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December 21, 2011

Well, as the day already starts getting late, and not even the hint of a late day press conference. I think it is safe to say that Pitt will not be announcing the next head coach for at least another day. I do expect that Pitt will have the announcement no later than Friday? Why? Cynical timing.

They definitely want it done before Christmas. They also want to be able to do the standard press conference and then have the new coach show up at the Wagner-Pitt basketball game on Friday night on ESPNU. Speak to the fans. Maybe get a few minutes on the national broadcast. Pitt has done it before — both Graham and Wannstedt showed up at the next basketball game. It’s standard for most schools, and I think Pitt could really use it.

But all reports are that it isn’t going to be today. From (h/t Scott):

Sources tell us Mario Cristobal is meeting with Pitt officials today…and plans to meet with FIU administration after (possibly not until tomorrow). We’ll keep you posted.

And then Paul Zeise posted an update as well suggesting that there is an internal debate at Pitt.

As such, there is a very definite discussion going on right now about Mario Cristobal and Paul Chryst and it really comes down to everyone involved getting on board with the idea that Cristobal is not another mercenary and if he comes, he will be committed and be here for the long haul, or at least a reasonable tenure.

So the discussion is – is Cristobal sincere when he tells them if he comes, he is coming to do a job and rebuild the program. And let’s make no mistake about this – with two recruiting classes basically lost because the players were all recruited for a different system, this is a rebuilding situation.

So here we sit and wait and while we do understand that a big part of the discussion is this – “can Pitt, which just got burned by a carpet bagger, take a chance at another southern guy who has no ties here and has been in a warm climate his whole life”

There are some within the inner circle who still have to be convinced…so stay tuned. If Chryst emerges as the guy – which is looking like a real possibility – it will be because there wasn’t a unanimous feeling that Cristobal will be in it for the long haul.

There are two parts to this. The first is that the decisionmakers themselves seem to have placed a higher concern on worrying how long the guy will stay. That frustrates me, because you just never know. That is part of the risk no matter who you take. Apparently Graham’s actions scarred more than just the fanbase.

The second factor is that, we have confirmation that this is not a search party of one. AD Steve Pederson may have a voice in this, but he is not the dominating one. There is a real committee and real debate.  I may not agree with all the parameters of the debate, but I’m happy to see that there are multiple people involved in deciding this.

As much as many want Pederson gone —  with good reason over the last 12 months as opposed to wanting him gone for his sins from his first run as AD — the coaching search and hire would be that much worse and harder if he was fired. Not many quality coaches are going to take the job when they don’t know who their boss will be.

Schaumburg thank you i think.
look i am not saying chryst is looking at these coachs
but here are 2 names for you to think over.
chad glasgow was the DC at texas tec very bright left 3 days ago,
rick kaczenski was iowa defensive line coach left 2 days ago.
i dont even know if chryst knows them but what the hell .

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.21.11 @ 10:29 pm

Please, please reserve judgement either way on this hire until can see what the coach can do on the field. Graham turned out not to be the first coming of Johnny Majors. One thing about Todd Graham that irritated me was that he could not adapt his system to his players or so he said. How can that type of coach make in game adjustments? Does he go out at half time and get people off the street? Also assuming Mike Haywood had managed to control his temper, how may people believe Pitt would have done worse than Graham’s 6-6 season?

I will comment on the coaching hire after I see what he does for at least one whole season or at least I think I will, after all I am a Pitt alum and fan!

Comment by John In South Carolina 12.21.11 @ 10:29 pm

How did they manage to get Tony Orlando from FIU and Paul Chryst from Wisconsin?

Best of both worlds?

Comment by Emel 12.21.11 @ 10:30 pm

Like I said earlier, I expected to hear late breaking news on either one of these guys this evening. This wasn’t going to stay hush-hush until Friday/Saturday.

This recruiting class is sticking together, bet the house on it.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.21.11 @ 10:32 pm

JW thanks i am old and i do get in a rush some times no modulation . some times a spot of vino.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.21.11 @ 10:38 pm

You got to love a guy who gave Ped State their worst beating in years 45-7.

Give me some that !


Comment by Emel 12.21.11 @ 10:40 pm

Is Mark Meyer now a valid QB option for Pitt again?

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.21.11 @ 10:41 pm

Great pick! I think Pitt FINALLY got it right!


Comment by Pitt Is IT 12.21.11 @ 10:42 pm

Christ is the new Pitt head coach!!!

Since when did Pitt allow Tim Tebow to make coaching choices for them?

Oh wait…

::rereads headline::

…. darnit, it’s just Paul Chryst.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 12.21.11 @ 10:43 pm

Welcome, Coach Chryst. May good fortune find you here in Pittsburgh.

Keep up the good work, FRANKCAN!

Let’s go Pitt!

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 12.21.11 @ 10:47 pm

If Voytik is a mobile QB, Chryst should do well with him after this past season with Russell Wilson.

I preferred Cristobal, but I also like Chryst.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 12.21.11 @ 10:48 pm

Somebody tell me why is should be excited about this? Obviously, Chryst was not the first choice, so that’s not good. But what’s worse is that this guy runs another boring pro style offense. It can work in the Big Ten and SEC but its not gonna work up here, as we saw with Wanny. Western PA simply doesn’t have the big horses up front to run a pro style. Throw in the fact that Chryst supposedly has no personality or charisma and doesn’t like to recruit. College football is built on relationships and recruiting and sadly I don’t see Chryst thriving in this aspect. Say what you want about TG, but the guy was about to bring in arguably Pitt’s best recruiting class. TG gets jobs because he’s a salesman that can talk you into anything. Guys like Chryst, Foster, and Bradley, who are good guys, lack this charisma that is so important in college sports. Things are bad when you can’t even talk the coach at FIU to come to PITT. I was a Fickell supporter, I’m all in with Chryst now but I don’t see how this is a good hire on any level. Apparently, Tony Wise will be coming back to Pitt. Might as well just bring Wanny back.

Comment by Alex P 12.21.11 @ 10:54 pm

I’m a fan of the hire…I don’t think Chryst will leave anytime soon (3-5) years…and he’l be able to make his brand of football over a period of time..he’l be fine….and make pitt a good job..if he wants to stay or others who want to come..

Comment by pitt-for-life 12.21.11 @ 10:59 pm

Somebody tell me why is should be excited about this? Obviously, Chryst was not the first choice, so that’s not good.
Comment by Alex P 12.21.11 @ 10:54 pm

You should be overjoyed that Chryst was not the first choice of one Smiley Pederson.

Comment by Emel 12.21.11 @ 11:02 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 12.21.11 @ 11:02 pm

Digdug(formerly Dugdog) one of the best questions of the night.
Meyer’s value increases tenfold of Chryst puts in a pro style offense (anti-high octane). Our “favorite” QB Tino, son of Sal, can’t play pro or octane or single wing. It would be amazing if over the next 8 months he suddenly develops arm strength and accuracy…it ain’t gonna happen.
Meyer, however, might have the right tools for
a pro offense (OBVIOUSLY A HUGE ?). It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Comment by isnore 12.21.11 @ 11:04 pm

you have the OC of the number #4 ranked offense as your new head coach…what a win!

Comment by markp 12.21.11 @ 11:14 pm

Did you guys read that article posted by Steelfan?? Graham actually wants me to believe he gave up a $2 mill per yr job without knowing if ASU would hire him??!!!

Get real, dude. The pants on fire meter has just blown a gasket.

Comment by square44 12.21.11 @ 11:19 pm

isnore, iagree. Pun intended. Though Chryst isn’t a Pitt man, he obviously has western PA and Pitt ties. Does Sal try to pull a few strings? Let’s hope not. This could get very interesting.

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.21.11 @ 11:25 pm

square44, the article is still all about “me, me, me!”

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.21.11 @ 11:26 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 12.21.11 @ 11:27 pm

Sounds like Chryst is Wanny without the recruiting ability or the head coaching experience. Sounds like his most favorable quality may be that he will stay. I wish him well, but it looks to me like Cristobal turned the job down.

Comment by auggiefromlatrobe 12.21.11 @ 11:51 pm

FRANKCAN – I’m not sure what you mean about us posters and Zeise.

He’s the local PITT beat writer who producers way more info and opinions about PITT than any other media writer so of course we are going to reference him.

That is what we do on here. We write articles about PITT football, and Chas about other PITT issues and other sports, and pepper quotes and links in the text so that YOU GUYS can follow up and read more detailed stuff.

But I don’t remember either Chas or I ever saying that Zeise is not wrong sometimes – he certainly is and sometimes we’ll acknowledge and make fun of that.

Lets all be honest here. Chas and I know some people who are around the program but we sure as hell aren’t “Insiders” like Zeise and others who make a living covering PITT. Basically I get info from reading the news & blogs about PITT football then try to write something that catches and keeps your interest and is fun to read. So, I need Paul Zeise for me to be able to do that. But the bottom line is that sometimes PITT just doesn’t release any information about issues and this is one of those times.

I find that when I go back and re-read Zeise’s articles about PITT football he is almost always correct or semi-correct about issues and specific items… the bottom line is that some readers disagree personally with what he says so they think that makes him wrong, but that isn’t the case.

A case in point was how Graham was handling Mark Myers and the QB situation. Zeise reported that Myers didn’t grasp Graham’s offense well enough for Graham or the OCs to put him in. It was true, Myers didn’t. Fans think there was some grand conspiracy involved and that because the HC ‘dumbed down’ the offense it made the point invalid. However, what those fans don’t get is that any ‘dumbing’ down was done for the OL and the WRs and the essence of it was slowing down from the quick tempo so that those positions could grasp the play calls better to lessen penalties (OL) and allow the receivers to get to thier spots on timing plays.

But that didn’t impact what was required from the QB at all, he still had to grasp 100% of what everyone else on the offense was required to do on every single play. Zeise was completely correct on this issue regarding Myers but because Sunseri’s play was poor they just assumed Zeise was wrong about the situation and he wasn’t.

Also, Zeise (as do many others) swings and misses on big ticket issues sometimes like who PITT will hire, etc in the past. But at least Zeise comes straight out and says ‘look, everyone I talk to is lying and they don’t know anymore facts about this then I do’. Which is true.

That said, I cringe at his opinionated stances sometimes and I really don’t like the way he sometimes ridicules his readers or the PITT fans who disagree with him. In a real sense his approach is “my way or the highway” when it comes to discussing PITT football and he invalidates other’s opinions that are just as valid as his. Again, I’m pretty opinionated also and I know some of you all cringe when you read some things I talk about but the difference is that I’m doing this as a hobby and for fun, and for you guys truth be told, and Paul Zeise has a much more formal stage.

Comment by Reed 12.22.11 @ 8:52 am

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