March 8, 2012

It was something of a given anyways. Pitt had to cancel a home game with UCF — at the behest of the Big East — with the expectation of having TCU coming in 2012. Then they got a better offer to go straight to the Big 12. That was followed by losing the Backyard Brawl after WVU fled to the Big 12, and the Big East caved as expected. That left Pitt two holes to fill on the home slate at a very late point.

We knew Pitt wasn’t going to get a good team to go on the road that late. There just weren’t any other 1-A teams that had an open date — especially at the price Pitt could/would pay. And even if the Big East had somehow managed to get Boise St. to join this year — instead of the desperate Temple — you know part of the deal would have sent Pitt to the Smurf Turf.

So, now Pitt has a full schedule. Such as it is.

And the home slate sucks.

Youngstown State (1-AA) — September 1

Virginia Tech — September 15

Gardner-Webb (1-AA) — September 22




And knowing the Big East, I think it is a safe bet that at least one of the conference home games will be a weekday event.

Selling tickets — season and individual — will be hard enough. Getting people to show up, even harder. I think the only choice is to offer beer sales — and maybe some vouchers.

I’m trying to think about how Pitt is going to gin up sales for this season. Horrid home schedule. It’s a complete lame-duck year before heading to the ACC. The team has a new head coach (again), but is likely to be led by a QB an overwhelming majority of the fanbase does not want to see out there. The odds are that most of the games will be nooners.

One of the few options is to give people that renew season tickets a nice bump in priority points — especially in the form of parking pass position. Not just for this season, but going forward. You want people to buy season tickets for this season? Give some assurances that they will be in a better position for decent parking spots.

No one at this point can control next year’s football schedule. My advice to Paul Chryst, in the words of the late Al Davis,

“Just win baby.”

Everything else will take care of itself.

Comment by Justinian 03.08.12 @ 10:43 am

One thing of note is that none of the home games conflict with the Pirates.
So at least the Youngstown State and Gardner-Webb games can be in the evening.

Beating Virginia Tech would obviously be a huge boost, as it would give fans a reason to believe that there is potential with this group for the season.

Comment by OriginalEther 03.08.12 @ 11:03 am

FSU, Duke, NC State and GT also play two i-AA games. It is was it is…just hope for a good year and use it as a spring board for next season.

Comment by markp 03.08.12 @ 11:23 am

It is incomprehensible that the Athletic Dept has the balls to RAISE the season ticket prices for the dedicated fans in the sections that also require a donation. We have supported this team through thick and thin, they feed us this lame home schedule, and then raise the ticket prices?!? This is beyond insane.

Chas – how can we get your idea to the Athletic Dept so that there is at least some incentive to renew tickets? I’m quite sure that we could fit every single person that purchases season tickets this year into the Gold 1, 1a, & 2 lots…cuz at this rate there isn’t going to be many of us.

Comment by Hank the Tank 03.08.12 @ 11:38 am

I’m surprised that schools would schedule 2 FCS schools. According to NCAA regulations, with regards to bowl eligibility, only one victory over an FCS school is considered. Scheduling 2 FCS opponents and defeating them both means you have to go 7-5 to be bowl eligible.

Comment by pittdiser 03.08.12 @ 11:52 am

@ Hank: I would say at this point the schedule really isn’t going to affect who renews tickets and who doesn’t.
As for the ticket prices, they are still dirt cheap.

@ pittdiser: At most places, the I-AA game is more profitable than a road trip, which unfortunately more important.
I think most schools aspire to do better than 7-5 anyways, though it is certainly an easier sell than 6-6.

Comment by OriginalEther 03.08.12 @ 12:14 pm

When I first heard of the game with Gardner-Webb, I thought it was a joke from The Onion. Not only didn’t I know they had a football program, I didn’t even know the college existed until yesterday at 3 O’Clock. You, of course, are spot on with the incentive recommendation Chas, but SP stopped listening to the fans 10 minutes after he was rehired. He will, no doubt, do the opposite and raise ticket prices and PENALIZE those who don’t renew. When it comes to the carrot or the stick, Stevie only knows one thing.

Comment by wally 03.08.12 @ 12:17 pm

Why couldn’t we at least get a D1 team instead of Gardner Webb? I’d rather play Kent, Akron, or a Sun Belt team….at least someone in the same 121 team league. The 1AA teams are often scrimmages (Citadel, YSU) or times when you become ready to drink and cry. (Furman and High Octane Maine)

Comment by AJ 03.08.12 @ 12:18 pm

PITT is quite aware & sensitive to the sale of tickets. it’s my understanding that PITT is telling season ticket holders that upper end zone seats are not for sale & steering these fans to lower bowl seats w/ reduced prices. Rumored that seats behind visitors side are being reduced.(camara shot side)?? also heard some seats may be covered w/a tarp? has anyone heard same rumors?

Comment by DC33 03.08.12 @ 12:33 pm

DC33, this link gives you the price breakdown.
link to

Just guessing, but it looks like Pitt will play a conference game on the road (week 2). If not, then there would be 4 straight home games.

Comment by gdodson 03.08.12 @ 12:49 pm

for every fan on here who bitches i wish they would show up to the games. i could care less if there are 8,000 fans at a game becuase me and my crew will be a part of the action. ive had season tix for 10 years now and only missed 1 game..(wedding) pitt fans need to shut up and enjoy being a fan of pitt football.

Comment by mike 03.08.12 @ 12:53 pm

for every fan on here who bitches i wish they would show up to the games. i could care less if there are 8,000 fans at a game becuase me and my crew will be a part of the action. ive had season tix for 10 years now and only missed 1 game..(wedding) pitt fans need to shut up and enjoy being a fan of pitt football.

Comment by mike 03.08.12 @ 12:53 pm

They are allowing season ticket holders to keep their tickets in the Upper Endzone if they choose to. When I called to renew I was happy to find out I could keep my same seats.

Comment by Pitt Rob 03.08.12 @ 1:15 pm

Hey i’m not bitch’n == I attend games & have made several road trips == Hail to PITT

Comment by DC33 03.08.12 @ 1:27 pm

Pitt (FB) fans have long had the reputation of being complainers who really don’t support the program in the first place. I really can’t argue with this much of the time as I know many alums who rarely show up on Saturday but are not shy about airing their complaints.

Comment by wbb 03.08.12 @ 1:45 pm

Hey Mike, you’re posting at the wrong place brother. Most everyone on here goes to the games, or those out of town or elderly watch and donate.

Some of them attend the games also. Wrong place sir, you need to tell the so-so Pitt fans to attend, not the die hards, which is mostly who is on here.

So-so fans need wins and attractive games. Hopefully Chryst gets us wins, and this years schedule not withstanding (and it’s not Steve or Marks fault, just something we have to deal with), when we get to the ACC, with Miami, FSU, VT, Clemson coming, combine that with wins, you’ll have some good crowds.

Like it or not, especially for Pitt, to get decent crowds, you gotta win.

With this schedule coming up (again, not bitching, not blaming anyone), the truth is, it’s gonna be hard to big crowds other than Va. Tech.

The only way I could see decent crowds for the rest of the games, if Pitt comes out smokin’, beating peoples asses and winning.

If they beat Youngstown St. 21-17 and Gardner-Webb 28-24, gonna be a long season for ticket sales.

Now, unlike several predecessors, if they come out and spank these teams 55-7, might be able to generate a little buzz and the crowds will improve.

Hopefully Chryst can do it.

But I digress, Mike, you’re preachin’ to the choir on here!!!

Comment by Dan 03.08.12 @ 1:50 pm

coming off all the turmoil of the BE and the Graham fiascos, this season promised to be rough. However, if the team can take c are of business this year .. next season’s home schedule promises to be much more attractive.

One of the best games in recent memory was our last minute victory in VA Tech’s last visit here .. so looking forward to that game. Also, it should be Rutgers and Louisvile’s last game her for a long time. We owe RU a beating, and Lousiville may well be BE favorite this year. Temple is an old but familiar in-state foe. So we just have to make the best of it.

Comment by wbb 03.08.12 @ 2:32 pm

Agreed WBB. Not to project ahead, oh hell, that’s what we do.

If they could beat YSU, upset a Va Tech, and pound Gardner-Webb, it would make those other games that much more exciting.

I’m really looking forward to see the coaching staff and what they can do with the new players and the letterman.

As bad as the schedule may be, really, probably a reprieve to not have Miami, FSU, Clemson etc. etc.

Va Tech and ND should be good tests. As will Louisville etc. etc.

Just hope they get off to a good start!!!

Comment by Dan 03.08.12 @ 2:41 pm

Lets just hope that Marky and Stevie do what they have to do, pay what they have to pay to get our asses out of this putrid garage league after this year!

Comment by Leaseman 03.08.12 @ 2:57 pm

@AJ : We have no choice, we had to take a AA school because we are scheduling this way too late. The MAC and SunBelt schools are already scheduled elsewhere. The BE really put it to us by letting TCU off the hook without penalty after we had to pay a fee to get out of a game with UCF to put them on the schedule.

Comment by Chuck Morris 03.08.12 @ 3:23 pm

yes, i know most people on this site do attend the games, i wasnt referring to anyone on here, just the “typical” pitt fan.
if pitt was smart they would tarp upper endzone, upper corners as well on the vistors side and MAKE the people move to the lower bowl. it will look alot better and prob be louder considering all the fans are togther…

Comment by mike 03.08.12 @ 3:26 pm

Cool Mike. Allthough, I tend to give the fair weather fans and band wagon jumpers a break.

I actually encourage to come, we need them.

You know, if they don’t have any ties to Pitt, or no one in there family has gone there, or they didn’t go etc. etc., then, if we don’t win, and don’t have an attractive schedule, hard to get them to come.

They need a reason to get excited.

Hell, I’m a fair weather Pirate fan. I admit it.

This is pretty simple I know, but, the way I’ve always seen it, we have about 20-25k core fans that go to the games.

Then I’d say, you have about 10k that are certainly Pitt fans, if the team is ok, half decent opponent, they go, so you have 35k-40k.

If the team is doing well, ND or PSU or another big time opponent then you get the other 15k from casual fans and fans of the other teams.

Anyhow, your point is well taken, and I’m pretty optimistic, if Chryst can start winning, and we get an ACC schedule, with ND and PSU on it every other year, good things are ahead for Pitt football.

Will we ever get 65k for every home game, no.

Would be nice to see 45-55k for most games, 65k for Miami, FSU, Clemson, ND and PSU.

***I do like the tarp idea. Those yellow seats stand out, cover the end zone, and say 15-20 rows at the top of both sides***

Comment by Dan 03.08.12 @ 4:06 pm

If i had to worry about how many yellow seats were showing , i wouldn’t go to the games. I enjoy seeing major college football and also some great tailgating, we eat very well 🙂

Comment by michael 03.08.12 @ 4:06 pm

Right!! Nothing like the morning of a college football game!!!

Comment by Dan 03.08.12 @ 4:45 pm

Dan you are right abought every thing as allways

Comment by FRANKCAN 03.08.12 @ 5:55 pm

ok, let’s put this in perspective guys. I’m not saying this is a good home schedule by any means, but considering the circumstances, it’s not the end of the world…especially with the ACC on the horizon.

here’s what I mean.

Youngstown State 1-AA- For what it’s worth, if you’re going to play a subdivision football team, they are one of the best. Their head coach is a stud recruiter and their offense should be pretty solid this year. Solid senior RB, and a junior QB who looks to improve. Plus, they were the only team to beat the 1-AA champions last year. Good test/start to the season for a new HC and offensive/defensive system IMO.

Virginia Tech- Good home game and probably one of the best. Again a good test as well as a look into the future of the ACC Coastal Division and the past Big East former member.

Gardner-Webb 1-AA- don’t really know what to say here but this is an issue regarding the continued ineptitude of BE leadership and TCU WVU bolting. Could be a nice game for confidence building and tailgating in your home stadium parking lot whatever the time is always a good thing.

Louisville + UConn–
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Louisville and Rutgers supposed to be the best teams in the BE this year?? Pitt notwithstanding. Seems to me we got the “best” teams albeit in a watered down conference at home. Not terrible.

Temple- not great by any means. not a good draw. Hopefully a “W”

Anyways, looking at it like this, the schedule could have been far far worse. It’s not good, but perhaps acceptable for a jumbled situation in a transitional year. H2P!

Comment by Gordo 03.08.12 @ 6:14 pm

To PITT athletic dept:
Allow beer sales during games, skip the booze. It’ll certainly encourage the fair weather fans to stay in the stadium longer when we are up by 35 at half against GW. Oh…it makes $$$ too.

The ticket prices are fine where they are. (look at what other BCS schools charge)

Also “throw us a bone” and forget the nooners. The ONLY reason for a noon game is TV, and there isn’t a network on earth that wants to broadcast Pitt vs GW at noon in late September. Tailgaters HATE noon games, we have to get up too early, 2pm works sooo much better.

Comment by ClarkLotTgate 03.08.12 @ 6:42 pm

Why wouldn’t they try and get Duquesne? At least their Alumni would show up in droves and spend some coin, they have had a decent FCS squad, and oh by the way, you keep the money in the city or pay them less since they won’t have any travel expenses? I would also mention RMU but they aren’t shaping up to have a solid squad this year and seem to be much smaller.

Comment by Tedward 03.08.12 @ 11:49 pm

I wouldn’t look down our collective noses at Temple. That may be one of the tougher games on this schedule.

There sure isn’t a whole lot of incentive for a nine hour round trip drive to watch most of these games, is there?

Comment by Reed 03.09.12 @ 7:24 am

As for Pitt football season ticket prices — GA Tech has an annual deal: 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 cokes and a program for $44.00. Given that I’m a season ticket holder, I am not happy that Tech increases my season ticket’s each year then makes this offer to the general public. Admittedly, the games being offered aren’t Tech’s key games and the seats aren’t as good as my season tickets but when you add in my seat cost plus the price of my season tickets, I’m not too happy. But I keep supporting the Jacket’s and looks forward to wearing my Pitt hat at the inaugural Pitt vs. Tech game played in Bobby Dodd Stadium. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 03.09.12 @ 7:30 am

I am not a Pitt grad, but a season ticket holder since 1972(missed a coupla years) go to some away games. You don’t have to be a Pitt grad to be a faithful fan.
The Pitt grads i.e. faithful fans, do not and never did show up for games unless there was a buzz around the program. Oh they buy tickets but their seats are almost always empty. They don’t even give them to someone who may use them. Not sayin anyone on this blog, but if you know these people get them to attend.
Another thing, for years I tried to move my seats to the Gold sections and was told I could not because they are taken. Yeah right.

Comment by frankarms 03.09.12 @ 7:38 am

@Reed, I contend that Pitt, Penn State and Temple should play each other every year. These three PA Division I teams should spread the wealth and keep the $$ in PA.

There were many years where GA Tech couldn’t match-up with Georgia and was a heavy underdog, but the game went on and will continue being played in perpetuity.

PA powers that be should mandate that these games be played annually. Of course, my vote never counts.

Comment by MariettaMike 03.09.12 @ 7:43 am

@frankarms — I’m a Pitt alum, had Pitt season tickets at Pitt Stadium and Three River’s until I moved south but when I tried to better my seat location I was told the seats were taken as well. The only time the seats were filled was for the Penn State, ND… games. Go figure. Maybe people but tickets and only show for the “big” games.

For years, Georgia fans would buy GA Tech season tickets and toss all games or sell the tickets, if they could, except for the GA game. But I don’t think this scenario plays for Pitt.

Comment by MariettaMike 03.09.12 @ 7:57 am

I had 6 tickets(2 I bought for my parents, and 4 for myself and friends in another section) from 1972 till ? not sure exactly when. Then the Pitt grads,(true fans) came out in droves and wanted my tickets, so the price for my seats went up to a donation of $500 each for my parents tix and $250 each for the other 4. Needless to say, I could not afford these prices and gave up my seats to these fair weather fans who attended until Pitt fb went downhill again. Pitt begged me to come back. Now if they do this again they will lose me forever. I believe this is one of the reasons today of why some people refuse to attend. Pitt burned a lot of bridges back then.
By the way, my DAD is 83 years old and attends every game with me.

Comment by frankarms 03.09.12 @ 7:58 am

Enjoy every minute with your Dad frankarms!!!

Pitt ticket office has always been run like a university office, instead of a business, that knows how to handle customers, and customer issues.

Comment by Dan 03.09.12 @ 10:41 am

The pitt ticket issue is ridiculous…I sit in the endzone and was infromed that it was being closed…then they told me it was back open..then this week i get the seating chart and it’s closed…it makes pitt look real stupid..and i don’t like when pitt looks stupid…for some reason we do just fine doing stupid stuff ourself..atleast the business end of it should have it together…I think the endzone should be closed….i just wish we had a stadium of our own..that held about 50,000

Comment by pitt-for-life 03.09.12 @ 7:17 pm

I feel bad for all y’all who pay to see the games. But hey, at least we should win ’em. That’s what I’d be more concerned about…

Comment by Atlanta Panther 03.10.12 @ 5:35 pm


Duquesne doesn’t offer enough football scholarships to compete against FBS teams. I believe the NEC conference is upping their scholarship limit (it’s now at 35 scholarships per team), but as it is the NCAA won’t let NEC teams compete against FBS. I’m not sure what the FCS scholarship minimum is to compete against the upper division – I think that in order to play up teams need to fill 57 scholarships in a given year.

I like that Duquesne is putting more into their football – I want to believe they are positioning themselves to schedule a few FBS teams.

Comment by ChrisA 03.12.12 @ 1:23 pm

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