August 30, 2011

The countdown to the opening kick-off of a new season, with a new coach and a new style has will hit T-minus 100 hours at 2 pm today (significantly less from when the tailgating begins). The depth chart was released yesterday. Also taking place yesterday, the Big East coaches teleconference and Coach Graham’s first gameweek presser.

The most interesting thing — at least to me — that came out of Graham’s time in the Big East coaches teleconference  (mp3 file) was where his offensive philosophy came from.

Paraphrasing, but it went back to 1993 when he was coaching defense in D-II and had to go against DickRod’s team. The no-huddle spread “fascinated” him, and as a defensive coach this style was what he hated to defend and plan to stop.

That struck me as a very open-minded and creative approach. Definitely getting out of his comfort zone. Frequently head coaches from the defensive side tend to favor more traditional offenses. Basically, the offense they generally expect their defense to play most of the time.

I’m trying to think of head coaches at the BCS level that come from the defensive side of the ball, but embrace a more dynamic offensive approach. Gene Chizik at Auburn comes to mind as does Brian Kelly of Notre Dame. But these seem like the exceptions. Am I falling prey to an overgeneralization? I suppose it would be something to research at a later time.

Then there is his local press conference. Lots of items to examine.

Let’s start with pace on offense.

“We would eventually like to get around 12 seconds. I think we tend to forget that this is all new to these guys. Our quarterback has the biggest strain on him because he has to do everything he did last year and probably more. He has to communicate the call, protections, and checks while reading coverage at a lot faster pace. I would say if we’re at 18 seconds then we will be excited about that time, but I won’t be satisfied with it. We like to have the ball snapped every 15 seconds in our first year. We were doing that early and we’ve slowed a little bit. Our time is going to be the focus for us and we can’t start trying to scheme too much before we get the tempo established. That will be what sets us apart. I would like to be at 15 seconds but I think for the first game we will be around 18.”

The man obviously cares nothing for bloggers. How the hell are we going to handle commenting in liveblogs between plays at that kind of speed?

As much focus has been on the offense, the presser transcript is dominated by talk of the defensive personnel and how they are going to be used. Mixing savvy players with talented freshmen. To wit, Andrew Taglianetti:

“We are not trying to be deceptive on what guys are playing. Andrew Taglianetti is a winner in every way and is a kid who does everything right in all areas of his life. He is more of nickel spur so you’re going to see him in the game if it’s ten personnel, eleven personnel or sets similar to that. He’s not a base down spur. Our base down spur would be Todd Thomas or Greg Williams. We wanted to list him and he is a starter in my mind. Taglianetti is also the backup free safety and the backup bandit. He’s probably the next safety to go on the field. We will use him in a nickel a lot like they used Dom DeCicco last year. He is more of our nickel strong safety and Todd Thomas is more of our true outside linebacker.”

So Thomas is really the starter, but Tags will be all over the field in spots.So will true freshman Lafayette Pitts.

“Lafayette Pitts is going to play boundary corner and bandit safety so we’re trying to bring him along. How we develop those guys is playing with boundary and field people. If you play him at boundary corner then you better learn boundary safety. Right now he’s taking most of his snaps at bandit safety or boundary safety. He’s been progressing well and he’s a guy who is going to help us this year. It’s a little tougher in the back end because there’s a lot more to comprehend. We’re running over 20 different coverage looks so there is a lot to learn. Pitts has done very well at corner so we’re pretty solid at that position. We want to provide a little depth at safety. We think the bandit safety is a position that is going to be his primary position and he will also be in depth at the boundary corner position.”

The use of Pitts, might also be to help allow Jason Hendricks get a little more rest to start the season. The official word is that he is healthy after battling turf toe in camp, but that is a nagging injury.

‘Then there are the freshmen players not listed as a starter, who sort of are. Or at least in heavy rotation.

“Ejuan Price is a starter in my mind. Brandon Lindsey is the starting Panther and then on third down you will see Lindsey and Price as the outside linebackers. Those guys will be on the field in third down situations. Ejuan has tremendous talent. The only thing he has to do is keep learning what he is doing. Every snap just keeps getting better and better for him. K.K Mosley-Smith is basically in the starting rotation up front on the defensive line. He plays behind Myles Caragein. Naturally Myles can’t play every snap so K.K will be in the rotation up front. We will play a lot of defensive line when we rotate those guys. The Woodland Hills guys are representing well. I am pretty proud of those guys and how they came in. All three of those guys (Price, Mosley-Smith and Lafayette Pitts) are leaders in that class in how they work and how they go about things.”

Coach, you have to learn. It is now Juan Price, not Ejuan.

As much as we hear about the dizzying array of offensive sets, the defense seems just as confusing from afar. Yet, somehow, Coach Graham spoke of trying not to make mistakes.

Graham said that regardless of who the opponent is, if the Panthers make sure they take care of their own business first, the games will take care of themselves.

“Really, this whole game is about us and about us going out and performing,” Graham said. “Early in the season I am a firm believer that the team [that] makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win. Just don’t beat yourselves.”

I have to expect more than a few just because the players are going to get mixed up at times.

I don’t even want to think what all these different sets and substituting players on both sides of the ball while increasing the pace is going to do to Bill Hillgrove on the radio call. I’m not sure he’ll make it through the season.

It is confirmed that Trey Anderson is effectively the No. 2 QB ahead of Mark Myers. Hopefully we will see one of them sometime by the 3d quarter on Saturday because it’s a blowout.

While there are plenty of upperclassmen on the 2-deep, it isn’t hard to see a lot of the new faces listed. A definite change.

Those situations typically arise in all college programs when a new coach arrives. Players recruited by the current staff move quickly up the depth chart for reasons of familiarity as much as talent. Not surprisingly, freshmen Anderson and Jones, running backs Malcolm Crockett and Corey Davis, nose tackle K.K. Mosely-Smith, outside linebacker Ejuan Price and cornerbacks Lafayette Pitts and Lloyd Carrington are competing for significant playing time.

Talent remains the deciding factor, and that’s why [Shane] Gordon and [Todd] Thomas have caught the coaches’ attention.

Now if the new changes can only include junking “Sirius” from the Alan Parsons Project as the intro music. Cripes, that song is almost 30 years old.

Reading the report of the presser, the organization of the team comes across as almost being chaotic. On a positive note, it appears that a lot of bodies will see action. Hopefully that will occur.

I don’t understand why Myers doesn’t transfer. Perhaps he is not that ambitious, or perhaps he is looking at a bigger picture ala Pat Bostick.

Comment by BigGuy 08.30.11 @ 12:02 pm

It takes time for a team to throw out the old and learn a whole new system. One only has to look at ND and they will be poised for a very good season. I look for them to defeat Pitt this year,

Pitt still should win ten games and maybe a BCS reward.

Comment by joel 08.30.11 @ 12:19 pm

‘Sweet Caroline’ is over 40 years old

DickRod was an innovator back in the 90s. Now the no-huddle is becoming the norm. If Graham is thinking about running a play every 12 seconds now, I hope he is not shooting himself (and the team) in the foot. As Chas wrote “I have to expect more than a few (mistakes) just because the players are going to get mixed up at times.” Thus, I am expecting the more experienced defensive unit to carry the load, especially when they start playing their peers (beginning with Iowa.)

Comment by wbb 08.30.11 @ 12:47 pm

I may be wrong BUT what if Myers loves Pitt and just wants to get a great education(Pat Bostick)!!!!! Hard for some to believe that FB is not the only reason a player chooses a university.

Comment by giveitarest 08.30.11 @ 1:11 pm


Chaos is good…at least thats what we want to create for opposing teams. Chaos is nearly impossible to overcomeon the field. Let’s just hope the chaos belongs to Buffalo and not us!!!

If we are conditioned properly, getting a play off every 18 seconds will wear down Buffalo in a hurry. The 3rd and 4th quarters should really open up. I am not expecting Graham to take to play not to lose role, so I am therefore expecting a big number.

OK, here goes…first one of 2011!

Pitt 54
Buffalo 14


Comment by Pitt it IS 08.30.11 @ 1:33 pm

Y’all read this one yet? It’s the reason why Graham will be the best coach in Oakland…well the South Side…since…you pick.

Intangibles. Personality. Leadership. Intelligence. Drive. He’s got ’em. Walt had some. Wanny had others. He’s got ’em all.

Hail to Pitt!

link to

Comment by AtlantaPanther 08.30.11 @ 2:37 pm

AtlantaPanther, the following is an interesting accessory link to the one that you posted:

link to

Comment by BigGuy 08.30.11 @ 3:00 pm

Enough of the man love. Although Graham is saying all the right things and certainly has the Octane, he hasn’t proven anything yet. Right now, Jamie is the best coach in Oakland.

Judge Graham by his record at the end of the year. For all we know, this Octane could be just a bunch of hot air.

Personally, anything less than an 8-4 record will be a failure.

8-4 would be mediocre and Wanny-like.

9-3 is my expectation and is respectable given the circumstances.

10-2 without the BE crown would be a joyful pain but painful nonetheless.

10-2 with the BE title and BCS game would be a success.

10-2 with a BCS win would be awesome to say the least.

11-1 with a BCS loss would be a disappointment but Graham would be the new man in Oakland.

11-1 with a BCS win and Graham would not only be the man, but would be getting courted by some SEC teams.

12-0 would be a dream.

Wishing Graham and more importantly Pitt football the best but tempering the optimism.

Comment by TX Panther 08.30.11 @ 3:18 pm

Great point about Hillgrove. We will have already punted by the time he realizes we didn’t fumble on 1st down. I’m cringing already.

Comment by Yoshi 08.30.11 @ 3:37 pm

9 and 3 or better any thing less sucks

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.30.11 @ 3:52 pm

Hillgrove is fine, he hasn’t had a real broadcaster partner since Johnny Sauer died. Here’s hoping Bostick remembers the listeners don’t know all the nomenclature the team uses.
Graham reminds me of Majors the first time he came here, which is a good thing.

Comment by Jimbo 08.30.11 @ 4:01 pm

Anybody hear anything about Devin Street’s status?
Was expecting big things from him this year, since he got the ‘ding dongs’ haven’t heard much since.

Hope the kid is alright. We need him !

Comment by melvinbennett 08.30.11 @ 4:03 pm

I agree FRankcan, anything less than 9-3 is not getting us pointed in the right direction.

Although I hate to play the ‘expectation game’ as I think expectations were way too high last year and that was all media driven. Especially with a new QB and the way Pitt’s early schedule was front loaded.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.30.11 @ 4:07 pm

melvinB, the only player ruled out for the opener is Dan Mason. All others have been cleared to play

Comment by wbb 08.30.11 @ 4:32 pm

I am going to come out and say it directly. The more I hear about Graham’s stated potential personnel use,4 RB’, a walkon 5’10” freshman as second team quaterback, 6 linebackers, 7WR I can understand why Tulsa lead their conference in penalities and Graham never won the conference title in a weak non-BCS conference. Bringing Rice and Tulsa to winning seasons is not overwhelming considering the competition. The Anderson decision was the final move the convinced me that his mantra of snapping the ball in 18 seconds does not guarantee wins. All his bravdo does not win games. Fundamentals and talent win games. In all the rush to get the play off in 18 seconds many fundamentals; proper blocking stance, distance between and stance of receivers and running backs can be jepordized. Fast breaking teams in basketball have to control the boards to be effective. In the fourth quarter what team is going to be tired because they are exhausted from no huddle and have been beat up from the extra number of plays, short passes, and OL exhaustion.

Comment by DRW 08.30.11 @ 4:37 pm

you usually don’t get so much free info on Pantherlair

link to

Comment by wbb 08.30.11 @ 4:38 pm

@DRW talk about a wet blanket. Are you a nitter or a hoopie?

TG’s Tulsa teams went to 3 bowl games and won them all. They were among the Top 5 in offense in all but one of his years there. I think his record speaks for itself. If we’re putting up lots of points, I don’t really care about penalties. They will get less and less as the team matures with this new offense. The fact that had Les Miles left LSU for Michigan, TG was high up on LSU’s list, maybe even at the top according to some sources. I think Pitt was very fortunate to get him after the debacle late last year.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.30.11 @ 4:56 pm

DRW, while I admit to having my doubts (I’m certainly less confident than many on this iste) I am taking a wait-and-see stance. The defense should be much better than any of the Tulsa teams and although there is bound to be many mis-snaps, misplays, etc on offense, there is also bound to be many big plays.

If nothing else, it’ll be interesting.

Comment by wbb 08.30.11 @ 4:57 pm

Interesting comments, DRW

Comment by BigGuy 08.30.11 @ 5:02 pm

We averaged 9 wins a year during the past 3 years, anything less than 10 wins will be disappointing.

Comment by Marty 08.30.11 @ 5:05 pm

Chaos, confusion, mistakes, I thought the Wannstedt era was over? Sorry Wanny, couldn’t resist the low blow, nothing personal. Graham knows who the enemy is and it could be us for sure. Such a fast paced complicated system will expose those who are not on the same page. We’ll be fine IF we don’t beat ourselves. I see Graham keeping it simple and taking the first couple of wins without rolling much of the offense out. Come Iowa and ND you’ll see some new stuff for the first time in both games as a sneak attack to hopefully get an advantage over an unprepared defense. Lets see what happens

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.30.11 @ 5:16 pm

My only concern is that their nonconference schedule is a bit much, hopefully they win 2 out of 3 during the Iowa, ND and Utah stretch.

If they do, 9-3 or better looks pretty good!

wbb I’ll take High Octane over Wannyball!

Wanny was always good for losing 1 game a year because of his conservative myopic mentality to an inferior team.


Comment by Stuart Margolin 08.30.11 @ 5:18 pm

DRW — Not sure of Wanny’s middle initial, but perhaps its “R”.

Its absurd to say that Graham didn’t win championships against inferior competition at Tulsa and Rice. He was playing with Tulsa and Rice talent, not Big East or other big time FBS talent.

Comment by sweet caroline 08.30.11 @ 5:25 pm

melvin I hope your right but as Gary points out we won 9 games a year and 2 out of 3 bowls against much stiffer competiton. “Do you want to see something scarey” check out Tulsa schedule and the teams they got all those large scores against that skewed their offensive production. I am not a nitter or hoppie (although I am not 100% certain what those terms mean) but being a student at Pitt during the early seventies and following them around the southeast in the late seventies and early eighties I got spoiled. Because of the population immigration to the south and desegration of the universities in the southeast Pitt will never duplicate those teams because of many of our players of that era came from the south. Truthfully it is simply that I never was won over by this style of football. I would have preferred a more versatile offense then W. and I like the defensive scheme but not an offense dependent on quaterbacks with the skill level to play DivI football; in my opinion that is not Tito and I would be shocked if it was Anderson. They may fit the system but my contention still is the system by itself does not win games.

Comment by DRW 08.30.11 @ 5:33 pm

Come on boys, EVERY ONE of YOU would take a 9-3 season this year! Stop the nonsense and let’s get win #1 Saturday.

Comment by Pitt it IS 08.30.11 @ 5:41 pm

DRW wait till after game 3 give the man a chance.if after game 3 we look bad then you can jump on him unless he should lose one of first two games than i will help you hang him. But i dont think there is a chance of that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.30.11 @ 6:14 pm

Anything less than 13-0 and a Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma or Alabama will be a failure!!!

As a matter of fact, if we don’t beat Ok, or Al, by at least 37 points in that game will be a failure!!

If we don’t beat Buffalo 75-10, failure!!

We must beat Iowa by at least 29, and we have to score over 60, or another failure.

Failure, if we do not shut out Notre Dame!! That’s it, I’ll settle for nothing less than a shutout!!!

Utah, I’m sorry, payback’s a bitch, they must be shut out, or this season is an absolute failure!!!

Ah, West Virginia, down in Morgantown, they may be able to get a couple touchdowns, but, I’m gonna go ahead and say it, if we do not score 9 touchdowns or more, this whole shipwreck has been a waste. 63 or better too, no more than 14!!!
Or, once again, I’m gonna half to call this thing a failure, sorry.

Not beating any other Big East team by more than 35.5 points, this season will go down in history as a huge failure. Not just a failure, a huge failure!!!

Don’t want to hear about first year coach, don’t want to hear about new system the kids have to learn and get used to. Don’t want to hear about Coach having to recruit.

Definitely don’t want to hear about Iowa, Notre Dame, Utah or West Virginia, easily losable games to anyone else in the country!!! B.S. man!!!!

Don’t want to hear about losing a running back, wide out and two defensive line guys to the NFL, hell, we have Ray Graham and Mike Shanahan back, we should dominate! I said DOMINATE man!!!

Could care less if the team is coached better, we look more like we belong in the top 25, we don’t embarrass ourselves on national tv and don’t kick field goals on third down.

Could care less looking at the end of the season and saying, “wow, am I pumped for the future, we got the right guy, what a season”

Nope, the future is now, 13-0 or bust, damn it!!!!

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 6:18 pm

And one other thing, if they are not up on Buffalo by at least 42-3 with 5 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, I am walkin’ out of that friggin’ place!!

I won’t tolerate it, I won’t!! Go ahead and try me Graham!!!

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 6:19 pm

Interesting point from Grahm today. He talked about how there has to be a “trust” between players and the coaches. Wanny said the same thing and year after year blew that trust by not coming through on the coaching end.

I like how Grahm has set this up.It is all on him!
Rather than Wanny hemming and hawing and aw shucksing… Grahm has let us all know that it will be success…and it will be on him.

I think Pitt has the talent and now the coaching to make a huge mark Nationally this year.
He has my trust….now let’s see if he has earned it!

Comment by Dan 72 08.30.11 @ 6:25 pm

One more thought…I was a freshman when Dave Hart took over as Pitt Football Coach. He had us all in an assembly (I think at the Syrian Hall)and really fired us up that he was the savior of Pitt Football. I thought he was such a fake and should be starring in The Music Man.I remember it like is was yesterday. I was a huge Johnny Michalosen fan and had fallen in love with Pitt Football while a Boy Scout Usher in 63-65. Hart never told us HOW he was going to succeed….Grahm has. Then I remember the hiring of Depasqua…he bored us all to death and his teams played like it…thus the comment for ND Head Coach Ara Parsegian, “I have never seen so much talent get lost at one school”.

Graham is different. He reminds me a lot of Johnny Majors…I hope his record does also.
I think it will!

Comment by Dan 72 08.30.11 @ 6:34 pm

I’ll live by Todd Graham’s self imposed standard this year, “anything less than a BE championship will be a disappointment”. End quote. The talkin is over in 4 days it will be time to start walkin. I’m on the TG band wagon until all of the wheels fall off. When you’re dealing with 18 to 22 year olds there is not much better grease to put on the gears than enthusiasm and energy, both of which Graham apparently has available in unlimited quanities. The doubters I fear will be exposed as glass half empty fair weather Pitt fans by mid season. I think this guy is going to pull a rabbit out of his hat this season. Time will tell, let the games begin. BTW, I feel much better now after some analgesics and a couple Southern Comforts and a Jack Daniels chaser. My concussion is all better!! Thanks FRANKCAN and tip of the glass to TampaT filled with SC.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.30.11 @ 6:37 pm

DAN I am glad you have saw the light saw it you did 13 and o melvin and i have finally converted you, 13 and 0 is better tan 9 and 3 a men brother dan you have seen the light you have left the dark side of 8 and 4 is ok praise be melvin dan has finally joined us.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.30.11 @ 6:42 pm

Good one, Dan. Still laughing.

Comment by TampaT 08.30.11 @ 7:21 pm

Dan look at you make a excuse for the coach he does not have his players it is a new system. sob it is ok if he goes 7 and 5 and next year what does he say this is only my second clacc sorry i went 7 and 5 agein dan that is bull shit we could have kept dave and done that he was brought in to be better than dave not to give us bull shit excuses why he is not he expects to win i expect him to win no slack dan 9 and 3 or better. no excuse.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.30.11 @ 7:37 pm

was in a rush hit some wrong keys

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.30.11 @ 7:41 pm

Why are TJ Clemmings & Shayne Haile not on 2-deep?

Also, anyone else worried that a 190lb DB (former HS wrestling champ) is the back-up long snapper???

Comment by Hey Fralic, what do you do for fun? 08.30.11 @ 7:59 pm

Bear Bryant on taking the job at Alabama said, “we’re here to win every game we play”, then proceeded to go 5-4-1.

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 8:13 pm

I’m with Dr. Tom, Coach Graham’s own words, anything less than a BE championship is a failure.

Comment by dugdog 08.30.11 @ 8:27 pm

Frank, not making any effin’ excuses.

Fact 1. First year coach

Fact 2. Brand new system

Fact 3. Kids have to switch all their thoughts
of all football learned before, to go to
new system. Offensive and Defensive

Fact 4. I must be looking at a different roster
than you, I didn’t know we had national
championship talent on this team. Hell,
I didn’t know that we had top 20 talent
on this team?? Oh, we don’t, the highest
ranking I’ve seen is about 37th!!! Not
too bad considering the “sky is falling
mentality” that everyone, including
myself had after the Haywood fiasco!!

I didn’t even know we had Big East
championship talent, oh, apparently we
don’t, since every magazine, tv, and
radio I’ve heard has picked WVU or South
Florida to win the Big East!!!

Fact 5. Whether you like Graham or not, whether
you like his offense or defense, he is
inheriting another coaches players that
fit a totally different offense, and a
somewhat different defense.

I’m not defending the guy or making excuses, I don’t know Todd Graham from a whole in the wall.

I’ve watched a lot of college and pro football over the years, too know, when there is a new coach installed, more often than not, there are going to be a few bumps along the way.

Yes, we brought him in to do better than DW, I’ve never heard of anyone not given a couple years chance, to say, ok, DW was 9-3 last year, so if you don’t win 10 games this year, “you stink, the whole reason we brought you in was to be better”. Absolutely ridiculous.

I bring sales guys into to better than others, never fired anyone after a year or two, until I can see what they can do, after getting to know the company, getting to know the clients, getting to know the product.

Frank, I want Pitt to win, I want them to win a National Championship, I want to go to the Rose Bowl and stick in my Penn St. family and friends faces!!!

If he falls flat on his face and their is total discombobulation, I will join in, in the grumbling.

I’m also very realistic. I will hope for the best, hope for improvement each week, hope there are not any bozo calls, and hope we have a coach who is in charge and looks like we have a guy for the future, not like the past couple guys who looked like deer in the headlights.

To compare the coaches, after one year, solely on W-L record is…..I don’t know what the word is.

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 8:36 pm

So, Dixon retires. we get a new coach, one that wants to take Pitt to the next level, big time, Final four every few years. Comes in, first year, goes
21-10, knocked out in ncaa first round, he’s a failure because he didn’t win 27 as per normal, and we know we hired the wrong guy?????

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 8:44 pm

Dan, the word is Thunderbird. Way back when, $2.99 at the State Store and transportable into the stadium in a paper bag.

I remember calling the Fan in NYC when Wanny was made coach. The pundits told me he was the best thing that ever happened to Pitt fb.

The only thing I can tell you is that the players are in way better shape than they ever were under Wanny.

Beyond that, it’s a crap shoot.

Comment by steve 08.30.11 @ 8:53 pm

Love Joe Starkey and Josh Miller on 93.7 the fan.

Starkey, probably my favorite sports guy in Pgh. I also heard him make an ass out of himself yesterday.

Yelling and insisting that if Pitt doesn’t win the Big East, the season is a failure.

“well the coach said so”. Ya, the coach is a positive guy, and I love it. Along with being positive, he is also trying to capture the seniors, so they know they are fighting for something this year, not that their careers are over. He’s trying to change the feel around Pitt also, and he is also telling you the kind of guy he is. He also wants the freshman and underclassmen to know that he will not accept anything less than 110%

Anyhow, back to Starkey, Big East Championship or fail!!! What if they are both 6-0 going into the brawl. What if it is a 44-43 shootout, won by WVU on a last second field goal, in what the announcers are calling the game of the year, nope, Failure, you said you were going to win the Big East, na na na na nah na!!!

What if we get upset by Louisville???? Hell, Alabama, LSU and Texas even get upset once in awhile, believe it or not, could happen to Pitt.

Ok, all I’m saying is, and I’ll be done, you have to look at the overall picture at the end of the year before you start putting numbers on things and say, Pass/Fail cemented in rock.

Maybe there are a few Wanny supporters out there kinda hoping for failure??? I hope not, I would hope everyone, by now, is backing Pitt all the way???

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 8:56 pm

Ya Steve, you are right, better stocked now than before, I realize that!

Dr. Tom, i’m going for the JW!!!!

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 9:00 pm

I’m with wbb on the wait-and-see.

While DRW has a bit of Eeyore in him, he does make some good points. I do disagree on the “system” comment, DRW. Systems are huge in college sports. Look at TCU, Boise St. even Oregon to some degree. They don’t get the big name recruits but they’ve all been in the hunt the past few years because of their systems. Spurrier had some of the most prolific QBs in the NCAA when he was at Florida, yet none made it in the NFL because they were a result of his system. And, our basketball coach has done pretty good with a system.

wbb keeps reminding us about DEFENSE when everyone gets fired up about High Octane. Defense still wins championships, something Pittsburghers should certainly understand. Ask anyone who follows SEC football, which I get plenty of down here. Defense has been the difference in the last 5 BCS championships.

Dan is right about TG needing players to fit his system. It took Wanny 3 years to turn the corner, and Walt didn’t exactly leave the cupboard bare either. TG says he’ll adapt his system to fit the talent he has, so I’m hoping he can. But I expect a whole different Pitt football experience a few years from now, and that excites me.

I like what I hear from Graham, and I like what I’ve read from Chas and Reed who follows Pitt football closer than any of us. However, you can always look good practicing and playing against your own guys. We haven’t seen them play against a true opponent yet. It will be interesting to see how Tino, Ray G. and others react when they have a bunch of corn-fed moose chasing them around in the backfield, so I’ll reserve judgment until after Iowa, and maybe even Notre Dame.

Hail to PITT! Hail to football finally starting again!

P.S. to Dr. Tom: Glad you’ve recovered. I’m much happier talking about reality too.

Comment by TampaT 08.30.11 @ 9:11 pm

“hope we have a coach who is in charge and looks like we have a guy for the future, not like the past couple guys who looked like deer in the headlights.”

Dan, when a coach leaves, about the only thing he takes with him is his reputation. I think that your deer in the headlight characterization is extremely unfair, unfounded and fallacious. Walt Harris came into a program where there was utter chaos (e.g. Ohio State 72, Pitt 0). He turned Pitt into a winner. He was decisive. Wannstedt took Pitt to three bowl games. Perhaps if Ray Graham would have held onto the ball in UConn territory, Pitt would have played in the BCS bowl against Oklahoma and Wannstedt would still be the coach. Just that one play. Criticize DW for playing conservatively or (as some say) playing not to lose, but he had winning seasons. (He won 10 games two years ago.) He made decisions on the field.

Comment by BigGuy 08.30.11 @ 10:00 pm

Wow give the guy a chance. Anything less than 10 wins? Building a program takes time. I will be happy if we finally look like an aggressive, yet disciplined football team.

Comment by Tony C 08.30.11 @ 10:15 pm

there were comments about how playing at fast pace decreases proper technique, inc. penalties all that stuff, and that that will apparently cause Pitt not to win. There is another side of the ball that is being forced to play at the same pace. If the offense who is accustomed to playing at this tempo and is conditioned for it plays a defense that is neither of those things who do you think will be having worse technique and making more mistakes throughout the game and especially during the 2nd half. I would think this is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 08.30.11 @ 10:27 pm

Anyone know how to get ESPN 360 if your ISP is not on the list? I live outside of PA and need to watch this game.

Comment by Greg Lee 08.30.11 @ 10:42 pm

Sorry BigGuy, saw Harris too many times looking at his playsheet as the play clock ticked down…..

Saw Wanny staring into space, into the lights of Heinz Field with an “I’m in over my head” look, “would somebody tell me what to do”

Saw field goals on third down, punts with the ball at the opponents 42 yd line.

And both, with time outs, many a time, on the first offensive possession of the game.

I can’t remember which one, or exactly what game, but, I’m quite sure, at least one time, I saw us take the opening kickoff, the offense came onto the field, and either the very first, or possibly the second play of the game, we called a timeout.

Yes, they did some good things, but I saw neither guy as a head coach. One is an excellent offensive coordinator, one a very good defensive guy.

I saw Harris only concerned with offense, and I saw Wannstedt with a confused look about him all too often.

We got embarrassed many a time on national tv.

I believe they both underachieved.

I’m not questioning them as men, or as good guys, by all accounts, both are outstanding men, guys of character, and have down a lot, for a lot of people. I wish them well, I really do. I have no “meanness” towards them.

In my opinion, I think they were both mediocre coaches, thats all.

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 11:21 pm

Greg: used to show a lot of college and pro sports streams, but I think the NFL cracked down on them and a few others last year, so I’m not sure if they’ll be doing as much this year.

My advice would be to Google “live sports streams” on Saturday and see what you find. There’s a European site called First Row Sports that’s streaming NFL Network and ESPN live right now, which takes some guts. They might show live games too, since they’re in Europe and a little harder to hassle.

Between now and Saturday someone here will likely post a site that will definitely be showing the game. So keep checking back too.

Comment by TampaT 08.30.11 @ 11:23 pm

Ya Tampa, always look good practicing against your buddies.

I’m pretty sure we’ll win, but, wow, I mean this could be a 35-21, or 28-10 game. First game, gonna be some kinks need worked out.

Hear some talk around town, like this better be 65-7 or something.

I hope it is, but, geesh!!! Then Maine is to be penciled in allready 77-3 !!

I’m by no means being a downer either, just trying to be cautiously optimistic and realistic.

I hope we win 80-0 !!!

Comment by Dan 08.30.11 @ 11:29 pm

[…] Graham’s philosophy began to form after playing Rich Rodriguez in D-II […]

“I am not a nitter or hoopie (although I am not 100% certain what those terms mean) but being a student at Pitt during the early seventies and following them around the southeast in the late seventies and early eighties I got spoiled. ”

Comment by DRW 08.30.11 @ 5:33 pm

Actually I did type hoopie, and I’m amazed that someone that says they went to Pitt does not know what a nitter or a hoopie is. With that in mind I seriously doubt you went to Pitt.

Here’s a pop quiz for you DRW,(and DRW alone please)

1) Name the bars & restaurants that were side by side on Forbes Ave, in the early 1970’s (which is when you said you went to Pitt) from the corner of South Bouquet to the direction of
the Cathedral Of Learning?

2) What were the 3 nicknames of the 3 Dorm Towers?

3) What was the name of the Movie theater that was on Pitt’s campus?

4) What was the name of the two 24 hour per day restaurants on Pitt’s campus?

If you can answer these questions accurately I will believe you went to Pitt in the early 70’s, maybe. haha

Comment by melvinbennett 08.31.11 @ 12:43 am

As far as coaches, we’ve really haven’t had a really great coach since another man from the South, Jackie Sherrill. And Johnny Majors. Is it an omen that we finally have another man from the South.

Let’s ALL HOPE SO !!!

Graham’s big advantage over Wanny is he’s never lost anywhere. He’s got the confidence of a guy who’s never lost. Wanny had doubts about himself as a Head Coach from losing, and I never saw Walt Harris as a super confident guy. Nice guy yes, super confident guy, no. Liked them both, they are both great guys. Walt like Pittsburgh so much he moved back to the Burg after his Stanford stint. I am confident that TG is going to get us back to where we were or at least close. Don’t know if we’re ever going to see another Dorsett or Marino again.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.31.11 @ 12:52 am

Holy snap there was a movie theater on Pitt’s campus?!

Comment by tacocat 08.31.11 @ 5:24 am

Winning is still dependent on Tino’s performance, more than anything else he has to step up. I hope he has got it like that.

Comment by gc 08.31.11 @ 6:57 am

Great discussions here!

DRW – you’ll be shocked then to know that Anderson probably has more talent to run this offense than do any of the other QBs on the roster. Don’t let his height fool you – he is tailored made for Graham’s system and that is why both Graham and QB coach Dodge were drooling when Anderson agreed to come to PITT.

“D-1″ talent is a phrase that baffles me. If a QB is playing on a D-1 team that wins games then he has D-1 talent…period. Pitt fans get too caught up in ‘ideals’. Every QB has to be Dan Marino-like and every RB has to be Dorsett-like. That just isn’t either feasible or in this case, with this offense, even preferable. Hence Myers drifting down the depth chart. Myers won’t transfer this year, it’s too late. But I wouldn’t bet on him being on the roster this time next season. I do believe that had Anderson been in spring camp Myers would be gone by now. The handwriting is in bold caps on the wall regarding what Graham wants at QB.

Regarding ‘chaos’. If you watched the Spring Game or had a chance to see a spring practice or two, then you should have been at least a little surprised at how well this offense had picked up the new system and tempo. Granted, as stated above, that is playing against thier buddies but it is still actual full speed competition, very early on, and they were executing as desired. IMO that was a very pleasant surprise as I truly expected to drive up to PGH and see the players running around the practice field like chickens with their heads cut off – but I saw the opposite.

As Graham said in the spring, the offense was hitting the 15 second mark well; I timed the spring game and they averaged around 17 seconds – and put up 47 points. It is understandable that the staff wanted to throttle back a bit, 15 to 18 seconds, due to more volume of the playbook being installed and playing their very first game with the new offense. We’ll see some mistakes on Saturday but I also fully expect to see points on the board. Given the changes at hand and the fast learning curve these kids had I’m thinking about five TDs and two FGs for 41 at least, maybe the D chips in some points also.

As to the “unacceptable” limit of wins this year. IMO It foolish to say we HAVE to win 10 games or the BE conference. I am glad that is the stated and repeated goal that Graham put out there but that may not happen; it could for sure but we may not make it. It’s best to understand that even if DW were here this season he could easily have less than eight wins – there was absolutely no guarantee that he’d win 10 and/or the BE BCS bowl in 2011. Hell, he just went from 10 wins to seven (eight if you are generous) – who’s to say that downward trend wouldn’t have continued?

Comment by Reed 08.31.11 @ 7:24 am

Dan, I was a Wanny supporter (at least a lot more than most others here) but I also believe that he was too stubborn with his ‘pro’ ways. I also must confess that I’m little concerned about the new style offense and all of the fast talk.

I am not one of these political shills on the TV or radio who care more about their ratings and selling their books and philiosophy than they do the USA.

But off of my soapbox …. I AM a Pitt fan and would like nothing more than a BE title and more this year.

In fact, I was thrilled to read today (in the PG) that the new DC Patterson sat down with Steeler Coach LeBeau this summer to learn from him. The two reasons I was thrilled are that (1) unlike Wanny or Bennett, this DC is not too set in his ways and (2) I had always believed in a zone blitz style of defense and that it will lead to more turnovers since the DBs backs aren’t always to te QB.

Comment by wbb 08.31.11 @ 7:38 am

4) What was the name of the two 24 hour per day restaurants on Pitt’s campus?

Mmmm… Ritter’s Diner

Comment by Todd Gack 08.31.11 @ 7:52 am

Anyone else extremely worried about Sunseri’s ability to do these things effectively:

“Our quarterback has the biggest strain on him because he has to do everything he did last year and probably more. He has to communicate the call, protections, and checks while reading coverage at a lot faster pace. I would say if we’re at 18 seconds then we will be excited about that time”

Comment by Coach Ditka 08.31.11 @ 8:14 am

My most vivid memory of Ritter’s Diner: After pulling really late nights studying, one of my roommates and I got into a seriously altered state. Of course, we got the munchies and decided to head there at about 4 a.m. We sat at the counter next to a guy who was definitely more altered than we were. From the time we arrived until the time we left (about an hour) and who knows how long after, he stirred his coffee. Never drank it. Never looked up. Just stirred it and stared at the cream swirls he was making. Thanks for the memory, Todd.

Comment by TampaT 08.31.11 @ 8:23 am

There used to be a breakfast place on the south side of Frbes that would make blintzes. I remember going to games during the Majors/Sherill era … it was blinztes pre-game and Zelda’s or the bar just west of the O on Forbes after (I’m getting old, my memory fails me)

Here is a trivia question for you … from what bar came the T-shirt that Stevie Ray Vaughan wore on the back cover of his 1st album (circa 1980)?

Comment by wbb 08.31.11 @ 8:34 am

Wow, and we think that we are thin on the offensive line! Read this article in the Trib today about opur first opponent.
link to
If our defensive front is as good as we think, then our D linemen and linebackers are going to be on a first name basis with Buffalo’s QB by games end. I have a feeling we are going to be impacting the quarterback a few times in our season opener.
Regarding giving Graham some slack to implement his systems into this season before we begin holding him to high expectations, in this same article Todd Graham himself states that he thrives on pressure and feels that there should be high expectations for success right off the bat. It is sooo refreshing to listen to this guy. His attitude is a 180 degrees about face from what we have become accustomed to during Wanny ball. I really hope that TG can back up his talk! This team has enough talent to do some real damage in the BE this season. What the secret ingredient needed is confidence. That will come with success. As I’ve said before, if we can bring home a win from Iowa, I think the Big Mo will be rolling in Pitt’s favor bigtime. What an atmosphere Heinz Field will have if we are going into the ND game 3-0. Lets get this show on the road.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 9:05 am

link to

I took most interest in the beginning of the article. Patterson sitting down with Dick LeBeau and literally walking away with an entire notebook of notes.

Comment by BCPITT 08.31.11 @ 9:27 am

Dr Tom, There is no question that Graham outtalks Wanny … this is not debatable. Whether you find it refreshing (and I suspect many of you on this site do) is debatable.

But it is all irrelevant compared to what happens on the field begining on Saturday.

Comment by wbb 08.31.11 @ 9:32 am

Since Ritters is out of the bag……..had lunch there about a month ago. Took a client there!! Big spender!! Lunch wasn’t bad, but not as good as 4 in the morning plastered!!

Hey, by the way, they made the booths a lot smaller than when I was in school!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 9:41 am

Hey, if nothing else we PITT fans can be excited seeing many more offensive plays per game than we have in the past.

This is what is great about sports and college football in particular – you never know what is going to happen out on the field.

Comment by Reed 08.31.11 @ 9:41 am

wbb….Easy one, The Decade

Comment by FTM 08.31.11 @ 9:42 am

Dr TOM MelvinBennett Help me out with Dan will you. We were not a down and out program we averaged 9 wins a year for 3 years. dave lost games he should have won he was boring he was a bad side line coach but he had good players.there are good players here. This program did not need rebuilt. To bring a new coach into a winning program and to say we can wait 2 or 3 years for him to start winning as many games as dave did makes no sense he is saying it is ok to go backwards. Please help me to make sense of that i cant if you dont expect better why than you should have kept dave.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 9:53 am

Sorry, same paper different article below about Graham’s take on accepting pressure.
link to

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 10:05 am

wbb – Is the breakfast place you’re talking about Pamela’s? (if so, it’s still there and going strong)

As for the T-shirt question…I’d have to go with the Decade.

Comment by Hank the Tank 08.31.11 @ 10:05 am

Opps…FTM beat me to it.

Comment by Hank the Tank 08.31.11 @ 10:07 am

Dan: “I believe they [Harris and Wanny] both underachieved”

Well, Todd Graham certainly must have known that he was going to perform in front of a tough crowd when he accepted the Pitt job (along with the $2 million salary). Good luck to him and may the Good Lord bless him.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 10:10 am

@FRANKCAN, I’m with wbb, talk is cheap. Its what happens on the field that they put in the records book. High expectations have been established by the new coach that was brought in to “take Pitt to the next level”. He has accepted the pressure to produce and turn those expectations into reality. That means a BE championship as defined by TG himself and at least a 9-3 regular season based on the schedule IMO. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 10:11 am

“Hey, if nothing else we PITT fans can be excited seeing many more offensive plays per game than we have in the past.”

Reed, it can also mean that it will take less time to go three and out and that it will give the other guys more opportunities for sustained drives.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 10:16 am

Melvin there were no towers at Pitt when I graduated in 1973. Further being a resident of Pittsburgh and more concerned about my academics then the bars or movie thearter in Oakland I did not live on campus nor did I spend my weekday evenings partying. Let me ask you some questions. During the Sherrill years what only 3 regular season games were lost by Pitt and where were they played? I was at each game. What was the first team Dorsett played against and how many yards did he gain? After Cavanuagh broke his arm in the first game against Notre Dame in 1977 what was the first team he played against when he returned? What street did a building on campus blew up from a gas leak in a class room in 1973, it was in a room that I had just left a class 30 minutes earlier. Finally in what semester and year did Pitt stop giving its graduates large diplomas (size given to M.D.’s) for Bachelor degrees? In the early seventies hoopies and the other term were not used. If you can answer each of these questions you have proven you went to Pitt and ardently followed the sports team.

Comment by DRW 08.31.11 @ 10:29 am

DR TOM thank you that is what i said also 9 and 3 DAN DR TOM ALSO SAYS 9 and 3 and he is fair judge you just cant go backwards DAN 8 home games 17 returning starters better coaching 9 and 3 is fair.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 10:35 am

wbb: The only bar I remember on Forbes near the O at that time was The Wooden Keg, but I think that was east. Is that the one you were thinking of?

@FRANKCAN What has you convinced that Dave would have won 9 games? He supposedly had his most talented team last year and only won 8. Plus, we lost some pretty good players from that team on both sides of the ball. And, as Reed and others have pointed out a few times, Dave’s dismissal went beyond wins and losses.

Dan’s point, which I agree with, is that you’re putting in two new systems on both sides of the ball that require different skill sets than the systems Dave employed and recruited for. So, we don’t know what we’re going to get until we see how the players adjust to those systems and the coaches adjust to the players.

It’s like a major change in any discipline. One I’m familiar with firsthand is when graphic arts went from handmade to computer made. Some people were able to adapt and some weren’t, but they were all graphic artists in talent and training. You can probably think of an example in your field too.

No one is giving TG a pass, especially TG himself. However, it may take a few years before we see what he can really bring to Pitt in terms of excitement and winning. 9-3 is certainly doable given the talent and the schedule, but as several have said, the rubber meets the road on the field. Until we see that and over a few games, it’s a total guess.

Comment by TampaT 08.31.11 @ 10:43 am

Melvin, let an old man try
1) Name the bars & restaurants that were side by side on Forbes Ave, in the early 1970?s (which is when you said you went to Pitt) from the corner of South Bouquet to the direction of
the Cathedral Of Learning?

Frankie Gustine’s and the other bar that I used to frequent that carried 7 ounce sizes of Rolling Rock beer.

2) What were the 3 nicknames of the 3 Dorm Towers?

3) What was the name of the Movie theater that was on Pitt’s campus?

4) What was the name of the two 24 hour per day restaurants on Pitt’s campus?
White Castle?

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 11:07 am

White Castle —> White Tower?

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 11:08 am

TAMPAT I said he averaged 9 wins a year for 3 years dont know what he would have this year but he some times under acheved so i think ar least 8 and 4 all i was saying is you dont bring in a coach to do better and start bye saying it is ok to go 7 and 5 or 6 and 6 when you were averaging 9 wins a year you dont go backwards.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 11:20 am

@DRW. You have some good Pitt trivia questions but your very first sentence in the post above invalidates your entire post. I don’t know where you were living during your Pitt days, but in 1971-72 and 1972-73 school years I lived IN the towers dorms so I’m pretty sure that they were there when you graduated in 1973. Dorsett was from my high school so I was very proud when he rushed for over a hundred yards between the hedges to a tie against Georgia in his freshman debut. BTW the old movie house on Forbes was the Kings Court. Back in the day, did the Rocky Horror movie thing when it FIRST came out. Also, any of you old timers remember the 2nd story bowling alley further down the street on Forbes?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 11:20 am

I wouldn’t say Ritter’s was on the campus – that’s like saying Walnut street is on campus also.

Does anyone remember the Black Angus bar and restaurant?

Comment by Reed 08.31.11 @ 11:31 am

Yea the Black Angus was on one of the cross streets between Forbes and Fifth. Way too pricey for me unless my parents showed up for a visit and I could get my frugal father to sring for the tab. Ha Ha.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 11:34 am

TampaT Let me put it this way lets say our AD who you all love. had come out last year and said to you i am going to fire coach DAVE even though he has won abought 9 games a year and replace him with a coach who might go 7 and 5 or 6 and 6 his first year i know this will please you all .You would have said he was nuts and hung him but now that is ok that just means your nuts you dont go backwards melvin help me out here.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 11:41 am

FRANKCAN: Then you’re totally missing the point on system changes. Look at Dave’s record the first three years. Walt didn’t leave the cupboard bare either. And, you’re giving Dave 8-4 with his players, his system, but holding TG to 9-3? That sounds fair – NOT.

Reed: You are certainly correct. Bloomfield is far from the campus, but Ritter’s was like a second home to a lot of Pitt students. Todd’s post just reminded me of that Ritter’s experience.

With you on both comments, Dr. Tom. Lived in the towers in ’71 and never could afford the Black Angus. Heck, Peter’s Pub was a step up for me. I was more of a Wohlfarth’s patron, for more reasons than the beer. (Some of you will get that.)

Comment by TampaT 08.31.11 @ 11:50 am

Wanny perhaps and/or Matt C should have been fired after losing to OU. That was inexcusable especially after returning the opening kickoff for TD and he inherited plenty of talent to beat the Bobcats by 30

Comment by giveitarest 08.31.11 @ 12:05 pm

TampaT, I should have said next to the O on Forbes (not west). Gustine’s, Heminway’s, the Wooden Keg are all names tthat comes to mind

Comment by wbb 08.31.11 @ 12:08 pm

CJ Barney maybe?? I’m sorry, I’ve been to too many bars in too many locations

Don’t live near Pgh anymore so haven’t been to Oakland in a couple of years so don’t know what is still open

Comment by wbb 08.31.11 @ 12:12 pm

I hard last year and the year before dave should have won 11 games dave should have won 10 games dave went 7 and 5 he should have won at least 9 games last year you all said it. but now with more talent than he has ever had the new coach can go 7 and 5 or 6 and 6 and get a pass you are all nuts .

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 12:19 pm

Bring back Bimbos (Wooden Nickle nights), Chi Chi’s and Wolfarts and no one will care what the scores are.

Comment by JP 08.31.11 @ 12:44 pm

TampaT–It’s pure fantasy to believe that Walt did not leave the cupboard bare. It was especially bare of a defensive front capable of stopping anyone and of sufficient overall OL quality to prevent having the QB fleeing for his life on nearly every play. It was also extremely weak in terms of depth. If you had to go to a 2nd teamer the drop off in talent was drastic. The last few tears of Harris’s recruiting were weak and, on top of that, there was a large number of recruits from those classes that left the program. In short, the overall talent level and depth of talent on the roster had already been steadily decreasing for several years when Wannstadt arrived.

That is not true this time around and that is why Graham should win immediately (and he knows it, as well).

Comment by pitt1972 08.31.11 @ 12:54 pm

FOR your info poasted juat now from USA TODAY A&M has just told BIG 12 we are leaving gone as of june next year so now the cards start to fall.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 12:54 pm

@TampaT, I was more partial to The Luna than Wohlfarth’s, shorter walk. Around the corner, remember Chief’s?? Now there was a townie bar, pony glasses of draft beer for a quarter, hard boiled eggs and huge dill pickles in gallon jars on the bar, drink for a couple hours fill your pie hole with eggs and pickles leave with a buzz on and never spent more than $5 bucks at a time there. Sounds like you knew the magic dragon down at Wohlfarth’s named Puff too.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 1:05 pm

Dr. Tom since I lived off campus I obviously got the towers question wrong, thanks for pointing out my error so gracefully. Now that you mention it I did have a friend who I graduated with from high school stay in the towers and I remember visting him in his room one time over 37 years ago and recall how odd I found the shape of the room. In my opinion this one oversight does not invalidate my argument of expose me as not being an alumnus as you imply. Also the other attacks about the resturants and bars I prefaced with the explanation of living off campus. To argue these points demonstrates how superfical and insecure each of us can be when we have strong opinions about the team we root for. At 59 I still act child like and get depressed for 2 days when Pitt or the Steelers lose. I think we need to admit to ourselves that these statements we make that sound as absolute truths are simply ours opinions based on our own preceptions,personal experiences and hopes rather than on some profound knowledge or wisdom. We are all fans wanting the same end and as such ought to start out each statement with in my opinion.

Comment by DRW 08.31.11 @ 1:10 pm

@pitt1972, your assessment is spot on IMO, sorry TampaT, Harris was doing it with smoke and mirrors his last season. Walt also burnt a few bridges regarding recruiting in western Pa. as well during the end of his tenure. That alone damaged the program for years. By comparison to what Wannestadt was left with to start, Graham has walked into a Bonanza. Bash Wanny if you want but he was a solid Pitt guy who knew how to recruit in his own backyard. Now some of the talent might not fit Graham’s systems (Myers) but he has a lot of ammunition to start with and he seems to comprehend the necessity of playing to the strenghts of the guys you got now as opposed to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Still, no slack given. TG should be able to bring home a 9-3 season this year and be playing WVU for the BE championship this year too. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 1:18 pm

@Frank: I would have to quetion, exactly how much talent is actually coming back, from a team that lost 5 games. Including humiliations on national tv, and at our home stadium against Miami and West Virginia. Not to mention that “thing” against UCONN.

17 starters back??? Cleveland Browns usually have about 20 or 21 starters back?????

Local high school team finished 8-2 two years ago, had 14 starters back last year, went 4-6????

Wait, are Romeus, Shearred, Baldwin and Lewis coming back, leaving their NFL teams for a 6th year of eligibility???

I enjoy the banter Frank, and I do respect your opinion.

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 1:30 pm

Hey Frank, how about a hypothetical:

At the end of the year, which season do you think you would enjoy more, and be really pumped up for the future???

A. 8-4 with wins over Iowa, Notre Dame, Utah, and
spanking West Virginia by 4 touchdowns.

With the four losses, all pretty close games
that we lost to conference foes, by 4 points
here, a field goal there, maybe a costly
penalty on one, none of the losses
embarrassing at all, in every game till the


9-3 with say, a lucky win against Utah, but,
looking absolutely horrible against Iowa,
losing by 3 touchdowns to Notre Dame, and
getting waxed by WVU???

Our big wins would be a drubbing of Maine
35-24, Utah, and really pounding Louisville

So, you’d rather have the 9-3 season, just
because 9-3 is better than 8-4???

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 1:49 pm

DAN I respect you also and do enjoy talking to you on line you and DR TOM AND MELVIN AND TAMPA T ARE THE BEST but it still must be 9 and 3 see DR TOMS LAST POST.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.31.11 @ 2:11 pm

OK guys, you got most of the questions right, but they were ONLY for DRW. haha

Here are the correct answers again:

1) Name the bars & restaurants that were side by side on Forbes Ave, in the early 1970?s (which is when you said you went to Pitt) from the corner of South Bouquet to the direction of
the Cathedral Of Learning?

From Bouquet: in Order, The Original Hot Dog (beer was available for consumption in lots of flavors), CJ Barney’s The Wooden Keg, Frankie Gustine’s (this became Hemingways in the 80’s)

2) What were the 3 nicknames of the 3 Dorm Towers?

The Towers were built in 1963, their nicknames were, Tower A = Ajax, Tower B = Babo Tower C = Comet (although alot of people called Tower B, Balboa)

3) What was the name of the Movie theater that was on Pitt’s campus?

I’m shocked no-one got this. The King’s Court
(sidenote: the Rocky Horror Picture Show played there like for a decade in the 1980-1990 period)
Here’s a pic for your entertainment:
link to

4) What was the name of the two 24 hour per day restaurants on Pitt’s campus?

Key to this question was they had to be on Campus.
1) The Big O 2) The White Tower
Ritter’s Diner, while certainly an entertaining place to go late night, was off Campus on Baum Blvd. Sorry to those of you who might have been too drunk or stoned to have noticed you were ‘off’ campus.

DRW… your grade = Fail

Comment by melvinbennett 08.31.11 @ 2:21 pm

I used to go to the King’s Court all the time when I was a kid in the 60s.

Comment by Reed 08.31.11 @ 2:31 pm

Was any blogger on here, incarcerated in the King’s Court when it was a Police Station??

(Sorry I’m a little to young for that distinguished honor)

Comment by melvinbennett 08.31.11 @ 2:35 pm


Yea, saw that story on Yahoo. A&M has notified the Big 12 that they are history come June, 30th 2012. ( was right again)

“provided they find another conference”

Hey if the SEC turns them down, the BIgEast should like be on the plane with the invite, yesterday.

Comment by melvinbennett 08.31.11 @ 2:42 pm

Ok, I read his post. I don’t agree with the term bonanza!!! Maybe better than previous cupboards were left with, but, a bonanza of talent???

Compared to who, we have a bonanza of talent compared to top 20 teams??? Really????

I do have to ask Frank, were you answering my question, with your 9-3 response???

You’d rather have a 9-3 record with beating practically no one, instead of 8-4 with big wins against Iowa, Notre Dame and WVU????

Interesting, to each their own, I myself, would rather have 8-4 with big wins on meaningful national games.

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 2:47 pm

My point being, could they go 9-3 or 10-2, sure, lets hope for the best. Maybe 11-1, I’m all for it!!!

But, to put a demarcation line down, as 9-3 is a success, 8-4 or 7-5 is a failure, without looking at the whole body of work, without looking at individual games, without looking over the season, cut and dry, that’s it.

Wow, personally, I believe there could be a ton of variables over the course of a 12 game season, to just pick a number out of the air, and say, “pass/fail”.

What if Shanahan and Graham get hurt and are out for the season?? Lindsey misses 5 games.
Too bad, 9-3 or bust, huh??

You’re a tough cookie Frank!!

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 2:57 pm

“What if Shanahan and Graham get hurt and are out for the season?? Lindsey misses 5 games.
Too bad, 9-3 or bust, huh??”

Hey, Dan. I’m with you. What if Ray Graham fumbles deep in UConn territory?
Hell, Pitt could lose the game, lose sole possession of first place in the BE, and lose a trip to a BCS game. The coach could even lose his job.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 4:16 pm

Nah, he lost his job for an accumulation of ineptness!!

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 4:32 pm

From Bouquet: in Order, The Original Hot Dog (beer was available for consumption in lots of flavors), CJ Barney’s The Wooden Keg, Frankie Gustine’s (this became Hemingways in the 80?s)

Who from the ‘60’s remembers the bar a door or two (or three) down from Frankie Gustine’s? None of the above names sound familiar. I can’t remember the name, but I remember the Rollin’ Rock ponies which I used to order several at a time.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 4:45 pm

I don’t want anybody posting here to have to have their feelings hurt or feel unloved. Lets all come together, no matter what our opinions about Pitt football are at this point, just put our arms over each other’s shoulders and sing “Sweet Caroline”……………………. Now I know that made me feel much better yelling Lets Go Pitt at the top of my lungs, how about you guys?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 5:15 pm

BTW Melvin, I did get the Kings Court questions correct, it was buried in my post to DRW about 35 posts before this one. I also mentioned the tradition this theater had with Rocky Horror, LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.31.11 @ 5:27 pm

Doc, I think that the thin-skinned chaps generally leave this board after they get a response to their first post.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 5:28 pm

I’m looking for the name of another place (from someone who attended Pitt during the ‘60s). It was an after hours place located on the 2nd floor of a place near the movie theater. One needed to know someone to gain entry. After a home football game, it was the place to go.

Comment by BigGuy 08.31.11 @ 5:35 pm

Melvin, I got most of them correct. I actually started typing them earlier today, then saw you were after DRW. Has to be a troll, what Pitt person doesn’t know, or isn’t familiar with “hoopie”??

Oh, I missed Frankie Gustines, didn’t know that place, and missed The White Tower.

Kings Court, I graduated in 1988, was there 83-88, yes, I helped start the trend of the “5 year plan”. LOL Allthough, I did work while schooling!!

Anyhow, I can remember that from childhood, when my Dad would drive through Oakland on his way to his office, the facade of the building, I thought I was in England or something.

Yes, must have thick skin. Enjoy all of your comments, even ones stating that I am wrong, and I don’t even mind Frank yelling at me!!!

Really, great place to chat with fellow Pitt people.

Thank you Chas!!

Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 8:33 pm

@ pitt1972 and Dr. Tom
Well, if you guys consider having 16 returning starters – including Tyler Palko, Greg Lee, Ray Kirkley, Tim Murphy and Mike McGlynn on offense and H.B Blades, Clint Session, Tez Morris and Darrelle Revis on Defense – from a team that went 8-4 and to the Fiesta Bowl “pure fantasy” then I guess I should change my name from TampaT to Tattoo.

You guys just help my argument with statements like Walt did it with smoke and mirrors and we didn’t have sufficient beef on the lines. Walt’s system was a little bit of smoke and mirrors while Dave’s was grind it out, make no mistakes, especially with Cavanaugh as OC.

Walt’s guys just didn’t fit Dave’s system, so a team with a #23 preseason ranking that many expected to win an outright BCS bid goes 5-6 instead.

A quote from our friend and host Chas after that season, “Maybe I’m just feeling argumentative, but Pitt didn’t need “rebuilding.” The program may need reworking and some definite talent upgrades, but rebuilding is not what it is undergoing. That is a disservice to what Walt Harris did accomplish at Pitt from 1997 through 2004, and the players.”

Thanks for helping to prove the point that Dan and I have been trying to make about the expectations some of you are putting on Graham.

Comment by TampaT 08.31.11 @ 10:49 pm

Anyhow, I can remember that from childhood, when my Dad would drive through Oakland on his way to his office, the facade of the building, I thought I was in England or something. \
Comment by Dan 08.31.11 @ 8:33 pm

Too funny Dano…..yes if you look at that link I posted of the Kings Court Movie Theatre, it’s all England.

I’m still looking for a blogger here….who might have been incarcerated there overnite for like Drunk in Public or something when the King’s Court was a Police Station. Basically we’re looking for an alum who is in his/her? 60’s.

Come on….fess up…. This is really an honor and we want to recognize this grand accomplishment. You will be forever a legend on Pittblather.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 12:51 am

@ DocTom…..didn’t see your answer. no problemo
Senior Doctor. I’m sure there are more then a few here who had to have seen the classic movie….
“Animal House” at the Kings Court in the late 70’s.

I remember me & one of frat brothers being in Wendy’s on Fifth Ave. and someone gave us Free Tickets to see Gary Newman (Numan) who at the time was really good at the Stanley Theatre.
link to

Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 1:03 am

Hey I love all you guys…..yes we have our differences,….BUT WE ALL ALL PITT PANTHERS !



Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 1:08 am

Dr. Tom: My choice of bars depended on which end of campus I lived on. Frosh & Soph years I lived closer to Wohlfarth’s, Peter’s and Frankie’s. Junior year, I could fall out my front door to Luna and Chief’s – or fall in my front door after going to the Luna. Senior year was back west nearer the others.

BigGuy: Sorry, a little too young to help you with the ’60s. The only after-hours place I remember was New Era up near Luna and Chief’s. Hot jazz club where a lot of jazz legends hung out when in town. If the guy at the door didn’t recognize you, you didn’t get in. He was really a nice guy, but also someone you didn’t want to mess with.

Comment by TampaT 09.01.11 @ 1:09 am

BTW,,,,I’d like to thank Chas for creating this forum for all of us to keep in touch, discuss Pitt sports and reminisce about the past.

Thanks Chas, you are the best !

Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 1:19 am

@Tampa T

I know if you were on Centre Ave., and went to the Luna you have to had known Wes.

And I bet you went to Mitchell’s and Haddon Hall !

The Good Times !

Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 1:23 am


I remember the after hours club, it was across the street from the Howard Johnson’s or maybe Holiday Inn on Forbes, it was on the 2nd floor. The name escapes me at the moment, but I was there, I remember it and you are on the money.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.01.11 @ 1:48 am

MelvinBennett – regarding Animal House. Few people know that a Pittsburgher had a big role in that movie – Jamie Widdoes who played the president of the Deltas.

Comment by Reed 09.01.11 @ 7:28 am

@ melvinbennett

I vaguely remember a character that hung around that area. I was only on that end of campus for 1 of my 4 years and we only went back that way after hours after graduating to go to New Era.

I’m awful with remembering people from that time. Honestly. I ran into my hometown girlfriend of 5 years when up there a while ago, and I didn’t even recognize her. She’s going, “you don’t remember me?” My wife was with me and loved it.

Good times for sure. Too good sometimes. I think I was at Pitt a few years before you, so did Haddon Hall still have $1 pitchers and 10 cent hot dogs on Tuesdays? That was like a feast day for us, but we sure paid for it the next day.

Comment by TampaT 09.01.11 @ 8:21 am

IMO some of your expectations are ridiculous…football is a game and many things can happen…turnovers, injuries, referees…let the season play out…lets improve our recruiting classes, learn the systems, and then bring out the measuring sticks. should coach graham just come out and say, “our goal is to finish .500″… seems good enough for pirate fans….because the steelers went to the superbowl, is tomlin a failure if we dont win it this year, with the same and improved talent and health. this is why you play the games.

Comment by drgags 09.02.11 @ 9:55 am

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