September 12, 2012

At Least Things Are ‘Neat’

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches — Chas @ 8:16 am

In Syracuse, Doug Marrone has a favorite word. That word: tremendous. He will apply it anything. Opportunities, potential of players, a dinner menu, a good pair of khakis, his thighs. Coach Paul Chryst is a man of few words, so it hasn’t been easy to crack the code to this point.

Here at Blather Labs, we have been parsing statements diligently to locate the “Word of Chryst.” This week, our research has yielded a potential hit.

The word appears to be: neat.

The O-line is doing a horrid job blocking? Well, that’s neat.

Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri was sacked six times against Cincinnati, but coach Paul Chryst did not place all the blame on one player. “Certainly, the offensive line, you have five guys, and their job is to protect,” Chryst said. “We gave up one (sack) where we had both backs in there, and they both could have taken a hit off the quarterback. The quarterback has to get the ball out of his hands, and that means the receivers have to be precise in their routes. That’s one of the neat things about football. It takes all 11 guys, and that is a great example of it.”

How about the fact that the D-line can’t get any pressure up front? It’s sort of neat.

“One way is adding numbers to create pressure. Right now, it’s kind of neat that each week each team presents a little bit different challenge and you want to make sure you’re being smart with how you approach it,” Chryst said. “Certainly we pressured more in the Cincinnati game than we did the week before. We’re certainly looking at all different options and figuring out what’s best for Virginia Tech.”

Neat may not be the way you or I would describe disasters, but for Coach Chryst it’s all just a puzzle to solve.

Keep your eyes out for more examples of “neat” from Coach Chryst. Along with nifty, swell and even: keen.


If i ever hear him say neat again i am gonna puke. No wonder these guys have no fire or killer instict. FOOTBALL IS NEAT? WTF!!!!

Comment by blaise 09.12.12 @ 8:30 am

Yea it’s pretty neat how our defense gets their asses kicked up an down the field every week.

Comment by The Atlanta Panther 09.12.12 @ 8:55 am

Its kind of neat when you don’t get your ass kicked on national tv too

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.12.12 @ 9:08 am

oh pshaw.

Comment by pittkeith 09.12.12 @ 9:27 am

Report on ESPN website that Notre Dame is moving to the ACC for all sports…except football. Didn’t work in the Big East and won’t work there either.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.12.12 @ 9:46 am

ESPN is reporting Notre Dame will join the ACC in all sports but football. Brilliant move by Pitt to join – rejoin – the new big least conference.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.12.12 @ 9:46 am

Several big recruits coming in this weekend…to empty seats and a butt kicking!!

Comment by markp 09.12.12 @ 9:53 am

Safe bet ND will play Pitt for many years. Not sure how the PSU games will fit now.

Comment by why me 09.12.12 @ 9:54 am

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.12.12 @ 9:57 am

Continuing the Pitt-Notre Dame series would be the one good thing from an agreement with the ACC that seems sure to favor the Irish. I’d rather play ND every year than Ped State.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.12.12 @ 10:00 am

VTech fans travel well. I’m sure the amount of tickets sold on stub hub to Tech fans will have a neutral site feeling come Saturday. Just sad.

Comment by why me 09.12.12 @ 10:02 am

ND will play 5 football games a year against ACC teams. They have 4 on the schedule this year, Pitt, Miami, BC and Wake. Syracuse has been on the schedule in the past. Have not seen what the home/away agreement will look like, but I would be surprised if it isn’t in ND’s favor.

Bottom line though, this is great for Pitt. Pitt keeps ND on the schedule for the foreseeable future. The ND game is the biggest on the schedule. Had ND gone to the Big 12, they would have had to agree to play more Big 12 football games. It looks like Pitt football is in for a rough couple of years. Pitt would clearly have been one of the teams that ND considered dropping.

This isn’t good for the ACC, it did not work for the Big East and will have similar challenges with the ACC.

The other good news, the ACC will be a ridiculously good lacrosse confrence. Syracuse, ND, Maryland, Duke, UNC and Virginia are all top 10 programs every year.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 09.12.12 @ 10:17 am

Any word on which recruits will be at the game Saturday?

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 09.12.12 @ 10:27 am

This is a very good development. The writing was on the wall several months ago.

Comment by TX Panther 09.12.12 @ 10:32 am

I don’t think this is good news for the Pitt-ND rivalry. If you think the other ACC schools are going stand by and watch ND play BC and Pitt regularly, then ‘rotate’ the other three games, think again. I bet there was an informal agreement to play all ACC schools, so unless Pitt is considered for one of the other 7 games (I think not), the frequency of this rivalry will decrease in lieu of other ACC schools.

Also, would have like to see a 6-game committment. Again, Swofford falls short.

Comment by pittbluegold 09.12.12 @ 10:34 am

It would be neat if this coaching crew can demonstrate they have half-a-clue between them that they know what they’re doing….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.12.12 @ 10:48 am

Hey guys it’s progress. This will boost revenue for the other sports and will be shared throughout the conference. Plus if ND can continue making the tournament, that’s an addittional 5-6 million per round they advance over the 5 year point system the NCAA uses. Also, as the new playoff system plays out. Do you think ND will see the writing on the wall with conference champions and won’t eventually go all in? Especially if they can add a decent football program as the 15th (16th if ND goes all in at the same time).

As a side note, ACC raises exit fee to a cool $50 million.

Comment by tedsptman 09.12.12 @ 10:49 am

It would be neat if a Pitt head coach finally has the courage to bench our nitwit incompetent knucklehead short weak-armed scatter-arm starting QB….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.12.12 @ 10:50 am

With 9 conference games and ND when we play them my guess is almost every year tht leaves only 2 additional games to schedule. Little room for anyother big time school.

Comment by JP 09.12.12 @ 11:05 am

Wouldn’t it be neat, if Notre Dame didn’t come out smelling like a rose every friggin’ time??

I can’t believe Swofford couldn’t force their hand and make them join for football.

#1. Let’s get this off the table. Notre Dame was never, ever, going to take their teams to the Big 12. There is no way, academically, and no way they were going to take their tennis and diving teams to Waco, and Lubbock.

#2. Love the Big Ten!! They would have never let this happen. Either all in or nothing. Conversation would have probably been something like this, “blow me”!!!

#3. Pitt will now lose games with Notre Dame. You now have 13 other teams will be demanding games!!!!!

***They get to join the best academic conference, they get to recruit the south even more so now, got their lacrosse, baseball and soccer teams in with the best conference***

And the ass kissing of Notre Dame begins again!!!

Comment by Dan 09.12.12 @ 11:34 am

It’s neat when Pitt plays well enough (and Chryst coaches well enough) on national TV that ESPN’s announcers don’t deservedly mock and laugh at us.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.12.12 @ 11:37 am

All this talk of “neat” and ND is making me want a whiskey neat….or 2-3

Comment by pendlum 09.12.12 @ 11:40 am

This is Notre Dame’s move before going all in. The football chips will come in a few years. The Domers definitely see the writing on the wall but will do their best to delay as long as possible. It will be no bluff.

Comment by TX Panther 09.12.12 @ 11:45 am

ND non-football was a problem in the BE, but it wasn’t the only problem. The real rift was involved a conference too evenly split between non-football and football playing schools. ND won’t have the leverage of the non-football voting bloc, and an exit fee of $50 mil would be hight enough to get even their attention.

I don’t like it, but it’s not as big a problem for the ACC as it was for the BE.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 09.12.12 @ 11:51 am

None of us know anything, we’re not in the rooms.

I understand that.

ND was backed into a corner.

Were never gonna let their olympic sports flounder in the Big East

Never going to Big 12.

The only thing that I think ND could have said was, “look, if we have to join all in, we’re gonna join the Big Ten”

Got their cake and eatin too, stickin’ it right in everyones’ face!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.12.12 @ 11:52 am

pendlum ur a man ahead opf your time!

Comment by Punxy Panther 09.12.12 @ 11:53 am

“Ya know” cracking The Chyrst code, “ya know” might not be as hard as, “ya know” you might think. I’ve heard enough of his interviews, “ya know” to get a feel, “ya know” of his mannerisms by now. My impression is that he is using one particular phrase, “ya know” a lot more than is required in my opinion.

I realize, “ya know” that all of you guys that comment on this blog, “ya know” have listened to these same interviews so I’m just going to, “ya know” see if you can figure out what that phraseology “ya know”, might be.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.12.12 @ 12:07 pm

“ya know” is a Wisconsin substitute for “Yinz”

Comment by markp 09.12.12 @ 12:16 pm

Notre Dame will never be “all in”. Why would they do that? Any leverage the ACC would have (a safe haven for their olympic sports when the BE dissolves) is now gone.

Comment by Chuck Morris 09.12.12 @ 12:20 pm

BTW, “ya know”, I like Chyst’s concept of “adding numbers on the defense” to pressure, “ya know” VA TECH. It would be “neat ya know” if he could do that. But I’m pretty sure that, “ya know” it is a procedure penalty if we put more than eleven guys out there at one time. Considering, “ya know” how badly our defense has played as of late however, it would be “neat” if the officials allowed us to field maybe like 14 guys, “ya know” for just this one game, “ya know” to help keep it close.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.12.12 @ 12:23 pm

@ markp, “you betcha”.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.12.12 @ 12:26 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised to see ND reconsider football membership at a later date after the current BCS system collapses and they may not be able to negotiate an exception for post season inclusion. This way they get a foot in the door with ACC football matchups while enjoying the remainder of their cake. If cake runs out and they can’t bake another, their take the biggest piece of the ACC’s and pony up for football.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 09.12.12 @ 12:29 pm

If this allows the ACC to up the contract with ESPN and/or get certain rights/revenues from NBC, it will be a good thing. Should be able now to equalize the $20 mil per school the Bevo 10 will receive, ending the talk of FSU and/or Clemson leaving.

Comment by pittbluegold 09.12.12 @ 12:58 pm

This is only a good move if ND eventually joins for football. Otherwise, ND having access to the ACC’s non BCS games will result in the same crap deal we had in the BE. Just wait to see how happy everyone in the ACC is when year after year ND pushes a more deserving ACC team from a higher paying/status bowl game because they are ND and their fans travel.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.12.12 @ 12:59 pm

Its neat when your QB doesnt throw the ball through the goal posts with no time left on the clock.

Its neat when a division II school doesnt beat your ass up and down your home field.

Its neat when you have to seriously prepare for Gardner Webb because its the only real shot you have at a victory this year.

Its neat when you actually look like a legitimate Division I football team on national television.

Its neat when your program isnt a national joke.

I could do this all day, kind of fun…ya know

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.12.12 @ 1:01 pm

So many haters. ND is overrated on the field but not in popularity. Good move by the ACC and most likely will lead to full membership at some point. People blame ND for the downfall of the “Big East/Small Central/Tiny West” but the Big Least was the one at fault. Plus, this membership also paved the way for the $50M exit fee for all members now…no need to worry about the Big 12 raiding the conference. Clemson and FSU are here to stay.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 09.12.12 @ 1:08 pm

ND move is good because it raises the exit fees to 50 million. No way any school is leaving now. No matter how much they hate Swofford. It also prevents ND from becoming a full member in the Big 12 or Big 10, which would have led to teams leaving the ACC for sure. Gotta take ND since it makes the conference much more stable.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.12.12 @ 1:12 pm

So, when ND becomes a full member, which they will, that makes 15. Who will be 16? UConn? Rutgers? Penn State? Stony Brook? University of Toronto?

Comment by Pitt Dad 09.12.12 @ 1:20 pm

or Georgetown (sans football) could come in which would make 16 bball schools and 14 (full) football schools

Comment by Pitt Dad 09.12.12 @ 1:26 pm

[…] remember this? “I don’t understand it,” Jack Swarbrick said as a new round of conference […]

Some of the jokes about Chryst are funny but the serious posts about his lack of fire and reserved personality impacting the team are idiotic.

There are tons of guys just like Chryst that have been great coaches. If you ever played sports you have probably played for one here or there that are good or great. A coach yelling in your ear or jumping up and down in the dugout, courtside or sidelines does not inspire. It become white noise to the players.
Additionally, if you were observant during camp you will notice that many of the assistants (Huxtable,Hueber,House) are very animated.
At any level, good and great players don’t need a cheerleader to have the will to win. It comes naturally as soon as you step between the lines.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.12.12 @ 1:56 pm


Too much was made of Chryst’s personality by the media from the time his name surfaced in the coaching searches, and now it’s snowballed.

When the team struggles, fans get frustrated and angry. For whatever reason, the image of the coach trying to keep his composure only drives the frustration level of some of the fans even higher.

Wanny had some very visible meltdowns on the sidelines at times and more times than not, he came off looking he had even less control of his gameplan than it previously appeared. Given Wannstedt’s penchant for looking like he was usually a step behind the game as it was, that’s really saying something.

Brian Kelly is a red-faced, fire-breathing maniac on the sidelines at Notre Dame. While I’m sure at times he gets through to his players, I’ve also heard some national media types blast him for maybe going beyond “animated” and crossing the line into “bully”. I’ll be honest, I think he looks like an absolute ass most of the time when he does it. While I’m sure he gets through to his players to a point, I’d rather not have that be the image of my team’s coach that everyone remembers.

If Chryst is guilty of anything, it’s that he may be a little too much in the opposite direction. You don’t want a lunatic on the sidelines, but you also don’t want Chryst to be Pitt’s version of former Pirates manager John Russell, either.

That said, I’d like to ask T.J. Clemmings if he thinks Chryst still lacks fire after that exchange on the sidelines last week.

All things being equal, I’ll take the head coach who looks like he has it together 95% of the time. If I may draw a parallel to another local team, Dan Bylsma of the Pens is very much the same type of personality as Chryst. He seldom gets animated on the bench even in situations where it clearly calls for it. It’s worked out well for him and he’s one of the most respected coaches in the league by both Penguins and non-Penguin players.

Granted, he’s dealing with professionals as opposed to student-athletes, but that may be even more of a reason for Pitt to have a guy who projects that sense of calm and composure.

Comment by Stoosh 09.12.12 @ 2:18 pm

Well said notrocket — couldn’t agree more…I always tuned out yellers but listened to the guys who treated you like an adult. If you’re a punk, they just sat you on the bench until you figured out to stop being one, or cut you. Everybody was happier and more productive and it saved eardrums too. If Tino keeps this up and Chryst is still starting him after VTech, then my clock for him might start.

Comment by Matt N. 09.12.12 @ 2:26 pm

Matt N.

I agree on Tino and VT. It will be time for a change.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.12.12 @ 2:55 pm

@ Matt, if you’re right, then this is my new cheer. TINO’S A PUNK, TINO’S A PUNK,,,,and so on and so on.

Come the Gardner-Webb game “Tino time” is over,,,,”The new fad is Chad”!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.12.12 @ 3:50 pm

I posted this ND might some to ACC weeks ago
only i thougt it was 6 games a year i was close
ND leaveing big east my my what did they say abought us when we did the same thing so now what does that make them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.12.12 @ 4:06 pm

HOW will this work in BB odd nummber of teams

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.12.12 @ 4:16 pm

@Wardapalooza….you are right. I don’t like all of it, but taking ND was a necessary preemptive strike to keep ND out of the Big ten + 2. Don’t know that it will work but it hasn’t failed either.

This has got to stick in the collective UCONN/RU craw. Now entry into the ACC is doubtful and they just lost the team their fans view as the evil, but necessary foe.

With Calhoun near retirement or Dante’s inferno, whichever comes first, UCONN is set up to take a huge fall.

The Big East just got burned again…right before they negotiated their TV deal. Oopsie! There goes their national draw…wait till Boise State falls off the map.

Time for Pitt to get its crap together and hire someone who works at ND. They are smart!

Comment by SFPitt 09.12.12 @ 4:37 pm

Stoosh to say the least your post was neat and in fact it was level headed, intuitive and logical…

Comment by Kenny 09.12.12 @ 4:38 pm

Frankcan, simply, there will always be at least one interleague series going at all times next year. The Reds will be hsoting the As on April 1st — opening day interleague match-up

Comment by wbb 09.12.12 @ 4:47 pm

Chryst and company “Neat” to get a win pretty friggin soon.

Comment by Kenny Powers 09.12.12 @ 4:51 pm

Look ND comeing to ACC is ok but i would have made
them play 6 games not 5 becuse they really only gave the ACC 2 games.
they play pitt all most every year any way the same with BC and miami so if you play thoes team any way.
then they have only giveing the ACC2 games so knowing this the ACC should have said come on bord but we want 6 games.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.12.12 @ 5:04 pm

Wbb dont get it Wbb you are to smart for me and if a joke i still dont get it

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.12.12 @ 5:08 pm

Seeing 40,000 va tech fans at Heinz partying it up while tino picks himself off the turf for the 23rd time #neat

Comment by John 09.12.12 @ 5:49 pm

farnkcan, you asked how it will work in basesball (BB) with an odd number of teams (with Astros going to AL, both leagues will have 15) — and I answered you.

Now, if you were referring to ACC basketball, I don’t have a clue especially come playoff time

Comment by wbb 09.12.12 @ 7:31 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 09.12.12 @ 7:49 pm

I live in VT country and believe me there will be PLENTY of fans in the seats on Sat.

Comment by tsquare 09.12.12 @ 8:17 pm

If you remember, Jamie was not a very good speaker (or interviewee, if that’s a word) when he first became HC. He’s much improved now. Maybe Pitt will have PC take some of the Life Skills training they give the athletes and practice public speaking. As an assistant, he probably wasn’t interviewed all that much.

Comment by Annie 09.13.12 @ 1:01 am

Potential recruits seeing orange in the stands and realizing it would be better to be second string at vt then start at Pitt–#neat.

Comment by John 09.13.12 @ 6:43 am

Firing a good coach that loved Pitt and had us within an eyelash of the bcs yet keeping an ad that hates everything about the history and tradition of Pitt football and the sport in general-#neat.

Comment by John 09.13.12 @ 6:45 am

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