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July 19, 2013

I would have hoped people would understand this after the last ten years of the Big East, but now I have to put on a condescending tone and talk down to people. Not really. No. Well… maybe a few.

Bowl games are meaningless. There are so many now that they have lost their meaning. They are just exhibition games. Unless it’s a playoff/BCS bowl, who cares. I think we all know old man complaints. But woe unto the coach that doesn’t get their team into a bowl game. And by god, it better be one in a good location. So, yes, bowl games have reproduced to absurd levels when over half the 1-A programs go bowling. Yet they still matter despite the contradictions and complaints. So be it.

Among the — now — 5 major conferences, it is not unreasonable to say that the ACC has the weakest bowl line-up. Here’s the reality. There is nothing the ACC can do about it.

Oh, they might be able to tweak a bowl or two to a slightly higher level here or there. If the conference has a major and sustained upswing in winning, it might help in the next cycle of bowl deals. But it is not going to be rivaling the SEC or Big 10 at any point in the foreseeable future. It is simply about the numbers.

There’s a reason that when the ACC had their NYC day to welcome new members they touted TV markets. Plain and simple the ACC lacks bodies.

Number time.

Here is the undergraduate enrollment breakdown. In terms of where they rank in Division 1-A football programs out of 126:

ACC
0 schools in top-10
1 school in top-20 (FSU)
4 schools in top-50* (FSU, Maryland, NC ST., VT)
0 schools ranked #51-74
5 schools ranked #75-99* (Pitt, UNC, Clemson, UVa, Cuse)
5 schools ranked #100 or higher** (GT, Miami, BC, Duke, Wake Forest)

*and in 2014 when Louisville (#91) joins and Maryland (#27) leaves it will be 3 schools in the top-50 and 6 schools ranked #75-99
** And while ND is not a football member, they do have fake fanbase that outsizes their #112 ranking. Which is why the Big East before them and the ACC now will affiliate with them for bowl tie-ins.

Now here are the other four major conferences.

SEC
2 schools in top-10 (Texas A&M, Fla)
2 schools in top-20 (Texas A&M, Fla)
6 schools in top-50 (Texas A&M, Fla, Georgia, Alabama, Mizzou, LSU)
5 schools ranked #51-74 (South Carolina, Tenn, Auburn, Kentucky, Arkansas)
2 schools ranked #75-99 (MSU, Ole Miss)
1 school ranked #100 or higher (Vandy)

B1G
4 schools in top-10 (OSU, PSU, Mich. St., Mich)
7 schools in top-20* (OSU, PSU, Minn. St., Mich, Ind., Ill., Purdue)
9 schools in top-50* (OSU, PSU, Minn. St., Mich, Ind., Ill., Purdue, Wisc., Mich.)
2 schools ranked #51-74 (Iowa, Neb.)
0 schools ranked #75-99
1 school ranked #100 or higher (Northwestern)

*and when Rutgers (#16) and Maryland (#27) join there will be 8 schools in the top-20 and 11 schools in the top-50

Big XII
1 school in top-10 (Texas)
1 school in top-20 (Texas)
4 schools in top-50 (Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa St., WVU)
4 schools ranked #51-74 (Okla., Kansas, K-St., Okla. St.)
0 schools ranked #75-99
2 school ranked #100 or higher (Baylor, TCU)

Pac-12
1 school in top-10 (Az St.)
2 schools in top-20 (Az St., Arizona)
7 schools in top-50 (Az St., Arizona, Wash., UCLA, Colo., Cal, Utah)
3 schools ranked #51-74 (Oregon, Oregon St., Wash. St.)
1 school ranked #75-99 (USC)
1 school ranked #100 or higher (Stanford)

As you can see, it just isn’t close. The other four major conferences trump the ACC at the top end of undergrad enrollment. And the ACC is ridiculously bottom heavy with private, low enrollment schools. That translates into a much smaller overall alumni base that will be interested in traveling to a bowl game.

At the other end, the Big Ten has ridiculous numbers swelling their alumni ranks. Just based on shear quantity, they will send enough fans to bowl games most years.

Now the SEC may not have the volume the Big 10 offers, but they are based primarily in the Southeast. Relatively near to where most of the desirable bowls are located. That makes it much easier for them to get to these games. Feeding into the narrative of how well most of their fanbases travel.

Over 2/3 of the ACC schools have undergrad popluations ranked 75th or lower in 1-A. Sticking to just the 64 teams in the five conferences the rankings look much worse:

  1. Arizona St.
  2. Ohio St.
  3. Texas
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Penn St.
  6. Michigan St.
  7. Minnesota
  8. Florida
  9. Indiana
  10. Illinois
  11. Florida St.
  12. Purdue
  13. Rutgers
  14. Arizona
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Washington
  17. Michigan
  18. Maryland
  19. UCLA
  20. Colorado
  21. Georgia
  22. Alabama
  23. Texas Tech
  24. Missouri
  25. Cal
  26. NC State
  27. Iowa St.
  28. Utah
  29. LSU
  30. Virginia Tech
  31. WVU
  32. South Carolina
  33. Iowa
  34. Tennessee
  35. Oregon
  36. Oregon St.
  37. Oklahoma
  38. Auburn
  39. Kentucky
  40. Kansas
  41. Kansas St.
  42. Nebraska
  43. Washington St.
  44. Oklahoma St.
  45. Arkansas
  46. Pitt
  47. UNC
  48. USC
  49. Mississippi St.
  50. Clemson
  51. Virginia
  52. Louisville
  53. Ole Miss
  54. Syracuse
  55. Georgia Tech
  56. Baylor
  57. Miami
  58. Boston College
  59. Northwestern
  60. TCU
  61. Stanford
  62. Vanderbilt
  63. Duke
  64. Wake Forest

Not pretty.

The ACC has just 3 schools (FSU, NC St. and VT) among the 30 largest undergrad populations in the major conference. That number doesn’t grow until it reaches the 46th team — Pitt. The ACC has 6 (Cuse, GT, Miami, BC Duke, Wake Forest) of the 11 smallest major conference schools. It is no coincidence that those six schools are all private institutions. Every other conference has no more than 2 private schools.

Notwithstanding the bowl games that ESPN has an ownership interest in — and hence is more concerned with potential media markets — the bowls still have that anachronistic desire to get people to come to the game. To spend money in the hotels, restaurants and entertainment.

There’s also the fact that the ACC lacks any programs that have historical fan bases that will show up in droves anywhere outside of maybe Clemson. Yes, VT and FSU do a nice job of it, but they are fairly recent in college football history. After that?

Pitt? No. Let’s not pretend otherwise. As a fanbase, we don’t show up for bowl games unless it is convenient, it matters and/or it doesn’t make things difficult to catch the Steelers that weekend.

The ACC has a lot more than where Pitt was. There is potential for football, to be clear. But bowl tie-ins will never be a major thing for the ACC.





i can still see the old post from when we found out that we were to go to the acc.
they went like this we will have better bowl games we will have more bowl games.
well maye not the acc will have 15 teams for bowls
it right now has less bowls then last year 2 less
it had 8 it now has 6 it wanted at least 9 or 10
we were pushed around bye the big 10 big 12 etc

and the detroit bowl who cares a abandoned city a
a trashed city crime cold very cold a waste.

i knew when the 8th came and went the acc tie in were in trouble now on the 17th they say we have 6 bowls they say 7 but the one does not count becuse you only play in it when big 10 is in orange bowl it is not a every year bowl.

what happened to more bowls better bowls the acc
might still end up playing in the beef o brady bowl in order just to end up with the 8 they had last year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 9:41 am

With the exception of conference champion bowls and the NC playoff system bowls, Chas’s 1st sentence, 2nd paragraph, hits the nail on the head, nuff said.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.19.13 @ 9:57 am

In most areas, Pitt is exactly where it should be … the ACC. Enrollment, academics, research, geography, etc. all fit the ACC model.

The BB program should be able to sustain its recuiting areas and have about the same national exposure as before.

Further, whatever shortcomings the ACC has, it certainly is a big upgrade.

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 10:03 am

clarification …. Further, whatever shortcomings the ACC has, it certainly is a big upgrade ‘in football’.

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 10:06 am

Wbb that is true but that is not the point.
6 bowls come on .
when we were big east we were pushed around bye
the outher conferences .
it just piss me off that it is still happening
not saying the acc could have done better after what chas wrote i get it but it still sucks
and we do need at least 9 bowls
if pitt is 6 and 6 or 7 and 5 i want ue to play in a bowl is that so bad i dont want us to miss out becuse the acc only has 7 or 8 bowls

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 10:14 am

At least we are not Uconn and Cinci! The ACC is the perfect fit for right now and it will take some time but Pitt will succeed here. Basketball obviously will do good right away and football hopefully will come around. Funny how a lot of people challenge Dixons style in the ACC. Pitt went from the best conference where we did good to the best conference now. Why wouldn’t he keep it going? Slice is back, recruiting is picking up, we will be fine. Football this year will be a struggle with that schedule. But I do feel that Chryst has a good plan and I believe it will work! We can only hope! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 07.19.13 @ 10:22 am

The problem is tooooo many bowls.
Who wants to go to a bowl with their team that finished the regular season at 6-6.
If 25 bowls instead of 35, it would be special for many teams as they may not go to a bowl every year. Therefore, more would go.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.19.13 @ 10:32 am

Frankcan, it is the point … as Chas points out, there is nothing that can be done about it so quit stressing .. and at least enjoy the fact that Pitt is in a better place.

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 10:39 am

WTF? I’m agreeing with Pitt.Dan83???? Yeah, I am. Win a few games for Chryst’s sake, and the issue disappears. Maybe it’s not so bad having to be motivated to win 7 or 8 games to prevent ACC members from staying home in post season play.

Do we really want to be high fiving and chest bumped each other when we get into some no name bowl while chanting “We won half our games, We won half our games”!??????

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.19.13 @ 10:42 am

Terrific research, Chas. Thanks.

Right now I’ll take any Bowl site where the wet bulb* is under 80.

*During the summer of ’69 no physical training took place any day at Fort Sam.

Comment by steve1 07.19.13 @ 10:58 am

Although I was never an ACC fan because I rooted for the Big East, Pitt is where it should be.

Academics were always number 1 in Pitt thinking ever since I remember. Pitt even wanted to join the Ivy league but was not accepted.

If that had happened Pitt would never be on TV or at a bowl.

Comment by Frank MD 07.19.13 @ 11:08 am

Just curious… where did you get the enrollment stats for this article? The rankings are interesting, but I’m interested in what the REAL number difference is between the schools.

Basically, are we talking major differences in enrollment between #30 and #50? Or is this something where the schools clump together so closely that the difference there is about 4,000 students. I honestly have no idea so I’m just curious!

Comment by Big Time 07.19.13 @ 11:20 am

Chas, good stats, but is it really about attendance more than TV dollars for the bowls? Maybe for a few, but in general I don’t believe that. If it is, not sure how there are so many bowls, because attendance sucks.

If you watch the bowls – which I honestly try not to – including some of the traditionally big ones, such as the Orange and Fiesta, it is not uncommon to see large swaths of the upper deck looking like Heinz Field during a Thursday night game vs. UConn in a driving rainstorm.

It is not only Pitt fans who have no interest in attending a crap game in a crap town between two crap teams. Heck the Compass Bowl was the 9th best attended bowl last year (thank you Ole Miss fans who were just happy to be in any bowl and could make the same day drive to B’ham). Last year’s bowl attendance was at its lowest point in 34 years. This article sums it up pretty well.

link to al.com

6-6 teams should not be rewarded with bowls, and fans know it. It’s like giving every kid a trophy for participation. I wish the bowls would be scrapped, for a 16 team playoff only format. I can dream…

Comment by Iron Duke 07.19.13 @ 11:38 am

just remember folks .. the rankings above (I believe) are the ones just in the 5 conferences.

I’m pretty sure that schools like UCF, USF and even maybe Kent St have larger undergrad enrollments than Pitt

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 11:42 am

just checked, all 3 schools above are much larger than Pitt in enrollment … and sure there are many more

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 11:57 am

I have a secret. I know a way that Pitt could make itself and it’s fans not even worry about
bowls, 5,6,7,8 or 9.

Shhhh.

Comment by Dan 07.19.13 @ 12:10 pm

For the bowls attendance absolutely matters in terms of who gets invited to which. These bowls are still tied with local business. Those colored jacketed reps want visitors coming to the city. Spending money there. Staying in hotels, etc. That’s the justification the city/county visitors bureau use to justify the time and expense of having a bowl and the various events surrounding the game.

Pitt is a great example of bodies vs. ratings. In the old Big East, Pitt football was constantly one of the major ratings grabbing teams on the list. Yet come the bowl bids, Pitt would be jumped or shuffled by programs that could promise or had a history of better traveling.

One of the reason the BBVA kept taking Pitt was in no small part because that is an ESPN owned bowl. ESPN wants the TV ratings and considering the strange time slot for the BBVA, it needs teams that might draw. As I noted, the ESPN owned bowls are the exception.

The B1G and SEC get the major bowls in the Southeast because those bowls know they will get the attendance. Whether because most SEC teams are within reasonable driving distance to make the trip. Or in the B1G, the shear volume of alumni in existence.

The enrollment stats — which again — are for undergrad only. Phil Steele’s preview guide has those numbers on each team page. I cross checked about 1/4 of them for verification, so I believe them very accurate.

The difference between 30 (VT) and 50 (Clemson) in the major conference list is almost 8000 students — 23,700 to 15,836.

The only schools with enrollments smaller than Wake Forest: Army, Air Force, Rice and Tulsa

Comment by Chas 07.19.13 @ 12:36 pm

Wbb the point was the bowls not if we were in a better place.
yeas we are in a better place but it was abought bowls.
of which at this point is only 6 we had more bowls when we were in big east.
we will get more bowls most likley but right now just 6 so i will stress untill we have more.

the moutain west has 6 bowls and they are not part of the big 5 like us.

and i like it when pitt is in a bowl i like it cant help myself go PITT.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 1:23 pm

as a college football fan, I am not offended that there are so many bowls. Nobody is holding a gun to my head to watch any of them.

as a Pitt fan, I am obligated to watch … even if they are playing in the Unnamed Detroit Bowl vs Eastern Illnois ST on a week night and the game goes 3 OTs. Further, God forbid if Pitt loses .. even if Pitt is not fired up to be there but it’s the first bowl EIS has played in since 1942.

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 1:45 pm

the funny part of it is that it is probably more convenient for me to drive to Detroit than to Pgh .. although I would be fearful walking out into what suredly would be a near barren parking lot

Comment by wbb 07.19.13 @ 1:55 pm

We could go to the Compass bowl again!
If the conferences with tie-ins don’t have enough teams with winning records the bowls can pick from other conferences. If the ACC has several teams with 7 or 8 wins those teams will get to go somewhere new for a bowl (except Pitt. We’ll be so lucky to get Birmingham).

Comment by Caw Miller 07.19.13 @ 2:31 pm

It is all about viewership. Not sure how relevant the size of a school may be if they don’t attract viewership. See UCF

Comment by Pitt Fan In Atlanta 07.19.13 @ 2:36 pm

Chas,
Please do a report about Notre Dame’s place in the ACC bowl structure. Won’t they be taking an ACC spot every year they play in a non-championship bowl? The Irish will be taking bowls away from other ACC teams, right?

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.19.13 @ 3:49 pm

TONYINHOUSTON yes ND will plus in 2014 there
will be us and the outher 2 so the acc will be 15
that is my point 4 new teams in the acc so last year they had 8 bowl tie in.
now they add 3 schools plus ND so 8 bowls wont be enough.
even 9 bowls might not be enough so you see why
i am upset when they say they have 6 bowls 2 less
then last year and they might get more but the key word is might or maybe.

my point is you cant add 4 schools and have less
bowls then last year.
you must have more 8 is not enough.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 4:07 pm

I don’t know about any of you, but I am more excited this year for Pitt Football than I have neen in a long while. The talk of bowls/Pitt in the air is like thinking the Pirates may play in the postseason. Thanks Chas for all of your hard work and research.

Comment by Dan 72 07.19.13 @ 4:30 pm

There will be enough bowls to go around i mean soon it seems like there will be som amny bowls each eligible team will get a home bowl where they play some one they should beat and an away bowl where they play a step up in compitition.
Side note: the metropolitian division… and the other one is the atlantic with no teams from the old atlantic… what the crap nhl?

Comment by Dacs 07.19.13 @ 6:14 pm

Come on…did many of us care if Pitt at 6-6 the last two years got a Bowl Bid. (actually 3 years, but you thought maybe in year 1 they had a chance to win, for DW, which they did convincingly).

But the last two, I didn’t even watch the majority of the games, as when it became apparent a C-USA team was going to beat us, well you know.

IMO, 6-6 teams don’t deserve a bowl bid, as even one of our 6 wins was against a really bad D2 team, you know who’s favorite opponent, Del Webb.

I was at the 2003 Meineke Muffler Bowl (or was it called the Continental Tire Bowl then, who knows, who cares) and the lack of Pitt ppl at the game was embarrassing, even though we had the great Larry Fitz (who was runnerup in the Heisman to boot). No wonder the team played so listless.

I don’t really care about these schmuck bowls that might be added. If it was up to me, we’d go back to the 1970′s and eliminate all of these totally worthless bowls and have New Year’s Day like it was. Cotton, Rose, Sugar & Orange.

Comment by EMel 07.19.13 @ 6:33 pm

Good article Chas, lots of info.

But I think most of us were aware we were going to a Conf, that didn’t have ‘football factory’ schools.

Pitt screwed up back in the late 30′s when the Big 10 convinced Pitt to fire (let go) Jock Sutherland as an enticement for possible Big 10 acceptance. As Pitt was THE Dominant team east of the Mississippi and they needed a replacement for the University of Chicago.

Then when Pitt’s football fortunes fell drastically the Big 10 pulled back and said “no thanks”.

What an entity does in the past, greatly can effect what happens to it in the future. (see city of Detroit)

Comment by EMel 07.19.13 @ 6:42 pm

The ACC from it’s inception in 1953 has ALWAYS been known as a basketball conf. After Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Maryland left The Southern Conference.

Good for you guys to know some history about our new conference in case you get into an argument with one of the Southern gentlemen. lol

Pitt only had a few options:
1) Accept an invite to the Big 12 (if it was indeed offered) football conf.
2) Accept an invite to the ACC (basketball conf)
3) Stay onboard the sinking ship HMS BigEast

What do you suggest they should have done Frankie?

Comment by EMel 07.19.13 @ 7:01 pm

Just wondering…what is Pitt’s enrollment? I saw different numbers on the Pitt site from Wikipedia. I think Pitt is including branch campuses when it claims around 25k undergrad.

Comment by Brian 07.19.13 @ 7:12 pm

Less bowls just means we’ll need to get more wins. Seems like most people don’t want to see a 6-6 team in a bowl. If only other conferences would figure that out!

Comment by panther94 07.19.13 @ 7:14 pm

EMel i dont think i saw any one say they should have stayed in big east.
i did not see any one say that going to ACC was
a bad move.
so what the hell are you talking abought.
all i said is the acc should have more bowls this year then last year with 4 more teams in the acc.

the acc said they wanted 9 or 10 bowls they have 6 so far i am pointing that out.

so how do you go from that to thinking some one said we should not be in the acc.
i dont know what you are talking abought.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 7:30 pm

Good stuff, Chas. It was one of those things I kind of knew, already, in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t aware just how big a difference there was between the ACC and the rest of the conferences. Virginia and UNC, in particular, I thought were pretty large schools, but apparently not. They’re both about the same size as Pitt.

Comment by Jeff 07.19.13 @ 8:36 pm

Not to fret, if Chas is correct and many of these bowls are dependent on attendance, I predict a drastic reduction in the number of bowls with the next 5 years. Once fans get a taste of a playoff, the bowls will be even less significant.

Sacs, couldn’t agree more. Nobody can F up a PR opportunity like the NHL.

Comment by Iron Duke 07.19.13 @ 10:05 pm

A part of me would have loved to see us in the BIG to get that PSU rivalry back again. But, given the rise of our BB program over the past decade or so, and the data in this post about the size of the schools in the ACC vs the BIG, I am firmly convinced that the ACC is exactly the right fit for Pitt.

FRANKCAN, don’t worry about the bowls, if the ACC has 9 or 10 bowl eligible teams, it is highly likely that all will land in a game somewhere. A lot of the lower bowls have options to take a desireable team if they are available.

Comment by HbgFrank 07.19.13 @ 10:35 pm

HBGFRANK Wbb EMel from what i read i would say
we all agree on one thing the Detroit bowl is not
the most loved bowl.
i would say most of us would say the city sucks
to much crime to cold looks like a abandoned bombed
out city from WW2.
who needs it.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.13 @ 10:46 pm

Dan:
I appreciate your enthusiasm. Keep in mind it flies in the face of the prognosticators. What you’re expecting is a 1973 or 1997 type season when Pitt was not picked for anything and made a bowl (and Pitt had new coaches. Chryst is not a new coach).

I am hoping for the best but preparing for a long season. For the first time probably since 2007 Pitt is not picked for any bowls – not by USA today or Phil Steele. Phil Steele usually picks Pitt too high. Our ongoing personnel issues and low ball recruiting isn’t impressing anyone.

The experts could all be wrong. That’s what I hope.

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.20.13 @ 12:06 am

Playing in a bowl is always better than not playing in one. Why would any of us not want Pitt to play another game in the season? It reveals a lot about the character of a team and a coach’s ability. In fact, Chryst did not win any accolades for his coaching performance in the YSU, Cincy, UConn, Syracuse, and Mississippi games last season. The Mississippi game where Pitt kept doing the same thing over and over (it wasn’t working) demonstrated Chryst has a long way to go as a game-day coach.

You pie-in-the sky reality deniers and name-callers have to get over yourselves. We don’t need all the histrionics. Just evaluate Chryst’s work on the field.

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.20.13 @ 12:12 am

Wow. You wrote in 10000 words what could have been written in 33.

The schools of the ACC have far fewer students and alums than all other major conferences. That makes selling bowl tickets a numbers game and the numbers just aren’t good for the ACC.

Maybe you guys ought to go back to your first love…hate mail.

Comment by Sfpitt 07.20.13 @ 4:16 am

Guys, we seem to have a very short memory about what PGH was like in the late 1970s & early 1980s when Big Steel and manufacturing plants left for good. It wasn’t too far off what we are seeing in Detroit these days. Half of everything was boarded up in the Downtown area and ‘white flight’ decimated whole neighborhoods that were once thriving places to live.

Luckily PGH also had some visionary politicians and families who had the foresight to think long term before the roof fell in – but it was a narrow thing for sure.

SFpitt – that was kind of a strange post. I suppose Chas and Justin should just minimize every article and just write “PITT sucks again”. What is up with the “hate mail” dig? Was 4:16 am a late night or an early morning?

Comment by Reed 07.20.13 @ 5:35 am

tonyinhouston, all due respect, I didn’t think the Pitt team the last 2 years was bowl-worthy, and in fact, was completely outclassed in both. The only reason I watched the game was because it was Pitt; and, despite the fact I love college FB, would have never watched other bowls games with similar circumstances.

I can remember how I wanted to watch very bowl game played; now there may be 33% that appeals to me.

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 6:09 am

@ TonyinHouston, I often see in retrospect that the “experts” often aren’t very expert in their predictions beyond the obvious.

For Pitt this season, the obvious is that Pitt Football should be pretty much outclassed in the ACC this year. Coming off a losing season where they got pancaked in their bowl game against Ole Miss, no seasoned QB, the loss of their future star RB, less than stellar recruiting to reinforce the troops and a shiney, brand new out of the box DC that’s never been used before.

I wouldn’t be picking Pitt to do much this season either based on those obvious criteria. Now fir the not so obvious.

This coaching staff is here for it’s second season, what a novel concept! The DC although new and unproven is promoted from within, which maintains continuity with the players, most of which(9 starters) all all seasoned veterans. The culture and mindset of the team is in flux, for the better, quietly the attitude has evolved to one of “work hard to be your best or step aside for the next guy who wants to be here and play”. That one point alone is HUGE! Chryst is not a newbie head coach this season. The improvement between 1st and 2nd seasons will be substantial regarding his overall coaching ability and game day coaching. The loss of Rushel Shell will prove to be a good thing for this team. That debacle was a clear message sent by Chryst to this team that NO one player is more important than the team itself. Chryst walked the walk on this and the team took notice, especially the younger players.

Now does all of the above mean that Pitt will be a surprise this season, I have no idea. But what I do know is that the chemistry of this team over the last few years has been all screwed up and Chryst is changing that chemistry by changing the culture of this team. His recruiting reflects that as well. He is getting the recruit that WANTS to be here and is ready to buy into that new culture. Are they elite recruits? Nope, but all put together they may just make up a pretty good team in a year or two.

The big unanswered questions are, 1) can Savage carry the load, 2) will House be able to handle the DC position to maximise the potential of this veteran defense and lastly can we avoid the injury bug?

I think that if Pitt stays healthy that we are going to surprise some ACC teams this year. I think that Bennett is going to raise a lot of eyebrows with his performance this season, and if he stays healthy, I see a 1000 yd season waiting for him. Our starting team is going to be able to compete, but our two deep lacks depth at many position especially on the OL and at LB. IF we stay healthy we will win 7, maybe 8 games this season IMHO.

Based on all the turmoil, that I initially listed above, that this team has gone through recently, I would say that would result in a very successful 1st season in the ACC. We’ll see soon enough how good and “expert” I am as well. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.20.13 @ 7:38 am

Here is Chas (looks like he has put on a few lbs) beating the recent heat wave in his favorite manner at the Willoughby Brewing Co.

link to pgdigs.tumblr.com

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 7:45 am

@reed
It was a direct reference to the Open letter to the ACC.
Perhaps you didn’t reed it.

Comment by Sfpitt 07.20.13 @ 8:20 am

I’ve said before, I hate all of the meaningless bowl games. As an unabashed old codger, I really miss being hung over and watching great games all day long on New Year’s Day.

I would love to see an 8 team, three week championship culminating on New Year’s Day. Some real meaningful football. The top eight should be sufficient to find the real champion.

They could still host plenty of meaningless bowl games for those that didn’t make the playoffs.

They could rotate the games through the marquis bowls and in off years they would still have top twenty teams for some decent games.

What we have now is crap. I will always watch Pitt and probably the Championship game, other than that who cares. Detroit, are you kidding me? ElPaso, Birmingham, even New York City who wants to go there to see number 25 play number 27?

Imagine the four games with the top eight teams playing to move on. That would be a football Saturday.

Comment by gc 07.20.13 @ 9:08 am

Sfpitt, that was written over on pantherrants and posted here.

Comment by panther94 07.20.13 @ 9:27 am

Reed pittsburgh was never as bad as detroit not even close even in its worst days of the 1980s
and we never came close to there crime rate.and close only counts in horse shoes any way.

and what is your point any way reed detroit is
what it is trashed,
so who wants to go there not me my son wanted to go all over the usa before he settled down we will
call it a walk abought.

i said fine just promise me you wont go to 2 places this was years ago he said ok one of thoes
was detroit
becuse i did not think it was safe and i still dont

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.20.13 @ 11:37 am

I think without question that Pitt’s 06 team which didn’t make a bowl was better than either the last 2 Pitt teams.

The difference:
- there are certainly more bowls now than just 6 years ago, and
- the BE in 06 finished with 4 ranked teams, 3 of which finished in the top 12 final BCS rankings.

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 11:58 am

About a month ago a rep. from the ticket dept. called me. After finishing the business of season tickets he asked me about the move to the acc.

I told him it was a good move for the education and the easy travel for the alumni. I then told him why I though the move to the BIG was better. The perception of the BIG and the better bowl games and more money. Maybe the PG would have a better slant on their coverage of Pitt.

I was not asked but told him I could not understand the love affair with penn state. They blocked Pitt from joining the BIG and the horrific crimes committed there over the years just made me sick. Personally I would not want anything to do with them, but that’s just me. I realize no one wants to travel to Indiana or Minnesota for a football game.

Comment by joel 07.20.13 @ 1:24 pm

joel, I don’t think PSU blocked Pitt from the B1G; in fact, remarkably just a couple years ago, JoePa himself publicly lamented that the conference needed at least another eastern school and named Pitt as a possible candidate … this was before it was announced Pitt was joining the ACC

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 2:32 pm

dockish on twitter is a waste of time all he talks abought is the pirates and baseball.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.20.13 @ 2:36 pm

link to old.post-gazette.com

Trust me, there is no love lust now for PSU … and once again their media machine is trying to work on the NCAA again.

You may remember a couple of years ago, their media was telling everyone who wanted to listen that there would be no NCAA sanction but because it was allegedly not a football issue and NCAA would never impose sanctions that would hurt all the businesses in Happy valley. What a fantasy .. and of course now they all blame the NCAA and not Spanier, Shultz and their AD.

Now they all believe that they can get the NCAA to lessen the sanctions … and if not, of course it’s all the NCAA’s fault — “gee, we can’t see why they would still enforce them when we all believe they would reconsider!”

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 2:41 pm

according to Rivals, Pitt has a new commit

link to rivals.yahoo.com

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 2:54 pm

Wbb, no doubt PSU continues to pay dearly for their negligent behavior in the Sandusky case. According to PennLive.com, they have settled 25 of 31 civil suits to date for a total of $60M. Who knows, the last six could be the most expensive.

On the new Pitt recruit, he fits the mold of what we have seen from HCPC. I can’t say I’m all that bothered by his approach to get kids for whom Pitt is their best offer. I think it will make them more loyal to Pitt and play without a sense of entitlement. Nothing wrong with going after smart, athletic (this new recruit has 4.4 40 time on Rivals), high character kids to represent your University. As I see it, we can’t lose, if HCPC has great success, we win. If HCPC fails badly, he gets fired, and so does his boss, we win.

Comment by HbgFrank 07.20.13 @ 3:53 pm

This kid fits perfect with what we have come to expect. MAC schools are 90% of offers then Pitt. Diamond in the rough? If so PC has found 15 of them.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.20.13 @ 3:57 pm

@UPittbaseball, You know where Pitt screwed up? We should have joined the MAC instead of the ACC, with this recruiting class, Pitt would RULE!!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.20.13 @ 4:16 pm

EMel- Pitt was invited by Texas to join the B12 before WVU. Pitt recognized that despite how bad things were in the BE that going to B12 made no sense. The distance to conference opponents was too great which would alienate the Pitt fanbase to travel and adversely affect the academic performance of its student atheletes. Academically it also was a bad fit.

Comment by spindler's spirit 07.20.13 @ 4:26 pm

nice article on Mike Young

link to triblive.com

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 4:37 pm

Knock all the lower tier bowl games all you want but failure to sell bowl game tickets will forever relegate Pitt to bad locations like Birmingham Al.Pitt’s athletic dept. needs to take measures to enhance the perception that any bowl game is a good thing for Pitt football. The way to do that is to tie Panther points to the purchase of bowl game tickets through the athletic dept. Panther points affect seating location for BB and FB season tickets, also determines who receives tickets for big football road games (ie. ND, PSU, etc.)and determines who gets seats to the Conference and NCAA basketball tournaments.
If every $50 donated translates to 1 Panther point then buying a bowl game ticket through the athletic department (so Pitt gets credit for the sale) should be worth 25 panther points. This would reward the bowl game attendees with the best seats at the Pete and Heinz field, also enhance one’s chances to get BB tourney tickets too.
Taking measures like I suggested would shed a new light on the bowl games for Pitt fans !

Comment by spindler's spirit 07.20.13 @ 4:39 pm

Has Pitt’s bowl situation really changed? Frankcan is right: Bowl access for Pitt during the Big East era was as good as it ever was.

1955 Sugar Bowl: a ranked 7-3 Pitt team gets the Sugar Bowl. Pitt football in the 50s was highly regarded and played a true national schedule.

1963: Pitt didn’t get the Sugar, Cotton, or Orange because the bowl sponsors didn’t think we’d beat Penn State. Pitt was too good for the Sun.

1980: Probably the best Pitt team since 1937 ended up in the Gator Bowl. That was freakin wrong.

2004: Pitt slides into the Fiesta Bowl by default.

It’s going to be tougher now to get in a good bowl with Notre Dame lurking over ever season and hogging a choice spot. Pitt just needs to kick ass. All the time.

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.20.13 @ 6:25 pm

BULL$HIT, all Pitt needs to do to get the bowl of choice is to WIN. As Upittbaseball is fond of saying, “lets quit accepting mediocrity”!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.20.13 @ 6:31 pm

It used to be said that playing in a bowl game helped recruiting, but haven’t Ohio State, Penn State, and Miami proved that theory to be bogus?

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.20.13 @ 6:37 pm

PSU and OSU plays consistently in front of 100k fans and are on national TV a lot. Miami is somewhat like Pitt was in 70s/early 80s .. situated in primo recruiting area

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 7:17 pm

I don’t think playing annually in the Compass bowl gives you a decided recruiting edge over not playing in a bowl at all

Pitt needs to do what Va Tech does, play in ACC championship often

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 7:20 pm

Anyone have more info on Phillipie Motley?

Comment by Four One Two 07.20.13 @ 7:31 pm

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 7:38 pm

Comment by wbb 07.20.13 @ 8:22 pm

Thanks for the info, wbb.

Comment by Four One Two 07.20.13 @ 8:51 pm

Like the Great Doctor say’s…..That’s why they play the games! Chryst will be a hero or a goat within 24 months.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.20.13 @ 8:56 pm

RIP Simmie Hill and god bless his family in their loss. Truly a Western PA basketball legend @ Midland HS. Went on to make his mark in college as well as the ABA. Can’t agree with PZ that his Leopards were the best high school boys BB team in PA history. I would give the nod to Gene Banks and his undefeated West Philly Speedboys! Hail to Pitt! UPone

Comment by UPone 07.20.13 @ 9:04 pm

OMG, now they’ve formed a mutual admiration society “as Spittball is fond of saying” and “Like the Great Doctor says!” Projectile vomit @ will! UPone

Comment by UPone 07.20.13 @ 9:19 pm

Upone isn’t it nap time after you had your jello and read the TV guide.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.20.13 @ 9:37 pm

I feel a Bromance brewing and me thinks Upone feels jilted (Projectile vomit @ will!), really? I’m even LOL while posting this one, the drama of being a Pitt football fan.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.21.13 @ 8:04 am

Big news for geeks and non-geeks too:
link to thedailybeast.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 07.21.13 @ 8:26 am

i believe freebeck’s florida offer was legit but they accepted a commitment from a qb early in the process. i think he has a chance to be a stud. i hope they haver him recruiting other florida kids especially since he will be at St Thomas, which is a factory.

Comment by pk 07.21.13 @ 8:38 am

Here’s an intersting article about a point of discussion on The Blather last week – coaches (in this case SEC coaches), balancing talent vs. character when recruiting. I don’t envy their position, especially in the win-at-all-costs SEC.

link to hosted.ap.org

Funny in the last paragraph how Clowney from SC explains how he avoids trouble…no mention of actually STUDYING to pass the time off the field.

Comment by Iron Duke 07.21.13 @ 9:47 am

It is stories like this that make HCPC’s targeting of high character kids much easier to take:

link to yardbarker.com

Comment by HbgFrank 07.21.13 @ 7:13 pm

spitball if you think your references to activities associated with the elderly are hurtful to me think again. Shameful! I wonder how many posters have family and friends at home or in nursing centers struggling with Black Lung, dementia, etc. who flinch at your callous characterizations of the erosion of a senior citizen’s life. The high point of their day just might be a nap or some jello. You can not be a Pitt graduate. UPone

Comment by UPone 07.21.13 @ 7:31 pm

Now you are Mr. Self rightous. My reference was to you and you only if you want to play spin doctor than so be it. This will be my last reply to you. Congrats on graduating from Pitt Johnstown.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.21.13 @ 7:47 pm

UPitt, have to disagree…big surprise, right? You brought into the conversation references to the elderly in nursing homes…making fun of them. How that is only directed at Upone is beyond me. But, both you guys need to drop it. If we all are Pitt alum, or indeed, just former Pitt students, then we are a family, of sorts. We all, or most anyway, come to this blog to catch up with news on the sports teams of our beloved university and the comraderie. Don’t ruin it by taking over this thread (although a dead one) with your juvenile argument.

Comment by panther94 07.21.13 @ 9:09 pm

94- Eating jello and reading TV guide makes one a resident of a rest home? My point was his ideas are archaic.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.21.13 @ 9:23 pm

Last recruit is a great get by the staff. Kid is fast. Can’t teach speed.
Watched the film, kid is flexible, strong at the line of scrimmage, great leaping ability, great closing speed. He is a track star. Slow getting interest from big schools but many offers were coming.

Comment by notrocketscience 07.21.13 @ 9:28 pm

I just read an article whereas in Detroit, the police ONLY are on duty 8 hours a day.

At one time in the no so distant past, Detroit was the 4th biggest city in America and had among the highest per capita wages in the country.

Currently they have over 80,000 streetlights, yet only about half of them work. You see copper thieves have disabled over 40,000 of them.

Pittsburgh was never close to becoming Detroit, imo. Now some of the surrounding towns became somewhat like Detroit, Aliquippa, Monaca, Beaver Falls, and some down the Mon. But again all these towns did survive and even Clairton is still sending PITT HS football players. (TG)

link to wariscrime.com

Long Live Pittsburgh !
HTP!
Vev !

Comment by EMel 07.21.13 @ 9:55 pm

New recruit fits the PC mold:

1) Offered by every MAC school (check)
2) Pitt was his best offer (check)
3) Will want to be at Pitt (than Toledo or Central Michigan, etc, check)

Do we know his GPA ?

Welcome Mr. Motley (maybe he’s related to Brown great Marion Motley)

Comment by EMel 07.21.13 @ 10:04 pm

Today’s sports history:

In his books The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football and The New Thinking Man’s Guide To Pro Football, football writer Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated called Motley the best player in the history of the sport.[40] He was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994.[41]

Comment by EMel 07.21.13 @ 10:36 pm

It DID seem like you we’re going there UPitt. If not, then my apologies, of course.

Comment by panther94 07.21.13 @ 11:00 pm

Panther94 we can agree on one thing, we are going to the Pit in Raleigh in the fall. If Upone wants to end our tiff and be civil then I’m on board as well. I will say I’m sorry and apologize.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.22.13 @ 12:08 am

Come on everyone needs to stop complaining and enjoy not going to the BBVA Compass Bowl. This is the best conference we will ever be in so enjoy it

Comment by TonyC 07.22.13 @ 3:32 am

SFPitt – that went completely over my head and I didn’t make the connection at all, but I get it and agree.

FRANKCAN – you are correct but I was think ‘glass houses’ because I remember the national reputation and being the butt of jokes when PGH went through the hard times.

There are some truly amazing qualities associated with Detroit as far as Arts & Culture go and its a shame that the city is taking this hit.

Guys – if you are wondering why this staff is recruiting smart, speedy guys here’s your answer…From Street:

“Pitt will have to adjust to a brand of football next season that’s notably different from the one it grew accustomed to in the Big East. According to wide receiver Devin Street, the difference is evident as soon as you put on the tape.

“Everyone’s fast,” Street said. “Everyone can run. Just watching Florida State, seeing the defensive ends track down a running back or a guard pulling, just seeing that different type of speed is pretty electrifying.”

Read more: link to post-gazette.com

Comment by Reed 07.22.13 @ 5:25 am

Reed,
Have to disagree.
Albeit Motley has speed, you can’t say that about the entire class this year or last year.
Chryst is building his team to compete in slow, stodgy Big10. He is recruiting big, slow players generally speaking.
Having 1 or 2 speedy players isn’t going to cut it. Pitt team speed will be considered slow, even for 2014 season.
But hey, Chryst will be gone after the 2014 season. I highly doubt what he is recruiting will cut it in the ACC.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 6:34 am

the linemen are big and bulky; the skill people are athletic and quick. Most need technique training.

I have no issue with this approach except there seem to be too many of them

Comment by wbb 07.22.13 @ 7:00 am

wbb, the skill people being recruited don’t have great speed. Sure a handful of them but not enough of them. That is why they only have MAC and Patriot league offers as they have MAC speed, not ACC speed and quickness.
The big, slow 325# Olineman Chryst likes won’t cut it in the ACC. Hopefully they don’t exceed 300# so they can maintain some quickness.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 7:10 am

if you can’t outrun them, you slow the pace down and hit them head-on with a power game.

Defense is another issue. The quickness of Miami thru the years have always been an issue for Pitt defenses, and of course, FSU will be a major early test.

However, since they are not playing Clemson, who else are they that far behind? Va Tech has never been an issue (speedwise) including last year. You would think UNC will be a problem but we beat them in Charlotte a few years ago .. (although we did have a pretty decent team). But aside from those 3, can’t say that I would go overboard about the speed.

Comment by wbb 07.22.13 @ 7:39 am

wbb,
It seems, the further south you go in the ACC, the faster the teams get.
Opposing defenses can shutdown a power run game if that is all Pitt has.
Opposing offenses will be able to score at will.
The Big10 game plan will not work in the ACC.
But hey, lets watch the season unfold.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 8:19 am

No doubt Pitt needs to get faster. Especially on defense. On offense linemen, especially tackles need quick feet to stop the pass rush. Faster skill players always a plus. Chryst has four more years to prove himself. He is here unless he decides to go.

Pitt needs stability in coaching after the last several years.

Comment by gc 07.22.13 @ 8:31 am

Coaching stability.
Regardless of the 2013 season results, Chryst will be HC in 2014.
However, all bets are off after 2014 season.
I know many of you will be looking at contract extensions, but that don’t mean anything.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 8:45 am

Unless these next 2 seasons are a total disaster, I would hope the AD has learned a lesson about replacing the FB coach

Comment by wbb 07.22.13 @ 9:43 am

I like that the ACC is not going to divide the Bowl money equally.
Right now, a team that doesn’t go to any bowl gets the same money as a team that goes to a bowl. However, the team that goes to a bowl has expenses meaning they make less money.
I think all the money from a bowl should go to that team going to the bowl. It shouldn’t be shared at all.

Which leads to another question, how much money do teams get that go to the NCAA BB tourney? other tourneys?

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 9:54 am

Where’s the info on the ACC not dividing the Bowl money up equally? I know some schools get different amounts due to expenses depending on the bowl bit I thought for moat part it was divided up.

Info on basketball payouts…it’s a confusing setup that they use..
link to winthropintelligence.com

Comment by milobloom 07.22.13 @ 10:07 am

• Basketball fund: The NCAA expected to distribute $180.5 million to its Division I members that participated in the men’s basketball tournament. The payments are determined by each school’s performance in the tournament over a rolling six-year period.

In April 2010, the NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS and Turner Sports to televise the men’s tournament. The NCAA expects more than $740 million to be distributed to its members annually through 2024.

One unit — or a payment of $239,664 — will be paid to each school participating in each game, except for the championship game. The payments are sent to the conferences, which distribute the money among their schools, or independent institutions in mid-April.

After the 2010 men’s tournament, the Big East was paid more than $23 million and the ACC received more than $18 million.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.22.13 @ 10:09 am

milo,
Right now bowl money it is split equally in ACC.
No offset for expenses.
See red shirt diaries by sam werner on Acc 1st media day.
Upitt,
I presume NCAA money split evenly in ACC also so if bowl money changes so will NCAA BB money.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 10:20 am

On disparaging UPJ, founded in 1927 and sending thousands of students to Pitt main campus including varsity athletes, I think Pitt needs all the students it needs to remain viable. All the Pitt branches help students who are unable to afford Oakland.

Comment by Frank MD 07.22.13 @ 10:40 am

@ Pitt.Dan83, you’re a piece of work. Try reading wbb and gc posts, and considering their POV’s before typing a reply. You just sound ignorant of the facts to me in your replies, when you feel to do so.

There is absolutely ZERO chance that Chryst gets fired after the 2014 season, NONE! And to back it up I’d put money on it, that is, if you would like to put your money where your opinion is.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.22.13 @ 10:53 am

Dr. tom,
I did read their opinions.
My opinion differs.
Big10 football is not going to work in ACC.
Mac/patriot league recruits are not going to cut it in ACC.
Chryst will have to win 6 games in 2014 to keep his job. 5 wins may not be enough and I don’t think Pitt gets 6 wins in 2014 which is why I opined that “all bets are off” for 2014.
I’m very well aware of Wanny and Harris records their 1st 3 years.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 11:03 am

We will have Chryst like it or not until Pederson is fired or the 2015 season is over. If he wins 6-8 games a year we will have him till 2017/2018. Only way he gets canned is if he wins less than 6 games over the next 2 -3 seasons.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.22.13 @ 11:22 am

With regards to all the speed of the ACC vs. the Big10, since 2006 I could only find three BCS games where the two conferences played each other and the Big10 won them all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 – FedEx Orange Bowl: No. 3 Penn State* (10–1, Big Ten champion) 26, No. 22 Florida State (8–4, ACC champion) 23 (3 OT)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 – FedEx Orange Bowl: No. 10 Iowa (10–2, At-large) 24 vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech (10–2, ACC Champion) 14

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 – Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 13 Michigan (10–2, At-Large) 23 vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech (11–2, At-Large) 20 (OT)

ACC vs BigTen = 6-6

ACC vs BigTen: 50-49 vs 53-42 or 0.505% vs 0.558%

Home advantage
ACC vs BigTen: neutral = 7, away = 2, home* = 3

Conference winning percentage against the five big conferences, only losing record is against the PAC 10.

So, if Pitt is being built more like a Big 10 team, then our ACC record would be 4-4. If we split the non conf games we’d be 6-6. I think we should win 3 NC games and 5 conf games simply due to the attitude change among the players and the fact PC has gotten rid of troublemakers.

Of course I know there are some of us who tend to view the glass half empty but PC has a lot of winning experience under his belt, too much so to predict his methods will lead to failure. I wish you’d keep in mind he doesn’t seem to offer just anyone based on their number of stars but only after he’s spent time with them in camp. Wisc certainly seemed quite adept in finding quality players who went under the radar and we all know their star values can easily increase during their senior year. Hopefully selling them on the quality of education along with the team comradery will dissuade them from not honoring their verbals. For Pete’s sake give the man some breathing room and credit!

GO PITT!

Comment by JD 07.22.13 @ 11:54 am

the heck with B10 vs ACC

Since 06, Pitt is 1-1 vs UVa; 0-1 vs NCSt; 0-1 vs Miami; 1-0 vs UNC; and 6-1 vs Syracuse

Comment by wbb 07.22.13 @ 1:05 pm

… and 1-0 vs Va Tech

Comment by wbb 07.22.13 @ 1:38 pm

OK Pitt.Dan, now you also have Upittbaseball and JD posts to digest as well, along with mine which BTW, is based more on substance than on opinion.

First and foremost, this is the Pitt AD’s #1 priority going into the ACC, coaching stability. Unless Chryst decides to start beating his wife or molesting boys, there is No chance he gets canned before he has four years at HC under his belt. In case you’re not good with numbers that will be after the 2015 season is over. That 2015 season gets him on the hot seat if he’s not bringing home a winning season, but it will be the 2016 season which will be the “do or die” one.

When penn state is back on the 2016 schedule, that one NC game alone could spell the difference between firing or contract extension time for Chryst. By that, I mean, a 6-6 season looks a lot better on Chryst’s 2016 resume if one of the wins is against penn state. Same W-L result with a penn state loss however could be the kiss of death for Chryst’s job.

Now regarding your opinion of where Chryst is headed in his recruiting, he is quickly turning a Pitt weakness into a Pitt forte when considering his recruiting on the offensive line. Both wbb and gc called it accurately, Chryst is bringing in some big boys, but just because he is recruiting size doesn’t mean that he is sacrificing athleticism. We have Adam Bisnowaty ready to go this season, and pleeeaseee don’t call him unathletic and/or slow. And Dorian Johnson is going to be waiting in the wings for his chance to play this season if the injury bug hits the OL. Johnson, BTW is just the type of athlete that fits the bill for Chryst’s ideal lineman. Big, athletic and quick. Another guy who has the same potential is Alex Officer he tested out with like a 4.7 20yd shuttle so he ain’t no slouch in the quickness dept. This kid played both ways in HS and was a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball. He has the footwork skills needed to pull and trap all day long. Yeah we need more Dorin Johnsons but for now Chryst has done a good job of getting some big bodies in the stable. Hopefully he can coach up a couple of these big boys into the kind of players that CAN make a difference in the FAST ACC. BTW, Russ Grimm coming in for 2014 should be in that Johnson mold going forward too.

Now lets dispell a myth that I never understood the logic behind, that keeps getting repeated time and time again. Players that get MAC offers somehow are guys that have lesser skills and limited potential than first tier players who have a half dozen offers from the big boys of Div 1 football powerhouses. Just isn’t true. Its a case by case situation.

There are a lot of very good football players out there that are solid 2nd tier players at the end of their Junior year of HS football that just aren’t heavily recruited at that point in their careers. They can play at the Div 1 level and make a difference. Finding them BEFORE they get the bigger offers is the trick. Unfortunately for Pitt, this is exactly where we have to do our homework to fill out our recruiting classes for the time being, because we currently can’t compete with the Ohio States, Michigans and Florida States of the world for the primo 1st tier players who are the known top shelf recruits out there already.

Yeah, we’ll pick up one or two 4 star guys in our classes but if we want to become competitive in the ACC NOW, we better look elsewhere or our recruiting classes are destined to come up short in the present.

That is what Chryst and Co. are busy doing. They have found kids that have speed, have athleticism and who see Pitt as the place they want to be and currently Pitt is their best offer at this point in there football careers. What will be important for us will be the ability of keeping them as Pitt verbals when, after their successful Senior seasons conclude, other heavy hitters come calling, offering them late to satisfy holes left in their recruiting classes once the dust settles.

Just because these same guys get slammed with a ton of MAC interest, it doesn’t discount their stock! It is simply an indication that they are flying a little under the recruiting radar and MAC teams are in the hunt to get some of these guys too. The cream of this 2nd tier crop of players end up going to bigger programs in the end anyhow it is just that they get those offers later.

Chryst’s offers to these kind of kids often has come after they have evaluated this guys 1st hand in camps. They see the potential and know that if they offer early that they have the inside track on these guys before the competition gets heated with other bigger offers, both realistic AND smart!

Now, we ain’t recruiting a track team so speed alone, although an important criteria is just one to be considered for a competant football player. Jumping ability and quickness can even trump speed depending on the position being considered.
But you are mistaken if you think that Chryst’s classes of 2013 and 14 lack speed. Here is a list of players that all tested out with significant sub5 40yd dash times at the camps.

In 2013 Terrish Webb, Titus Howard, both from Clairton, Rachid Ibrahim, Tomy Harper and do we even need to mention Tyler Boyd???? For 2014 we have Dennis Briggs, Patrich Armara, Jalen Williams, Marcus Collins and our newest AND fastest verbal up to this point PhillipIe Motley who sports a 4.40 40yd dash as his fastest 40 time.

I didn’t even mention a couple guys who have speed but aren’t playing positions that are thought of aS “speed” positions. Shakir Soto will probably see time at DE this season since he has Spring practice under his belt already, he runs a 4.9 40 and Luke Maclean runs a 4.93 40 and is a LB that brings a hammer when he tackles.

So the speed and quickness is there. And that there are the facts, not opinion. Do your homework.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.22.13 @ 3:03 pm

You have BS 40numbers there Dr. Tom.
You can right anything on your profile.
The only numbers I believe are those posted on combine results.
Do your homework Dr. Tom. You need to get your facts straight before touting them.
For instance, Briggs is slow. 11.8something in 100m. He didn’t even qualify for wpial finals in track.
Motley is fast no doubt about it.
Harper is so slow, I can beat him in a race.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 4:10 pm

there will be a great OL at pitt very soon
and a great OL will win you a lot of games
if you read pitt looks at there feet can they move them not just there size.
have fath even a average RB or QB will look good if the line is good.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.22.13 @ 6:33 pm

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