February 15, 2012

Expansiopocolypse: Staying for 2012

Filed under: Big 11,Conference — Chas @ 6:57 am

Not a shock that Pitt appears to be staying in the Big East for 2012. $20 million without a Big 12-like $10 million subsidy to help is not going to be forthcoming from Pitt. Nor would it be likely that the Big East would be as compliant with the potential to see the conference down to 6 or 5 for 2012.

The only real news regarding the move to the ACC, is that Big East Stooge Commish John Marinatto is actually stating something everyone already knew.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto says his league “might be open to a discussion” about allowing Syracuse and Pittsburgh to join the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2013 football season.

The Big East reached a settlement with West Virginia on Monday that allows the school to become a member of the Big 12 in 2012.

Marinatto had previously said that the Big East intends to hold all three schools in the conference until 2014.

“But given the strength and speed of our expansion efforts, I think our board might be open to a discussion about 2013,” Marinatto said in a telephone interview.

No kidding. By 2013, for better or worse the Big East will have SDSU, UCF, SMU, Houston, Memphis and Boise St. to go with UConn, USF, Rutgers, Cinci and Louisville. There is no reality where the Big East wants to have a 13-team conference for one season. Fall to 11, then back up to 12 in 2015 when Navy comes.

The issue for 2013 is money. $20 million is the number for leaving immediately — and that does seem to be the going rate in all conferences. Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Mizzou all paid about that much to leave quickly. The speculation is that Pitt and Syracuse will be paying around $10 million to leave. Perhaps, but I think it will be less than that. More than the $5 million, but not $10 million.

First of all, that $20 million WVU is paying, is not just going to the remaining members. You can bet that even Pitt will see some of it in the form of money to help pay for another game. All 7 remaining Big East teams will need another game. Many of them, between either WVU or TCU need at least another home game. That’s on the Big East to help fix. Choices for 1-A options are limited. Considering that the Big East let the Mountaineers out for more money, that money has to be used to help the other seven schools.

As it stands Pitt is down two home games. They only have 2 conference home games and 4 conference roadies thanks to this mess. While the Big East may do some schedule rejiggering to give Pitt another conference home game, there are still gaps to fill. Pitt already bought out their UCF home game to accommodate TCU’s arrival. They will have to buy another home game — possibly 2 if the Big East doesn’t fix the schedule.

The Big East is going to help pay for that. That’s why AD Steve Pederson has stated that the Big East is actively trying to get Pitt another game. As well as for some other schools in the conference. That takes some money off that settlement. Say, $5 million to help the Big East football teams get some games (assuming they don’t use it to help pay for one of the future teams to come early). But either way, that $20 million buyout from WVU is not so much a complete buyout as to help pay for immediate scheduling corrections.

The Big East and Pitt don’t want to have to go messy lawsuit. If the Big East doesn’t help pay for buying a game (or even 2), then you can assume that it will come off the final bill Pitt pays for leaving after 2012.

As for WVU’s departure. WVU AD Ollie Luck, is now in the spin mode since he will have to deal with the end of the Backyard Brawl at his end. So, commence effort to placate Hoopies by suggesting it will be Pitt that won’t play.

This will also be the first time since 1942 that West Virginia won’t face Pitt in the annual “Backyard Brawl”.

The heated rivalry is over for now and they will never face again in conference play, but Luck said he is open to scheduling a match up down the road.

“It will be difficult to schedule,” stated Luck. “I certainly would welcome a conversation with Steve Pederson, my counterpart at Pitt, once Steve has a handle on what they want to do with their non-conference schedule.”

Quite a bit more diplomatic than his earlier claims of how much Pitt needed the game.

Bob Huggins is even spinning that the basketball side shouldn’t end.

Dixon does the basketball schedule on his own. He was noncommital on the WVu series when asked about it in October. He will speak with reporters later today after practice.

Huggins said he would be surprised if the two schools did not find a way to continue the series.

“I’d be shocked,” Huggins said. “We’ve been playing since 1904. We’re all looking for good non-conference games.”

To which Coach Dixon remains noncommittal it seems.

Dixon said most of non-league sked for next year is done. On WVU: “When things settle, we’ll go from there. No decision will be made today.”

Roughly translated: “We’re good, because on the basketball side, it’s the Hoopies not Pitt that need the ‘economic boost.’ “

Chas, as you know, I’m incredibly gullible. Good to have you around to dissect the spin doctors.

Comment by steve1 02.15.12 @ 7:03 am

I still think it makes sense to play the Eer every year in basketball …. 75 minutes away. from an AQ conference and (former) rival.

Pitt should at least should have the leverage for scheduling the game next year at The Pete.

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 7:31 am

The powers that be in the Big East will want Pitt and Syracuse gone after the 2012 season. With BE expansion after 2012, they will want to move on and having Pitt and Syracuse around would only cause hard feelings among the six non-expansion schools.

Pitt and Syracuse are helping out the BE by not leaving the conference in 2012 like WV. Therefore, John Marinatto should allow Pitt and Syracuse to leave in 2013 with a token fine. JMO,


Comment by MariettaMike 02.15.12 @ 7:35 am

One more year in a further diluted BE for Chryst to get his sh*t together is not necessarily a bad thing. Just win against whoever is put on the other side of the line of scrimmage in 2012 and lets focus on moving on to the ACC come 2013.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.15.12 @ 7:37 am

Truth be told, I will not miss Pitt playing West Virginia every year. If a rivalry is to reintroduced, I’d rather see Pitt play Penn State every year. Let’s keep the $$ in PA where it belongs. Hail To Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.15.12 @ 7:50 am

Why on earth would we agree to continue the brawl? That only serves to give WVU recruiting inroads to the WPIAL, and gives them a cheap road trip every other year. Have fun recruiting the southwest, I’m sure the kids will live fliying into Pgh and driving 90 minutes to Morgantown.

Comment by Jaimz 02.15.12 @ 8:45 am

Dr Tom, I agree that staying in the Big Least for another year may not be a bad thing. As you’ve said, that gives Chryst one year to pull everything together and Tino Sunseri will be gone by the time we hit the ACC. I don’t think Pitt should pay all that money to simply get out of the Big east one year early. The BE is still a BCS conference and the ACC doesn’t seem to be pushing Pitt to get out early.

Comment by Coach Ditka 02.15.12 @ 8:59 am

I’ve posted this before but ….

In the last 5 years alone ..
– WVU gave out an unearned MBA to the governor’s daughter
– Morgantown passed an ordinance to outlaw couch burning
– a coin thrown from the adult section hit a Pitt assistant BB coach in the forehead
– both their current head FB coach and BB coach have been involved in drunken / embarrassing incidents
– their lame duck coach FB asked some media members to dig up dirt on his soon to be successor
– the WVU student union offered to buy the obscene t-shirts that were being worn at the football games
(and I’m sure I omitted a few things)

They are now the B12’s embarrassment

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 9:05 am

I forgot to mention the RichRod lawsuit against WVU (his alma mater)

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 9:07 am

If WVU will agree to play 2 for 1 in basketball then go for it. Certainly don’t need to play WVU in football any more with the schedule being so limited in the ACC.

Scheduling wise, I think Pitt is better off going to FSU this year instead of scheduling another FCS team for home. I mean seriously what value is nontelevised blah home game that will be empty? I’d imagine Pitt vs. FSU would at least be on ESPN.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.15.12 @ 9:32 am

Points well taken wbb. This is one that the Hoopies have brought on themselves. Ask any bona fide Hoopie and they will tell you from the depths of their whiskey saturated hearts that they don’t like being banished to the Big 12. They would have much rather been in the more geographical ACC with Va Tech, Maryland, Pitt, UVa and others. Of course, due to their obnoxious reputation now known nationally the ACC snubbed them. What would the Dukies and UNC and Wake and the other ACC schools have gained from a bunch of drunken HillBillys puking in their tailgate lots and having a coon-skinned mascot shooting a musket inside Cameron Arena or the Dean Dome? It just didn’t make sense to take on that image into a respectable conference like the ACC.

Hoopie fans will be clammoring for us to play them in the future. The reality of traveling to Texas, or Oklahoma or Iowa or Kansas will really wear on the fans and there will be discontent among the ranks of the inbred.

BTW did you know that Hoopies actually LIKE ties in a game because that love to kiss their sisters?

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 02.15.12 @ 9:41 am

Wardapalooza, I’m with ya!! Pitt is allready getting beat up in the media (laughing and joking about) Pitt’s schedule this year.

(They understand why it will be this way, they understand Pitt will be in ACC soon, just laughing at the situation, they aren’t taking pot shots at Pitt.)

I said this the past couple days, I’d much rather see Pitt at FSU on the tube, than go down to a garbage game.

Allready have Youngstown St. and the BE conf garbage at home. Add TWO more junk games and you got what could be Pitt’s worst home schedule in Pitt’s history.

I know the home games are money, but, aren’t away games also, that are on tv?

Wow, you get someone like Maine and New Hampshire to go with Youngstown State, you have a real mess on your hands ticket sales wise.

Die hards will be there, but, the casual fan or general public, not a chance.

Not blaming Steve or Nordy on this one, the ACC is coming, but, they’re gonna have to pull a rabbit out of their hat for this season.

Maybe something up their sleeve, I hope so.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 9:44 am

as the B12 now stands, the closest school to WVU is Iowa State which is about 870 miles and 14 hour drive away … that is their closest.

But the strain of these travels will be the costs incurred by the other teams (basketball, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, etc) Yes, it is an attractive football and to a lesser degree basketball conference, but it is anything an optimal situation.

One more thing … for the ACC to ignore Lousiville and WVU which are geographically compatible, only proves the empasis it puts on academics.

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 9:51 am

wbb – add beating up a pregnant LSU fan to your list.

Comment by KeyboardKev 02.15.12 @ 10:02 am

wwb you are so right. Just read an interesting article in the Southwest Sheep Herders Union Monthly, that details the contingency plans already in the works to keep the Union’s livestock under lock and key during football weekends when West Virginia fans pile into the various venues for Mountaineer away football games.

I guess their reputation preceeds them!

No word yet on what “Rent a Center” stores in TX, AZ, etc. plans are to protect their couches. LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.15.12 @ 10:09 am

I have already got into my Boston College fan mode that has taken place since BC went to the ACC: “Ho, Hum. Just no interest, No real rivalries or excitement.” It is like the ‘50s, ‘60s, 70s, etc. when Pitt did not play in a conference. One exception: back then, there was Penn State and WVU.

To me, the absence of those games won’t make a difference. Future games will just be games with no real anticipation. My guess is that attendance at Pitt will dwindle just like BC’s attendance is dwindling. They are in a city (like Pitt), having a program with a long tradition. UConn is in the middle of nowhere and is an upstart in football, but they outdrew BC.

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 10:15 am

If two out of the six home games are against 1-AA opponents, then season tickets will be hard to sell. The only game on the schedule that I would want to see is VTech.

Comment by gdodson 02.15.12 @ 10:17 am

yea, i may not spend the loot for season tix if this is going to be the case..

Comment by Yup 02.15.12 @ 10:38 am

Games this year will not have much anticipation, other than VA. TECH and NOTRE DAME.

The anticipation for Pitt fans will be to see the new O and D, and Coach Chryst, and how he will do with the players, and the new recruits.

Now, after that, the anticipation I have will be jacked!!!

No anticipation to see Clemson, Maryland, Fla. St. Ga Tech, Miami etc. etc. I will be pumped!!!

Add to that, Notre Dame and Penn State on the schedule, and Steve-o saying he’d like to get the Penn St game a little more regularly.

The hope that Coach Chryst can take us to the next level.

Actually, Pitt could be in the perfect storm in a few years.

1. Coach Chryst builds the program and wins
2. Joining ACC, Clemson, Miami, FSU, Maryland et
al. Fantastic.
3. Adding to the ACC conference schedule, ND&PSU.

If things go right, could be one of the best times in Pitt football history coming up!!!

***This year, schedule a dud*** Admitted.

Let Chryst get his feet wet, try to win, hell with only 7 teams, try and steal a BCS bid, wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth to the BE and WVU???

Things are skyrocketing at Pitt, my above post was only about this years home schedule.

Should not have been taken as a negative, as I also mentioned, on the fan, they were just acknowledging Pitt has a little problem with it’s home schedule this year, not taking any shots at Pitt whatsoever. They acknowledged good things coming Pitt’s way also.

This fall, just a bump in the road, and towards the end, they even said, “wow, if Pitt improves a little with Chryst, they could steal a BCS bid”

Hail to Pitt!!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 10:44 am


1) Good coaching/recruiting =’s winning =’s attendance increases!
2) Nothing is more exciting than having Big East
powerhouses like Lousisville, Cincy and USF on your home schedule.
3) If Pitt develops a decent team with Chryst & Co. I firmly believe that ACC schools such as FSU, Maryland, Clemson and Va Tech will draw much larger crowds to Heinz than a big game with mighty Rutgers!!
4) Add the renewal of our long standing and very HARD FOUGHT rivalry with PSU ++ one more decent
Div I school and you have the recipe for an increase in attendance. BigGuy you are way, way
out on a limb and a big gust of wind is sending you to the ground…I hope you have good medical insurance.

Comment by isnore 02.15.12 @ 10:48 am

Should have had a ?

No anticipation to see Clemson, Miami, Fla. St., Ga. Tech, Va. Tech???? Add ND and PSU???

My lack of a ? made it seem like a question, which is completely different than my intent, which of course would be,

you’d have to be nuts to not anticipate our future schedule, including two rivals ND and PSU, especially if we are winning!!!

? can make a sentence entirely different!! LOL

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 10:53 am

Add to your list that the hoopies authorized beer sales at football games to REDUCE drunkenness. Only in Morganhole…

Comment by dinosaur 71 02.15.12 @ 10:53 am

ISNORE, we must have had the same coffee this morning!!! Good day to you!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 10:54 am

Here’s hoping that they work out the deal with Boise State to come this year, and have them fill one of those 2 open dates for a home game.

And for the other open date, if WVU is so hell bent on continuing this series, then buy yourself out of one of your other minor games and come play at Pitt this year like you were supposed to. If you can’t do that, then we’re not interested in any future games with you either.

Comment by Hank the Tank 02.15.12 @ 10:55 am

Keep the BYB on an every other year basis. That will leave room for ND and PSU as well.

The pious vitriol being spewed towards WVU seems very hypocritical. Isn’t this how PSU and their fans looked upon (and still do) Pitt when they ended the Pitt-PSU series? Didn’t JoePa call us a bunch of criminals after our last game at Beaver Stadium?

It appears it is our turn to be pompous seeing how we are now the snobs looking down our noses at WVU.

Comment by pghFred 02.15.12 @ 10:57 am

Not hypocritical at all pghFred, i’ve always spewed pious vitriol towards PSU, ND and WVU no matter what the situation is!!!! LMAO!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 11:05 am

Pitt fans will never approach the arrogance of the Nitter since we don’t live in Creepy Valley and don’t drink the Kool Aid.

The Hoopies have only themselves to blame for their boorish behavior and other schools like Va Tech refuse to play them ever again due to safety concerns.

Furthermore, Poopy Pants was the true hypocrit in the end.

And if I appear pompous for looking down on 3rd tier academic institutions, so be it. Those racist inbreds can go back to raping sheep.

Comment by TX Panther 02.15.12 @ 11:08 am

isnore I agree — Attendance will always be based on success. The best Heinz Field crowds have been for games against Va.Tech, Miami, and Cincinnati, and perhaps one or two ND and WVU games. Pitt needs to WIN, and then hopefully “rivals” will be generated from those teams we’re competing against for conference championships.

Comment by JW 02.15.12 @ 11:17 am

Dan, isnore, you may wish to check history to give a glimpse into the future. I gave the present day example of Boston College whose schedule will mirror Pitt’s. With regard to the strength of schedule, the schedule during Mike Ditka’s senior year consisted of:

Michigan State
Miami (FL)
West Virginia
Notre Dame
Army (a power house in ’60)
Penn State

Attendance at games was disappointing. (My recollection: in the low 40,000’s except for the ND home games.) We need fans with your enthusiasm. Hopefully you are correct in anticipating renewed enthusiasm with the Pitt fan base. But based upon my review of history and the existing landscape, I place myself in the skeptics’ column.

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 11:20 am

I really just don’t want to lose another rival. PSU may be back considering the changes at the top due to Sandusky, but they may not either.

Pitt is extremely fortunate they had another long-time opponent that could step in when PSU left. With as much tradition as we are losing in all sports due to the almighty dollar, I think preserving a little of that tradition would be a positive in a world of negatives.

Who is to say whether we can develop another rivalry in the ACC. VT? Maybe. Would it come close to the rivalry that Pitt-WVU built for 100 years? Not at first, but maybe after a couple of decades, it will. But it’s 50/50 whether I’ll be alive to see it.

I’ve posted before that I like having a game to circle on the calendar. If we blow off WVU, will we ever have another to circle? Fyi – PSU still doesn’t have one.

Comment by pghFred 02.15.12 @ 11:23 am

If we’re focusing on non-con opportunities, I’d much rather see renewal of PSU in football and basketball rather than WVU. If WVU works out in hoops, I’d favor a neutral-ish court game (like Consol) over a home/away series.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 02.15.12 @ 11:24 am

UMd would have been a good natural rival, but we’re not facing them every year in football. Schools have similarities and proximities. The football hasn’t been very good on either side, but there’s always hope. I still thing the basketball will come around eventually.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 02.15.12 @ 11:26 am

@BigGuy, nice to see you continue with your anti-ACC, pro-Big East stance. At least you are consistent. You know what would really draw a lot of excitement, Pitt playing Memphis for homecoming on Friday night. Or how about UCF on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Or going to San Diego St. on Wednesday night. I’d be so pumped for those games.

@isnore, spot on. If Pitt wins, Heinz Field will be filled.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.15.12 @ 11:27 am

Wbb is right WVU is a embarrassment who needs
them would mutch rather play penn state every year i hate penn state but at least you can go to there games with out geting hit with coins or worse.
Let the red necks stay in the big 12 piss on them

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 11:29 am

@PGHFRED, good points. In my humble opinion, especially with a lot of PSU people in my family, and working with quite a few, I believe the Pitt-PSU rivalry will be red hot again.

Caveat, if they can play them every year. Going to be tough. 9 conf games, leaves three spots. If Pitt wants two cupcakes for home games, that leaves one game to alternate with ND and PSU.

As for the PSU fans I know personally, some may say “oh, Ohio St is our rival now”.

I am telling you, getting a couple JW’s in them or quite a few Anchor Steams, and they will seethe “I hate Pitt and everything abouth them”, and we haven’t played in 12 years!!! Old and young I have in family, work. They won’t verbalize it soberly, but lying underneath, there is still some hatred.

Sure, some really may have moved on, but I honestly believe, it would not take much to ignite the rivalry.

Now, if we play two games every 10 years, ya, thats not so hot.

@GhostofHormon. Ya, that’s the only thing that I was disappointed in, was hoping to be in with Marylands division to get that rivalry going.

Oh well, remember fellas, along with winning bringing attendance, winning also makes it a lot easier to develop a good rivalry.

All it takes, is one bad call to change an outcome, one crowd incident, one total beatdown on the field or court, and suddenly you have a rivalry with someone.

Like someone said above, you win, a lot of good things happen.

You end up being a top 10 or 20 team every year, suddenly all of the other teams in your conference that are in the top 10 or 20 become huge games, in football and hoops.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 11:52 am

@Ghost – you are obviously not a Basketball season ticket holder. Please do not suggest ANY more games at the Consol. It really sucks, that you donate X amount to the university, and then pay for the season tickets, only to have to buy more tickets to so-called “home” games at Consol.

EVERY home game for Pitt should be at the Pete…including the game against Duquense (if they want to have their home game at Consol, fine). I don’t care how big the game is, or how many extra tickets they could sell. The Consol is the Pens home arena…not Pitt’s.

Comment by Hank the Tank 02.15.12 @ 11:52 am

Agree with Dixon. I’d rather face Penn State every year in basketball than West Virginia. West Virginia will be lonely in basketball with far flung opponents and expensive travel. Oliver Luck can go to hell.

Comment by Tonyinhouston 02.15.12 @ 12:09 pm

Tonyinhouston you are so right the hell with WVU
give it 2 years and we will hate VT and we have ND and if we get PSU back .

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 12:37 pm

See if FSU will do their new conference brothers a solid and come to Heinz next year. It says they need a game as well.

Guaranteed sell out too.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 02.15.12 @ 12:40 pm

@Chas or anyone else.

Does anyone know the comparison, for having a so called cupcake game at home, compared to playing a rival or another bcs team even if on the road, that gets picked up by television???

I was just thinking, 9 conference games, 3 openings. I’ll give you 1 cupcake, why does it have to be two????

I mean, how much money are we talking about??


H New Hampshire H New Hampshire
H UMASS A Nebraska
9 conf games 9 conf games

I realize some years, we will have 5 home conf, and 4 away conf, and vice-versa the next year.

And we’d have home and home with PSU and/or ND.

I guess what I’m asking simply (which I never do) LOL, is, does anyone know, all things being equal, what is the monetary difference between, say,

having a home game against New Hampshire vs.
having an away game at Nebraska, that is televised?

Anyone know any figures, roughly???

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 12:45 pm

Sorry about that mess, thought I had that little schedule spaced correctly.

I think you get my jist.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 12:46 pm

Winning generates rivalries. When Va Tech and Miami were in the BE we had some pretty good rivalries going with them. In the good old days our games with Florida State were games that you circled on the calendar. Keep Notre Dame, add PSU, join the ACC, most of all WIN and Pitt will have a fine schedule.

Comment by Houston Panther 02.15.12 @ 12:47 pm

Oh, and I have no desire to be pious or petty towards our rivals WVU.

I’d like to see the rivalry continue in both sports in some for or another. I hate them, and I LOVE beating them.

The problem is football scheduling.

I think we’re going to see this more and more with the superconferences forming. Teams will only have 1 open date available for a “real” opponent (ie, FBS BCS school).

So, you say you use that one open date on a non-conference rivalry game that’s pretty much locked in every year.

Ok, what if you have more than 1 non-con rival (as in WVU, Penn State, AND Notre Dame for Pitt)?

What if you’re serious about contending for national titles and would like to schedule a non-rival, non-conference, powerhouse team?

There’s just no room for it.

The LOGICAL thing to do would be to have teams do away with games against FCS schools. It makes sense, being as though playing them is as ridiculous as having the Yankees play the Altoona Curve.

You get one “cupcake” game against a FBS non-BCS school, then after that it’s all big boys.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 02.15.12 @ 12:48 pm

we coul a lot worse than having Maryland as a rival. In fact, I believe UM is much closer to the type of university Pitt is than either PSU or WVU. PSU has one of the largest enrollment in a rural setting .. and of course, we know that culturely, we are no match to WVU (thank God.)

However, Maryland is at least is in a suburb of a major city and their enrollment (37,000) is much clloser to Pitt’s.

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 12:56 pm

also FWIW, UM is ranked 55 and Pitt is ranked 58th in latest college acedemic rankings per uS News … and both are AAU members.

WVU thinks AAU stands for ‘academics are useless’ or ‘alcoholics are us’ .. take your pick

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 1:10 pm

“The two most viable options to fill the other opening seem to be that the Big East gets one of its seven incoming teams to join the conference a year early to restore it to eight members for ’12 or it flips one of Pitt’s conference road games to a home game, giving the Panthers three home and three road games in the league.

The second option would leave the Panthers one game short of a full 12-game schedule, but it would give them six home games and enable them to play another non-conference road game if that is the only choice available.”

#2 works for me. have ‘cuse come to heinz field and schedule pitt @ FSU in sept. i’d make that trip!

Comment by scott 02.15.12 @ 1:19 pm

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 1:28 pm

We have ND and hopefully again PSU as out of conference rivals. I don’t see Maryland as a rival unless we are planning on having very little football success. I believe our in conference rivals will be Va Tech, Miami, Florida State and Syracuse.

Comment by Houston Panther 02.15.12 @ 1:36 pm

Dan i think you got it right i would rather play
FSU on the road for the TV money.

than play a cupcake here just for a home game
and we would get double money they woul pay us for playing them they need a game plus it would be on tv.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 1:38 pm

What is the hold up were is the new RB coach and who is it. any one know whatis going on.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 1:46 pm

I agree with Dan and Frankcan. Let’s play FSU on the road. It would be a good way to get started in the ACC. People seem to want to play two 1-AA teams each year for easy wins. But playing more AQ teams builds the strength of schedule for better ranking. Wouldn’t a win over Florida State be more impressive than a win over Maine?

Comment by Houston Panther 02.15.12 @ 1:47 pm

Next year will be like a preseason for the following year in the ACC.

Comment by Snala The Panther 02.15.12 @ 1:49 pm

Funny Houston Panther, they were talking about it yesterday on 93.7 the fan, and Ron Cook said,

“ask a Pitt fan, do you want to win 66-0 against Stony Brook, or lose 15-14 to Michigan, you know they would all say the 66-0 game”.

Call me crazy…..well let me re-state my opinion, I guess if you knew the outcome, you’d take a W.

Now that I think about it, his question was wrong.

It should have been, if you had the option of

a.) playing Stony Brook and a 95% chance of
blowing them out


b.) playing Michigan and say, having a 50/50
chance of losing.

I think it’s pretty obvious, or am I nuts?

This would be the better question I feel.

His premise of a W distorts the thought of the question.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 2:17 pm

Money, I get, home game I get, Pitt fans would rather see an auto W against a nobody, as opposed to a good game against a good team. I don’t know about that.

Certainly not me, others may have other opinions.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 2:18 pm

They should force the BE to vote them out. Chas is right. No way they want 13, then 11, then 12. Pitt should call their bluff if the number is anything above $4-5M.

Comment by Chris 02.15.12 @ 2:30 pm

I’ll take Pitt playing FSU on the road next year over an automatic W against a cupcake at home….that’s just stupid to think otherwise. Ron Cook is a douche.

Comment by CJK 02.15.12 @ 2:34 pm

Stay in BE… Pick off easier BCS bowl and ACC bound they will Need Pitt to leave with other schools coming in 2013. Revenge is Sweet

Comment by 63Team 02.15.12 @ 2:34 pm

cook could not find his ass with both hands in his back pockets. DAN you are right i would rather play a big school tan a cup cake just look at how meany people go to thoes cup cake games.

and see how meany go when we play ND or if we played texas cook is out of touch with pitt just like that outher pitt hater smallzik misspelled
on purpose. you get the point.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 2:45 pm

Play WVUlgar 4 times a dedade in football, once a year in hoops.

Comment by SFPitt 02.15.12 @ 2:59 pm

Reed chaz what do you hear what is up with the RB coach is he going to wait for the spring game before he names one what is the hold up.
wisconsin only has 8 coachs is he afreid they will steal him agein or what.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 3:19 pm

Just listened to Beano Cook on the FAN and he brought up a good point. Pitt could play Penn STate on the Labor Day weekend, no pro game so Sat/ and Sunday are available. PSU is open that week also. We are all sick of pro exhibitions..grat opportunity.

As far as that reform school 75 miles to the South, I care so little about playing them, seeing them and hearing about them that I will not even mention their name. Good riddance!

Comment by Dan 72 02.15.12 @ 3:24 pm

Thanks for all the hillbilly humor – made my day. If they didn’t find a way to come to Heinz this year, then they already killed the BYB. Screw WVU.


Comment by San Diego Panther 69 02.15.12 @ 3:58 pm

BigGuy fro 11:20AM–
Your memory of Pitt’s attendance in the late 50’s / early 60’s is correct.

You referred to 1960 Iron Mike’s last year and if I recall we had 2 games with low attendance…Miami and WVU. I don’t remember why the attendance was below 40,000 with Miami, however, if my memory serves me correctly WVU was an absolute disaster in 1960 winning 0, that’s ZERO games that year.

In addition we had another home game in 1960 that had horrible weather (I think I have the correct year)….Army.

In the 50’s//60’s a crowd of 40-45,000 was considered decent. You forget that football powerhouses like Notre Dame and PSU had stadiums that seated less than 60,000.
The Big 10 ruled the roost and the independents were not the powerhouses that you might seem to remember. For example, Syracuse, a potent team in the 60’s played in Archbold Stadium, a concrete monstrosity with gaping cracks all over the place…a RAT HOLE!! Archbold, if it was jammed to the rafters probably held less than 45,000.

Pitt will draw an average of 50,000+ in the ACC if it can place a quality team on the field!!

Comment by isnore 02.15.12 @ 4:08 pm

Big Guy and I Snore – I was a Boy Scout usher at Pitt Stadium from 60-64…I guess they hired us because no one else would patrol and seat people in the Hoopie or Notre Dame sections!

Still have most of the programs and the Post Gazette Sunday articles (remember the front page would have huge pictures of Saturday’s game with an arrow showing the flight of the ball?? The play where Rudy Lachasee from Tulane beat Charley Hall deep to win the game comes to mind most!) A

Anyhow, it was where I fell in love with Pitt Football. Attendence was low for those games but clean up took forever. It was in the day where you could easily come into Pitt Stadium with entire bottles of liquor. Most were empty or filled with urine (if you remember the troughs in the men’s room’s were always overflowing). Took us forever to clean them up. On a crisp sunny Fall day in the Burgh on a Saturday afternoon, I can still smell the odor of hot dogs boiling and hot chocolate brewing. I will never forgive those who tore down Pitt Stadium and did not replace it with a stadium on campus! Hear that SP!

A little looking backward on the old times…

Comment by Dan 72 02.15.12 @ 4:20 pm

Dan72, my father had me drinking the Pitt kool aid at the beginning of the 70’s.

To this day, when I smell cigar smoke, I think of a cool fall crisp day at Pitt Stadium.

Guy two or three rows in front of us always had them for the games.

There was always a drunken group in front of us that sang the Peabody High School fight song every game.

Also, a little later, a guy with an air horn, that blasted it, after every score, the number of points we had, at that particular time.

I think he always had a gorilla mask, or some halloween type mask on, at all times. He was down about 10 rows.

I’d kill to be with my Dad at a game right now.

Great memories.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 4:31 pm

DAN72 like your idea abought penn state game
and the hell with WVU.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 4:36 pm

The 1st Pitt game I ever went to was in November ’69 when PS shellacked Pitt (something like 63-7). The next game I remember going to was in Majors’ 1st year and Pitt lost to USC (with Anthony Davis, Pat Hayden and Lynn Swann) something like 16 to 7.

Then I became competely enthralled in the following years and thought there was nothing better than college football (both Pitt and PSU were annual Top 10 finishers in late 70s/early 80s) .. and this was when the Steelers had their legendary teams.

Despite the rocky years since, college football remains No. 1 with me .. and the NFL has waned greatly.

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 4:46 pm

DAN you are killing me were you there when they
they used to yell hugh then wait for a few seconds and yell green.

And the bottles under the seats and the lines and the hot dogs i loved the old stadium
I to would like to go back to 1962 and do it all over till 1988 . like to go around one more time.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 4:54 pm

Good stuff wbb!!

My first one was against Northwestern in ’72!! Still have the ticket stub.

I remember the USC game also. First time my brother was allowed to drive on his own, down to the city!!! And, I think you’re right on about the score. 16-7 or 16-9 sticks in my head.

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 4:58 pm

I remember they tried making a little thing of
A.D. west vs. A.D. east!!!

I haven’t thought about that in years, thanks!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 4:59 pm

Ya, Frank, the pa announcer would yell for like 8 seconds HUUUUUUUUGH green. ha ha

Does anyone remember, I guess the 70’s, for awhile they were handing out red and green pieces of cloth??

Red was for stop (defense), green for go (offense)

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 5:01 pm

p.a. announcer Roger Houston!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 5:03 pm

Was Roger the one who was fired for saying “There is a tractor in the parking lot license number EIEIO” during a WVU game? Or some one else?

Comment by giveitarest 02.15.12 @ 5:23 pm

My suggestion for the make-up game to replace WVU (assuming we have to go to Division 1-AA level) – Duquesne.
We haven’t played them in decades, and we’ll likely crush them, but it will put some fannies in the seats. Even if it’s a one game deal, a lot of Dukes fans will show up just for the novelty of it. I’d rather play them than the Citadel.

Comment by Patrick 02.15.12 @ 5:30 pm

Guys thanks for the great memories. I was there too. The great memories come especially from playing the great games against the great teams. Yes, I would much rather play USC, Penn State, Notre Dame and Florida State than Stoney Brook, Maine and Buffalo. I remember Bill Kallidan running a rollout to beat Notre Dame with about 16 seconds to go in a game. One of my fraternity brothers, Frank Clark, kicked a last second field goal to beat Penn State. I was there when Tony Dorsett rushed for 303 against ND.
I loved the smell of the hot dogs boiling and the hot chocolate. I too will never forgive that smiley jerk for destroying our Pitt Stadium.

Comment by Houston Panther 02.15.12 @ 5:36 pm

Ah, hell. You guys should not have done that: bringing back old memories. It’s only February. I’m going to have to wait seven months to see the Panthers again, and it is going to be in sanitized Heinz Field. I miss walking up Cardiac Hill. (Well, maybe not.) On the plus side, I’m glad to see that there Pitt fans on this board who are almost as old as I am.

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 6:07 pm

Beeno Cook was on “The Fan” this morning and if the West Virginia fans think they can get away with the way they’ve behaved, in the Big 12 they are are mistaken. He said he knows the Big 12 comissioner Nienas and he will not put up with it.

A good many years ago I was at a Pitt-West Virginia, not too many years after they opened their new stadium. The fans on the upper level were throwing things down on the Pitt section below. The PA anouncer got on the PA system and asked the fans to please stop throwing things form the upper deck, because some of the people below are Mountaineer fans. Only in Morgantown!

Comment by Justinian 02.15.12 @ 6:20 pm

I loved the walk up Cardiac hill also. My dad would never let me buy a pennant before the game…he said they were always cheaper afterward and he was right. The 9-1, 63 team was my fave until 76 of course. I idolized Fred Mazurak, Frankie Gustine et al. One time, Bob Longo (another Baldwin grad) came to our summer camp to work with the split ends…I was one. I could not sleep the night after I was so excited. Johnny Mike lived near us, as did Longo. I can almost recite the entire team. I was accepted at W and J
Grove City and a few others. My Pitt acceptance was the last one. I cried when I opened the letter. Got an invite signed by Dave Hart to go out for the freshman team…obviously, he never saw me play.

I add some of this for the younger guys who are just making memories now. Sometimes I/we get a little crazy on this site and overemotional about the twists and turns our alma mater has taken. This past year is so bizarre that no one would believe it, if we were all not witnesses.

No matter what has happened or will happen, I could not be prouder to be a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh!
Now, if only Gibbs can stop those damn turnovers at the top of the key!!

Comment by Dan 72 02.15.12 @ 6:30 pm

To those looking at the weak football schedule and thinking about not ordering season tickets your not Pitt fans. Because of the circumstances beyond Pitt’s control on scheduling is no time to punish Pitt’s players.
Renew your season tickets for the players , for the new coach, and for the impression it will make on recruits for the 2013 class.

Comment by spindler's spirit 02.15.12 @ 7:02 pm

How well I remember…..

“Ladies and gentleman and children of all ages…The University of Pittsburgh is PROUD to present under the direction of Robert L. Arthur…THE WORLD FAMOUS….VARSITY MARCHING BAND… the drums would pound away in unison and the band led by our drum major would come charging out from under the entrance in the end zone….another day…another game against Syracuse or Navy or…yes, the HATED Penn State Nittany Lions.

HAIL TO PITT…Isnore Class of ’63.

Comment by isnore 02.15.12 @ 7:03 pm

Al Grigaliunas Industrial Engineer; MBA
Gene Sobolewski Education
John Maczuzak Electrical Engineer
Ernie Borghetti Dentist
Ed Adamchik Business Administration
Ray Popp Unknown
Chuck Ahlborn Dentist
Fred Mazurek Accounting; Law
Paul Martha Law
Pete Billey Dentist
Rick Leeson Dentist

Ah, degrees/education like that are from yesteryear.

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 7:03 pm

The following got truncated from the above post:

In 1963, rules required players to play both ways (offense and defense). As I recall, the starting lineup on the 1963 team was comprised of:

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 7:05 pm

How about Randy Hooooolllllllooooowwwayyyyyyyy?

Pitt Tavern before and after the game. No surprise they closed down since they only grossed more that $100 5 times a year.

Homecoming floats around the Pitt Stadium track for the game.

Memory lane, thanks Dan

Comment by wally 02.15.12 @ 7:06 pm

Homecoming floats with flowers made out of toilet paper spray painted and stuffed into wire mesh.

Apres float making-
Beers at The Luna Bar with Nicky the waiter who looked exactly like Nikita Khruschev!!

Comment by isnore 02.15.12 @ 7:27 pm

I remember 3rd ranked Pitt getting screwed out of a bowl game in ’63 (just started following sports then)
I remember reading about Frank Clark’s FG in Sunday’s Press
I remember Steelers playing at Pitt Stadium in late 60s
I remember how Dorsett owned ND all 4 years
I remember Carson Long’s bad day vs PSU
I remember Dorsett going > 6000 yds vs PSU in 24-7 win at 3 Rivers
I remember Tom Yewcic in ’76
I remember Cavanaugh getting hurt in opener vs ND in ’77 and defense fought so valiantly
I remember PItt getting ripped off at Florida St in ’80
I rememebr the clock running out in ’83 but PSU was allowed 1 more play when they kicked the tying FG
I remember Coach Gottfried running down the sideline when a Pitt DB returned an interception to seal the game vs PSU in late 80s

Comment by wbb 02.15.12 @ 7:37 pm

@isnore – Was you a Pitt Band Guy too???

I marched under Bob Arthur ’70 was last year band was all male…. u years I came “Out of the Hole” at Pitt Stadium.. Just look at the first post for as little Piit Eye Candy!!

link to

Memories on top of memories!! HTP!!

Comment by CompLit 02.15.12 @ 8:05 pm

u = 8

Comment by CompLit 02.15.12 @ 8:06 pm

Immaculate Reception – who was the halftime show???

Pitt Band!

Comment by CompLit 02.15.12 @ 8:12 pm

CompLit- I am proud to say that I had the wonderful Pitt Band Title…band manager…which as you know was a WATER BOY!!

I had friends in the Band and they recruited me so that we could go on the trips.

I will never forget seeing Pitt destroy Notre Dame in South Bend.
My favorite Pitt game of all time still remains the 1960 game against Syracuse in the dump, Archbold Stadium. Ditka was beyond belief and Pitt shut out a great Syracuse team 10-0.
Yes, Pitt stopped the one and only legend…Ernie Davis on Syracuse Parents Day…loved every moment of it…Pitt football has had many great games in the past and hopefully we will once again have a fanbase that knows that our history says that we are a football school.

Comment by isnore 02.15.12 @ 8:37 pm

Dan the walk up cardiac hill was tough but when i was young we used to run down the hill that was
a trip did you ever run down the hill.
i to remmber fred mazurak and bob longo
but the game that hooked mewas when eric crabtree
and garrett ford had 7 TD between them.
I think crabtree had 3 td and ford had 4 tds
i was hooked after that game it was so exciting
DAN do you remmber that game.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 8:40 pm

I have not been to a game in years live to far away does the band still march on to the field
do they play as loud as they used to our are they handcuffed now.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 8:51 pm

OK guys trump these tidbits: I can recall sitting in the endzone and viewing Bimbo Cecconi and Carl DePasqua(a future Pitt coach) cavort in the days befote WWII. How ’bout Bobby Bestwick and Jimmy Joe Robinson (future Presbyterian pastor) and Muha and Bill McPeak? Remember them? Also, I watched Jack Smodec and those tough two way players of mt pre-college days. I vividly recall covering the frosh gridders at Kiski when future Pitt starters Rudy Mattioli and Bill Hoffman and Chet Rice were in the backfield. Can still recall traveling to Ellsworth Center to see Eldred Kraemer and Lou Palatella get ready for the Saturday games. As ab upper classman I saw Dick Dietrich, Joe Schmidt and oh so many mire Blue and Gold gladiators. I haver never regretted being a GOLDEN PANTHER until the past season when “High Octane” almost ruined our stirling reputation. Pitt WILL COME BACK and Paul Chryst will lead them. Yes, gentlemen–I’m BULLISH on Pitt football!! Rev. George from Columbus.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.15.12 @ 9:14 pm

Frankcan, I don’t think the band is as loud as they used to be. At least not when playing from the stands.. though that might be because the acoustics are not as good at Heinz field as they were at Pitt stadium.
I remember being at a game in 1984 I believe it was, when Pitt played PSU and state had a first and goal at like the 1 yard line. Pitt’s coach put Bill Fralic in on defense, and Pitt’s D stopped them four times in a row. :-)

Comment by PittFan28 from Johnstown, PA 02.15.12 @ 9:15 pm

The band still runs on the field led by the drumline, plays in the stands and on the field at halftime led by the phenomenal Jack R. Anderson. Before the game, the band marches down West General Robinson Street into the stadium. Heinz Field acoustics aren’t great but the band still is. Be sure to stick around afterwards to hear the drumline behind the open end of the stadium.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.15.12 @ 9:42 pm


That cb would be one Billy Owens in 1987. Still get goosebumps every time I see the highlight of that play remembering how me and a buddy of mine went completely insane screaming as he ran down the sideline….good times indeed.

Comment by Outlaw 02.15.12 @ 9:44 pm

pitt fan28 pitt DAD THANKS FOR THE INFO

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.15.12 @ 10:17 pm

I remember the walk up Cardiac Hill with Pittsburgh Press vendors hawking their special stadium editions with my dad. We would have season tickets, but I would nag him to sit in the Pitt student section where there always was room. The frat thugs would try to make everybody move around because they were holding seats for their superiors. This was back in the 60s and the only game that ever sold out was Notre Dame. The Coca Cola was always straight cane sugar and flavoring, a little flat, but always provided a buzz and a good mixer for the students. Looking down at the Pete I can feel the ghosts of games past, and my dad.

Comment by Tonyinhouston 02.15.12 @ 10:20 pm

Just got back. Wow, great stories, great memories.

Also, to those of you younger panther fans, enjoy the stories, you will have memories too, even at Heinz Field.

Yes, I long for Pitt Stadium, but, I would never take anything away from younger Pitt fans today.

A lot of your memories will be when you are 8,9, 10 years old, and started going to games.

And, if it’s Heinz Field, that shouldn’t diminish your Pitt memories one bit.

We’re just enjoying some old moments, and we are here because we still love Pitt, even in Heinz.

We got the Pete out of the deal, but, the Stadium did have character, even though not so many amenities.

***Just to show we’re all in this together, actually, one of my favorite memories was just 12 years or so ago, at THREE RIVERS STADIUM!!!!

Yep, stadium really didn’t matter, Pitt 12 PSU 0.

Why that one, well, I knew we weren’t going to be playing them again for awhile, and I went with my Dad.

I knew he was getting older, and had some health issues. I had thoughts of a loss, and I can remember clearer than day, grabbing his coat and practically punching his arm off as they counted down the last 10 seconds and we had down it.

Had bragging rights in the family. He passed away in 08′, and that was his last Pitt-PSU game.

So, all kinds of things make memories, and I look forward to some great memories in Heinz with hopefully a great team with Coach Chryst and the ACC coming!!!

Pitt Stadium was a special place though.

Hail to Pitt!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 10:45 pm

@give it a rest. I don’t know. I actually think not, it was a younger radio station guy, like a WTAE guy who had taken over that did that. He was like a sports reporter or something, or maybe worked for Pitt radio, I don’t think it was Roger.

@BigGuy, great memory, starting line up, impressive.

@isnore. Band was always great, Pitt Script!!! Still is.

@Frank, ya, I ran down it a few times, to get to the bars!!! No, I don’t remember that game.

@Tony, ya, a lot of my Pitt stuff is tied to my Dad also. Sometimes I drive up there and get out of the car, and just stand and look down for 5 or 10 minutes!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 10:56 pm

@Rev George!! I don’t remember them (46 yo), but, my Dad played with them. My Dad played 46-48, right after he got home from the Pacific.

He started his junior year, cut short with knee surgery beginning of Senior.

Anyhow, just saw Mr. Cecconi a few months ago at church. He still looks great!!!

My Dad and Bimbo hitchhiked together to Kiski for camp!!!

My Dad always laughed, he just left a hut in the Pacific, and when he got to Kiski, there were those same type of huts again!!!

Also, Herbie Douglas and Jimmie Joe Robinson, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Douglas.

So, I got to meet a few, but just about all of those names I heard him talk about.

He wasnt’ a star, but a good athlete, and got to start quite a few games. Defensive halfback they called it back then.

My Dad was a very self-deprecating guy, had an interception against Penn St., ran it back, and said he got hit so hard he fumbled the ball, but it went out of bounds.

He also spoke of getting clobbered by Leon Hart at ND.

Also, getting beat 67-0 at Michigan!!! ha ha

They did have one 5-5 year, one lousy year. He did go 2-0 against Penn St.

Says best game they ever played, was a loss, at Ohio St that they should have won.

Well, I could go on sir, but, I just wanted to let you know, there still are connections to the past around!!!!

Hail to Pitt!! Goodnight all!!
I just saw Mr. Cec

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 11:10 pm

Sorry, have to address,

@wbb, don’t remember your first three, but the rest I certainly do remember. Carson Long, money kicker, missed 3??? I think?? Wasn’t his wife in labor or something??? Cold as hell, at Three Rivers right??

@complit, great trivia question. I think I have heard that over the years, but, you would have stumped me at the bar!!!!

Comment by Dan 02.15.12 @ 11:14 pm

@Frankcan – my pleasure – proud father of two band members – trombone ’06 (also in the pep band), drumline ’10 (also a leader of the Zoo)

I know this has been mostly a football discussion and, while I did go to a game at the old Pitt Stadium in ’74 and I enjoy Heinz Field, I love the Pete and my best Pitt memories are the Big East Tournament at MSG.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.15.12 @ 11:27 pm

isnore and all you older fans, let’s put this in perspective by considering the young guys who may be reading this board: Back in 1960 if we heard some long time fan talk glowingly about games that he remembered seeing in 1910, what would your thoughts have been?

Comment by BigGuy 02.15.12 @ 11:40 pm

like most of you, my dad took me to games in the earlie 70’s and early 80’s. Priceless memories, even for a young kid. My dad would park 10 miles away and make us walk up cardiac hill. Still remember T.D. going for 199 against WVU before he was thrown out for throwing the ball and/or taking a swing at someone after he was tackled out of bounds..

Comment by goalie44 02.16.12 @ 12:39 am

This link may have already been posted. If so, I apologize. Interesting perspective from former Pitt basketball layers on this year’s troubles:
link to

Comment by Tonyinhouston 02.16.12 @ 2:55 am

I would have been very impressed. I think you underestimate the appreciation for history and culture many young fans have. When my dad talked to me about Pitt football, he was speaking about going to see the Jock Sutherland teams in the 1930s. Even now I remember the pride he had in his voice. Just like many fans on this board take each defeat to heart, he was torn up by what happened to Pitt football in the 1960s. It was really hard for him to go to games in the era. You are right in one way, though. College football has become more like arena football with no conference loyalties, rivalries coming and going, and clown costume uniforms. But any fans who annually go through the media guide and see all the past records, Rose Bowls, All-Americans, and those tough-as-nails schedules of the 1950s appreciate Pitt football for what is, what it was, and what it can become.

Comment by Tonyinhouston 02.16.12 @ 3:01 am

@wbb: I too remember and most of all, I remember Pitt beating Georgia for the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl in ’76 — I was there. I bought Pitt season tickets in ’72 and kept them until I moved south in ’96. I was there for all your “remember(s).” What a ride. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.16.12 @ 7:08 am

Time for a comic interlude compliments of Toad Graham:

link to

Comment by steve1 02.16.12 @ 7:15 am

@wbb, It was Navy (24-12, & Roger Staubach)that cost us a major bowl in ’63. I was at that game in Annapolis with my father. I still can’t believe Pitt did not get a bowl invitation with only one loss, admittedly, there were not nearly as many bowl games played in the ’60’s. BUT…

Comment by MariettaMike 02.16.12 @ 7:16 am

Speaking of the Pitt Band at old Pitt Stadium, remember Pitt’s herald trumpeter’s that you play a fanfare and the band members would double time out of the tunnel. As a kid, I though that was really cool.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.16.12 @ 7:32 am

Pitt is a football school, a basketball school, a baseball school… Pitt is It! HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.16.12 @ 7:34 am

Guys, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard at a Pitt game as I did when DON IRELAND said there was a tractor in the parking lot with its light on. Here’s the new story:

link to

Or how about Roger Houston promoting the next home game and yelling…”BEEEEEEE THERRRREEE”

Kevin, Pitt ’87

Comment by KeyboardKev 02.16.12 @ 7:56 am

Win or lose, we are Pitt! Young or not young, we should support our school. Criticism is fine, we all have opinions, but in the end, we are Pitt! HTP forever!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.16.12 @ 7:59 am

BigGuy (11:40PM)

I am originally from Noo Yawk and did not have any Pitt connections. In fact, I had never been to a college football game and had only attended a few high school games (My high school had OUTSTANDING basketball and our football field was in the process of being torn down).

When I got to Pitt I had the opportunity to learn bout Pitt’s amazing football history. Stories were told about Marshall Goldberg and the Pitt/Fordham rivalry, etc. I learned that Pop Warner and Jock Sutherland had been Pitt coaches.
Entering old Pitt Stadium you could almost feel the past history of Pitt Football (remember please that our basketball team was awful in those days).
If a student enters Notre Dame, USC, Alabama, Ohio State, etc. believe me they hear about the glories of football. I did my graduate work at The University of Pennsylvania and it was not unusual to hear about the glorious Quaker teams that ran rampant in Franklin Field. The Penn/Cornell Game was still a big thing in those days. So, BigGuy the answer is YES…I believe that today’s Pitt students would be interested to know that Pitt has had a glorious history on the gridiron….I blame our athletic department for allowing much of it to drift away. Stevie has no interest in preserving anything from the past.

Comment by isnore 02.16.12 @ 8:08 am

I hear a lot of fans stating (because of the potentially weak schedule) that they won’t waste their time on going to the home games.
Well that is exactly the reason Pitt is in the position they are in. You should support the team no matter what if you want the school to provide a good product.
If we all (Pitt fans) show support no matter what then better coaches will want to come here, better athletes will also.
Poor fan base, look at BB now, people jumping ship already.

Comment by frankarms 02.16.12 @ 8:29 am

@mariettamike -The Herald Trumpets still lead off the Pre-game.

Next trivia… Ass’t Band Director under Robert L. Arthur was a volunteer Pitt Dentist (Prof.) “Doc” Anderson…. wait for it !!

Father of Jack Anderson (who also was in the band and is now Director)

Benny Benack scored a lot of the music. Frankie Gustine was a great financial supporter of the Band.

Comment by CompLit 02.16.12 @ 9:19 am

Being the Pitt Band director may, in fact, be the best job in the world because Jack Anderson is certainly the happiest man I have ever met.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.16.12 @ 9:22 am

Pretty awesome stories. I’m a younger fan (12-0 PSU game was my freshman year), but still good to read. I know years from now I’ll still be talking about Pitt football like the 2002 game I went to in Blacksburg where I saw Pitt beat #3 Va. Tech, or watching Larry Fitzgerald etc., etc.

@frankarms It’s absurd to criticize people for not wanting to attend those horrible home games. Games against FCS teams are like preseason NFL games. Are Steelers fans bad because they don’t pack Heinz field in August? No. Pitt could potentially play 3 HORRIBLE teams home (maybe 2 FCS teams and another FBS bottom feeder). If the schedule looks like that, why would anyone buy season tickets. I know I won’t. I will buy a ticket for the Va Tech game and then scalp tickets for the other games. People basically give away tickets for those FCS games.

Also, could you please explain what “bad” position Pitt is in right now? I’m pretty sure Pitt athletics have top facilities, a top basketball program, a rising baseball program and a football program that has been close and could get over the hump with good coaching. Plus, Pitt is going to the ACC soon a top conference. Such a “bad” position indeed.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.16.12 @ 9:36 am

A Pitt Band story-

The Varsity Marching Band was chosen to play The National Anthem at Forbes Field for the opening game of the 1960 World Series. The Anthem was sung by Pittsburgh’s own, Bille Eckstine (for the youth who post here he was a very popular singer and band leader in the 40’s, 50′ and 60’s.

Forbes Field’s sound system was nothing comparable to today’s hi-tech audio systems and the words Roberto Clemente sounded like///Roberto Erto//Clemente Ente.

The band started to play the Anthem and poor Billy started to sing, however, the notes and his words were rebounding throughout the ballpark.
I was standing fairly close to the microphone and could clearly see the panic on his face as he struggled to keep up with the Band. The Band was perfect, however, Billy looked like he was going to trash his pants.

After the Bucs won the Series the Band did a halftime tribute to the Champions with one of the Band managers pretending to run the bases after Maz hit the winning home run. The Stadium erupted with an enormous standing ovation…quite possibly the loudest cheering ever heard for a Pitt Band halftime show!!

Comment by isnore 02.16.12 @ 9:38 am

Dan and outhers the game with eric crabtree and
garrett ford was in 1965 ford had 356 yd
crabtree 206 yd there was a total of 1071 yd in the game WVU won the game 63 to 48 but you were on the edge of your seat for whole game.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 9:48 am

One more thought… Jack Anderson grew up around and in the Pitt Bands (he probably has 60 yrs. of Pitt in him. His “right-hand” is Lou Rusiski (around band 40 yrs.) and Ass’t Director Dr. Mel Orange (Pitt 26+ years).

One place where tradition runs deep.

Comment by CompLit 02.16.12 @ 9:49 am


We play the Hoopies tonight (9PM) for what could be one of the last encounters with the couch burning nation for quite some time.

Pitt basketball is down so far this year that I almost forgot about the game. The NCAA is not going to see Pitt this year and the NIT (who cares) could be our destination.


Comment by isnore 02.16.12 @ 10:03 am

Pitt -3

Comment by Yup 02.16.12 @ 10:26 am

@Wardapalooza, your are correct. I think Pitt is in one of the best positions it’s been in awhile.

Football- Coach Chryst, moving to ACC

Basketball- When you take a step back, and look at it, c’mon, 10 years of the tournament. Coach Dixon has one of the top, if not top player coming in next year, with another big recruit to go along side him. Moving to ACC.

I think we could we heading for some great rides in football and basketball the next couple of years.

Comment by Dan 02.16.12 @ 10:34 am

Rev George – I bow to your lore sir!

I remember the Eric Crabtree game. I had the privilege of having season tickets just in front of Anderson’s wife and met him on occasion. My life has been devoted (other than Pitt) to choral music so I followed the Pitt Band. For years they would come out and play with the best local high school bands in a concert. I still cannot get over how good the HS Bands were in WPA and most 200 members. I used to dream about the Pitt Band coming out of the tunnel at quick step after the trumpets played their flourish. The opening number was “The Conquerer”. Does anyone remember that the Pitt Band always played the other team’s fight song as a salute! Will never forget my first Pitt/ND game at the stadium. When the Pitt band played the ND Fight song the entire place went nuts! Does anyone remember Alan Popsack sp? the long time drum major?

Comment by Dan 72 02.16.12 @ 10:35 am

With all the talk about walking up Cardiac Hill. I have some memories as well. I remember parking at the gas station on Forbes Avenue, yes there was a gas station there then. The owner would close up on Game day making his station a parking lot. We would stop at a cigar shop where my father’s friend George would pick up a few cigars before the game. Then we would start up Cardiac Hill. On the walk up, I always wanted to buy a penant, but my father would tell me, “They’re a waste of money.” The same for pretzels “They’re just bread.” Hotdogs and peanuts at the game were ok. One time on the walk up the hill, for a game against Penn State, I wanted to buy a Penn State penant, but I got a no. Good thing,….. because it’s important to instil the proper values in your children.

Comment by Justinian 02.16.12 @ 11:11 am

@Dan 72 – Remember Alan – I think I was a fresh or soph when he was DM!

Comment by CompLit 02.16.12 @ 11:17 am

Rev. George, an integral player on that ’63 football team was Rev. Bob Long who would become a Presbyterian minister. In fact I believe that he was a starter at end.

BTW, my recollection is that Pitt was scheduled to play Penn State the weekend after JFK was assassinated. The game was postponed as a result; however, the Orange Bowl committee had to make a selection before the postponed game took place. They gambled that Penn State would beat Pitt and chose them. Wrong decision/selection.

Comment by BigGuy 02.16.12 @ 11:27 am

Nice trip down memory lane.

My time with the Pitt Band made me a Pitt sports fan. I witnessed 2 years of Dave Hart and 2 years of Carl DePasqua without the benefit of alcohol.
Does anyone remember pep rallies on Friday nights in front of the union? The band would march down Cardiac Hill, play H2P at the Union, then march single file thru the Cathedral and then the Towers and then march back up Cardiac Hill. I get chest pains just thinking about that march today. The echo of the drum line in the Commons Room was awesome.

The elder Jack Anderson is still the most friendly, upbeat person I have ever met. And Jack the younger is right up there too.

Lets take one last victory over the hoopies.
Hail to Pitt!

Comment by dinosaur 71 02.16.12 @ 11:37 am

This was nice but were the hell is the RB coach
wisconsin has only 8 coachs is he in fear that if he names one wisconsin will take him also like thay did the last one. name a RB COACH

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 11:51 am

This was good stuff good times but were is
the RB coach wisconsin has 8 coachs is our HC in
fear that if he names a RB coach that wisconsin
will take him like they did the last one.
name a RB coach .

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 12:00 pm

Dan: Would REALLY be interested in your dad’s name since he plated centuries ago and I encouraged him. Incidentally, I would gladly trade some of the “yore” back for a few winnin g seasons. And to Big Guy: Yes, Bob Long was also a Presnyterian cleric. Chuck Rhinehart. RB from <t. Lebanon also qualifies. One would think with all that "holiness around the Panthers would have a better over all record. Not compAINING. WE do have a proud tradition!! Rev. GEORGE FROM Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.16.12 @ 12:00 pm

@dinosaur71 – And broken windows in the towers (courtesy of drum line) and marching (snaking) single file through busses on Fifth Ave. The friday pep rally was not a good time to be driving down Fifth !!!

Comment by CompLit 02.16.12 @ 12:12 pm

“One would think with all that “holiness around the Panthers would have a better over all record.”

Rev. George, Bob Long and Chuck Rhinehold tried their best, but I think that Pitt’s hellraisers overwhelmed them.

Comment by BigGuy 02.16.12 @ 12:33 pm

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