the team massively underachieved for its talent level
-then he should be fired for being a terrible coach

wow that was easy

“Auburn got lucky and got the Number 1 qb..”
you know absolutely nothing about college football… that defense is stacked wtih NFL talent and their d-line played an incredible game including a goal line stand from the 2 that probably won the game… oh, and a safety
wow dude… you are clueless

“Oregon played ONE team Stanford.”
SO HOW MANY TEAMS DID PITT PLAY THEN???
Because Oregon was 6-1 against the top 30 according to Sagarin
link to usatoday.com
pitt was 0-2 hahaha
please define TEAM as you mean it here… come on, list for me 10 teams you think were worthwhile? got some big east ones on there haha

“TCU was the best team this year and they arent consider winners…”
possibly, thats the fault of the BCS system and has ZERO relevance to the flawed argument you are fumbling through

“The spread is not the answer for a blue collar city.. We need to run the ball and punch people in the face… That wont happen with the spread…”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
thats why we went 7-5 in a joke conference and lost countless games to inferior… Bowling Green, Ohio, UConn, Utah, Navy, NC State etc etc (and yes, Utah wasnt that good… please look at their last 4 games)

“BTW- You werent proud of our team this year?? I thought they did very well. Yes, losses hurt but they happen.”
Nope they played like cowards in the biggest game of the year… quit in the WVU game during 3rd quarter, never seen anything like that. They pouted, played undisciplined, yelled at each other, talked trash in crucial game situations (Uconn tino), and didnt look like a team until wanny was gone for UK game

“To answer your question- I want our young men to have every opportunity to win, grow as player, student, man and also extend their football career. If the NFl converts to spread than I am all for it..”
So we should be a farm team for the NFL?
This team was not disciplined on or off the field… you are delusional
Walt had just as much NFL success as Wanny with half the arrests

“Did you enjoy watching Michigan this year? That was bad sandlot football..”
wow got me there… indictment for whole spread system

right back at you with Auburn and Oregon

“BTW- We havent won a national championship in many years so I am happy with a winning record, players graduating and playing in the pros.. Oh yeah, i really enjoy hearing nfl players claiming Pitt Panthers as their college…”
Who says that the most?
Revis? who walt recruited
Larry? who played for Walt
Joe Flacco? who was recruited by Walt but….
Lousaka Polite? who played for Walt
Andy Lee? who played for Walt
etc etc etc
Ill give Wanny LeSean McCoy… but dont think he had anything to do wtih pitt success in the NFL

My facts > your feelings…. be rational pitt fans… the wanny years were a sad time… 4 crap bowls and no real success (insert Bigguy yelling about the 2009 delusional 10 win cupcake season)

Comment by DeVanzo 01.11.11 @ 3:06 pm

DeVanzo, WOW! You have passion for Pitt football, I like that. Remember, college football is big business and $$ talks. I believe Pitt is on the right pay scale to elevate its football program. With you as a fan, we will have a winning program. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.11.11 @ 3:30 pm

DeVanzo,

Let’s say you are 100% correct. We are on in a weak conference and should have won the BCS bid the last 2 or 3 seasons. Given this, by what standard do you judge the next 3 seasons? Or even the next season?

I fully support the goal of winning the Big East every year and think VTech is an aspirational model for winning a weak conference every year. But what I think is missing from this discussion is why the so-called Wannstedt apologists were against the coaching change. It’s not the belief that Wannstedt was Urban Meyer but that Pitt was unwilling to invest in the program to bring it to the next level, and Wannstedt was a good return on a small investment.

We fired an underpaid coach who was producing 9 win seasons the last three years and went with Haywood. Now we are paying double to Graham. I hope he succeeds because I am a Pitt guy. But the underlying point is that Pitt (possibly just Pederson) exposed itself as talking about having a top tier program but really did not want to do anything to actually achieve that. If they had not been cheap, Pitt would have hired Graham in December and avoided the entire Haywood debacle.

Again, I want Graham to succeed. I want Pitt to invest in a winning program. I just remain skeptical that he will win any more than Wannstedt did. The standard by which I judge the next three years is 28 wins and a BCS berth. I hope we get there.

Comment by matt42 01.11.11 @ 3:40 pm

Michigan’s offense wasn’t a failure, it was Richrod’s defense that failed him.

Michigan was ranked 9th in total offense and Tulsa was ranked 8th in total offense. This team WILL put points on the board.

Comment by TJ 01.11.11 @ 3:48 pm

@cdmoore25 “the BCS Championship game was boring” WTF??!! That game had it all! Tough defenses on both sides of the ball, unpredictable play calling, turnovers, the Heisman winner playing and the winning score at the buzzer on the last play of the game. If that game was boring for you then you must really have enjoyed watching Pitt this year. How many code blues did you have to be shocked back from a certain death from due to watching the accumulated bunch of underacheiving BS put together by Wanny this year? Talk about watching grass grow BORING. Looking forward to what the new coach can bring to the table.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.11.11 @ 5:34 pm

Cam Saddler on the Fan right now, sitting w Ray Graham. They’re both stoked about graham.

Graham: all fell right in to it. We love to put points on the board.

Coach Graham came from the heart, like Hafley.

Graham says we’re related (lots of guffaws)

Ray: just try to stay focused over the last mo. Wanny a great, great person.

We’re ready to get this thing going. Everone in lockerroom fired up.

Q: no huddle? whatever it takes to win. Coach is going to get us over the edge

Q of Cam: The most excited person on the team. Was considering WVU

“A great day to be a Panther”

(They’re clearly psyched)

Comment by steve 01.11.11 @ 5:54 pm

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com