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August 23, 2011

Settling The O-Line

Filed under: Football,Practice — Chas @ 11:01 am

I have a dream. It’s been the same dream since this blog began. A dream of a solid O-line that does not feel as if plugged in spots with just a warm body. An O-line that inspires confidence, not concern. Oh, so briefly it appeared Pitt was getting there in 2008, but injuries showed the lack of depth. 2009, was the peak, but that quickly faded in 2010.

Now we stand at the beginning of the 2011 season, and at least the starters (for now) have been named.

Redshirt sophomore Juantez Hollins of Aliquippa has played his way onto the line at left tackle, moving Jordan Gibbs to right tackle and Lucas Nix of Thomas Jefferson to his more natural position of right guard.

Hopewell’s Ryan Turnley has won the center job, allowing Keystone Oaks’ Chris Jacobson to play left guard.

The signs had been there for the over a week that Coach Graham was going to keep Turnley at Center and have Jacobson go back to left guard.

All the first team practices had Turnley at Center. Jacobson’s only times playing center was with the second team. Again, this was not a surprise.While Jacobson might be a little better than Turnley at Center, he was far superior to any other option at left guard.

Lucas Nix was a lock to be on the line. The same could be said for Jordan Gibbs, who took the right tackle spot last fall after Greg Gaskins was removed from the starting line-up.

The disappointing — but unfortunately not that surprising — thing is that Gaskins did not win the starting job at tackle. After watching Gaskins struggle badly for the first month of 2010, I can’t say I’m upset by this. Juantez Hollins gets the nod after a very good camp.

“We are excited about the development of the offensive line,” Graham said. “Juantez Hollins had a really good scrimmage. We have good competition there. I like how we are developing our depth. [Hollins] is our starter right now. We went into the scrimmage with [Greg] Gaskins as the starter but came out with Hollins.

“Right now I feel like Hollins is a little ahead from a run blocking standpoint, while Gaskins is a little bit ahead from a pass blocking standpoint. The good thing about that, we feel good about where those guys’ development is. [Hollins as the starter] is how we will rep it all week.

“The two-deep is pretty much set and now we are working toward [the opener].”

Now that the Panthers have begun to work on their game plan for the Bulls, there isn’t likely to be much, if any, more movement on the depth chart.

Gaskins will be the third tackle, which means he is the first tackle off the bench, and the first guard off the bench will be redshirt sophomore Cory King, who until about a week ago was the starting right guard. Jacobson will be the backup center.

The first team had seven players competing. I would love for the entire second team to be ready to step in when called upon, but that is unrealistic right now. At the moment having two primary back-ups and the rest of the second team getting work during the season — hopefully to get closer to ready. Matt Rotheram and Arthur Doakes hopefully will get better as they continue to learn and practice.

One of the keys for Hollins to winning the starting gig — draining his right knee.

“I was trying to keep up with everybody even though it was hurting,” Hollis said of his knee. “I’ve been fighting through it. It loosened it up. I can bend it now. I can move better.”

Said coach Todd Graham, “All of a sudden, he got his knee drained, he got a smile on his face, and he’s looking impressive. He’s competing for a starting role.”

One interesting thing that came out of the competition for the O-line starting spots, is that it actually was a competition. I’m not saying that there was some residual cynicism from the competitions of the previous regime — okay, I am. It definitely was noticeable in the blog notes from P-G beat writer Paul Zeise. His perspective on competition — especially with the O-line — early in camp:

I know they say all the things on the record about ongoing competition and how important that is – but every coach I’ve ever talked to —- and this is my 12th year covering college football with seven different coaches (Ron Dickerson, Don Nehlen, Rich Rodriguez, Walt Harris, the former coach of this team and the Dolphins, Michael Haywood - well, for at least a few weeks – and Todd Graham) —— has told me, they want to get the offensive line settled as quickly as possible in camp because that unit takes the most time to come together and needs as many reps as possible as a unit. So my guess is, this unit will be put together by early next week and the guys will remain in place at least through the first game.

To the reality after almost an entire training camp:

Let’s try to make some sense of this stuff but keep in mind this — Todd Graham and company are really big about “earning your spot every day” as well as keeping the competition as heated as possible (Keith Patterson told me “we like to move guys around so they don’t get comfortable, stir the pot a little” - so while we have a really good idea about who is going to start, Graham was never fully committed to anyone at some of the spots that were up for grabs late last week.

I know I’m a little surprised they waited this long to settle the line. And while the 2-deep seems mostly set all over, a lot of it seems subject to revision.

This is not a bad thing. Especially after some obvious complacency last year.





What is up with the JC transfer zenel demhasaj who was playing center in the beginning how far down on depth chart is he or is he injured? he sure was big enough at six foot seven 330 pounds i had high hopes for him.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 11:42 am

I think the JC transfer was taken because he was available and OL were badly needed .. he definitiely is no Otah.

I believe Hollins made the starting lineup due to his athleticism. Trouble is that the recent recruiting class seem to stress bulk on the OL .. Doakes, Rotheram and Johnson were well > 300 lbs

Comment by wbb 08.23.11 @ 12:31 pm

I do not know if i should post this or not i have been sitting on this for two days but what the hell. You all have heard the story of a fellow who knows a fellow who said this or that well here goes this man told me that his friend who has a minor positon in the athletic department. Over heard part of a conversation between a mr x and a mr y it went like this mr x said i had call from a tribune sports writer who ask me if we had applyed for admission to the SEC my y said WHAT DID YOU TELL HIM. and that was all that he could hear. That was why yesterday i posted would you like to be in big east or SEC. but before i dismiss this i will say i have found four reference on SEC sites sayin that the SEC would like there 14th team to come FROM A EASTERN TV MARKET i am sure this is nothing what can a fellow who knows a fellow really know but if you have a fellow who knows a fellow but there ears to the ground and check it out but it might be just a bad story who knows .

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 12:39 pm

Sec would be awesome

Comment by Tony C 08.23.11 @ 12:42 pm

hit wrong key should have been put there ears was in a rush.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 12:43 pm

Not a chance Pitt ever goes to the SEC. No market in Pittsburgh. I can think of 8 other teams which ould be invited before Pitt.

Comment by Doug 08.23.11 @ 12:55 pm

you may be right about the outhe teams but you are wrong abougt the tv market if you check you will find it is very desirable. chek the sites your self .

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 1:07 pm

Va Tech will be that Eastern team. Why would Pitt even entertain the thought of SEC. The B-ball is a huge step down. The football would never be more than average since Pitt has higher academic standards and doesn’t cheat to the extent of these teams. And, these are football mills from the South. Only if academics doesn’t matter anymore and Pitt becomes a cheap whore with a Yinzer accent.

Comment by TX Panther 08.23.11 @ 1:13 pm

You may be right abought v tec but you are wrong abought academics the reason they wont take WVUis becuse WVU academics arent good enough they are looking for good academics go search the the sites yourself you will see that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 1:28 pm

The SEC may want some good academic schools because they know their academics suck, but Pitt would never join a bunch of diploma mill southern schools and defile its academic brand and basketball program. I’ll take a new Big East of football schools only anyday. Let’s just face it, nobody wants those toothless, couch burning, coin throwing, drunken Hoopies anyway.

Comment by TX Panther 08.23.11 @ 1:39 pm

VA and V Tech are tied umbilically. They come or go as a team.

Comment by steve 08.23.11 @ 1:49 pm

I agree with TX Panther. It’s not a realistic scenario anyway, but I have zero interest in Pitt joining the SEC. Poor academics, two steps down in basketball, and we lose our natural rivals with no replacements. (Who’s our new rival to replace WVU– Kentucky? Ask a PSU fan how much it stinks to have no true rivalry.) All this so we can aspire to be middle-of-the-pack in a Southern football league.

I can see why membership in Big Ten or ACC appeals to Pitt fans, but not the SEC.

Comment by Navy Panther 08.23.11 @ 2:00 pm

Rumor has it that Cory King was so dismayed and motivated by losing his starting job to J Hollins, he hit the blocking sled so hard it caused an earthquake in Pittsburgh and surrounding area

Comment by wbb 08.23.11 @ 2:28 pm

I believe Jacobson, Nix, Gibbs and Gaskins are all seniors. If Gaskins and Hollins are even close they should pick Hollins so they have two starters back for next year instead of just one. I hope this staff does a better job of getting younger OL some playing time during the season.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.23.11 @ 2:48 pm

Ya, maybe we’ll join the Pac 12 if the SEC doesn’t work out!! geesh!

Comment by Dan 08.23.11 @ 3:28 pm

@FRANKCAN,

Can you post any links to these SEC sites?

I wouldn’t say the whole SEC is academically void.
Vanderbilt is one of the finest academic schools in America.

Some of you guys obviously have this media created stereotyped idea of the South. As for the football mills, they are no different than those of the Big 12, the Big 10 and the PAC 12.

While I can’t see Pitt applying for the SEC, I don’t think it works that way. The conference has to have interest in you. But with everything upside down these days (even East Coast earthquakes) who knows !

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 3:32 pm

For people who can’t understand why Pitt would want to join the SEC I’ll make it easy for you…

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Comment by BCPITT 08.23.11 @ 3:42 pm

My guess is the SEC can pick & choose pretty much anyone they want. If they want into Texas, they might be going for the big enchilada itself, UT.
And then they could nab Oklahoma very easily.
These are natural rivals for present day SEC members Arkansas & LSU.(Texas vs. Arkansas use to be a huge game that had national implications similar to Pitt/Penn State)

Then when & if they go to 16 teams, they could add A&M and Okie State if the Texas & Oklahoma state gov’ts insisted upon it. And those two would jump in a heartbeat.

The whole adding an eastern/northern team like WVU or Pitt could be a smokescreen, similar to the story that Pitt would be the first added to the Big 10 and then Rutgers and/or Syracuse. All the while, Delaney was courting Nebraska.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 3:49 pm

FWIW, since being an AAU member was supposed to be such an important academic criterion (even tho Nenraska was kicked out), here are the AAU members:

SEC – U of FL, Vanderbilt
ACC – Duke, UNC, U of Md, U of VA
BE – Pitt, Rutgers

surprised that ND and Gerogetown aren’t included but it could be due to their size and the lack of reseacrh grants

Comment by wbb 08.23.11 @ 3:53 pm

The Texas TV markets of Houston, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Austin, San Antonio and the rest of the state of Texas dwarf the Pittsburgh & WVU TV market.

If I was running the SEC, that’s the way to expand as you need lots more revenue from a new source to increase the overall revenue pie for the whole conference.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 3:58 pm

I live in the South (DFW area). Academics sucks around here, and the schools that do value their educational mission (i.e. Texas and A&M) have big boosters that help pay for those student athletes and Big Time Football. Pitt can’t compete against the money that flows into these programs. Vandy is a fine private academic institution and frankly has no business being in this conference, but name another quality school in the SEC. Vandy belongs with Rice. I’m not saying that Pitt hasn’t been an NFL mill or that all the players graduate with diplomas, but at least Pitt’s diploma’s mean something. I’ll take a new Big East before SEC regardless of the money thrown Pitt’s way. Pitt needs to be careful who it makes it’s bed with. Academics, geography, rivals, cultural fit, history, tradition, and a level or competitive playing field matters. I’d rather Pitt play against other medium sized, semi public/private schools, and academically sound institutions located on the Eastern seaboard. I could live without Louisville, Cincy and South Florida in a new Big East. The Hoopie stereotype however is reality. Just my opinions.

Comment by TX Panther 08.23.11 @ 4:01 pm

The only way I can see Pitt applying for membership into the SEC, maybe along with WVU, is to maybe get the Big 10’s interest.

Would the Big 10 want their dreaded football rival (that being the SEC), have a school or two right in the middle of their conference geographically? That would cause Delaney to lose whatever little hair he has left. haha

And since the SEC has a better brand of football, a lot of Ohio, PA and other kids from states that would never think of going to an SEC school, now think twice because Pitt & WVU are local to them.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 4:08 pm

Let me get this right, T A&M and Pitt…

Not T A&M, and Va.Tech, FSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Clemson, Ga. Tech, NC St, UNC, Louisville, WVU, not one of these teams???

T A&M and Pitt?????????????????????????

Maybe we could try for the NFC central!!!! Lots and lots of money there!!!!

See, the one thing is, the conference has to want you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 08.23.11 @ 4:42 pm

LOL Dan,

Are you at Happy Hour already !

Yea, Pitt could resurrect that old rivalry they have with Auburn, right.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 4:46 pm

I live in Atlanta the heart of SEC country. While it would be great to see Pitt on TV every Saturday it would suck to see them get beat up every-other saturday by the likes of Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Tennesee, Florida, Arkansas…and fight and tooth and scratch their way to 6 or 7 victories a year against the mid-tier SEC schools. These guys are big-time down here and yea a well coached BE team might beat an SEC team in a BCS game now and again…(WVU vs. Georgia a few years back in the Sugar)…but there is noooo way we can compete week in and week-out.

Changing the subject…pulled this out of the Trib today…and if you look at the Seniors…there aren’t that many of them. If we can find two competent replacements for Jabcoson and Nix…and the D line is as good as everyone says it is with all that depth, we could be scary-good next year. Maybe not SEC good, but pretty freakin’ good.

OFFENSE

Position — Player — Ht., wt. — Class

Left tackle — Juantez Hollins — 6-5, 305 — Redshirt sophomore

Left guard — Chris Jacobson — 6-3, 295 — Fifth-year senior

Center — Ryan Turnley — 6-6, 320 — Redshirt junior

Right guard — Lucas Nix — 6-6, 310 — Senior

Right tackle — Jordan Gibbs — 6-7, 315 — Fifth-year senior

Quarterback — Tino Sunseri — 6-2, 215 — Redshirt junior

Running back — Ray Graham — 5-9, 195 — Junior

3-Back — Hubie Graham — 6-4, 230 — Redshirt junior

Wide receiver — Mike Shanahan — 6-5, 215 — Redshirt junior

Wide receiver — Devin Street — 6-4, 190 — Redshirt sophomore

Wide receiver — Cam Saddler — 5-7, 170 — Redshirt junior

DEFENSE

Position — Player — Ht., wt. — Class

Nose tackle — Myles Caragein — 6-2, 290 — Fifth-year senior

Defensive end — Aaron Donald — 6-0, 270 — Sophomore

Defensive tackle — Chas Alecxih — 6-5, 285 — Fifth-year senior

Inside linebacker — Max Gruder — 6-2, 230 — Fifth-year senior

Inside linebacker — Shane Gordon — 6-1, 230 — Redshirt sophomore

Outside linebacker — Brandon Lindsey — 6-2, 250 — Fifth-year senior

Outside linebacker — Todd Thomas — 6-2, 220 — Redshirt freshman

Cornerback — K’Waun Williams — 5-10, 190 — Sophomore

Cornerback — Antwuan Reed — 5-10, 190 — Senior

Safety — Jarred Holley — 5-10, 190 — Redshirt junior

Safety — Jason Hendricks — 6-0, 185 — Redshirt sophomore

Read more: Pitt settles on starters – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review link to pittsburghlive.com

Comment by Monte 08.23.11 @ 4:49 pm

Ha ha, Hey Melvin, good memory, Texas-Arkansas was a great rivalry, played right around Pitt-Penn St.. Oklahoma-Nebraska too. Loved those games growing up!!

Comment by Dan 08.23.11 @ 4:50 pm

C’mon Monte, you couldn’t give us the two deep???

LOL, great post, Jarred Holley huh??? hmmmmmmm.

Comment by Dan 08.23.11 @ 4:54 pm

Dan you ars right it could be va tec or missouri or louisville but not the oklahoa schools because the one wont come and they dont want the outher same with nc st and unc they would love to have them but they are charter members of acc and wont go plus one is under the ncca bad list and dan i dont know if they want pitt per say but they like the tv market and pitt would be better than wvu who they have looked at but dont want because of there academics.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 5:17 pm

was in a rush have to go for some time hit some wrong keys my bad.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 5:21 pm

I forgot totally this was an O-line blog, my bad.

My feeling about the O-line (and I might add, have heard nothing of from Zeise or anyone else)is: we were told early on that, in this offensive scheme the blocking is ‘zone’ blocking as opposed to man on man. And being that we were told repeatedly by TV commentator John Congemi during the Bowl, how athletic Tino is;

We have absolutely nothing to worry about. :-)

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 5:30 pm

Right Dano,

I remember when President Nixon attended the Texas at Arkansas game when they were #1 & #2 in the country. Me thinks it was 1968 or 1969. And who can forget the great Okla-Nebraska games with Johnny Rodgers, Jack Mildren, Jeff Kinney, Jerry Tagge, Steve Owens, etc.

Pitt was never on TV back then so we’ve come along way. Now we just have to win when we’re televised. Haha

Comment by melvinbennett 08.23.11 @ 5:36 pm

Rumors, rumors, rumors, The only accurate rumor that I’ve heard through the grapevine, AND I AM POSITIVE THIS IS A PROVEN FACT, I have a friend who knows somebody in the state government in Harrisburg, he saw it in the “internal memo only” file at the state educational financial dept. office, it read, and this is word for word, Penn State still sucks. You can take that information to the bank my friend.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.23.11 @ 6:05 pm

And, JoePa poops his pants.

Comment by TX Panther 08.23.11 @ 6:08 pm

Melvinbennett i wrong i have ten more minutes before i have to go out to dinner so here goes i dont remember all the sites i combed them all over the last 7 or so days but some that i went to every day were mr sec.com sb nation college football rumors but you would have to read a 7 day old post as well as what was posted on day six get the point not just what is there to day plus i woud just type in A&M OR kansas some from a nbc writer soe from ap some from sec news paper storys in there citys.just combed thru them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 6:23 pm

wasin rush my bad for skiped keys and wrong keys will be back abought 9 or 10 .

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.23.11 @ 6:27 pm

Maybe as a going away gift to entice JoePa to hit the pasture, we could create his dream superleague prior to Pitt’s Big East venture…and the cause of his record breaking three decade long constipated state. It was a good idea, except for the fact the Big East already existed — not sure why PSU couldn’t just join it as well other than himself’s hissy fit wouldn’t allow it.

Break up the Big East, take back our ACC black sheep (except Miami — ’cause they’re brainless douchebag criminals), and pull in some old stand bys and regional foes. Wish the basically basketball only/catholic schools best of luck and thanks for the memories! Suggestions on conference names? I was batting around NEC (Northeastern Conference), Eastern 10, Big Atlantic (kinda cool), MAC Daddy (Mid Atlantic Conference), MDC (Mason Dixon Conference) — sorta sounds like a beer. Any thoughts?

River Division:

Pitt
WVU
Penn State (or Va. Tech)
Louisville
Cincinati

Coastal Division:

Syracuse
Boston College
UConn
Navy
Rutgers

Each team plays 8 or 9 conference games and 4 or 3 non-conference. You can still have Pitt-PSU or Pitt-WVU as last game every year, but the two division winners advance to conference title game. If the river division is top heavy, it will work itself out during the season anyway. If PSU can’t pony up, bring back V. Tech. And nothing gets named after Matt Suhey.

Comment by Matt N. 08.23.11 @ 6:37 pm

If we played in the SEC we would become the premier team of the northeast. Every big time recruit would come to Pitt to be apart of the best conference in college football

Comment by Tony C 08.23.11 @ 7:28 pm

After Texas defeated Arkansas in 69, Nixon proclaimed the Horns as national champs although PSU was undefeated.

This prompted JoePa’s famous line a few years later about how he couldn’t understand how Nixon knew so much about college football in 69 and so little about Watergate in 73

Comment by wbb 08.23.11 @ 8:12 pm

And your problem, Dan, with Jarred Holley is??

Comment by steve 08.23.11 @ 8:16 pm

Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but, don’t I remember him playing “catch up” quite a bit last year??

Steve, not being sarcastic, maybe I am thinking of someone else????????

Comment by Dan 08.24.11 @ 9:58 am

Sometimes, Dan, but why? Covering for someone else’s mistake.

Comment by steve 08.24.11 @ 11:44 am

@wbb
That that was one good thing besides ending the Vietnam War, Nixon did. Denied State Pen, a national championship.

@MattN

Forget about State Pen & Va Tech coming back. Nice idea, never going to happen. And you forgot about our newest and possibly best BigEast football member, TCU (certainly would have been the best the last several years). Hopefully the Providence crew locked TCU into the BigEast with severe withdraw penalties should the Big 12 come calling for them.

@Tony C…..that’s exactly right. And if Pitt did draw the best recruits from the North & midwest as well as recruit the South like we did in the Major’s, Sherril era we could most certainly compete and then some in the SEC.
If I remember correctly and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we kick Kentucky’s butt in the Bowl game. A few weeks earlier Kentucky had national champion Auburn ‘on the ropes’ in the 4rth quarter. And I seem to remember Pitt beating up on SEC champion Georgia in the Sugar Bowl a couple times. The SEC is good, but it’s that good that we couldn’t compete and win. Need I remind people that South Carolina (the Gamecocks !) won the SEC East last year.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.24.11 @ 1:45 pm

Yep Melvin, and hating giving kudos to them, but WVU gave Georgia a buzz saw first half, like they’d never seen before.

Game ended up closer, but WVU beat them.

Are they the best, sure, but, they aren’t gods!!

Comment by Dan 08.24.11 @ 2:05 pm

Oh, just thinking about it, had an epiphany of thought, hope no one thought me throwing cold water on the SEC talk was belittling Pitt.

Not at all, could we compete, of course. If Graham would have the program up and coming, the recruiting would really intensify.

Would we be in the championship constantly, no, of course not, but you got UK, Vandy, both Miss’s, Ark and Tenn up and down, again, the best conference, but, it’s college football.

My whole SEC thing was the geography and the lack of history. Really, the bottom line is, ain’t gonna happen, that’s all, no disrespect to our school or team.

Comment by Dan 08.24.11 @ 2:10 pm

One last one for now, if anyone remembers that WVU-Georgia game, I hadn’t seen a college football team look so befuddled in years.

Georgia had the deer in the headlights look, diving for tackles as WVU’s speed was allready down the field.

Total chaos for Georgia!!

Is T A&M going to tank in the SEC, absolutely not. They will hold their own, and every few years, you’ll see them in the champ. game.

Comment by Dan 08.24.11 @ 2:14 pm

Yeah Melvin, I pretty much knew PSU and Tech are no dice but I guess I was waxing nostalgic — fun sometimes to think about how things could be instead of always about how f’ed up they are. TCU just doesn’t move me…what’s a Texas school doing in the Big East? If we have no more respect for geography and a century of college football tradition, and money is their only god, then let’s just do away with all pretenses and get rid of conference names and rename them for corporations…like the bowl games already. ‘Hey, my kid got a full ride for football to Apple Tech!’ ‘Sweet, my girl’s playing volleyball next year at Starbucks State!’ Yay.

Comment by Matt N. 08.24.11 @ 5:48 pm

Good post Matt, I’ve done that myself on here. Same with me, would love to have an Eastern Football Conference of the independents of the 70’s and 80’s.

As bad as it is, and totally agree, (I’m big on the geographical part of a conference), if it has to be, TCU may be a great addition. I’d love to see Pitt, WVU, TCU in the top 20 battling it out every year. Maybe bring some national relevance to the conference, and some great games.

Next to geography, I’m big on getting to 12 and being a “real” conference. I’d be happy if they just split, but, if we could get with 12 football teams at least, I could live with a 12 football and 16,18 or even 20 hoops.

I had always hoped for a Big Ten invite, where we belong geographically, and historically, but that’s not coming. Next best thing, would be for the Big East to shore up the football, move to the ACC, or have a hybrid BE-ACC.

Probably going to have to shore up the BE, and allthough none of the canidates have any wow factor, if we could somehow get Navy, to go along with UCF and Houston, I could deal with it.

My fear is, some speculate (tons of speculation I know, a lot of it crazy talk), but, some say TAM’s partner could be Louisville!! That would be worst case scenario. Then we are stuck with having to go get 4 teams!!

Talk has died down, but, pretty sure A&M is going, and SEC will be looking for 14th.

Hopefully Marinatto, Nordy and Smug Smile Steve are being proactive and looking at all the variables and making sure the BE is covered(Mariantto), and I hope Nordy is really pro active and making sure Pitt’s ass is covered in the end.

I have some faith in Nordy, little in Smug Smile Steve, and next to none with Marinatto.

Comment by Dan 08.25.11 @ 9:50 am

I guess Pitt’s job, as always, is to recruit hard and bring in a coach who has both sense and aggresion…or a combo of Wanny and Harris. Maybe Graham is the answer, as he certainly talks the talk. If we go 10-2, 11-1 or maybe even 12-0, excite the fans and run a largely clean program, we’ve done our job and put ourselves in a good place. If we kick butt the next two years and get in the national title conversation, the Big Ten may come calling…or we are a stronger program to help anchor a revived Big East (Syracuse has to get better though…NYC market)?

Comment by Matt N. 08.25.11 @ 11:34 am

Ya, I’ve been pulling for Syracuse to step it up also. We may hate WVU, but, the Big East needs Pitt, WVU, and Syracuse to do well to get any respectibility. The teams with football history.

One year S.Fla was top 5, but, most people laughed that off, rightly or wrongly.

Need the football schools to be in the top 10,15, 20.

People see S.Fla, Cincy in the top 10, they cringe and say it’s a one hit wonder.

IMHO.

Comment by Dan 08.25.11 @ 11:45 am

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