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May 18, 2012

Scout.com has come out with their updated recruit star rankings as they do a few times each recruiting cycle and our five committed recruits have all been awarded three stars.  That is a jump for Shakir Soto, Aaron Reese and Jaymar Parrish from having two stars or being unranked.  Parrish has also been designated as the #3 FB in the nation.  Orndoff and Samuelson already had three stars next to their name.  Congrats to them all.

As a result of the update Scout also released their updated team recruiting rankings.  As of today PITT is positioned at #38 overall and tied for #28 in average number of stars. For comparison we were #40 for the 2012 recruiting year, #47 for 2011 and had a great year for 2010 under Wannstedt at #17 (overall).

That’s not too bad considering it is early days and especially considering the crap our football program has gone through over the last 18 months.  It was a mess and we are dragging ourselves out of it one day at a time.

All of which leads us to this article about Paul Chryst’s recruiting approach written by Chris Peak of Panther-Lair.com.  It is interesting in that he reiterates the fact that Paul Chryst has been doing pretty much what he’d said he do in recruiting when he was hired – let the University and the football program sell itself as much as possible.

Chryst and his staff have been very un-forceful in recruiting thus far. More than a few recruits have commented on how “laid-back” the coaches are; that term has been used quite often by the recruits themselves. When Cincinnati offensive line recruit Alex Gall visited Pitt this spring, the interaction with Chryst stuck out for that very reason:

“Coach Chryst told me he wants me to make the best decision for me. He was really laid-back about it. There are a few schools that are like that, but he really didn’t want to push me to make a decision. It was pretty unique how laid-back he was.”

Similarly, when four-star Belle Vernon offensive tackle Dorian Johnson was on campus last week, he had the same impression:

“I liked the fact that we just chilled. There was no pressure and they really didn’t talk about football at all. We just talked about my personal life. That’s different because usually coaches try to talk up the program and talk about football and all of that, and they really didn’t do that at all.”

Peak goes on to say that will be effective up to a point but sooner or later the hard sell has to come into effect.  Chris Dokish over at Panther’s Prey addressed this in part earlier in March with this article (last paragraphs).

  Dokish doesn’t like Chryst’s approach much at all and is somewhat baffled by it.

On Pitt football, it’s still at least a year before we have any idea at all how the Paul Chryst era will go, but I admit that so far I’m a little nervous.  Before people go off on me I’m not saying that Chryst is a failure or will be a failure.  

But I wasn’t impressed at all how he formed his staff and I have no idea what they’re doing on the recruiting trail.  Well actually I do know and what they’re doing is very little so far.  

It’s not about the amount of verbal commitments they have, which officially stands at zero, but rather the total lack of buzz on the recruiting trail.  Part of what I do is to keep in touch with a lot of high school and college coaches, scouting services, players, family, etc., and I can tell you that there just isn’t a lot of Pitt talk out there.

Now remember that the above was written two months ago in March and things have changed with five recruits committed at this point.  But Dokish has been consistently critical of Chryst and staff in this area.  Not so much about whom we have gotten to verbal so far but what is happening, or not happening, behind the scenes.

So, what does that mean for us going forward and what is the impact of Chryst’s “laid-back” approach?

First off I think there is a definite and concerted effort on Paul Chryst’s part to project this exact image that he has insofar as recruiting is concerned.  The one thing he realized he had to do as PITT’s HC was to be the Anti-Graham right off the bat.  No hucksterism, no bravado, no hard line pressure that it must be  “PITT or Nothing” with these recruits.

The common theme with the local HS coaches and recruit’s parents, at least what I’ve heard, is that Chryst is a breath of fresh air in his approach.  They weren’t impressed with The Little Emperor at all.

This is what we wanted and I believe what most of us appreciate about the guy so far.  He’s going about his business quietly and in fitting with his character.

The actual recruiting results at this early phase in the recruiting cycle are pretty impressive so far.  He’s landed way more recruits at this date than either of the previous two (actual) head coaches with five commitments.  As stated above he has PITT in pretty good shape comparatively with other schools which is more of a feel good item than anything else but it does show that we are holding our own so far.

But here is the thing.  Before we get our knickers in a bunch thinking that we have a Rod McKuen flower child rather than a George Patton Field General as a recruiter let’s consider this.  He and his staff haven’t had to fight for any of the high target recruits yet so we actually have no idea what he will be like when push comes to shove with the other schools.

Pitt is still at or very near the top of the list for blue chip players like #1 rated WR Robert Foster, #12 OL Dorian Johnson and others like RB Cory Clement and #14 S Tyler Boyd.  These four recruits  are well acquainted with the new staff and all have been to PITT for recruiting visits.  Foster and Johnson are considered heavy PITT leans at this point.  I don’t believe that would be the case if Chryst wasn’t pursuing them with some vigor.

All these kids, and many of our other blue chip targets have huge offer lists and Chryst will have to work long and hard to convince them that PITT is it.  It is kind of silly to think that he’ll just float an offer out there while all the other schools are nailing the kid’s hands to the desk.

Peak addresses this in his article also:

The “laid-back” approach – a poor term due to its oversimplification – shows respect for the recruit and allows him to make his own decision. It also goes a long way toward ensuring that recruits who commit to Pitt are doing it because they genuinely want to be at Pitt.

But as the recruiting process goes on and the official visit season begins in the fall, Chryst and his staff may need to add the extra element of “encouragement” to their strategies. That adjustment may even be part of the strategy: start off “laid-back” and then gently apply more pressure as the recruiting process goes on. At this point, though, Chryst has only shown one side of the approach. 

We may well see a bit of a personality change out of Paul Chryst over next year as we put more distance between the PITT football program and Todd Graham.  He may be more aggressive right out of the gate for the beginning of the 2014 recruiting year.

For this year however we are going to see a HC who goes about his business with a minimum of fanfare and no bells and whistles.  Still, the proof will be in the pudding and we’ll need to see results, regardless of the type of pressure applied.

So far I’d say the results have started coming in pretty well…





Very illuminating. Good post, Reed.

Comment by Jeff 05.18.12 @ 6:48 pm

Great stuff, Reed, thanks.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Digdug 05.18.12 @ 6:49 pm

Sales (recruiting) has changed greatly over the the years. Being a good listener and a bit laid back is the new norm. I think Chryst’s approach is a stark contrast to the high pressure Fraud Graham types. So far so good anyhow.

Great post Reed.

Comment by Dan 72 05.18.12 @ 8:03 pm

We will know on loi day we just have to wait and
see how it goes. i wish him luck.

Comment by Frankcan 05.18.12 @ 8:21 pm

Amen, Frank

Comment by steve1 05.18.12 @ 8:47 pm

Good post, Reed.

I’d be interested to know the other schools which use a low-key soft-sell approach. I suspect the list is pretty short.

I hope Chryst’s approach works, in part because it’s easier & cheaper. That said, there aren’t too many important activities in life where the east-does-it approach works better.

Also, I think in the end that the big majority of these guys like being pursued, being BMOCs.

The “just offer” approach will work a lot better if Pitt can somehow manage to win 9-10 games this year. Which is code for, if Pitt can somehow [find a QB to play good well enough in practice to unseat Anti-Tebow Sunseri].

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 05.18.12 @ 8:50 pm

Hopefully the new recruits, incoming class and the current players talk to each other about the learning philosophy the Pitt coaches are using. The incoming class did stick together.

Comment by Frank 05.18.12 @ 9:18 pm

A soft sell approach is good in the beginning and is a great way at earning trust and building a relationship. It allows both coach and recruit to better understand each other, the school, the program and decide whether there is strong interest and a fit or comfort level. Then close contact throughout so you are not out of sight and out of mind and in order to stroke the kids ego a bit. Finally, the hard sell and subtle pressure comes in at the end. Hopefully, the experience has been good up to that point. I think being honest and down to earth impresses the parents the most and is a refreshing change. The parents are the agents in all of this. They will be handing their child to these coaches for the next 4 to 5 years. A low pressure approach and active recruitment ensures a rational well thought out decision in the end benefiting both recruit, family and coach. I see nothing wrong with these tactics. The results will eventually speak for themselves.

Comment by TX Panther 05.18.12 @ 10:48 pm

Try selling a product that hasn’t been used, tested or even seen. Then try selling it at the highest price.
Chryst getting “3” star players to commit to a program like ours, in transition, fresh from a shotgun marriage gone bad, stuck in the Big East for now is a friggin miracle!!!!
Who the “F” is “Dokish” and precisely WTF does he know about recruiting under these circumstances?
Wanna bitch and moan? Wait until Chryst punts on 3rd down or keeps the equivalent of Shady on the bench because he isn’t ready.
Given our recent history, we are lucky we aren’t competing with RMU for recruits.
Please God, grant me the patience to deal with the stupidity of the wanna be, but ain’t and never will be experts.

Comment by SFPitt 05.19.12 @ 5:48 am

Winning will sell the program. Let’s see what he can do once the games start.

Comment by Pittastic 05.19.12 @ 7:09 am

I totally agree with SFPitt. The fact that we are getting any recruits with 3 stars after the last couple of years is a good sign. True he hasn’t closed the deal on any 4 or 5 star stand outs but if you were one of those kids why would you come here after what been going the last couple of years (personally I’d say 10+). So I’m willing to wait and see what develops. Give this guy a fair chance and enough time. My most optimistic view is we could go 8 n 4 with a win in a minor bowl. That would be an amazing first step in turning the program around. I’ve said it here many time before, the key ingredient in turning this program around will be wins. We need wins. Everything else follows, season ticket sales, better recruits, more prime time TV exposure, which leads to more interest, more fans, better recruits etc. The question is can PC develop enough momentum toward this goal in a short enough period of time to save this program. Being at the bottom of the ACC 5 years from now will be the death of Pitt FB. No where to go from there. that is my greatest concern at this point.

Comment by IH8PITT 05.19.12 @ 7:18 am

SFPITT – Chris Dokish is a local blogger who has worked for the two main recruiting sites, Scout.com and Rivals.com.

He’s knowledgeable about the recruiting scene but some people find him hard to read because he’s very opinionated. When he puts up his mostly factual recruiting articles they are very informative.

I like his work and check his blog everyday but take his opinions/predictions with a grain of salt as everyone should do with writers on the Internet, myself included.

Imma – I think way too much has been made of that “just offer” comment by Chryst. The one constant that I’ve heard about Chryst so far is that he spends a lot of time getting to know the kids he’s been seriously recruiting. Aaron Reese said that they spent an hour on the phone before he committed; Johnson mentioned above that his conversations were of a more personal nature, etc. That isn’t just throwing an offer out and letting it lay there.

What I think Chryst is doing at this point is ‘just offering’ in the sense that he’s not going to threaten to pull offers if the player takes his time, makes other visits, etc. At this point Chryst and PITT really don’t have any leverage to do that and I’m not sure it’s in his personal make up to be that way.

Dave Wannstedt was much the same way in his recruiting approach. He didn’t hard sell any of the recruits if they kept looking around before committing and sometimes even after they verballed. Hell, he gave Mike Cruz a scholarship even after Cruz pretty much insulted the program.

The OSUs, Michigans and PSUs of the college football world can be more hard ass in their recruiting approach because a lot of the kids they recruit grew up either wanting to play for them specifically or for the Big Ten. Same with SEC schools, etc.

PITT has to separate themselves in a different fashion and part of that is, as TX Panther states above, making both the player and their parents comfortable that their son is going to be treated well, taken care of and have good role models to look up to. Paterno used to say that 90% of recruiting was getting the parents to want the player to go to school at PSU.

Right now Chryst can’t in all good conscience talk about guaranteed BCS bowls, winning football, and things like that because he hasn’t done that at PITT yet. But he can talk about the university, the city, the football history, the staff he has and how all that will effect the player in the long run.

Get some wins under his belt and a good first season and then he can brag a bit and I’m sure he will in someways. But he isn’t Toddy Graham in that he isn’t going to promise the moon and not deliver.

Comment by Reed 05.19.12 @ 7:26 am

Just win and they shall come…

Comment by MariettaMike 05.19.12 @ 7:40 am

WVU playing Alabama in the opening game of 2014. Once Pitt gets out of the BE big draw games can be added.

Comment by markp 05.19.12 @ 7:52 am

Reed, Excellent post on Chryst’s soft sell. I totally agree with your comments. At this point of the game, he needs to sell the attributes of the university, the city and talk about building a program. As he builds up equity, he can talk about their success and goals, conference titles, etc. I for for one, like the contrast and I tend to go the other direction when given the hard sell. I never liked snake oil salesmen and I think making the recruits comfortable is a refreshing contrast to what recruits see elsewhere and it can be a good thing at this stage of his tenure.

Comment by Justinian 05.19.12 @ 8:24 am

Sanity, itseems has returned to the Panther football program. Pitt does not want to be Penn State,which sends its new coach on a road tour,via bus to “sell” its program. Pitt does not aim to be the Buckeyes, which, having a paucity of pro sports must crown their college kids as pros. The Steel City gridders certainly do not aspire to emulate the Morgantown hype which places sports above academics. Coach Chryst and his staff seem to know what they are doing and they have earned my appreciation and applause. Last yeay I blogged on this site that “High-Octane” was either a great coach or a snake oil salesperson. He turned out to be the latter and I find the contrast commendable. Go Pitt!! Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 05.19.12 @ 9:02 am

Just read the superb article on Panther Lair about the visit of 15 Pitt student athletes recently took to impoverished Haiti. Having read the report this blogger is even more PROUD TO BE A PANTHER!! Commendations to those who made and encouraged the trip. Those Pitt athletes paid for it themseves, not out of tax dollars. I wish I was 20 again and could join the next “GO AND SERVE” trip. Rev. George from Columbus.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 05.19.12 @ 9:13 am

Heya Reed, well done. I think if you look back at my posts on both sites, i took on Dokish and everyone else saying the soft sell is “the” way to go. Not ecause it is anti graham, it’s because you need to understand today’s kids. They want to talk to a Coach that really knows your brothers and sisters names, what your parents do for a living, your high school coach. You will hear the similar approach from Brady Hoke, but his sell is easier right now.

The OSU’s, WVU’s and PSU’s use the fraud graham approach and it works for them. They get the recruits all hoopied up with rings and trophies and women during massive recruiting visits.

Let’s give the coach some room here. He will be successful and he is planting seeds, regardless of how things look to an observer. His plan is for short term success too, but long term greatness! You go PC, you go boyeeeee!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.19.12 @ 9:53 am

I dont think its even a question if chryst can give the push at the end for a commitment. Remember what i told all of you who were complaining about his recruiting a few months ago?…… Chryst was THE closer at wisconsin… And I didnt make that up, thats from scott orndoff, who I talk to every day at school. We dont know if this class’ success will continue through spring, but if it does this class will consist of about 15-18 three stars, 3-5 four stars, 1 5 star (foster). Foster and johnson are coming to pitt and pitt ALWAYS has 3-5 four stars so thats my take. Thats give pitt a top 25 class. If pitt starts winning top 25 will go to top 15

Comment by Pk 05.19.12 @ 10:11 am

A key point in all this is what happens with recruiting beginning in the fall. Chris Peak hits the nail on the head with his observation that when the official visits start taking place and we get closer to LOI Day Chryst & staff are going to have to bear down more than they have been.

But that’s still three months away and the approach he’s taken so far with phone calls, smaller recruit visits for more individual face time, showing the university and academics along with the football program, etc. has set the table for the stronger push during the heat of the recruiting season.

I get the feeling that some fans feel that because Chryst is a humble & laid-back guy he’s automatically some sort of pushover. I believe nothing is further from the truth. He’s a man with strong convictions and we heard about that when Zach Brown introduced Chryst to the rest of the PITT team after his hire by saying ‘If he tells you he’s going to do something he’ll do it!

We all know guys like Chryst – calm and quiet on the surface and rock solid underneath. This guy isn’t wishy washy and IMO he’ll let some of that show when it becomes necessary.

Comment by Reed 05.19.12 @ 10:29 am

pk – I was going to quote you from the message board earlier but wanted to check with you first. Thanks for that info.

I didn’t figure you for a HS kid though.

Comment by Reed 05.19.12 @ 10:31 am

Reed, props for the Schneider reference!

Comment by Chuck Morris 05.19.12 @ 12:08 pm

A little off the subject but now that the SEC/B12 have effectively left the NCAA and the bowls by going to their own Champions Bowl, what’s next? Will they have students playing or simply students in name only?

Comment by Frank 05.19.12 @ 12:16 pm

Sure, reed

Comment by Pk 05.19.12 @ 12:57 pm

Since Dokish thought that Fraud Graham was the next coming of Knute Rockne and remained a TG apologist until that fateful day in December last, maybe we should be pleased about his negative thoughts about Graham.

Reed, I must admit that when I think of Chryst, Rod McKuen doesn’t exactly come to mind.

Comment by wbb 05.19.12 @ 5:08 pm

Pk, I take it that you’ll make the wise choice and be enrolling at Pitt? Nonetheless, its great that you’re passionate about Pitt football and what I think is an exciting future. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. The future is yours. I’m just hoping to attend another BCS game before I bribe St Pete to enter the kingdom. Anyone have season tickets to the Steelers or Pens?

Comment by TX Panther 05.19.12 @ 8:10 pm

Here’s my take on Dokish. You will recall that during the last coaching search he wanted Mike Leach badly & kept pushing his candidacy daily, even though it had no chance (& rightfully so). Chryst is essentially the anti-Leach. If Dokish really thought that Leach would be the best head coach for Pitt, then he really believes that the Chryst approach will not work. He will emphasize every fact in favor of his point of view & will ignore the rest.

Comment by SpiritOf76 05.19.12 @ 9:24 pm

TX Panther, thank you. I appreciate that and thats certainly the plan. I agree that the future looks bright. I think ot says a lot about PC that, after all this nonsense, we can still have faith and believe that pitt can be a top team. I think PC is the guy to do it and ive never been this excited for a season to start

Comment by Pk 05.19.12 @ 9:32 pm

I just love it that we have all these Pitt sites these days from pantherlair, pitt blather, pitt script, cardiac hill and panthers prey. When I was in school there wasn’t really a world wide web yet so info and discussion was limited. I guess the only constants have been pathetic fan support and coaching instability. But, Fans that frequent these sites can help change the culture. Maybe, just maybe, times are a changin. Excuse me as I put on my shades.

Comment by TX Panther 05.19.12 @ 10:11 pm

tx panther, you must have been in school before al gore invented the darn internet.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.19.12 @ 10:15 pm

good one dhuffdaddy

Comment by Frankcan 05.19.12 @ 10:28 pm

Dokish was not the only one sold on Fraud Graham. I was too. Anyone can make a high pressure sale, and make it stick for a short period of time. Eventually they have to back it up and produce.
High pressure or low key, Chryst will have to win and win with some class to make it all happen long term. So far, I like and admire what he is doing. I cannot imagine a well organized and accomplished man like Chryst will annoy us with the shenanigans of the Wannstedt and Graham regimes, but again, the proof is in the pudding.

Comment by Dan 72 05.19.12 @ 11:01 pm

spirit – that is a good description of how Dokish writes his Blog material. As I said, he has certain views and sticks with them come hell or high water.

What bothers some PITT fans about his site – and also with Paul Zeise and the Red Shirt Diaries – is that sometimes they ridicule commenters who disagree with their viewpoints. Still, I read each one daily to see what they and their commenters have to say.

I don’t think that negativity happens much on here if at all. At least I know that Chas and I try very hard to let everyone have their say without slamming anyone. I can get into pretty critical discussions, as I did with DRW last year about Myers last season, but it is almost always impersonal and always trying to be informative & reasonable.

When you have a blog where commenters can feel free to express their opinions without intense negative blow back from the bloggers or fellow commenters then you get a much more interesting and civil discussion/debate going on.

To be honest, I wouldn’t take the time or energy to write anything at all for The Blather if it wasn’t this way.

Comment by Reed 05.20.12 @ 7:30 am

Why malign Dokish when he’s one of the 1st…and best…sources of info?

Comment by steve1 05.20.12 @ 10:04 am

I’m in 100% agreement with Pittastic and Dan. All of the hype, or lack there of, regarding Pitt’s recruiting fortunes into the future are totally image based at this point. WINNING is FACT based and that will soon be the standard that Chryst’s program will be judged by in the very near future.

That my fellow Pitt faithful will be what we need to get recruiting pointed in the right direction for many years to come. Just win baby win.

Personally, I’m happy that we still have one more season in the “Big Least” just so that we have the opportunity to put together a first year winning season for Chryst while he gets his ship righted. A couple year’s down the road, it won’t matter that a 9-4 season in 2012 came over the likes of Youngstown State, etc. It will just be viewed as the first year winning record for our new Coach.

Just win baby win. The rest will then all fall neatly into place.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.20.12 @ 10:49 am

Taking the wind out of the ACC sails

Major sports websites are abuzz over the agreement just made between the SEC and Big 12 to host a “Rose Bowl East” game, mentioning the ACC as an also-ran, especially if Florida State and Clemson flee to the Big 12. So has Pitt merely changed deck chairs on the Titanic?

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.20.12 @ 10:59 am

Reed…my questions re: Dokish were rhetorical ones. I know who he is, but my real questions would have been along the lines of what has he ever done to recruit…and by that I mean recruit anyone to any competitive field.
I won’t quibble with “stars”, except to say that if you are a 3 star and suddenly the guy from OSU is seen sitting behind you at Mass sending you text messages, you become a 5 star betwen the sign of Peace and Communion.
Chryst is a guy, as anyone who has spent more than 5 seconds observing what is obvious, comfortable in his own skin.
Self confidence is usually not flashy….again, Pitt is on the heels of decades of indifference and a recent history of coaching fiasco’s….Who in their right mind thinks a hard sell will work if it is clearly an act? I have had enough “actors” roaming Pitt’s sidelines to last a lifetime.
Dokish….who actually cares?

Comment by sfpitt 05.20.12 @ 11:03 am

To be honest, i trust dokish with recruiting info. As far as i can tell, hes been very accurate with his predictions of where kids will end up and he seems to know his recruiting. With that said, i often dont agree with how he views athletics in other ways. It was very clear that he didnt like the chryst hire. He wanted a flashy up-and-comer. I wasnt necessarily against that, but when i looked at the list of coaches pitt was looking at, i thought: luke fickell/paul chryst, and within a week i came to my senses and to me, the clear choice was/is paul chryst.

He wanted mike leach and an air-raid offense, which i couldnt disagree more with. Im not saying that pitt will be winning national titles, but when is the last time an air raid offense won it or was even in it? Auburn was a spread but balanced, oregon is a spread but run heavy, bama/lsu are pro systems, texas was balanced. In fact, i looked back 15 years and there hasnt been one. Im happy pitts running a pro system and has pc as coach. It just feels right

Comment by Pk 05.20.12 @ 11:23 am

Pk, auburn won with the spread. tulsa was a predominantly run first team under graham. The sec has dominated the sport the last few years and that’s why you haven’t seen diverse offenses win it all. Oregon has been to the championship, okst should have been last year. what dokish and other graham fans are in favor of is a college mentality…which chryst brings.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.20.12 @ 12:12 pm

Okst should have been last year??? Really?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 05.20.12 @ 1:22 pm

Im not saying the spread-im saying air raid. Like i said, there hasnt been a team that throws as much as leach did in the nc in 20 years, if ever

Comment by Pk 05.20.12 @ 3:05 pm

Dokish has good inside info in the reruiting environment, but is not as inside to the Pitt program as is Peak and Zeise.

speaking of Zeise … he is still alive as he was interviewed on the Fan the other day, and he said that Graham’s legacy here at Pitt five years from now will not be his one year stay but intead how poorly he coached this offense last year … this is in stark contrast to Dokish who was aTG apologist to the very end, probably beacuse he praised his hiring so much (obviously a mistake.)

Comment by wbb 05.20.12 @ 3:29 pm

Pk – gotcha, but I think Dokish was for Leach because he was the best coach available that had a college mentality. Remember, at that point, most people who were for the coaching change (myself included) wanted the exact opposite of Wanny. I learned my lesson and will accept a “pro-style” offense as long as the person calling plays doesn’t have a “pro-style” mentality.

Regarding OKST – did you watch college football last year? If they hadn’t thrown up a clunker against Iowa St, they would have been there. Defense sucked but they could score at will.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.20.12 @ 4:07 pm

Tossing Thabeets- fair enough. I too bought into the graham hype. Im much more confident in chrysts abilities, though.

OkSt had an argument to get to the title and i was rooting for it, actually, but i found it hard to get upset at bama being there. If okst had lost to a baylor or kansas state instead of isu, they wouldve got to the nc game. This was an almost identical situation as 13-9

Comment by Pk 05.20.12 @ 5:17 pm

Pk,

Nothing will be identical to 13-9 :) It will alway make me smile. Nice to see Shady cash in with the large pay day…a rarity nowadays with RB’s. I’m not sweating Chryst – I think he’s a good fit for Pitt and Western PA.

I hope the ACC was on the phone with ND immediately after the SEC/Big 12 deal… even though it’s overrated considering that at least one of the two conferences will have a team in the final four relegating the bowl to 2nd tier teams from both conferences. I also hope that the ACC doesn’t do the same thing with the Big Least – don’t tie your fate to a sinking ship that you poked the hole in.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.20.12 @ 7:21 pm

It’s ND’s call, and they’d much rather be in the Big 10. Along with either RU and UConn.

Comment by steve1 05.20.12 @ 7:59 pm

Football-wise, the acc should add boise state and cincinatti if fsu and clemson bolt. Im afraid neither would make the acc’s academic standards and boise is useless for basketball

Comment by Pk 05.20.12 @ 8:36 pm

Steve1 – I’ll disagree that Dokish is a good source of info other than his recruiting stuff. Most of that is his research and opinions, which is fine, but that is the extent of it.

He twists things to support his viewpoint to the extent that it is almost unbelievable. Here is a case in point:

Chris Dokish May 20, 2012 7:22 PM

Here’s something to make Joe D go off. Elite 2014 western PA linebacker Brenon Thrift says he likes WVU over Pitt because Pitt “acted like they were not really interested”.

That is the old saw that Dokish throws out all the time – that Chryst is slow to recognize talent. Of course the fact that the kid is a 2014 recruit is lost on Dokish.

Here’s what I said in return:

Please Chris.

One kid that this staff may or may not be interested in? He’s a 2014 recruit and has 20 months before he signs an LOI. Do you really think this staff should be slobbering over every single WPIAL recruit?

And what does “Elite 2014″ recruit even mean? Is that your designation? or is it someone who spends as much time on the internet as I do and considers himself some sort of an expert?

How’s this? I am now calling myself an “Elite 2014 Blogger”. Man, do I feel good right now!

It just may be that what you think PITT needs and what Chryst think PITT needs are two different things.

But this is what he does. Singles out some small trivial fact and presents it like it is a flaw in Chryst’s work as a HC.

Then he talks about the five guys Chryst has had commit so far with this…

“As for how many recruits they have at this point, who cares? That means nothing. They have to be the right recruits and time will tell if they will be.”

As if that same exact standard doesn’t apply to every single HS senior who is recruited to play college football. But since it’s Paul Chryst that is a negative for some reason.

He has been negative about Paul Chryst since he was hired and seems to be looking in some tight paces to find fault with how Chryst has been doing his job so far. It is one thing to remain skeptical until results on the field are shown, but a whole other thing to look for things to criticize the guy for.

Comment by Reed 05.20.12 @ 10:12 pm

The fact that Dokish defends and even encourages a sycophant like “Joe D” to dominate the discussion on his blog reduces the value of any qualified information he may bring to the table. He has a clear agenda.

Comment by ECH 05.20.12 @ 10:31 pm

Hey, we need to talk some Pitt baseball out here. With the move to the ACC it is time to start treating this sport with more significance like much of that conference does. This years team just backed into the Big East tournament. Let’s see if we can make a surprising run!

Comment by Josh W 05.20.12 @ 11:30 pm

Steve1, if ND wanted to be part of the Big Ten they would have joined already. The Big 10 has begged for years and years. They don’t want to – their alumni and fan base is mostly on the East Coast. The ACC is the most logical and the one that is discussed in most situations…will it happen? Who knows but ND will have to make a decision at some point because they will get left behind with a playoff that will heavily favor conference champions.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.20.12 @ 11:42 pm

Whatever we did before Chryst didnt work. He comes from a bigtime program at UW so he knows what to do and how to gain respect of his peers and players. This is just Chryst being Chryst and this is what were going to get. I’m looking forward to him being our coach

Comment by Tony C 05.20.12 @ 11:48 pm

I’m not talking just football when it comes to Dokish. He’s been for me at least a fount of info on hoops.

Look, guys, Paul Chryst is not going to blow anyone over by his personality. He’s the anti-Toad plus he doesn’t have the presence of a Wanny. This may frustrate Dokish because I believe he really does want Pitt to succeed. I think the seeming passivity of the staff is frustrating him.

As you can see I am a Dokish apologist!

Turning to ND to the Big 10, link to youtube.com

Comment by steve1 05.21.12 @ 7:45 am

Dokish is indeed a passionate Pitt fan and this many times clouds his judgments. I remember his very 1st summary of Western PA top 2013 recuits and he indicated that Chryst should be able to get NA’s Kuglar … a few weeks later, Kuglar committed to Mich, and Pitt was never considered.

Comment by wbb 05.21.12 @ 9:35 am

Dokish is the Mel Kiper of high school scouting.

A self proclaimed expert.

Writing what schools are recruiting what players is one thing. Thinking you know better than coaches that have recruited for years is idiotic.

Comment by notrocketscience 05.21.12 @ 9:42 am

Dokish loves Voytik. That should make us all rest easy.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.21.12 @ 9:53 am

By the way… here’s a prediction from ESPN’s Ed Cunningham of what new coaches will have the most success this coming season.

A) Urban Meyer, Ohio State.
B) Mike Leach, Washington State.
C) Todd Graham, Arizona State.
D) Rich Rodriguez, Arizona.

Cunningham goes on to say “I think (Graham)raises the level of players as good or better than any coach in the country.”

What a joke.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.21.12 @ 10:04 am

Ed Cunningham played college ball at Univ of Washington, and in the NFL for Arizona and then Seattle. Any chance for a West Coast bias here?

Comment by wbb 05.21.12 @ 10:11 am

Apparently Dokish got pretty angry with me when I called him on a recruiting issue, specifically his comment that PITT hasn’t contact a certain 2014 recruit yet and WVU had.

I responded in turn but what got me was this…

“Lastly, if you don’t like what I write go write your own blog.”

Which, BTW Chris, I already pretty much do.

I like his stuff and think that his take on the actual HS players is pretty good, especially helpful for someone like me who doesn’t care to take the time to delve into all of that. That and other things are why I read and comment on there all the time.

But he sure can’t stand the slightest bit of criticism.

Comment by Reed 05.21.12 @ 10:39 am

Reed I was able to read your posts ( and his before he deleted them) and thought they were well said and to the point. The fact that your post as well as his response is now deleted is classic ” I am going to take my ball and go home”. Personally i think everything you post is fair and well stated even when you disagree with someone. And they attack people personally no matter how some perceive them.

Comment by giveitarest 05.21.12 @ 1:22 pm

Sorry DO NOT ATTACK anyone personally

Comment by giveitarest 05.21.12 @ 1:27 pm

giveitarest –

But, but, but… I HAVE ZERO CREDIBILITY!!!

Goodbye cruel world…

Comment by Reed 05.21.12 @ 2:41 pm

Seriously – the only time I’ve gotten pissed off on here has been when someone has inferred or stated that my writing has been unduly influenced by any associations I may have in the extended PITT family. That burns me up.

That said, it is ridiculous to think that anyone’s opinions aren’t shaped in some ways by conversations – if they weren’t then we on here wouldn’t be thinking persons.

I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes see things differently or even change my mind because of the things I read on here and elsewhere and especially from the comments and observations we all share on here.

Sometimes my first reaction to criticism on here is to raise my hackles but then I purposefully step back and reread what was said and try to see the other POV. Usually it is a valid point.

That is what makes it fun and sometimes valuable IMO.

Comment by Reed 05.21.12 @ 2:49 pm

Most of what i read here is all good even with the disagreements, Though it does get old when some stuff it beaten to death. Mainly the complaints but without better ideas.

Anyway keep it up as most appreciate what you have to say!!!!

***** 5 stars from me

Comment by giveitarest 05.21.12 @ 3:51 pm

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