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December 5, 2011

In case anyone thought I was just making stuff up regarding Pitt getting sent to the BBVA Bowl in Birmingham, solely for TV. There is this bit of information.

…the BBVA Compass Bowl pitting 6-6 Pitt against 6-6 SMU. That last one’s particularly interesting because, according to multiple sources, the Birmingham game didn’t want the Panthers back for a second straight year, and Pitt was so opposed to the idea it threatened to boycott. Seriously.

So how did that matchup still end up happening? One word: ESPN. Its subsidiary, ESPN Regional, owns six of those low-rung bowls, including the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and BBVA Compass games. And lest anyone tell you otherwise, head honcho Pete Derzis ultimately decides who plays where. He’s the reason Marshall is playing in St. Pete instead of Pittsburgh and why SMU is in Birmingham instead of … somewhere else.

The bowls are purportedly for the “student-athletes,” and arguably they still are in places like Pasadena and Orlando. In Birmingham or St. Petersburg, however, they’re for three hours of television programming, and the teams are ancillary figures.

And as Zeise noted, it is not like the Big East was going to do anything to help Pitt.

The bottom line is Pitt was trying to work something out with the Beef O Brady’s Bowl but the Big East made it pretty clear that they weren’t going to help Pitt’s cause and they basically told Pitt it was headed to the BBVA Compass Bowl because that bowl needed someone who might actually attract a television audience. (Believe it or not, Pitt might not be good at selling tickets, but people will watch the Panthers on TV which makes them attractice to a bowl like this, which exists almost exclusively as cheap programming for ESPN.

That’s part of why Pitt kept ending up on weeknight ESPN showings. We like sitting in our couches — not burning them.





@Pittastic. Good link, some funny stuff. The Pitt-SMU gets it, but he has a lot of other funny one liners on a lot of other games!!

San Diego St wants to join Big East, lose to the third place team of the Sun Belt conference, you’ll fit in nicely. LOL

Illinois-UCLA, two teams with interim coaches, meeting at a baseball field, on New Years Eve, with one team losing it’s last 6 in a row, and another having just been beaten 50-0 by it’s arch-rival!!! LOL

Hey, ya gotta laugh and roll with it!!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 12.06.11 @ 2:29 pm

I think the point many of us have clearly made was that if Tino was our only option at ‘traditional’ QB, allegedly, then yes, the wildcat, in a modified form — passing more often for example — was more palatable than watching Tino’s nauseating dysfunction week after week.

Of course, and not even worth discussing, we all want somebody like Luck or Griffith, but you do the best you can with what you have…and many feel Tino isn’t that…but if you dug 6 horrific losses and still didn’t want to make adjustments, hope you enjoyed the season alot.

And Jones’ arm looked plenty fine to me.

Comment by Matt N. 12.06.11 @ 2:56 pm

AJ – I don’t remember anyone saying those two things about Myers and Gonzalez.

But the facts are that Myers checked himself out of the bulk of spring practices and never has, even to now, learned the offense well enough for him to be put in to try to execute it on the field. In addition to his not understanding where the offensive personnel are to be on each play Myers also throws a lot of INTs in practice because of this and Graham abhors turnovers.

Gonzalez’s case is two-fold. That arrest and subsequent suspension took him out of the QB race for the first two games. Myers was practicing in the #2 spot at the beginning of camp then the staff went out and got Anderson, moved Gonzalez to 3-back, and he stayed there. Both Sunseri and Anderson played well in the summer camp and they had Myers at 3rd string so moved Gonzalez to h-back.

Graham won’t run Gonzalez as anything but a running threat out of the Wildcat, with the exception of a surprise pass or two like we saw Jones do, because Gonzalez just can’t pass at this level of play. He has the worse arm of all the QBs on the roster.

The bottom line with running more of the Wildcat at PITT this season is that you limit yourself to one action with the ball and that is rushing it. If you spent a whole season giving Gonzalez Wildcat snaps every opposing defense would stack the box even worse than they do with Sunseri.

Sad enough to say but Sunseri actually was the ‘best option to win’ this year. Now, with hindsight Graham and Magee could have and probably should have run more of the Wildcat.

But again, Graham was intent on getting as much of his base offense instituted as possible this season in readiness for 2012 and that’s why I think he stuck with the more conventional offensive sets this season.

But if you remember I said in the beginning of the year that should Sunseri get injured or falter then Anderson would play first and then Graham would bring Gonzalez back from another position to play QB before Myers saw the field for any length of time… and that happened. That’s because I knew Myers wasn’t at all ready to play QB out there and that’s why the staff only developed singular ‘packages’ for Myers where he had only one target on the play with no decision making whatsoever, like we saw with that endzone pass he attempted.

Comment by Reed 12.06.11 @ 3:15 pm

Lets see where TG stands at the end of year 2 and 3

Comment by Snala The Panther 12.06.11 @ 3:54 pm

I’m not sure why I bother, but here goes… For the life of me I can’t understand all the venom spewed at TG for this season.

He came in and said this team is capable of winning a championship and based on exponentially more knowledge than anyone on this board he chose Tino as the QB that gave him the best chance to accomplish that goal. Well guess what… he came within 3-4 plays and/or one injury (Graham) from winning the Big East. He didn’t get completely embarassed on national TV TWICE and lose to a not so good UConn team with 5 years worth of his recruits.

I just don’t see how this is a complete failure or a lost season. It’s not like he inherited a roster full of top 10 talent. He took over a team that proved to be not very good at what they were recruited to do (play pro style offense), which lost their best RB, WR, O Lineman and D Linemen and which was nearly completely void of any game breaking/changing talent at what are three key positions in his systems (QB, WR, LB). Oh yeah, and the roster was pretty much a complete mismatch for what he wanted to do. All things considered I’m really not sure how much people were expecting.

Tino was the best at running his offense, plain and simple. No conspiracy theory, no being afraid of looking bad, etc. Would it surprise any of you that Tino’s stats are nearly identical to his 2010 stats?? He did try to change and adapt his offense. At his other coaching stops teams seemed to pick up his offense after 5 or 6 games. I think he believed this would be the case at Pitt and they would be ready for BE play. When he saw they weren’t getting it and O-Linemen started dropping like flies, he dumbed down and slowed down the offense.

Some of you would argue he should have changed it more. I would argue that there was clearly no compelling talent at the QB position to warrant scrapping his system in lieu of something else. Maybe winning one more game this season simply is not worth the lost time in learning and installing what would ultimately be the offensive system at Pitt under TG.

I understand it’s a national embarassment to some to run Trey Anderson out there, but if it supports your arguement, it makes perfect sense to run true freshman 5’8″ 165 pound Ronald Jones (with no other BCS offers) from the Wildcat 30 snaps a game. OK…

Comment by Pitt89 12.06.11 @ 4:42 pm

Very well said, Pitt89!

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