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November 24, 2012

Open Thread: Big East Home Finale

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 7:44 am

Sorry for nothing but open threads the last few days. Between the holidays and some traveling to see family, there just hasn’t been time (or an internet connection). Heading back home late this morning so I couldn’t go to the game and I can’t even watch it live. Going to be a DVR-delay day.

This is the final home game for Pitt for the year. Their final home Big East game. Naturally, given the present state of the Big East it makes perfect sense that at the last minute it becomes a meeting of teams heading somewhere else.

Though Rutgers — most likely — will be playing one more year in the Big East. Don’t forget, the exit fee was raised to $10 million after Pitt and Syracuse announced their plans to leave last year. So, to pay extra to leave after the 2013-14 season (instead of 2014-15) will still cost the Scarlet Knights some where between $12.5 and $15 million.

Rutgers has had a very good year under new coach Kyle Flood. Aside from that home loss to Kent State, they have been winning games primarily behind the defense. They are set up to play for the Big East title and the BCS bid next Thursday against Louisville (assuming Louisville takes care of business against UConn today). Sadly, Pitt can’t even play the role of spoiler as Louisville already has a conference loss.

The last time I saw a Big East team come into a game like this, knowing that they were really playing for the Big East title the following week, was back in 2009. Pitt sleepwalked through the Backyard Brawl and gave it away. We’ll find out if Pitt can at least muster the effort in the home finale and Rutgers is looking to their own finale.

I wonder what they talk about at the game.

Nordy, Steve, Ath.Dept people, looking at the yellow abyss???

Probably don’t even acknowledge it I guess.

Comment by Dan 11.24.12 @ 11:36 pm

@FRANKCAN, that scenario you mentioned would be a nightmare for ticket sales.

With Coach Chryst hopefully getting our winning ways back, and the lure of an ACC schedule with some new interesting teams, things may have looked ok.

If they add UCONN, Louisville and Cincinnati, you can guarantee they’ll go to a North-South conference division alignment.

Boston College
Va. Tech

It would be back to a Big East schedule with the Virginia’s and maybe one game from the South.

Not good.

Hopefully they only go to 14 or have something more sexy lined up if they go to 16.

We just broke away from a Big East schedule, holy crap would that be kick in the teeth.

Fight and sweat and worry all this time, to finally be saved by the ACC, only to be in the Big East division. Back to Storrs??????


Comment by Dan 11.24.12 @ 11:57 pm

Yeah LUV PITTBULLS looks pretty foolish

Comment by Dylan 11.24.12 @ 11:58 pm

@Dylan, ya, really!!

@luvpittbulls, there was in fact a beat down.

Every facet of the game, a beat down was givin!!!!

Some say you’re a troll??? I don’t know if you are or you’re not.

If you are, then, most likely a WVU or PSU troll.

In that case, you have nothing to be trolling about.

WVU??? ha ha ha. You had your reservations for the NC game a month ago, and were deciding what Geno Smith should wear to the Heisman Awards???

ha ha LMAO!!!

If Penn State. Actually, a great season, and those kids deserve a pat on the back for that season with all of that adversity.

However, the toilet has just been flushed. Over the next 3 to 4 years, with the loss of scholarships, the swirl at the bottom of the toilet bowl will becoming all too real, very, very soon.

If you are, in fact, a Pitt fan, shame on you for that post.

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 12:34 am

I’m feeling pretty good about where both the football and basketball teams are heading. The future of Pitt athletics looks bright.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 11.25.12 @ 12:51 am

Just want to point out Pitt took the #1, undefeated team in the country to three overtimes. (Sorry, still stings for me too.)

I’m bumping my expectations for next year to “moderate”.

Comment by tacocat 11.25.12 @ 1:48 am

Here’s the deal with Tino Sunseri… I’ll be the first to hold the door open for him and say “Thanks for your efforts as our QB”… then lock the door after he’s gone.

It is just ridiculous that some fans are so emotionally involved in hating Sunseri and anything he does that they can’t take a step back and look at his results on the field and give him credit when he does well.

It isn’t either black or white in sports. Sometimes players do well and sometimes they don’t. The star players do well way more often than not and the average and poor players don’t. But that doesn’t mean that the average players – which Sunseri is all told – can’t be given a fair shake when they make good things happen.

To exactly what ‘QB standard’ are we holding up Sunseri’s game yesterday? When we say say that a winning two TD, 227 yard passing game with no interceptions is a poor outing? Really? Because he got sacked and missed some passes that erases the decent results he did get?

One thing we PITT fans have to realize is that all of these ‘new’ QBs we’ll have on roster next year are either coming back from being out of college football for two years (Savage, who wasn’t doing that well beforehand anyway) or completely untested at this level. It may very well be the case that we will look back over our shoulders at Sunseri’s 2012 season and wish we were getting the same level of QB play in 2013. Nothing is guaranteed.

Comment by Reed 11.25.12 @ 6:42 am

Reed, well said. Moreover, I recall that Savage had some issues at Rutgers competing with Dodd and Nova for the sarong QB job. Does Savage have a problem with competition. I hope not because competition shoud be strong next year.

Comment by DJS 11.25.12 @ 8:29 am

About the guy with the fire Steve sign, an awful lot of us feel that way. Particularily after two consecutive botched coaching hires, which hamstrung the program. Of course, in the eyes of the administration Steve Pederson redeemed himself with the ACC bid. I think the ACC bid had more to do with Boston College’s veto of Connecticut, rather than astute moves out the AD’s office. I like Paul Chryst and I think we finally have the right guy in place. Unfortunately it was a “comedy of errors” getting there. The Panthers have shown that they can play well against the better teams. Hopefully if they can run the same systems, unlike the merry-go-round they’ve gone through, they can develop the consistency needed become a good football program again.

Comment by Justinian 11.25.12 @ 8:31 am

It was enjoyable watching the game on TV. If Pitt plays like this more often, filling the seats won’t be an issue. But Stevie does need to go before Pitt lands in the ACC and Pitt script needs to come back. Pitt’s offense should be more exciting but more mistake prone with a new QB next year. The defense will carry the team next year and a healthy dose of Shell. Pitt should beat South Florida and then does it really matter where they play. I guess for those that can get away from the family and make an easy drive. A bowl game does reward the seniors and does make for a good experience for the players and coaches. I can see it as good bonding. Looks like Notre Dame and Alabama in the title game. Pitt should be proud of their effort against the Domers. The potential is there. It just needs to come together. It will with more experience and a Foster and Boyd.

Comment by TX Panther 11.25.12 @ 8:35 am

Amen, Reed. Well said.

Comment by Dinosaur 71 11.25.12 @ 8:35 am

One more thing. I’m still pissed off about the “phantom interference” call and getting homered in South Bend. I wonder how often officials make calls like that, when an undefeated team is involved, and playing before a home crowd?

Comment by Justinian 11.25.12 @ 8:51 am

Oh would I love to see the backyard brawl in da bronx

Comment by steve1 11.25.12 @ 9:21 am

Speaking of homer calls in a funny fashion, as a long time Pitt fan I remember the days before TV replay. Certain teams and conferences ALWAYS seemed to get away with calls that were atrocious.

I still remember a game where a referee’s son played on the team and a wagon came into the stadium with a pile of flags.

Comment by Frank MD 11.25.12 @ 9:29 am

Stoosh, Dylan & Dan, I totally admit I called it wrong. My Pitt pessimism got the best of me of after UCONN. I’m glad they won for the seniors. All that being said I refuse to get excited about a possible 6-6 season and the Beef O’Brady bowl. Or that outcome points to anything regarding the future of the program. If anything I’m even more frustrated by the thought of what could have been this year if just a few things turned out differently. Stoosh, love it that we got Johnson but still see us at a recruiting disadvantage with undefeated OSU next door and Ped U at 8-4. I don’t sense a buzz about this program. In the end hope you guys are right and I’m wrong about the direction we’re headed, but I’ve been through this cycle more than once with this program. We will have to wait and see.

Comment by LUV PITTBULLS 11.25.12 @ 9:37 am

Very well said, Reed. Glad to see the level headed Pitt fans on here after the game. Really pleased with Pitt’s performance yesterday. Where are all of the haters at the top of this thread now? Oh thats right, they only show up to put their favorite team down…… Harder to do that when they win I guess.

Comment by JCE 11.25.12 @ 9:47 am

LUV PITTBULLS–If, “a big if” Pitt beats USF and then can get a win in the “whatever” to finish 7-6 that should solidify a strong finish to this year’s recruiting class. PSU limits on #s of recruits will help and if O’Brien leaves for the NFL in early 2013 that will leave PSU in a big recruiting hole 8-4 season not withstanding. tOSU going 12-0 vs going 9-3 or 10-2 04 11-1 (their annual usual result) will have no more negative effect on Pitt’s recruiting than it has in the past, IMO (i.e., its a wash) and the 25/85 rule prevents tOSU from getting all the good players in their rrecruiting areas anyway.

Comment by pitt1972 11.25.12 @ 10:00 am

@ Reed:
Case in point: Transition from Bill Stull to Tino. I can still hear people crying about Stull, being elated when he graduated, and then desperately pining for the good old days of Mr. Stull.

Comment by MikePITT 11.25.12 @ 10:10 am

The defense was amazing which bodes well for the future. Sunseri played one of his better if not best game. Sunseri’s improvement throwing no interceptions is remarkable.

We will miss Ray Graham, what a recovery from injury. We will be watching him on Sundays.

The defense and Shell will help with the growing pains we experince with a new QB next year. Shanahan will be hard to replace, but Holtz looks like he deserves many more throws. Jacobson and Turnley will be hard to replace, we need Chryst and Company to work their magic. Saddler, Hale, Taglienetti and the other glue guys will be missed.

Yesterday and the ND game convinced me that Chryst is the man for the job. He is certainly not a master of PR, I thought he was going to cry during his post game interview. He is honest and straightforward and recruits and their parents will recognize this. He did a good job with Sunseri, the O-line and overcoming an abysmal start. The play calling yesterday was masterful.

The players executed their assignments extremely well. You can’t say enough about Donald, Thomas and Pitts. Best defensive performance in a long long time.

Please don’t let it go to your heads. a loss in Florida ruins everything positive about the season. It’s hard to be a Pitt Fan. No room for sissies.

Comment by gc 11.25.12 @ 10:42 am

For the “fire Steve” posters here, where should Pitt be playing its games? And if the answer is “on campus,” where might that be, given Oakland’s development and density?

Comment by Velvil 11.25.12 @ 10:53 am

I don’t want him fired because of the stadium, but because of his overall job performance. That being said, they could have moved temporarily while building a new stadium in the same spot as Pitt Stadium. I take it you think he should stay, why?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 11.25.12 @ 11:26 am

For myself, I didn’t necessarily say “fire Steve”, I simply stated, the yellow seats are totally on him.

I have no idea how else to fill them or where else they could play, I’m not the athletic director.

He stated Heinz Field would be excellent, and he would get fans in there. He stated this himself, i’m not putting words in his mouth.

“ya, well, if this would happen, or if we’d win more games, or if we had a better home schedule, or if this would happen”

No excuses, you’re the boss, you said you’d make it happen.

All I stated, is how embarrassing it is playing with 20K fans and 45K empty yellow seats.

Fire him, don’t fire him, not up to me.

Myself and my family took up 6 seats to block the gold on a friggin cold day yesterday.

Steve said he’d get most of the other ones filled!!!

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 11:55 am

Only option of ever having another stadium on campus would be to fill in Panther Hollow and put the the stadium on top.

Oh yeah, and that would never, ever, happen. Being at Heinz helps more than it hurts.

SP has been frustrating, but after the past few years I am feeling more solid that we are headed in the right direction. We may have gotten here quicker with another AD, but I can’t complain at this moment about heading into the ACC, with a coach who I legitimately like, with some of our youngest student-athletes looking like they will become dominant over their next few years at Pitt. If Pitt / Dorian grabs boyd and/or foster, you’ll be looking at one of the best recruiting classes Pitt has had in years.

We are not, and never will be, a Cinderella team, you can’t make miracles happen over night when your main goal, more than anything, is stability, and second to that, getting better at what you do.

Comment by Benzene 11.25.12 @ 11:57 am

Frankcan, every time I look at a program I wonder where 2 of the freshmen OL’s came from – Consevage and Guy. They don’t show up in the past classes listed on Rivals – do you know if these 2 were walk-on’s? Seems to me we’re going to have 5 O-linemen returning next year with starter experience – if you count Doakes – who while I watched him yesterday seemed to be doing a credible job.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 11.25.12 @ 12:06 pm

To get Heinz Field packed??? Well, first off, we’re never gonna get 65K to all 6 home games, I think we all know that.

The only sell outs we get are PSU, WVU and ND, with a lot of their fans.

To get nice crowds of 45-55k consistently, I can only think of 3 or 4 things that will make that happen

A. Having a team that wins 9, 10, and 11 games coonsistently, which in turn leads to

b. Consistently being in the top 20 and sometimes even top 10, which in turn leads to

c. Games that matter to people, not just the base, we’re always there, games that matter to the average “Joe Pitt”, who only comes if they’re winning and it’s a big game.

d. having an attractive home schedule. (this shold happen with the ACC) as long as they don’t add Louisville, UCONN AND Cincy to go to 16, which will then put us in the Big East North.

Well, he’s been athletic director for what, 10-11 years or so??????

He’s been the boss for over a decade!!!!

The yellow seats are on him.

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 12:07 pm

Maybe we could play at the Wolverena??? LOL

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 12:11 pm

If the ACC is going to expand, why not add the 3 biggest TV market teams – Houston, SMU & Temple? That should pay off in the long run with the most $ for our conference, whetther its thru TV ratings or an ACC cable channel. And I don’t want to see a Big East North. That would royally suck.

Comment by RayHpgh 11.25.12 @ 12:24 pm

Glad to see the b!@#$%^ and moaning (Tino, Stevie P, playing at Heinz field, the script, etc) right after a nice solid win or I would of thought that I was on the wrong site!…

Hail To Pitt!

Comment by Leaseman 11.25.12 @ 12:39 pm

since i read that you are calling out the “haters” we are still here and yes, sunseri still sucks! and yes, i will still celebrate when he leaves. A couple of solid games, which i give him credit, does not make up for his inconsistency, glad to see we live in america where you can forgive and forget so quickly. pitt in general is going to be better off when this group of seniors graduates. they have been through a lot, no one can deny that, and i give them props for riding things out. heck, feel quite bad for them actually, but it is time to let chryst mold his team with his players. on paper we should have won the big east, but we failed to show up on gamedays. the one thing to take away from this season is the growth and improvement on defense and coaching. it looks like we will be heading in a decent direction and i am excited about that. looks like recruiting for next year is also picking up and it was good to see kids like challingsworth (sp?) tweeting on twitter how excited he was to come to pitt. i share that excitement for the future.

Comment by pittisit37 11.25.12 @ 12:49 pm

Tino was excellent this year at protecting the ball and minimizing mistakes. But, his leadership is questionable. He does have heart and is tough. Although next years quarterback will be more dynamic, have a higher ceiling and may just lead a 4th quarter comeback once or twice, there will be more mistakes. That’s called growing pains. Much like what Chryst experienced this year. But I think the future is bright particularly with Shell and potentially Foster.

Now anyone thinking stevie should stay has got to have their head examined. Stevie is a poor hire of football coaches, alienates alumni and big boosters, does a poor job at fund raising, took away Pitt script, and the olympic sports results are a disaster mainly beacuse it took too long to build facilities and still haven’t hired good coaches due to overall cheapness. I give him credit for razing Pitt stadium, it was a dump, and putting the Pete in its place. I give him credit for the football facilities. I give him partial credit for the ACC and only half blame him for the attendance since if Pitt wins, fans will show and Pitt fans need to be less fair weathered. Posters on this blog I do not consider the casual fan but true diehards. Stevie is being protected by his friend Nordy. When Nordy leaves, Stevie is gone as well. His time has run its course. We need new leaders with fresh ideas for the ACC. And no, an on campus stadium is out of the question.

Comment by TX Panther 11.25.12 @ 1:06 pm

Fire Steve. Why?
Look at his tasks when he took over the job. In football, he started as the beneficiary of 13-9.
Stated publicly that the goal was to fill Heinz Field.
As I looked around yesterday, it seemed to me that the stadium was 20-25% filled.
The announced attendance was 38k.
My left nut!
I hate liars because they always lie. That is why they are liars.
Now Pederson fires Wannstadt. Forget the shitty way it was handled.
Fired him for who? You don’t fire a winning coach unless you are certain to get your man.
So, you either accept that he did not get his man or Haywood was his guy.
Either move is idiocy. But, it was Deja vous for Pederson. He fired Solich years before and then couldn’t find a coach. What happened at Nebraska was repeated at Pitt with Haywood with the added humiliation of Haygood’s firing.
Or, if Haywood was his man then that was the miss of the century.
Then Pederson hires a guy who would never have fit here. Granted, the hire was under pressure, but it was self imposed pressure.
Another disaster.
Pederson has two tasks. Hire the coaches and raise money.
Now someone, anyone on this blog or on this planet tell me if he has performed at even an adequate level and I’ll listen to you.
Chryst was not his hire.
Pederson alienates people because he treats others like they are stupid. Witness the constant lies about attendance. Anderson got out because Pederson has treated him like shit.
Fund raising fir athletics is low, even by Big East standards.
Pederson didn’t start or secure funds for the new athletic complex. Long did that.
Pederson has the responsibility of funding and getting a new track.
Don’t hold your breath.
Pederson is an abject failure at all his core job functions.
I don’t want a new stadium and I ain’t calling for a new one so don’t lay my complaints on that argument.
Empty seats don’t pay bills!!!
End of discussion.

Comment by SFPitt 11.25.12 @ 2:14 pm

The premise of your comment is on giving Sunseri credit for being an average QB. That simpreciselynthe reason that so many think that he has failed us. We don’t need an average QB.
College football is about 3-4 guys dominating and unfortunately the QB position is one of them. Having an average or bad player at that position kills you. (see USC vs ND last night where inexperienced average QB gave you zero point on 5 attempts inside the 5 with the game on the line)

Impersonally like Sunseri but would never want him as my QB. He simply never can show up for a game when you need him. It isn’t in him. Some players are winner and other are not. As much as I hate fraud graham it is obvious that he knew that Tino didn’t have it. Fact is fact.

So what is the standard fir a QB in college? Leading your team to wins. Tebow is a terrible QB but was great in college. Why? Because he could carry his team through leadership. Thismismthe character that we need in a QB. This is why so many fans refuse to give home any real credit. He has yet to LEAD this team. Passing yards alone (against some of the worst competition in the history of PITT football) for a 3 year starter doesn’t earn you my praise. Leading and winning does.

I would personally thank Sunseri for sticking arounfpd and giving PITT 5 years but I am never going to believe that he was good enough. The W’s and L’s prevent me from doing so.

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 11.25.12 @ 3:45 pm

@Leaseman, there are 257 comments on this thread. Most of them were about the game, including my 3 or 4.

Someone brought up a different subject. This usually happens on posts, after the subject has been talked about to death.

Instead of criticizing, why don’t you add something to the conversation.

I rarely see you add anything to the conversation.

Were you even at the game yesterday??? Or did you watch, nice and comfy cozy on the couch????

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 4:34 pm

Let me guess, you don’t comment because it’s always so negative!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 11.25.12 @ 4:36 pm

Pitt v. USF – 7PM Saturday ESPN2 .. win and the Panthers could be in Memphis on New Year’s Eve or Birmingham (again) the first week of January …

Comment by Hoopzebra 11.25.12 @ 6:16 pm

Glad the game is at night. Covered in a blanket at the game Saturday (Yes Pederson I AM A PAYING CUSTOMER) my 9 year old son asked if we were going to the USF game. “It’s in Florida” I replied. “I know” he said smiling.
Lots of coaches walking the plank. NCState, Purdung, Auburn and others I’m sure.
In case no one has noticed, the stakes are being raised in CFB.
Saban makes no bones about the best case scenario being a separation of the top 60 teams from the rest. While you ponder that ponder this.
Is Skip Holtz on the hot seat at USF? I think he has to be.
We get up on this team and and step on their throats, we could rout them.
18-22 year olds aren’t oblivious to what is going on around them.

Comment by sfpitt 11.25.12 @ 7:25 pm

Reed, WADR, Sunseri didn’t win the game yesterday, Pitt’s defense did. They didn’t allow Rutgers on the field long enough for them to gain traction. Witness by Tino barely completing 50% of his passes, a number which allows little if any room for praise. And that despite playing most of the game with a big enough lead to be considered “garbage time” — where a talented QB should have padded his stats.

The best I can say for Tino the Magificent’s effort yesterday? He didn’t take enough of his normal allotment of bonehead sacks — always at the worst possible times — fumbles, and pick-sixes (together known as the “Tino Trifecta”) and 4th Quarter meltdowns to single-handedly give the game away, as we’ve seen him do too many times to count.

I’ve been begging for ABT since the very first time I saw him play 3 years ago, in the Blue-Gold game on NFL Network. All I’d heard via Zeise’s blog in the Post-Gazette was how amazing Sackseri was, albeit then only in practice (I live out west, so PZ’s were my only eyes). I recall my utter shock at watching him in that game: how his weak-armed passes from his far too short stature looked more like pooch punts, that he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with his scatter arm, and so on. I just wish I’dda been wrong on all that.

Pitt needs a guy at QB who knows how to close, not how to choke. I don’t know who will end up being ABT next year, but I’m glad that it’s almost time.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 11.25.12 @ 8:07 pm

Dan…appreciate the comments…

Just making the point that regardless of the subject (football, basketball, expansion, recruiting, etc) or circumstances (win, lose, etc) we inevitably devolve into the negative…

Tino is an average at best QB which we have known for the past three years…he has been crucified here and elsewhere when he plays badly as he should be…but by the same token, as Reed mentioned, when he does a good job he should get credit for that as well…

Peterson is a lousey AD…he should never have been rehired and should have been canned after the Haywood fiasco but to blame him for loss to Youngstown State or Notre Dame or any other loss on the field is ridiculous…

A new on campus stadium in Panther Hollow?…really?…where would the money come from?

I think that just like our football team needs a cultural shift that we fans need one as well…just like the team needs to learn how to win, we fans need to enjoy and appreciate it when the team does win…

To your credit, Dan, your comments re the game yesterday were in that vein…

And no, unfortunately, I was not at the game yesterday as I had planned to be…I had two teeth pulled on Monday and have been on pain killers since and secondly my mother suffered a stroke last week while visting us and is still in the hospital…

As for commenting more ofter, I wish I could, but usually life gets in the way…but I still bleed blue and gold…Hail To Pitt!

Comment by Leaseman 11.25.12 @ 11:31 pm

@Leaseman, I apologize for being salty at the time yesterday, had nothing to do with you. I apologize.

Thinking on it, you do post often, and they are always good and well received. My mind was other places and I was just banging keys. Sorry.

My best to your Mom, this is all minor compared to that. Prayers to your family and her.

Comment by Dan 11.26.12 @ 10:34 am

No offense taken Dan and thanks…Mom is doing well and watched the game with me on Saturday…at 88 she doesn’t always understand what is going on but loves to watch Pitt football as much as i do…Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Leaseman 11.26.12 @ 1:10 pm

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