Pure speculation, but Terrelle Pryor would not have put Pitt, Michigan or Penn State in the position Ohio State finds itself in. Not because our or any of those schools somehow would have restrained his actions. But because I sincerely doubt he would have been able to go as far with such a blind eye turned by the Ohio State, administration and coaches, and let it come to this.
The comparison to what happened with Oklahoma and Brett Romar makes the most sense. Romar was one of a bunch of Oklahoma players found to be getting paid by an auto dealership/booster for basically showing up and not much else. It came out, and Bob Stoops flat out kicked him off the team for good. The Oklahoma program was not put at risk because of one talented and presumed starting QB.
Instead Pryor could put Ohio State in a hole that may take several years for them to recover on the field. Reputation-wise, even longer. The only solace for Ohio State fans, is they can wear their Scarlet-Gray glasses and blame everything on Pryor. Not at all the Ohio State football culture that Tressel helped foster. Not at all. It’s all Pryor’s fault. His greed. His reckless disregard. No other reason. Nope. Moving on.
Now, for some speculative fun. Aaron Torres does some alternative history theorizing about the 13-9 game. What if the Hoopies had won? DickRod couldn’t have left for Michigan with WVU playing Ohio State in the BCS Championship. Maybe Michigan makes a stronger offer for Les Miles. Maybe Pryor goes to WVU instead. Maybe if Ohio State beat WVU, Tressel is more secure in his legacy with 2 BCS Championships and doesn’t let Ohio State players and boosters go nuts. Maybe Mallet doesn’t transfer to Arkansas and Petrino doesn’t go to the Sugar Bowl last year…
Unaddressed in that is the Pitt side of things. Wannstedt got his extension before the game, but it’s safe to say the pressure on him would have been that much higher without the 13-9 game. And if WVU was still rolling with DickRod in charge, how much more pressure would have been on Wannstedt? Yes, it’s June and there’s little real news for Pitt, why do you ask?
Actually, here’s another what if from 2007. What if Bill Stull hadn’t been hurt in the opening game? Forget the issue of Pat Bostick’s career arc at Pitt, what about Kevan Smith? He was the redshirt freshman forced into action at first. That worked out horribly for him. No accuracy, and his athleticism was not much of a factor in the Cavanaugh offense. But what if he hadn’t gotten any real action and learned that he had no real future in Pitt football that year? Would he have still gone to baseball full-time after the 2008 season?
On that note, congratulations to Kevan Smith on being drafted in the 7th round by the Chicago White Sox.
Smith, an All-BIG EAST first-team selection in 2010 and 2011 tied all league hitters with a .396 batting average during the 2011 regular season. A football quarterback turned star catcher, Smith led the conference in runs scored (56) while adding eight home runs and 52 RBI in the regular season. He also posted a .979 fielding percentage and ranks 21st among NCAA leaders in slugging percentage (.675) and 22nd in overall batting average (.397).
“Kevan may have been one of the most talented players in the draft,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “For a senior to be drafted in the 7th round, it proves his value and his skill set. We all very much look forward to watching his professional career. He was an integral part of our team and I am very happy he decided to play baseball a few years ago. He has worked very hard and I believe his best years are ahead of him.”
Also his teammate Ray Black was selected 6 spots later. Black is only a redhsirt sophomore, so he is likely to come back for at least another season in hopes of increasing his draft stock.
On the downside of the MLB draft, Pitt may not be getting a talented local pitcher.
Peters Township outfielder Justin Bianco always intended to play baseball at Pitt, just like his dad and three of his uncles.
But that changed Tuesday in the time it took his computer to refresh.
Bianco, watching the MLB First-Year Player Draft online, saw his name — Round 3, Pick 93, Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I wasn’t expected to go that high,” he said. “I was really surprised. I’d heard (I would be picked) in the top 10 rounds.”
The unexpectedly high pick has prompted the 6-foot, 195-pound left-handed hitting Pitt signee to re-think his future.
“It’s my dream to become a major leaguer,” he said. “I will have to consider really hard and think about it.”
Based on MLB’s slotting system, Bianco is looking at a signing bonus of roughly $350,000 as a third-round pick.
“I think he’s definitely going to sign,” his father, Matt, said.
In other news, Pitt’s game at Iowa is set for Noon on ESPN or ESPN2. Honestly, the hope was that it would be a 3:30 start. One of my best friends gets married at 11 am. Despite a Catholic ceremony, he is swearing that we should still be able to catch kickoff. Guess we’ll see.
Here’s a short piece on Hugh Green looking back on his recruitment to Pitt.
“(Pitt) was trying to replace a little running back named Tony Dorsett,” Green, 51, said. The back who Pitt was recruiting at the time was Rooster Jones. “We played (Jones’ team) twice that year (in 1976).”
Green was noticed by the Pitt brass and became a Panther teammate of Jones. While Jones fell way shy of matching the feats of Dorsett, Green’s achievements as a defensive end at Pitt neighbored those of the Hopewell High School great. Green was a second-team All-American as a freshman in 1977 and was first-team All-American his final three years. He finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in his senior season in 1980.
The two have known each other since 1994, when they were both high school coaches in Texas. Graham recruited Dodge’s son, Riley, to play at Tulsa. So when Graham pitched the idea to become quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh, Dodge jumped at the chance even though it would require leaving the place he had always known. With that, Dodge became the first quarterbacks coach since 1992 to only hold that title at Pittsburgh.
But Dodge has no regrets over his decision to leave Southlake Carroll, where he was a rock star in the state. He coached Chase Daniel and Greg McElroy, among others, and led his team to four championships in his final five seasons.
“Was I ready? Shoot, I don’t know,” Dodge said. “I don’t know if you’re ever ready. As far as where our players came from academically, how far they came character wise, it was night and day from the time I got there to the time I left. I’m very proud of that. I helped get a stadium built there. I left the North Texas program in a lot better shape in a lot of ways. The bottom line is we didn’t win enough games.
“I understand that, but I have no regrets at all on that. It would be easy to say I was on a roll at Southlake Carroll, going 79-1, fixing to go for a fourth straight high school championship. Then you take a job and a lot of people say you fell on your face, but I don’t look at it like that. You make decisions in your life and you go on. Right now, I’m absolutely so happy to be here at Pitt, to be on this staff and to be in this city.”
And he sees plenty of potential with his new quarterback, Tino Sunseri. Dodge ran the no-huddle at North Texas, so he seems to be in a good spot to help Sunseri make the transition.
I’ve been most excited at the hiring of Dodge of all the position coaches. His impact on the QB position strikes me as at least as big as the impact on running backs when Dave Walker was hired by Wannstedt to be Pitt’s running back coach.
Finally, in what I hope is the only thing related to WVU’s present situation I post today, at least one Hoopie fan has a sense of humor about the situation.