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November 15, 2012

Only a two or three regular season games left on the schedule for many teams. The coaching carousel is getting warmed up for the latest whirl.

In Tennessee where, um, clearer heads are mostly aware that they won’t get Kevin Sumlin, Urban Meyer, and of course Jon Gruden; that leaves speculating on who they can get. And to what lengths they are willing to stoop (they are also not getting Bob Stoops).

Arizona State coach Todd Graham doesn’t need a dream to change jobs after a year. He already has Kiffined two programs, first Rice in 2006 and then Pittsburgh in 2011.

After last season, he told Panthers players goodbye via email and rushed off to Arizona State. All he left behind was a nickname: “Mr. All Talk Then Walk.”

Actually, he’s not all talk. He was 7-6 at Rice, 36-17 at Tulsa, and is now 5-5 at Arizona State, which returned only eight starters and has had four consecutive losing seasons.

If the Vols’ coaching search turns desperate — and they’re not above Kiffining somebody — Graham could be their guy.

/derisive snort

Somewhere FraudGraham’s agent is laughing so hard he wets himself. Congratulating himself on getting his client’s name out in the media wild for jobs yet again, despite mediocrity in two straight seasons at the BCS level.

FraudGraham is giddy. It means getting a raise and extension for doing about as well as the guy he replaced. He knows he really couldn’t bail a second straight year, even as he double checks for family in Tennessee, and begins idly speculating on how many dollars he could squeeze from Tennessee if the Vols find their search dragging out longer than they wanted and the desperation truly sets in.

Arizona State fans rationalize it away as a columnist in Tennessee throwing shit against the wall in pure speculation. There’s no way it would happen. Not with the recruiting talent in the West. Not with the ASU program heading in the right direction versus all the work needed in Tennessee. Everything Graham has said about being in Arizona. Nothing to worry about. “By the way, just out of idle curiosity,” they ask each other, “what is the buyout if Graham bolts?”

Tennessee just shrugs because even if they aren’t above “Kiffining” another program, they know it better be for someone above FraudGraham.





As Pitt fans can we turn our collective heads and look forwards instead of lamenting on what was? We should be ashamed that we had to settle for a Todd Graham. He isn’t the reason our program is barely I-A. It’s years of bad decisions and settling for the ‘good enough’ coach. We seems to have a good guy now. Let’s support him and move on.

Comment by Yeti 11.15.12 @ 8:48 am

@ Yeti
I agree with your comments 100%.

Comment by Floyd 11.15.12 @ 8:53 am

I’m not sure anyone is blaming Graham for our lack of success. I think the feeling Pitt fans have when it comes to Fraud is more bitter spitefulness.

It’s like past significant others that “did you wrong”. Regardless of how happy you may or may not be now, you still might snicker at the thought of them doing the same thing to the “other guy/gal”.

Comment by BCPITT 11.15.12 @ 9:20 am

Penny has relatives in all 50 states, so there’s that.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 11.15.12 @ 10:00 am

Its time to move past Fraud Graham and Tino and let Coach Chryst usher in a new era of Pitt football. This has not been a great year but I do see signs that things could be on the rise. I think Coach Chryst has a short learning curve and this off season will show dramatic improvements in the way he coaches.

Comment by Coach Ditka 11.15.12 @ 10:14 am

I wonder what the over-under is for the number of job changes Fraud Graham will make in the next 20 years?

Comment by 66Goat 11.15.12 @ 10:42 am

I set the O/U at 19

Comment by BCPITT 11.15.12 @ 10:51 am

Todd Graham made a career out of beating a mediocre Notre Dame team while coaching at Tulsa. I just don’t understand it.

Comment by PatMac 11.15.12 @ 11:06 am

While I agree with everything Coach Ditka wrote, I’m still never going to pass up an opportunity to take a shot at that a-hole.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 11.15.12 @ 11:39 am

coachditka… I don’t know what you are seeing to make the comment… things are on the rise!!
I don’t see it…
Chryst strength was suppose to be coaching and game planning.. I don’t see it..
We all know recruiting wasn’t his strength…
and boy he proved that to be correct.

When you listen to Chryst comments after a game.. he sounds like an OC… analytical… talking about what a player puts on tape!! what!!
I don’t see him as HC material… he is still in an OC mentality… and he hands of defense game planning to Huxtable and look where that got us!!

Things are not on the rise for Pitt football…
and I could careless what FraudGraham does.. I’m glad he is gone.

Comment by Joe D 11.15.12 @ 11:59 am

The best teams in the SEC play power football, not the run and gun style of TG…Look for Tennessee to look for a coach that can compete with Alabama and LSU with a Pro-Set mindset on offense and a 4-3 on defense.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.15.12 @ 12:38 pm

Just like Death and Taxes we can always count on Joe D make a negative comment!!!!!
My guess is we could go undefeated for the next 5 years and Joe could find something bad.

Anyone know if there is an App that I can set to filter his comments. Perhaps they can put the poster in the beginning instead of the end so i can skip over it faster.

Comment by giveitarest 11.15.12 @ 1:30 pm

Agree that Chryst has something to show as a Head Coach.

But without question, I am much more impressed by his Offensive than the Fire Drill we had a year ago.

Waiting to see what Chryst can do once Tino is gone and he has a chance to put his own guy behind center.

Let’s hope he picks the right one.

I’m also OK with Huxtable another year.

If you haven’t noticed, Pitt’s D-Line this year is not even average… SLOW off the ball, SLOW off the block… the only possible exception being Donald.

Again, how could you not prefer the Defense under Huxtable over what we had last year. What’s been going down in Morgantown may help put things into perspective.

Huxtable deserves a chance to see what his defense might do with an upgrade in D-Linemen and a healthy Dan Mason.

Seems I have read somewhere that “You can’t coach speed.”

Comment by PittofDreams 11.15.12 @ 2:22 pm

Sorry but Clemson is run & gunning ala Graham style as his OC from Tulsa went there and we got stuck with the guy from Dickrod’s Michigan, (Calvin whatever). And that has really revved up the Tigers offense and made Clemson a Top 15 type team.

The ACC teams all (sans BC & Maryland) score alot of points now and we better start next year or we’ll end up like Boston College. I sure hope this Wannstedian offense works in the ACC.

Only way it can work is to control the line of scrimmage, so bess get on that recruiting trail for some stud O-linemen.

Comment by Emel 11.15.12 @ 2:27 pm

Enough of football, it’s too depressing. I’d much rather think & comment about PITT hoops !

Comment by Emel 11.15.12 @ 2:30 pm

Emel – I get your point, but the defenses in the SEC are heads and shoulders above anything in the ACC.

Comment by BCPITT 11.15.12 @ 2:54 pm

I’m with Yeti on this.
As for Chryst, yeah, he inherited one hell of a mess. shame on him for not trying to be something he is not. Didn’t he realize that Anderson or Voytik would have lead us to a national championship? How could he have failed to let Ray Graham sleep in a healing chamber, recruit NFL caliber lineman his first year and get them to start.
Doesn’t he realize that a tenor’s trembling voice is the essential element to coaching. Does he have to shave every day?
Can’t he be more like Dana Holgerson and bathe once a week whether he needs it or not. Didn’t he realize that R. Shell was the father of two kids, slacked off as a star in high school and stepped on cracks in the sidewalk during sumer camp and broke back?
Give me a friggen break….
Want to criticize Pitt football? Go back to the Sugar Bowl circa 198whatever and get your thesis ready.

Comment by sfpitt 11.15.12 @ 3:27 pm

So Kevin Sumlin and the spread with Johnny Football are playing a pro set? They beat the piss out of Alabama in Alabama. The spread offense with a good defense is unstoppable even in the SEC

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.15.12 @ 9:18 pm

I’m sure Val Sunseri Tn Defensive coordinator would stick on if Todd Graham became the HC. Especially since Todd Graham treated his son so great.

Comment by Sean 11.15.12 @ 9:36 pm

Who’s ready for the Brawl??

Comment by TonyC 11.16.12 @ 12:17 am

Prayers go out to the family of former PITT WR Darius Patton who played at Penn Hills HS before transferring to Poland HS over by Youngstown.

link to wytv.com

He played in several games last year and had several receptions and would have been a help in the future.

RIP Darius

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 6:29 am

The world seems to be getting more morbid and stranger on a daily basis.

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 6:30 am

Hilarious. Simply Hilarious. Fraud Graham has become part of an on going laugh for many. On a more serious note, damn that agent is doing his job. Perhaps the Republican Party can sign him up to re-create their image.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.16.12 @ 7:09 am

The Arizona media has been dropping comment and questions about the job that Fraud Graham has done this year. They continue to point out that they fired a guy and now have the same result. My guess is that Fraud Grahams agent has created a diversion for the current Arizona malcontents by floating his name to the Tennessee folks. Creating the perception that Fraud Graham is wanted some place (if not in Arizona). I will give Fraud Graham and his agent credit. They stay one step ahead of the lynch mob. Eventually Fraud is going to have to stay and produce. Not sure the latter is possible.

link to azcentral.com

“Forgive Arizona State football fans if they’re ready to walk out on a movie they’ve seen before with an ending they hated.

A sizzling 5-1 start has fizzled into a 5-5 season with Washington State visiting this weekend and the Territorial Cup clash with Arizona ahead in Tucson.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 11.16.12 @ 7:18 am

Mock if you want. But Pitt’s problem last year wasn’t the head coach or his staff.

The problem with TG and his system was playing a too-short weak-armed scatter-armed 4th-Qtr-wet-his-pants dolt at QB. Tino the Magnificent. Note, this is the common thread why DW’s last season and PC’s first season were soooo disappointing. NOT STEVE PETERSON!!! And not Todd Graham either.

If Pitt had even a mediocre QB for this and the past two seasons, instead of playing “Wannstedt’s Revenge” at QB, then Pitt would be two-time defending Big East champs.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 11.16.12 @ 8:24 am

@sfpitt All I see is lame excuses. Shame on him for not winning a national championship? No one on hear expected a national championship, but the team can’t even win against bad Big East teams and probably won’t be going to a bowl. That is a joke, especially with how bad the schedule was this year. Ray Graham has looked pretty health the past few weeks and the team is still losing. And when was the last time that Shell was reported hurt? Same old lame excuses different day.

I’m not too sure what is impressive about this year’s offense under Chryst… lots of low scoring games against mediocre teams. Take out some of the junk TDs when the games were already decided and it gets worse.

Bottom line Coach Chryst has lots of improving to do and there is no guarantee he will improve. There are tons of good assistants who fail as head coaches. Hopefully he gets it together.

Unrelated, nice to see Dorin Dickerson get a catch in last nights game.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.16.12 @ 9:09 am

I agree 100% with Wardpolooza

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.16.12 @ 9:46 am

The presumption is that SEC defenses are extremely tough, and maybe they are.

But somebody forgot to inform Texas A&M, who by the way, runs the Spread Offense. One thing though the Spread Offense doesn’t work (see PITT 2011) with a D-3 QB.

Under Sumlin, the ninth-ranked Aggies are averaging 545 yards per game in total offense, fifth-best in FBS. And that’s against SEC defenses such as those at LSU, Florida and Alabama.

That’s the 5th best Offense in FBS, aaaa yea.

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 10:37 am

First year coach, first year QB too. Redshirt freshmen I believe. Yea

Apparently Sumlin didn’t have to wait to “get his players” in the system.

I can’t wait to see “his players” in the system btw, especially all the 2 star ones. Get use to this year as this might be our best chance to win 6 games for quite a while.

Oh yes, the Salad Days of Pitt football.

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 10:44 am

@Wardapalooza

This was the weakest football schedule in PITT history. Of course that goes hand and hand with having the weakest (read lamest) 3 year starting QB in PITT history.

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 11:11 am

@Wardpolooza
I haven’t seen Chryst give an excuse, lame or otherwise, so maybe you can refresh my recollection.
He suspended a bunch of players for game 1, Suspended a starting O-lineman for an entire year, had a thin LB corps already and Thomas coming off ACL surgery wasn’t a factor for the first half of the year, Graham has had 2 good games, the starting tight end has been hurt most of the season and Mason, whom many on this board wanted to yank from the scholarship ranks 6 weeks ago, was our stud until a season ending injury.
Has Chryst made mistakes? Of course he has.
Comparing him to Sumlin would be great right up until you get to the point where Sumlin was a proven head coach in the heart of Texas in the heart of that state’s biggest city.
Being ahead coach is an entirely different job and Pitt, after the fiasco’s of recent years, wasn’t going to draw the cream of the crop NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY you threw at it.
Pitt athletics, and specifically, Pitt football is on very shaky ground.
No one burned up the blogosphere with complaints after YSU beat the Pitt women in basketball, but the reality is that the entire athletic department is filled with losing.
Apart from hoops (Jamie was the last choice) and wrestling, name a consistent winning Pitt team?
You can’t.
Speak with some recent Pitt athletes about the entire department. It isn’t a pretty picture.
So go ahead and daydream about Sumlin or Urban Meyer or whomever it is that you will never have to prove would have done a better job. Count as many angels dancing on pins as you like.
Chryst simply has not had anywhere near enough time and he has never once said anything about “his system or his players”.
To the contrary, instead of offering excuses, he has just answered critics.
Sick of excuses with Pitt football?
Why did it take entering the 3rd decade of ambivalence to get you to this point?
It’s a big hole we’ve dug for ourselves. Ain’t no quick way out of it.

Comment by sfpitt 11.16.12 @ 11:22 am

It is possible that Pitt could have had Sumlin 2 years ago if it had opened its big wallet. Word was that he “wasn’t interested”. Probably not at the salary that they were talking about before hiring Haywood for 2 weeks.

Comment by Houston Panther 11.16.12 @ 11:32 am

Idk if you get the right coach you can get out of it quickly. I seem to remember a guy at some University in Ohio, with not much football tradition at all.

They had/have to recruit against one of the all-time big time programs a hundred miles away. Play in a 25,000 seat ancient stadium, with bench seating, old piss troughs, crappy refreshment stands. After the Reds, the Bengals, Ohio State, UC Basketball and Xavier Basketball, they came in pecking order.

This guy was 34-6 in 3 years (won 2 Conf. Championships) and was 10-3 in his FIRST YEAR. He was there and gone so quick he didn’t worry about getting his players in the system. He won with whatever he had. And he had a heck of lot less to work with than PITT of 2011 or 2012.

Forget the school and the coach… maybe somebody can.

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 11:54 am

@sfpitt I know Chryst doesn’t give excuses. But you along with some other people consistently make excuses for him, like you just did. For example, you mention the 6 suspended players. Look who was suspended not a list of prime contributors on the team. Team still should have won against YSU.

I’m pretty sure a lot of coaches would have done a better job with this years Pitt team. The team is talented enough to basically beat a top 5 team on the road, but then doesn’t show up for UConn. That’s on the coach. So is barely scoring points in lots of games this year. He also keeps on showing traits that he is stubborn and won’t change. Just see the repeated errors at the end of halves this year. These are just some of the many reasons why Chryst deserves criticism.

@Emel That’s what worries me. The schedule was so bad and still going to have a bad record. The team won more games Tino’s previous two seasons. I just don’t see how anyone can say losing more games is progress.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.16.12 @ 11:56 am

Hey Frankcan,

You’re our recruiting guru, I got a question for you.

Was Wisconsin recruiting Corey Clement before he gave his verbal to PITT ?

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 12:03 pm

Oh yes one loss for an otherwise dominant Alabama program defines the entire dynamic of the SEC this decade….hey BSuU beat Oklahoma with the Statue of Liberty play how come Chryst doesn’t involve that clearly amazing play more often?!?!?! You have got to be kidding me!!!!!

Comment by BCPITT 11.16.12 @ 12:07 pm

Losing to dreg teams like a D2 Youngstown State, a team we’ve owned for a decade… that being Syracuse and an absolutely horrid team such as UCONN, are ALL on the coach.

Yes we know Sir Tino stinks, but then it is up to the coach to yank him, which he should have at halftime of the YSU game. If only to send a message to all the seniors and and everyone else, that NOBODY is secure with their positions as starters.

That in reflection was HUGE MISTAKE ONE !

Comment by Emel 11.16.12 @ 12:15 pm

Someone wrote above that Coach Chryst gets this year as a mulligan which I totally agree with but then has a short learning curve for next year.

My question is, who will be there to be critical of Mr. Chryst?

I’ve been a hardcore, diehard and missed the second half of the UConn game out of disgust. This was the first Pitt fb action I’ve missed in ten plus years.

Heinz barely has 30,000 anymore. No one cares about this program and we have Nordy and Stevie P. to blame.

I can’t even be mad at TG. He came to Pitt expecting to be in the big time and he saw a roster of inferior talent and a plethora of yellow seats.

I was at a meeting this week introducing myself to new clients. All of us that went to Pitt were very quiet while the PSU people chanted, “We are,” as others said they were Penn Staters.

Our fans and many alumni are more embarrassed of our program than one that did nothing to stop pedophilia. That’s how far Pitt football has gone down the damn toilet.

Remember, he is Paul Chryst, not Paul Christ.

Comment by AJ 11.16.12 @ 1:12 pm

Senior day:

Steve P destroyed the Pitt experience for all of them. It is on him. Throw him out!

Comment by kman 11.16.12 @ 1:49 pm

@wardapalooza
I cited facts, not all, just some.
And while there are people who are “pretty sure” (almost maybe) that other coaches would have one better, I will up the ante and say it is certain that someone somewhere would have done better.
But you don’t get do overs and every coach (EMEL cites the guy from UC) to whcih Chryst has been compared was a head coach somewhere else.
Now I am very much aware that most people who post on Pitt Blather were superb at their jobs from day one;started out great and moved to excellent. But you guys are a rare breed.
Many of us who take over broken companies struggle our first year, especially those who have never been CEO’s before.
There are maybe 3 coaches who could have come in and starred from day one and in case you haven’t noticed, we did not get their attention.
There are probably 10 other great coaches out there who no one knows about because identyfing coaching talent is pretty damn difficult.
But if you guys have your way, Pitt will have a new head coach every year and it will keep getting worse and worse because there won’t be any talent base (Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not supposed to talk about two lost recruiting classes–that is an excuse).
As far as PSU fans chanting “WE ARE”. Well, that took 40 years to build. Drink a shot of JD for every head coach Pitt had over the same time span and call me from the hospital when you recover.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it sure as hell burned in one.

Comment by sfpitt 11.16.12 @ 2:05 pm

Well said sfpitt

Comment by giveitarest 11.16.12 @ 2:51 pm

SFPitt – two thumbs way up. Excellent post.

Comment by JLawrence 11.16.12 @ 4:14 pm

Big recruiting weekend. Want to make a difference? Play for Pitt!
Thanks for the affirmation JL and giveitarest.

Comment by SFPitt 11.16.12 @ 8:31 pm

Yep it should did burn down at PITT on that day in December in 2010.

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 3:06 am

Yep it sure did burn down at PITT on that day in December 2010. (shouldn’t be typing in the dark)

Six years of incessant hard work and positioning PITT, went up in flames on that day !

And the beat goes on in the Athletic Dept.

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 3:10 am

Cincinnati coach Butch Jones spent the week lobbying fans to fill the Big East’s smallest stadium – 35,000 seats. Jones told a crowd a UC basketball game that the Bearcats would emerge as the ranked team on Saturday.

The 34,526 fans saw Rutgers’ defense dominate.

From Yahoo/Rivals sports… Rutgers 10 UC 3

Truly amazing, even though UC has won or shared 3 of the last 4 BigLeast titles, Butch Davis has to beg to get ppl for fill up tiny Nippert Stadium.
Which I guess tells you how excited ppl are in Cincy for BigLeast football.

Meanwhile in da Burg, we can easily put 50-60K in Heinz if only we won a few games in prime time and a title once in a while. (like more than twice in 20 years, and not on a shared basis)

Oy Vey

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 4:33 pm

Wow, some people still talkin’ football??

AJ, we’re on the same page.

I have Chryst’s back, but I do have to say, this year was absolutely horrible. He gets some time to prove himself, but there is no way getting around Youngstown State and UCONN. Don’t give me a “letdown” after ND. That’s what good coaches do. He would have showed me something if he would have had them ready against UCONN. He did not.

Youngstown State??? You should have beaten them with mashed potatoes as your starting 22.

That is, Youngstown State, who lost to North Dakota State 48-7, and has lost 3 other games.

He gets another shot, but, I have to say, I’m a little nervous.

Hope he doesn’t go 0-3 with the recruits this weekend!!!

Comment by Dan 11.17.12 @ 4:52 pm

Oh, AJ, why we’re on the same page.

I consider myself a diehard also.

You can only say the truth.

The truth is, I turned the UCONN game off with about a minute to go in the 1st half. Never turned it back on. Disgusted.

Maybe I’m not a die hard. I sure feel like one after all these years.

Comment by Dan 11.17.12 @ 4:54 pm

wow I had no idea YSU got pummeled 48-7 by the ND State and has lost 3 other games. That is truly an amazing thing after beating a D1 program like PITT. (and it wasn’t even a close game, like they dominated us)

I thought it was an omen when it happened. How does a team in their first game under a new coach not even show up in their first game of the season against a Rent-a-Win opponent.

Yes still talking football since while our season has ended, there’s still plenty of games on TV and Saturdays are college football.

At least in my America, they are.

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 5:20 pm

You know at the rate of illegal & legal immigration, I don’t know if future generations will even be able to say, that football is the most popular sport in the USA.

Thank the pols for that 1964 immigration act
(can you say Teddy Kennedy & LBJ )

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 5:23 pm

Big East Conf All
Rutgers (22) 5-0 9-1

Louisville (19) 4-1 9-1

Cincinnati 3-2 7-3

Syracuse 4-2 5-5

Temple 2-4 4-6

South Florida 1-4 3-6

Connecticut 1-4 4-6

Pittsburgh 1-4 4-6

This is Reality.

We are below Temple , in their 1rst frickin season in the BigLeast AFTER being Booted.

Somebody has to go. Stevie Cornhole raise ur hand.

Comment by Emel 11.17.12 @ 5:34 pm

Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, EMEL???

Latest news on the tube.

Comment by Dan 11.17.12 @ 6:48 pm

K-State was upset and blown out by Baylor – guess Snyder didn’t have them ready to play. Chip Kelley goes for it on 4th down at the 6 in the first qtr…and his team looses in OT when his kicker misses a FG. Even the best of them have questionable performances. Pitt was picked to be behind Temple in the pre-season poll as I recall.

Comment by markp 11.18.12 @ 8:33 am

Interesting that Syracuse ‘upset’ Missouri at Mizzu, potentially knocking them out of a bowl bid (unless they upset Texas A&M). Mizzou did beat ASU.

Comment by markp 11.18.12 @ 9:08 am

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