September 3, 2012

1-AA Losses In the Last Five Years

Filed under: Football,History — Chas @ 3:04 pm

When you have plenty of time, but no wi-fi, there is only so much you can do. I did, however, have the handy-dandy Phil Steele College Football Preview Guide to keep me entertained. Pitt was #15 on his list of most improved teams for this year! Guessing that won’t be mentioned next year when he talks of his accuracy.

It did allow me to look over the schedules of teams over the past five years and how many BCS programs have lost to 1-AA teams in that span. Time to look at the factoids gleaned.

From 2007-2011, a 1-AA team has beaten a BCS team 11 times.

Nine teams, however, account for those 11 losses.

Minnesota and Duke account for 4 of the losses.

North Dakota State accounts for two 1-AA wins: Minnesota and Kansas

So does Richmond, but both wins came against Duke.

Average margin of loss: 5.545 points. Highest: 13. Lowest: 1.

Two teams that lost to 1-AA teams made a bowl that year: Michigan and Virginia Tech.

The man for whom Paul Chryst named his dog, Mike Riley, is on the list.

There are ten different coaches who lost to 1-AA teams from 2007-2011. Four of them are still coaching at that school (Frank Beamer, VT; Jerry Kill, Minnesota; Dave Cutliffe, Duke; Mike Riley, Oregon St.)

The Big East was the only BCS conference without a 1-AA loss from 2007 until Pitt.

I’m not including Temple’s 27-24 loss to Villanova in 2009 since Temple was in the MAC at that point.

The ACC leads all conferences with four losses to 1-AA teams. (So really, you could argue that Pitt was just trying to fit in to the ACC a little early).

One coach has managed to fail upward after losing to a 1-AA team. Gene Chizik lost to Northern Iowa while coaching Iowa State and still got hired by Auburn.

Here’s the list of games by year:


Big 10, Michigan-Appalachian St., 34-32, Lloyd Carr the HC: retired at end of 2007 season.

Big 12, Iowa St.-Northern Iowa, 24-13, Gene Chizik the HC: Hired by Auburn after 2008 season.


ACC, Virginia-William & Mary, 26-14, Al Groh the HC: fired at end of 2009 season.

ACC, Duke-Richmond, 24-16, Dave Cutliffe the HC: still employed by Duke.


SEC, Ole Miss-Jacksonville St., 49-48, Houston Nutt the HC: fired after 2011 season.

Big 10, Minnesota-South Dakota, 41-38, Tim Brewster the HC: fired after 2010 season.

Big 12, Kansas-North Dakota St., 6-3, Turner Gill the HC: fired after 2011 season.

ACC, Virginia Tech-James Madison, 21-16, Frank Beamer the HC: still employed by VT.


Big 10, Minnesota-North Dakota St., 37-24, Jerry Kill the HC: still employed by Minnesota.

ACC, Duke-Richmond, 23-21, Dave Cutliffe the HC: still employed by Duke.

Pac-12, Oregon St.-Sacremento St., 29-28, Mike Riley the HC: still employed by Oregon St.

Thanks!! I needed that.

Comment by alcofan 09.03.12 @ 3:41 pm

2012: Pitt – YSU, 31-17; Paul Chryst Head Coach, wins the Big East

Comment by wbb 09.03.12 @ 3:51 pm

I am not sure if that made me feel better no
i still feel bad.
we might not have as many good players as i thought in fact we have very few.
but the coachs must be part of the blame becuse the team was not ready to play and that is on the coachs.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.03.12 @ 3:53 pm

So, at least in terms of point-margin, our loss was the worst BCS-team loss to a 1-AA team in at least the past five years (and I’m guessing a lot longer than that).

Somehow, this doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

Comment by Navy Panther 09.03.12 @ 4:24 pm

I should add that I don’t think this loss automatically disproves Coach Chryst’s abilities or approach. However, it isn’t “just one game”. It might be the worst loss in the history of the program, and it is probably symptomatic of some deep troubles within Pitt football.

Comment by Navy Panther 09.03.12 @ 4:29 pm

Can u imagine if we did win the BigLeast and get the BCS bid with say a 8-4 record. (as we lose all our non-con games except to Gardner Del Webb)

We’d be more a laughing stock than we were in whenever that was when Utah trampled us in the Fiesta Bowl. Wlat’s last year before his ill-timed trip to Palo Alto.

Hey on the bright side of that, at least Wlat’s head coaching career didn’t end at Pitt.

u know (always looking for positives when it comes to PITT football)

Has everyone sobered up since Sat nite or just continued drinking ??

P.S> this could become a weekly poll we could conduct after PITT games this year. Feedback Welcome.

Comment by Emel 09.03.12 @ 4:48 pm

Emel, I’m still pretty bummed out, but at least, I didn’t jump off the 6th Street Bridge and the sun did come up the following morning.

Comment by Justinian 09.03.12 @ 5:06 pm

All emotion aside, our 3 turnovers (2 fumbles + 4th and 1 failure deep in their territory cost us the game. YSU executed almost flawlessly and we didn’t. Even if we had (and won by a TD or less), the bottom line assessment would be that we are about as good right now as a high level FCS team. Note that I didn’t account for injuries and suspensions, as that only helps equalize the scholarship differential.

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 09.03.12 @ 5:11 pm

I think I am going to diversify my portfolio into alcohol related stocks because it’s going to be a long season for all of us. This loss is worse than the 05 Ohio U loss, and yes the gods are against us, it’s going to be a long season and winning the Big East would be nice but this team is going to struggle just to win.

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat 09.03.12 @ 5:24 pm

Chryst appears totallly unphased at first press conference following YSU upset.

Takes softball questions from reporters in attendance.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.03.12 @ 5:36 pm

I don’t think he appeared “totally unphased” PoD. I think he’s not one to show his emotions. Because if he came out full of vinegar and $*($ then it would reflect on the players, and they might had done just as bad against Cincy.

Instead ,he came out and said what a coach would say about adversity.

It’s one game. a REAL bad loss yes, but it was one game.

Tino Sunseri for a while actually looked like a QB..and when it came down to it, he didn’t run out of bounds or take bad sacks or anything like that. he stuck it out, played hard and tried.

it’s nice to see.

Now let’s see if the D can get on the same track.

Comment by Lou Gagliardi 09.03.12 @ 5:45 pm

I am a big Chryst supporter.

But admit that I was surprised by the fact that Chryst appeared no different today than any other time he has appeared before the press. In fact maybe even more relaxed.

And the press did nothing to change that.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.03.12 @ 5:53 pm

Bummer this weekend. All around. From the suspensions to the final whistle. I could point to some positives but no one wants to hear that. I’m going to wait until the football game in Cinci has finished before I get too demoralized. If we lose to Cinci in an embarrassing fashion, well fak. If we win then I say we’re 1-1, and we can move upwards and onwards. This is the “show me what you got” game imo. It will set the tone for the season and hopefully make for an interesting home game the following week. See you Thursday.

Comment by Gordo 09.03.12 @ 6:07 pm

A real bad loss? This loss is devastating, Pitt is only a 3.5 point underdog, bet the house on UC, D will not get on track, if YSU can push them around UC and VT are going to steam roll them in the trenches. Chryst’s press conferences are like watching paint dry, he reminds me of Hackett.

Comment by I have seen enough 09.03.12 @ 6:40 pm

well, we just got a 3 star commitso there is a positive

link to

Comment by wbb 09.03.12 @ 6:45 pm

Maybe ysu is better than Cincy. Stay tuned fans, thursday is almost here.

Comment by alcofan 09.03.12 @ 7:00 pm

To even suggest that we will the BE is ludicrous. We were just completely overpowered and dominated by AA team. I can’t recall in recent years our defense playing so poorly. Not only the that but our guys quit. This will take a hole new group of athletes to fix. Be prepared for a really down year.

Comment by DJS 09.03.12 @ 7:03 pm

Anthony Covington seems to be a good get. Nice size, will move to S probably. Beat out most of the ACC as well as East Carolina, Minny, Miss. St., to name a few

Comment by Joe Bull 09.03.12 @ 7:34 pm

We shall see whether Paul Chryst, the Somnambulant Wonder, will awaken from his stupor quickly enough to light a fire under the boys for Thursday.

Does anyone really think that will happen? Can anyone really envision this guy actually *motivating* anyone?

I’m sure he’s a good teacher and a really nice guy. I have been squarely in favor of giving him a chance, and there’s no way he doesn’t get at least a couple of years.

But the lack of passion Saturday night was deeply disturbing. I’m beginning to wish another HC choice had been made. But there’s nothing that can be done at this point, we are stuck just hoping that things won’t be quite so embarrassing going forward.

It’s really frustrating to be a Pitt fan. :)

Comment by BATR 09.03.12 @ 7:35 pm

I havent posted here since the game. I knew there would be anger and hate so i let things cool off. Let me get this out of the way: that loss was terrible, pathetic, embarassing. Now, i still support chryst and i dont think this was an indication of how he will turn out as a coach. I admit it, chryst has a much bigger rebuilding job than i thought. If he gets pitt to a bowl ill consider that a big success. Talent and depth needs to be added at every position, attitudes need adjusted (not just the guys who were suspended, i saw a lack of effort by a lot of players), guys need to stop hurting the team (devin street dropped a perfectly thrown ball shortly before half time on, i believe, a third and long). I thought the offensive playcalling was pretty good. Jp holtz should have walked into the endzone on what was a beautiful play action, devin street likely cost pitt 6 with his fumble, and the defense was playing not to lose. I dont think they are quite as bad as they played. If they just go out and play agressively with al of their guys then they can be a decent defense.

Pitt got a commitment tonight. Corner anthony covington with offers from mississippi state, vanderbilt, miami, virginia, unc, and nc state. Sounds like a really good pickup after one of the most pathetic games in pitt history

Comment by Pk 09.03.12 @ 7:37 pm

Chryst’s new recruiting strategy…
The team sucks… you can come in and start as a freshman… just look at the YSU game!!

Comment by Joe D 09.03.12 @ 7:40 pm

For me to get to a Pitt game it costs several hundred dollars and a weekend…I’m asking myself is it worth it? I could watch my high school put more effort and emotion into a game. If I didn’t love Pittsburgh so much, I’d be a couch potato fan. So Players and Coaches get your collective acts together and make us all proud. In spite of the poor travel conditions, I’m ready to do it again for the VT game along with many more of you. However, another embarrassment is going to make it tough to justify a long trip.

Comment by barreman 09.03.12 @ 7:44 pm

On the bright side, it’s a great holiday weekend to be a Youngstown State Grad/fan.

I was very impressed with the play of YSU. Just goes to show you that a team that comes prepared, plays with emotion, executes well and just plain wants it more than the other team CAN win with a bunch of two (and less) star recruits against a supposedly better opponent.

As I’ve already posted before. I just can’t get my head around this guy Paul Chryst. I’m not quite sure what to make of his post game interview either. Makes me wonder how this coach is going to motivate this team to want to play Cincy in 3 days.

I just don’t know about a lot of things since Saturday. I wasn’t even greatly depressed like I usually am when Pitt lost Saturday night, it’s like I accepted the fact that Pitt just got it’s collective ass kicked by the better team????? Strange all around.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.03.12 @ 8:06 pm

DR.Tom i know i hear what you say i dont know
abought Chryst but i will give him till thur game
and see what happens before i pass judment but
if we dont look better i am jumping on him with both feet.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.03.12 @ 8:22 pm

Am I the only who thinks the Hackett-Chryst comparisons are just a bit premature? The guy’s only coached one game after all. Yes, it’s probably the most embarrassing loss the program has suffered in the last 20 years or so, but one horrible game does not a career make.

Comment by Swinging Gate 09.03.12 @ 8:41 pm

Joe D it must work for him becuse i read that after the loss Dorian Johnson moved pitt to the top of his list becuse were ever he goes he wants to play his freshmen year .
so i guess he thinks were so bad hecan play right away.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.03.12 @ 8:41 pm

Johnson would play as a true frosh, start as a sophomore at left tackle. Move hollins to guard, bisno to right tackle, and keep sclieper at guard. Thatd be a very good starting 5 but again depth is key

Comment by Pk 09.03.12 @ 8:47 pm

Please allow me to take the fork out of my eye. I am rather acclimated to the dissapointment of being a Pitt fan. Part of my inner self really enjoys it! With that said I am greatly interested about what is truly happening within the athletic department and the administration in general. I am convinced that their is something fishy going on behind the curtain

Comment by Jason 09.03.12 @ 8:50 pm

In our past 27 games, we’ve had 6 different head coaches and a record of 14-13. Is that all on the coaching? How much of it is poor talent? I’m watching this VA Tech vs. GA Tech game and I’m not sure we have ANY players that would even make the two deep on either team. Certainly not more than a handful. It’s frightening, really.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 09.03.12 @ 8:59 pm

3-9 would be superb

Comment by Tony C 09.03.12 @ 9:07 pm

I just saw VT do a stupid thing…
4th down… on the 35…
they elect to punt… goes into the endzone..
GT starts on the 20…

Comment by Joe D 09.03.12 @ 9:08 pm

Jason put the fork back in things are just starting.
what ever the AD is up to he is to mutch of
shyster to tricky to be touched and the outhers are drinking captin morgan and are out to lunch
most of the day.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.03.12 @ 9:09 pm

@CNorwoodAZ That was the argument I was attempting to make on Saturday. The talent on this roster is vastly overrated by both the pundits and the fans. All of those years there in the mid to late 2000’s Pitt consistently pulled down consensus top 25 recruiting classes, and what does Pitt have to show for it? One ten win season and a raft of disappointing, and sometimes, humiliating losses.

Now that tells me one of two things, either: a) Pitt’s coaches have done a miserable job at utilizing all of that high-end talent; or b) all of that alleged “high-end” talent Pitt was pulling in wasn’t all that great. I think it’s a combination of both scenarios myself. Mediocre coaching+middling talent=Average results

And you’re absolutely right, it’s very frightening. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the immediate future of Pitt football as they transition into a more difficult league.

Comment by Swinging Gate 09.03.12 @ 9:14 pm

Need to just chill people. Paul Chryst will win. He has the right demeanor and hopefully he weeds out the bad ones.

Look at the commit we just got. Dorian Johnson puts Pitt at top. So should Foster and Boyd. They should all be good enough to play right away. If they are good enough they go to the next level. They won’t be lost on a depth chart at other schools. Big advantage Pitt.

Now if we can get Pederson to resign and take some of his salaries to pay position coaches better, we might be on to something. We are too quick to blame the coach, yet we don’t know the constraints he was given by our trainwreck of an administration we have. Wake up nordy!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.03.12 @ 9:30 pm

to me it seems like everyone is overreacting on chryst. it is one game and no comparisons should be made to any coach as we don’t have a body of work sufficient enough to draw any comparisons. we are rebuilding and that is the truth. sit seniors unless they deserve to play. tino lacks any leadership for this team and that is a huge problem. you have players tweeting stupidly on twitter. this teem needs to grow up and chryst needs to lay the law down.

Comment by pittisit37 09.03.12 @ 9:59 pm


– Call me crazy but I think Pitt’s going to win on Thursday. But overall, I don’t have high hopes for the season and would be happy if they get into a bowl.

– D. Johnson has Pitt back on top of his list??? Guess they must have listened to JoeD and started baking him some pies. You know, since that’s the way those elite schools get those top players….

– I wonder how long until we start hearing maybe PC wore the kids out by running so may plays during camp.

– Don’t know if he did all the offensive play calling during YSU game but he needs to give that up to the OC. He should be talking with both coordinators about what changes they need to make vs. worrying about what play to call next.

Comment by burgh1972 09.03.12 @ 10:04 pm

Some thoughts, 48 hours later…

1. Am I the only one wondering if too much is being made of Chryst’s demeanor, especially in light of the post-game stuff? I certainly can understand the frustration with this given that the team came out flat (more on this in a second). But I also think the “fire-breathing coach” act only goes so far, too.

Had he shown up at the press conference and yelled a lot about the game, what purpose would it serve, other than to placate the media and fans, and give us all something to write/talk about? Or perhaps even ridicule?

(And if you think I’m wrong, look at the traction the college football media and blogosphere in particular has gotten out of Mike Riley’s “I’m a man! I’m 40!” tirade.)

2. And how do we know he hasn’t ripped the team up one side and down the other for their performance? We have no idea what’s been said to these kids since Saturday night.

I don’t know. I think there’s a time and place for that kind of stuff. Todd Graham yelled a lot. From what I saw of him at Miami (OH) and during his press conferences here at Pitt, Mike Haywood was fire and brimstone to an awkward degree. Wannstedt ran up and down the sidelines like a disheveled maniac half the time, which sometimes did little but enhance his reputation as a disorganized gameday coach.

I agree that there’s a time and place for it, and maybe Chryst needs to show a LITTLE bit of something so as not to turn into Pitt’s version of the Pirates’ John Russell. But I also think there’s a definite value to having a coach maintain his cool and keep it together more often than not on the sidelines, too.

Comment by Stoosh 09.03.12 @ 11:18 pm

Did ANYONE watch the tech/tech game last night??..not a single sole left that game even though the home team went down with 44 sec left!!…Hell there were people leaveing the pitt/Cincy Big East Champ game a few years ago when we went down late in that game. I’ve been on this tangent this week cuz i’m sick of pitt students and ALL Pitt fans for that matter leaving games early. Our players need our support whether were playing well or not, so i’m call out ALL pitt fans…stay in your seats til then end of the game…and make some noise for god sakes!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 09.03.12 @ 11:26 pm

Swinging Gate/CNorwoodAZ,

Excellent points. Reed alluded to this as well with some of his comments over the last few threads, and I think that has to be a consideration.

Something else I mentioned in previous threads along these lines:

This is may very well be what the culmination of “three coaches in two years” looks like.

That’s not necessarily Chryst’s fault, as he can’t help what happened with Wannstedt, Haywood and Graham.

And that’s not necessarily the players’ fault, either. This is a roster largely made up of kids who signed on between 2008 and 2010 (Wannstedt’s recruits), and couldn’t have possibly anticipated what would transpire with the coaching staff.

MOST of the players on this roster (some exceptions) were too young to contribute to the 2010 team that underachieved, costing Wannstedt his job as he lost control of the program.

MOST of these players that joined or stuck by the program through that transition in 2011 would up putting their trust & football futures in the hands of a man who turned out to be the personification of the worst parts of this “industry”.

And most of those players who played in this game today didn’t have the luxury of the same immediate “lateral” transfer that Graham exploited. Faced with either transferring down to Division I-AA, or transferring laterally and sitting for a year, they stuck by at this level, trying to learn their third system in three years for as many coaches, the second of which did not recruit them.

None of this excuses a loss by two TD’s at home to Youngstown State. There’s no way that should happen…not with the pedigree of players that Pitt does have on its roster.

But I wonder how much of this was the manifestation of two years of lost recruiting, stunted development of kids in the program because of two straight years of coaching turnover, etc.

Comment by Stoosh 09.03.12 @ 11:43 pm

pitt-for-life, just gonna say, now that’s a college football game.

I’ll tell ya, the ACC may not be the SEC, but it is a whole class above the Big East.

Players are noticably larger and faster. Coaches making adjustments on every play.

Corners firing, safeties sliding over, lb’s picking up guys floating wide.

Coach Chryst really has a huge job ahead of him.

P.S. not just talking Va. Tech., Ga. Tech, big, fast, hitting.

Maybe it’s our uniforms. Wait, that’s black that makes you skinny.

He better get some reinforcements quickly.

Both sides chest pumping and fired up on the sidelines.

Comment by Dan 09.03.12 @ 11:44 pm

Well I’ve always believed its how you finish the season. The cincy game counts in the race for the BE title and is a chance for redemption. Remember, it was chrysts first game as head coach and many of the players are still getting used to the system. Not excuses…just facts as to how things play out. All is not lost. Embarassing loss yes. The Penn State loss made me feel better.

Comment by TX Panther 09.04.12 @ 7:35 am

Why the hell did Huxtable start two slow safties against a spread team?

Holley and Hendricks(if healthy) should play the entire game.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.04.12 @ 7:46 am

With Coach getting his hand forced by some ill advised BS by players, Chryst takes 6 guys out for reasons nobody outside of the team is ever going to know about, one hour before kickoff. That is an agenda that goes beyond Ws & Ls, hopefully, in the future, these players, and the team in general, will know better and conduct themselves accordingly.

Now a team improves most between their first and second games. Hopefully everybody is back in action on Thursday and are recovered from the sock in the mouth that they took on Saturday. Now, how do you respond?

This team’s leadership and character will be demonstrated on national TV on Thursday night. They don’t have to win the game, but they sure as hell have to show up and play better than they did on Saturday to show some backbone. Recent history suggests that we soil our pants on the national stage with a typical subpar performance. We’ll see soon enough.

I must have an unconditional love for Pitt, why else would a sane person put themselves through such abuse otherwise to continue to be a loyal Pitt fan?


Comment by Dr. Tom 09.04.12 @ 7:54 am

Six players got suspended. The the team obviously overlooked this one to the point of breaking curfew or whatever else may have happened to warrant the suspensions. Yes it was a disgusting loss but we need to look at a couple of more games to see what this team is really made of.

Comment by The Atlanta Panther 09.04.12 @ 7:55 am

Defense sucks…The offense will come around at some point.

Tino will have to score 45 pts a game to give them a chance to win.

Comment by H.LandPitt 09.04.12 @ 8:38 am

THis team came out flat, not confident, and unispired. Way to begin the Chryst era. I liked his low keey approach….but in hind sight it was to low. These kids didn’t have a chance in that game. It was like getting beat up by your little brother….and I mean a brother that is 10 years younger than you. Wow!, still stunned. I don’t care who lost to other FCS schools in the past 5 years. what matters is it happened to us week 1 in a season where we as fans felt better about our team, than I guess we should have.

Comment by blaise 09.04.12 @ 8:51 am


Comment by steve1 09.04.12 @ 8:52 am

Sorry, Trying out AOL Datamask. Uninstalled.

Comment by steve1 09.04.12 @ 9:01 am

The most upsetting thing is the way they lost and to who they lost too, this game wasn’t even close and the fundamental mistakes that the defense made all game long just makes you wonder what the hell is going on.

What little enthusiasm and goodwill Chryst had with Pitt supporters evaporated.

He will be judged with wins and bowl games and no one expected this performance, again they were dominated by YSU.

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat 09.04.12 @ 9:32 am

pitt-for-life, get real.

VaTech and GaTech are good teams-the game was close and it wasn’t over until it was over.

Pitt isn’t a good team. Pitt lost to YSU so quickly, it was clear they weren’t going to win. Fans don’t want to watch losers suck for decades.

You’re the worst Pitt fan of them all-keep staying and pitt will never be good again. If the fans stopped going, pederson gets fired and we move forward.

Comment by anonymouspitt 09.04.12 @ 9:41 am

My suffering continues.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.04.12 @ 9:48 am

@anonymouspitt….my apologies sincerely. That’s what I get for looking only at the first sentence of a post!!

Totally agree with anonymouspitt, sorry pitt-for-life, why would anyone stay for this product??

For “Dear Old School”??? Don’t need to get into an on campus stadium thing, but, with next to no college atmosphere on the Northside, and putting that product on the field, I will not blame anyone for leaving.

I saw your opening statement and that’s all I read, and went on to comment about what a great atmosphere and great game VT-GT had.

Two good teams, playing good football, with head coaches into each and every play like their life depended on it, then overtime, of course no one left that game.

You’re comparing apples to bubble gum!

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 10:07 am

Lesson learned, don’t comment on someone’s post unless you have read the whole thing. So noted.

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 10:08 am

Also, I know there is no room, and I ask you to please don’t even get into the discussion of an on campus stadium, we’ve had that enough on here.

To make a point though, ya, sure, if you’re on campus, maybe you stick around for “Dear Old School”, walk around campus, have a coffee or hot chocolate in the a.m., visit some old buildings, meet some friends, go to the game, have dinner and drinks……….

and drink in the atmosphere of days gone bye…..

“Dear Old School” isn’t in a parking lot at the Northside though.

No need to debate, both things are just what they are, we can’t have an on campus stadium, UNDERSTOOD!!!!

Along with that, Heinz Field is not our college campus either, so there are no warm and fuzzy feelings there.

Just the way it is.

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 10:18 am

Well, I think a big part of what we saw this weekend is the reason that Wannstedt was rightly fired. The lack of talent and depth right now is a result of bad recruiting in Wanny’s last few years. I never understood why everyone said he was such a great recruiter. He brought in some good individual players, but he was never able to recruit an entire team. There were always huge gaps and little depth at a lot of positions. I mean, we’d have 6 pro-caliber defensive ends sitting around, but only a couple of mediocre QBs and a patchwork OL with no backups. We are paying for that lack of balance now.

The coaching and system changes certainly haven’t helped, but really, it looks like we’re kind of trying to play with a skeleton crew out there. I think Chryst will turn things around, but it’s going to take time. His first class is much more balanced and fills more needs than any of Wanny’s. Even the class GrahamCracker threw together last year was better in that respect than we’ve seen in a while. (For all the years Wannstedt couldn’t get a decent QB, and these guys nabbed two highly rated ones in two years.) So, the program will definitely turn around under a more competent college recruiter like Chryst, but unfortunately, I think it’s going to take a couple of years of rebuilding.

Comment by SteveS 09.04.12 @ 10:20 am

Then again, if they play like they did Saturday night again, they could play in William Pitt and wouldn’t have anyone there!! LOL

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 10:20 am

@ anonymouspitt, one man does not make a program, no matter who he is or the position that he holds in the administration/team. That even goes for the AD.

Your logic is obtuse at best regarding fans staying, or leaving the game early. I left early too, but not because I hoped that it would influence Pederson’s job security.

Anybody that shows up for the games in person should not be chastised for doing so, even if they decide to leave before the game is over. In Saturday’s case, the game WAS over with about 5 minutes to go in the final quarter. Yes, the way Pitt stunk it out, the stadium should have been a ghost town when the final gun sounded.

The only solution to attendence, and enthusiasm for Pitt’s football program is to just, “win baby, win”. Considering what I witnessed on Saturday, that hill looks pretty damn steep right about now. We’ll see on Thursday how anxious this team is to start that hike up that hill to victory.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.04.12 @ 10:23 am

It’s that simple Dr. Tom. WIN, that’s it.

Foregone conclusion, will we ever have 100,000 people like Michigan or Tennessee, no, of course not.

Other than big games, ain’t gonna have 65K either.

But, if you want 40,000 (I mean 40K warm bodies, not what Pitt says attendance is) or 50000 people for games, you have to win.

You have to win, you have to win often, and you have to win against some good teams, and you have to win consistenly.

Will we sell out, not often, but win, and there will be some people at the games.

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 10:34 am

I just love the anti-Wanny sentiment on this site. First, he gets fired because his W-L record did not meet the expectations of his fine recruiting. Now they are losing because he recruited badly.

Fact is that he had a legit Top 20 class coming at the time of his firing .. of which only 2 stayed committed when Haywood was hired.

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 10:40 am

steve s the only thing wrong with what you say is this , wanny did sign 2 QB who were 4 star myers
is one and gonzy.
as far as the 2 TG and chryst signed they may be just as bad. you wont know till they play plus
did you know that the 4 star chryst got to commit
outher schools were looking at him as a D back
not as a QB. so he might not be better than gonzy
gonzalas. who was listed as a 4 star on some sites

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 10:53 am

Dan is right we will never have 65 thousand at a game but if we win and win a lot and win big games you will get 40 thousand and 50 thousand all
most all the time and the place will rock and it will seam as if there are more than that there.

but for that to happen you must win and win a lot
as as he said you must beat good teams.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 11:02 am

You don’t retain a coach for the sole purpose of keeping a recruiting class together. Moreover, a number of those recruits were beginning to waiver on Pitt even before Wanny got the axe.

Comment by Swinging Gate 09.04.12 @ 11:10 am

I thought Wanny was fired because of players off the field exploits. So what was it? I think Steve P.ust wanted him gone. Some people manage that way. “well gee Nordy, I would have done better if our coach could keep the off field problems with players minimized”. Gee Nordy, I could have won more games if he recruited better”. “Gee Nordy, I will continue making excuses until I can get “me” to retirement. “Gee Nordy, you sure look foolish believing me all these years”.

Thanks for getting me to retirement buddy. I am glad your tenure as president will show that your teams sucked. That is your legacy, sir Nordy. Thanks for enabling me through the years, when other programs wouldn’t. Sincerely, a bigger fraud than the last fraud. Steve

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.04.12 @ 11:14 am


You follow the recruiting a little closer than I do, so I don’t know exactly how many teams may be looking at Chapman as a DB. But even if they are, that doesn’t really worry me.

If you recall, there was plenty of debate along the same lines about both Tyler Palko and Rod Rutherford, especially Palko, who many liked as a safety. And I remember some even arguing that Walt should’ve made Rutherford a wideout.

From what I’ve read, Chapman was phenomenal in his first game this season, too. I guess we’ll wait and see…from what I gather, this coaching staff sees a lot of things in Chapman that they saw from Russell Wilson last year. We can certainly hope that’s what he eventually becomes.

Comment by Stoosh 09.04.12 @ 11:19 am

swinging gate, who was waivering? I don’t remember any.

The only thig I know is this. When Pedersen was hired on 11/30/07 until the time he was fired on 12/7/10, Pitt FB had a 27 – 12 record.

We’ll see if during Stevie boy’s present realm, we will see this level again. I hope so but you have to have your doubts.

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 11:25 am

obviously I meant “until the time Wanny was fired on 12/7/10″

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 11:27 am

If you want to criticize Nordy for his refusal to can Stevie P, that’s fine, and probably warranted. But this in no way overshadows all of the good things that Chancellor Nordenberg has done for this school, especially with regards to enhancing the institution’s academic standing. IMO, I believe that he’ll go down as one of the best stewards this school has ever had.

Comment by Swinging Gate 09.04.12 @ 11:47 am

How long are we going to keep on talking about Wanny? Wanny deserved to be fired for many reasons. The ridiculous number of coaches since Wanny doesn’t mean the decision to fire Wanny was wrong it just means the subsequent hires were wrong. If they had hired a solid coach right after Wanny was fired, most of Wanny’s class is kept and you have stability moving forward. Also, if you decide that the spread is the future, which they did by going to Graham, then hire a spread coach after Graham.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.04.12 @ 11:53 am

I do agree with that swinging g….my preface solely surrounds the athletic programs as a whole. Pitt football is the current example. Women’s basketball, mens baseball, womens softball, mens basketball, and the olympic sports,etc. Will we fiels a lacrosse team in the ACC? I am ignorant on that so if we have a lacrosse team, my apologies.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.04.12 @ 11:54 am

If you consider the impact recruited players have had on the next level, I’d say that the best quarterback Pitt has had on it’s roster in recent history would be a guy named Flacco.

Now that opens up another totally different conversation about Wannstedt, proper evaluation and development of those you already have in addition to the ones you’re recruiting. What do you do with them once they’re on board?

Can anyone argue with the “swing and a miss” situation that occurred with Joe Flacco? Don’t get me wrong, Palko was a good QB for Pitt but really, how do you let Joe Flacco get away from you?

I seem to remember it was kind of the same type of anointment that Sunseri was given by the Wannstedt coaching staff. Make a early on coaching decision and then to hell with competition for the sake of giving attention to the development of the #1 guy. Obviously, Flacco said F that, and the rest is Fightin’ Blue Hen football legend. But then it is always easy for us to be the Monday morning quarterbacks when you have a clear view of history in the rearview mirror.

But you know what? That’s why college football is so much fun to follow. You just don’t know what the fu*k is going to happen half of the time. For instance, I sure didn’t see this YSU ass kickin coming last Saturday, did anybody else out there see it differently before the game started? I had already penciled in that “W” before the season started.

As I always say, “that is why they play the games”. Who knows what to expect come Thursday night? We’ll see.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.04.12 @ 12:03 pm

Reed, Chas…

How about a thread on what changes should be implemented for Thursday?

Sure that many here including you guys have some thoughts.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.04.12 @ 12:08 pm

Wardapalooza, I have made this point when Wanny was fired and have reiterated it a handful of times since:

THe act of firing a coach is only half the task .. the other, and more important task, is hiring another coach who will improve the program.

I contend that you don’t fire a winning coach unless you’re pretty sure you an improvement waiting in the wings.

The question an AD has when considering firing a coach with a winning record is NOT “can we do better?” it is “Will we do better?”

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 12:16 pm

Dr. Tom, Palko was the right choice for the starting QB at Pitt at times. Who knows what happens to Flacco if he stays at Pitt. Maybe he needed the confidence of dominating at Delaware to get him going.

wbb, you are right. Hiring is more important than the firing. There were plenty of candidates for the job, it is just that the first two times they picked the wrong guys. WVU was in the same boat as Pitt, but they just picked the right replacement.

Also, I’m not sure if anyone has brought this up with all the comments, but are we even sure that the administration is upset with the loss? I’m sure if they are picking between suspensions and a loss or no suspensions, bad PR and a win the administration is picking suspensions every time.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.04.12 @ 12:55 pm

Wbb, agree 100%. I was one who thought that DW had played out the string at Pitt. The totally uninspired play from the team during a home beat down from WVU pushed me over the top. I felt like he lost the team. However, I am a fan, I’m allowed to be emotional, irrational, and totally uniformed! But one thing that I was aware of was that there was a real risk involved in firing a coach who was recuriting well (according to the experts) and winning more games than he was losing. I have to say that Frank Solich at Nebraska did come to mind. Does the process of how Solich was fired and subsequently replaced not look very similar to our situation? How many years was Nebraska “down” because they wanted to get to that elusive next level? PC could still turn out to be a great hire, but things are not trending well since we fired DW.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.04.12 @ 1:04 pm

@ Wardapalooza, all well considered comments, and I totally agree with the one, “Who knows what happens to Flacco if he stays at Pitt”? You’re right, we never will know, but looking into that rearview mirror that I previously mentioned, we know for sure what happened to him after he left Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.04.12 @ 1:11 pm

Wardapalooza, Oliver Luck already had Holgerson before forcing Stewart’s resignation. Pedersen was to find this out as Holgerson was his first contact. His 2nd contact was Golden whom he found out Miami already had sewn up.

He then contacted the likes of Sumlin and Graham, only to find out their salary demands were way too much (turned out that Wanny was quite the bargain!)

He then finally ssttled on Callahan …. er, I mean Haywood.

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 1:39 pm

At some point reality smacks you right in the face and wakes you up. Saturday we all got our smack. Its time to remove the rose colored glasses and admit that Pitt is an average football program (AT VERY BEST). Pitt Football (players, coaches, staff, administration) are basically a bunch of losers that breed losing. The first step in recovery is admitting the truth and facing reality. Honestly, when was the last time the Pitt football team won a meaningful game with something on the line??? We are losers ladies and gentlemen and Saturday was just the dose of reality we all needed. I am hopeful that someday this curse can be lifted and Pitt can once again compete but honestly after YSU bitch slapped us on Saturday does anyone think thats going to happen any time soon??

I will watch the rest of the season and probably every season after that but its time to lower our expectations and accept the fact that a trip to Birmingham every three years in January isn’t so bad.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.04.12 @ 1:45 pm

@Dr Tom, unfortuneatly yes it does.

Just as nations in the past have lived and died by their leadership, so too does Pitt football. When you have an AD who wrecked Nebraska and has gone through 4 different coaching hires without any improvement in 2 years, he needs to go.

The only way to put pressure on Nordy is to not go to games and get him to fire Pederson.

This is the exact same reason the pirates have been this way for years. Poor ownership and leadership.

Comment by anonymouspitt 09.04.12 @ 2:00 pm

But keep going-keep supporting these guys with no commitment to winning.

Comment by anonymouspitt 09.04.12 @ 2:04 pm

wbb, I meant WVU was in the same situation in that they weren’t happy with their current coach who had some success and was moderately successful. Clearly, the process afterwards sucked.

I honestly don’t think Pederson had a choice in the matter and that Wanny had to be fired. I will always believe that the off the field issues including the SI story were the main reasons he was fired.

I wouldn’t say Pitt are losers. Literally, like 4 plays over the course of the past 3 seasons from 3 straight Big East titles and 3 straight BCS games. I think with Chryst, Pitt will turn into the Wisconsin of the ACC, consistently beat the teams they are supposed to beat and be competitive against everyone else. I’ll take that every year.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.04.12 @ 2:06 pm

HbgFRANK you said it was time for wanny to go becuse he had a team that was totally uninspired in there play.
i dont disagree with you but waht did we get in are last game a team that was totally uninspired in there play.

just like wannys that does not meam i want chryst
gone one game is not a good judge.

but there better be someimprovement on thur becuse
even bad players can try hard give it all they have that is what i want to see yes penn state lost to ohio but they played hard and never quit that is what i want.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 2:07 pm

wardapalooza, this is exactly what Im talking about, rationalizing the losing:

“I wouldn’t say Pitt are losers. Literally, like 4 plays over the course of the past 3 seasons from 3 straight Big East titles and 3 straight BCS games.”

Lets face the facts, we couldn’t win the weakest conference in the country despite having the best recruits. We couldnt beat a fluke Cinci team on our home field with a huge third qtr lead. That is what losers do, they lose…we lost! And for christ sake we just got a beat down from the penguins in our home opener. open your eyes.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.04.12 @ 2:13 pm

If there is such thing as the ‘death penalty’, Pitt has received a slower and more painful self-imposed ‘life sentence’.

It’s very unfortunate that the only thing I want out of the program is to LIMIT embarrassing losses…oof.

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 09.04.12 @ 2:13 pm

I’m not rationalizing. Losers are teams like Duke and Indiana that never win and never come close. Losers don’t come close to conference titles. Pitt is more mediocre and underperforming than anything. Does mediocre and underperforming suck? Yes. But I’m not going to call Pitt players losers. Many make the NFL and are successful. It is just a matter of having the right coach to make sure the players succeed. Hopefully, Chryst is that guy. I’m just not going to judge a new coach based on one game in which a thin team was already thinner due to last minute suspensions. I’m just being realistic.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.04.12 @ 2:25 pm

Wardapalloza, if Pitt played in the Big Ten we would be exactly like Duke and Indiana. We barely made bowl games playing in the weak ass big east. And the rationalization that 4 plays and we would be in 3 straight BCS games is non sense. We were in those positions beause we didn’t make hundreds of other plays along the way. For example, Yes, you could say in the Cinci game we were one botched field goal away – technically one play. But the reality is what about the numerous blown plays that let cinci score and win?, what about the dozen or so other plays that allowed them to even get back in the game in the first place? Losers collapse when the game is on the line.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.04.12 @ 2:33 pm

Stoosh i did not mean that i think chapman is
a bad QB i was just showing steve s a point that he had not thought of or did not know.
if you read his post you will see what i was doeing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 2:35 pm

Comment by Joe D 09.04.12 @ 2:50 pm

Wardapalooza, If Pitt had scored 2 more pts vs Cincy in 09 and/or 3 more pts vs Uconn in 010, that SI story wouldn’t have mattered. Yes, Wanny would have been warned to clean it up but he defiitely wouldn’t have been fired — remember, there was by no means a trend of bad behavior prior to 2010, so it wasn’t an onging thing.

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 2:51 pm

Comment by Get the Glory 09.04.12 @ 3:04 pm


Comment by Get the Glory 09.04.12 @ 3:04 pm

Good article. Spanked, but so did a lot of teams. At least he gave the Pitt fans a break,

(they were pessimistic, and it was immediately justified!) LMAO!!

Comment by Dan 09.04.12 @ 3:12 pm

here is a curious stat: PA has nearly a million more residents than Ohio yet Ohio has had a substantial higher number of D1 recruits than PA for past several years … not even close. PA HS football has been definitely on the decline.

I keep telling everyone here that the declining Western PA FB market, playing in an FB conference with limited exposure, in addition to sharing the city with a beloved NFL franchise spells nothing but trouble for Pitt FB … and you cannot measure the program by late 1970s standards.

At least Wanny, as long as he was putting players in the NFL, would always get attractive recruits.

Comment by wbb 09.04.12 @ 3:18 pm

This was an uggly uggly loss. Thin team ? I don’t know how a D-1 team can lose to an FCS team, let alone get spanked.

Die hard pitt fan.. but its getting much harder to believe. I swear somebody made a deal with the devil in 1976….

Comment by Snala The Panther 09.04.12 @ 3:22 pm

I thought this blog increased its writing staff…

Comment by Get the Glory 09.04.12 @ 3:26 pm

Wbb and wanny did recruit high ranking QB one 5
star and four 4 stars the fact that 4 out of the
5 sucked is not the coachs fult .
becuse you dont know till they play.
i thought wanny a bad game day coach but i did not
want him fired.
and as Wbb said he should not have been fires unless they had a good coach locked up to take his place like WVU did.
so that is on are AD who i do think sucks a big one.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 3:28 pm

Bottom line…

Pitt’s offense was good enough to win even with the two fumbles.

A couple of YSU stops and a couple of more possessions and the points are there.

The BIGGEST PROBLEM on defense was no so much the defensive calls although they were a problem (surprise fourth down TD pass included.

It was Huxtable being duped into playing some players (more than a few) who showed either a complete lack of ability or lack of desire to make a play.

Watching the replay, it would be hard to remember watching down D-linemen as slow and cumbersome as a group of guys wearing numbers in the 90s.

Donald also struggled to get free while being handled singlehandedly.

The one who seemed to get a little better as the game went on was 72 Lippert.

Seems ridiculous to bring strength and conditioning into question but it has to be questioned unless these guys just aren’t that talented.

Linebacker, same story different reason. Nothing to question here but an apparent lack of desire to make plays instead of just running around pursuing plays.

Isn’t there someone behind Gordon wlling to play with a motor and hit people instead of playing like a safety in run support?

Comment by PittofDreams 09.04.12 @ 3:42 pm


Oh, I knew what you were getting at regarding Chapman. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

I was just adding some context and discussion to it with the Palko and Rutherford points.

Comment by Stoosh 09.04.12 @ 4:10 pm

Stoosh i know wanny was a bad game day coach.
but as a recruiter i thought he did good even if outhers dont look at the QB one 5 star at least
four 4 star qb i dont think you can blame a coach
when 4 out of 5 suck you never know till they play.

i am upset as you all are but lets face it chryst
will get at least 3 years but the asst coachs they can be changed

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 4:30 pm

OK….so were suppose to stop supporting the university we LOVE??…..This isn’t the Pittsburgh Piriates and Bob Nutting!!….You people can stay away and thats fine with me!!…college sports is suppose to be about passion and tradition…if you guys want to go support another team….leave this blog…go find another team….I can be disappointed with my panthers but I will never not support them…HAIL TO PITT!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 09.04.12 @ 5:01 pm

Six different head coaches in two years is never a measure of a successful football program, let alone much of anything in life. This team has no QB, which limits the offense and to top it off the oline is shaky, with a d line that’s shaky as well. Don’t blame Chryst he just inherited a mess given to him by Steve Petersen. I hope a lot of you realize that this isn’t USC, or Alabama where talent is already here. There are maybe 4 or 5 guys that are players and that’s it. This is going to take more than a few years.

Comment by Lou 09.04.12 @ 5:04 pm

Lou lets say you are right dont you think even a bad team should play hard the first game new coach you know give it evey thing they can.
for me it is not that they lost it is that they werent into the game did you see the side line were is the pride were is the giveing 100 percent even if you lose penn state lost but they tryed hard they gave it there all .
were was are balls are fire.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.04.12 @ 5:15 pm

@ Coach Ditka, I take real offense to your accusation that Pitt football and Pitt football fans are losers. Right now this team is just a bunch of under achievers. You just wait until next year when Pitt joins the ACC, then we’ll show you what kind of losers we can be. Move over Duke, Pitt’s coming to town and is looking to take your place. Wait a second that didn’t come out right.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.04.12 @ 6:04 pm

I don’t think the Pirates-Pitt comparisons are necessarily fair, because I do think the university has demonstrated a willingness (perhaps not to the degree that we’d all like) to invest money into the football program. But there’s really only so much they can do, given the budgetary constraints imposed upon the athletic department. Pitt isn’t Alabama or Texas or USC or Penn State, whose athletic departments basically have a license to print money. The school can’t spend money that it simply doesn’t have.

Comment by Swinging Gate 09.04.12 @ 6:58 pm

The article isn’t too bad for Pitt in general. He does ask the same question most are asking here which is How does Steve Pederson keep his job?He is mocking the administration and I expect that the longer this goes in the media, the worse it will be for Pitt. Can’t we just give the guy a “mustard parachute” and make him go away! It’s getting to be a national embarassment!

Only Jody would look at an article with a “Forde” time associated with it….

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.04.12 @ 7:24 pm

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