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November 3, 2013

Gametime for ND-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly,Schedule,TV — Chas @ 12:19 pm

ESPN could wait until noon today to announce. And by god they did. Actually they went 15 minutes past it. Holding ND and Pitt writers and fans hostage with the delay.

Faced with the reality that they have no great options they opted for the ratings bet with ND at night. With VT flopping — Pitt faced Logan Thomas 2 weeks too early it seems — and Miami being crushed by FSU, the VT-Miami showdown lost any real luster of meaning in the ACC Coastal Wheel of Destiny. That sends them to a noon 7pm start.

As I said earlier, there was no value putting ND-Pitt on at 3:30 with two Big 10 games already in that slot. That puts ND-Pitt at night. Not just night. It’s the 8 pm ABC national broadcast. ESPN opted for the guarantee of ratings with ND involved. Even if the game itself will be, um, hard to sell as compelling.

Three home night games this year. Really can’t complain about nooners this year.

I say this carefully: I can even put up with Pitt’s mediocrity (maybe even slightly worse than mediocrity) for a little while, as long as I see the coaching staff — especially the head coach — gets it, has passion and exhibits leadership, cares at least as much as I do (when they oughta care much more because their livelihood and their family’s well-being is at stake) enough to put in the effort, do whatever it takes to right the ship.

I’m still wanting — and waiting — to see HCPC show a little passion. Maybe he does it behind closed doors (that’d be okay with me, as long as he shows it SOMEWHERE). So far he appears to coach Pitt like I’d probably coach PSU: don’t care if they win or not.

There’s an eerily similar example out here with the University of Colorado. They completely fell off the face of the earth with two consecutive bad hires: from Big XII champs to (almost) winless seasons. But at least the AD had the courage to cut the last group free early (only after Year 2), because they demonstrated they were in waaaay over their heads: their head coach had never even been a coordinator before; none of the assistants had much if any experience but were, to a man, hired because they were cronies of the head coach; players had no idea what they were doing, gut-wrenching collapses & losses (does any of this sound familiar)? Altho at least HCPC had been an OC at a BCS-AQ program before getting the Pitt job.

But CU went out and hired the dude who turned around San Jose State, and altho their record is only slightly better (3 wins so far, vs. only 1 all of last year and shouldda been zero), they’re playing much better and there’s buzz around the program. And it’s evident the current coaches get it, and they truly care.

So back to Pitt: if we’re doomed to be 6-6 again, please, HCPC at least show me that you’re as unhappy about that as I am, and that you have a plan. But since he’s so vanilla and passive in public, he leaves people to assume that one reason for that might be that he doesn’t give a crap. And (if true) THAT I cannot tolerate.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 11.04.13 @ 11:31 am

I hate Monday mornings btw.

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 11:33 am

@ Doc. Yep yep. what size do you wear or should I just get the 4 X oversized Chyrst special ? lol

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 11:38 am

Love him or hate him, at least Todd Graham & his assistants showed true passion, cared about every loss as much as (or more than) I did, and had a plan going forward that he realized was in his best interest to communicate to an impatient alumni & fan base.

I don’t think hiring TG was a mistake, altho him leaving the program after only one year was a kick in the nards. Compared to HCPC, who has already been here longer: (so far) I think his hiring might be.

There are worse things than having a head coach that other schools want to hire away. One of them is having a coach nobody else wants, not even his alma mater….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 11.04.13 @ 11:40 am

The play calling is also a mystery. No draw plays, no shovel passes, few quick slants or screens. All the plays to take advantage of the blitz aren’t ever called.
Comment by gc 11.04.13 @ 9:17 am

Yep a mystery indeed. When a team blitzes a lot you have to ‘make them pay’ for blitzing.
Otherwise they’ll just keep on doing it. Which is what we’ve seen since UVA. The reward of the blitz, which is the sack or the hurried pass has to be challenged with the risk of giving up a big play against it.

A coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball has to draw up plays as gc noted, that will capitalize when enemy teams blitz. The amateur hour staff we have should have plenty of experience with it by now to be able to combat it. Yet we’re not seeing anything with plays to take advantage of the blitz.

Just mind boggling.

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 11:56 am

Cruel Imma Man…..very cruel. You big meanie.

Accurate though ! lol

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 11:59 am

In our latest 3 games against real competition.

1)We’ve scored 14 points on 2 short drives gift wrapped by UVA. Did nothing much against them, other than giving up 8 sacks.

2)We scored 9 points against Va Tech, again not doing much except getting Savage spooked. And the TD was very late in the game.

3)We scored 10 points on a bad GT defense who the week previously gave up almost 500 yards total offense and 25 points to UVA.

Offense is just putrid; the playing calling, the execution, the whole thing. Even 11 touches by Boyd and over 118 yards receiving could not rescue this offensive offense.

I think it’s time PC go up in the Box and call the plays from up there. He doesn’t do anything on the sidelines anyway, except forget to challenge key plays and use his TO’s. And of course look stupid.

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 12:07 pm

Imma, you don’t think hiring ^TG was a mistake.

Any HR professional will tell a primary criterion of any hire for a long distant hire is if that person willing to commit to the new location and environment.

Yet, in his rush, our AD lobbied his boss to spend $600k above budget, even though his new hire had already shown a propensity to move immediately from a newly hired job.

Comment by wbb 11.04.13 @ 12:09 pm

UNC game is 12:30 and be televised on ACC network

Good, don’t plan on driving in …. although I will be at both ND and Miami games

Comment by wbb 11.04.13 @ 12:13 pm

WE will be hard pressed to win 6. I felt like some of our kids were overmatched in Georgia but they kept trying and showed some heart. Maybe in a year or 2 Chryst can get us up to mediocre.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.04.13 @ 12:26 pm

As an addition to building up hatred for Notre Dame (as if we need it), what other school could get a 4 page Sports Illustrated article on a QB Golson who was thrown out of school for the year!!

Comment by Dan 72 11.04.13 @ 12:32 pm


Under no circumstances does Fraud
get a favorable reco over PC. I don’t
believe that Fraud’s staff cared more than
the current staff. Fraud was never going to
be in Pgh long term. Glad he left. Hated
is offense and his hucksterism.

Comment by JR 11.04.13 @ 12:37 pm

Someone posted this on a previous blog entry, but it bears repeating: Chancellor Nordenberg has been an unquestionable success for the University of Pittsburgh. The increased academic reputation alone merits that designation. The increased endowment puts his tenure into the “unmatched” category. However, I do believe he allowed his pursuit of academic and financial gains to diminish his attention to details with regard to intercollegiate athletics.

The next chancellor must continue the academic and financial momentum that Chancellor Nordenberg has created. But they must also place a high value on the success of our intercollegiate athletic programs. He or she must demand results from our coaches that make six and seven figure salaries. That does not mean winning it all every year, but it does mean that not winning a conference game in two years, or missing the NCAA tournament for more than two or three consecutive years, or winning six football games a year is not going to cut it. It also means that if Pitt is serious about winning, then when one of our major sports has a coaching vacancy, we need to seek the best qualified candidate available and be willing to pay that person and their staff the going salaries for top coaches.

Joining the ACC has resulted in a $15M per year increase in revenues over what the Big East was paying each school. Only a fool would not dedicate a significant portion of that increase to coaches’ salaries.

Comment by HbgFrank 11.04.13 @ 12:43 pm

It’s getting pretty clear that Bostad had a lot to do with Chryst’s success. That dude is doing a pretty good job in Tampa Bay. Last year Doug Martin was a beast. And yesterday the second string RB put up over 100 yards against one of the best D’s in the NFL.

Comment by Wardapalooza 11.04.13 @ 12:47 pm

Now at least we’re talking football again. I agree, the play calling has not been imaginative on offense. With the lack of offensive production as of late, imagination in playcalling becomes more essential every day, doesn’t it?

BTW EMel, 4X Chryst size, really funny!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.04.13 @ 12:48 pm

Baylor’s offense is averaging an incredible :

718 yards per game.

An equally incredible 9 yards per play average.

#72 Notre Dame is averaging 399 yds per game

6.1 yards per play

#103 PITT checks in at 346 ypg

5.6 ypp

Thank God for those New Mex, ODU & Duke game or that would halve those figures.

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 12:53 pm

Once again, I want to thank Chas and Justin for hosting this site. I was disappointed and glad at the same time when the site went down around half-time. I thought that was the worst played half of football this year, and thought we would see a blow-out in the second half. The third qtr was one of the best all year and you know what happened in the fourth. If the site was up, I might have been banned for life.

Anyway, having this site to commiserate with like minded, we all are Pitt Fans, is most reassuring.

We all react differently, but we are all sick enough to come back each week. Dr. Tom is right, it is easier to root for Alabama. That is why there is a Steeler Nation and the Yankees are so beloved. That is also why there are so few Pitt Fans. You have to have real thick skin or are somewhat masochistic to root for our team.

I just read a book where the main character was offered a free tattoo. He replied no thanks, I try to avoid pain in all of it’s forms. I believe in the same mantra, no tattoos here, so why do I come back to get my heart broken week after week?

So thanks guys for the outlet, I can’t afford a shrink.

It will feel really good when we win a game that matters, I hope we all live that long.

I have been very lucky to see the Pirates, Steelers, Penquins and Pitt Football win Championships after being the dregs in their sport for long periods of time.

I would love to see the Pitt Administration get the will to win, but I am afraid Dan’s characterization is closer to the truth.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by gc 11.04.13 @ 1:11 pm

When you’re on the 3rd & last page of all these Team offensive stats, you know you’re bad.

Team Rushing Offense

# 104 Pitt sits at a measly 122 ypg

3.6 yards per rush

Lately that’s more like 3.6 inches per rush


#10 Wisconsin is at 287 yards per game

6.7 yards per rush.

Appears the Badgers don’t miss Bashful and the other dwarfs.

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 1:14 pm

Pitt RB’s could almost….just fall forward if we lined them up 1 yard behind LOS.

Let’s see, a yard is 3 feet (check)
Connor is over 6 feet tall and Bennett is close(check)

6 feet equals 2 yards. (check)

Yep that will work. Who has Bashful’s email address ? 🙂

Comment by EMel 11.04.13 @ 1:20 pm

Emel, You crack me up, Bashful, priceless. That one might catch on.

Comment by gc 11.04.13 @ 1:26 pm

Which one is Dopey, Sleepy?

Comment by gc 11.04.13 @ 1:29 pm

Maybe I was wrong, Alvarez is an evil genius.

Comment by gc 11.04.13 @ 1:31 pm

Will be at my 2nd game this year, traveling in from Allentown, with my 2 sons(both who have recently graduated from Pitt and live in Pgh.). Will have a great time, enjoy the atmosphere and hope for a win! Though the season has been a disappointment I always hope for the best! I am spoiled since I was at Pitt in 1976 acquiring a master’s degree so have seen the good, bad and the ugly.
Let’s Go Pitt!

Comment by Bruce F 11.04.13 @ 2:55 pm

Other than giving up some big plays (I’m looking at you Vinopal) the Defense played ok Satuday, and quite frankly the last 5 games. I still can’t stand not having our CBs checking guys at the line occasionally, but House’s D has only been giving up a touch over 18 points per game the last 5 games.

The question is, with such big, slow, 3rd-down stye running backs as our only options, and a uniquely bad o-line, can we score 24 points against ND this weekend?

Comment by PittHW 11.04.13 @ 3:07 pm

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