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December 8, 2013

As expected, Pitt is headed to Detroit, Michigan for the Little Caesars Bowl. Their opponent? MAC Champion Bowling Green.

While obviously this isn’t the most exciting bowl game, it’s a bowl game nonetheless. 

The former Motor City Bowl will be played on December 26th at 6pm. Here’s some ticket info on the bowl’s site. Here’s the link to buy directly from the athletic department. I recommend you buy tickets directly from the athletic department since they make money off of those tickets. The day after Christmas is not a bad option for Pitt fans. Most are off work and Detroit is only about a 4 hour drive. Since it’s a 6pm kickoff, you could leave that morning and get a hotel for the night. Drop the kids off with their grandparents and leave town for two days. It’s Detroit, so a hotel in a decent area shouldn’t be too pricey. I’d love to go but my wife is in her third trimester so I can’t be that far away from her. I’ll be there in spirit. Let’s hope this game is a little better than the last time Pitt played Bowling Green.

In recruiting news, Shai McKenzie and Jamil Kamara just wrapped up their official visits today. I got a good look at them and the other recruits at the Loyola Marymout game from the section above and the main takeaway I got was Mike Grimm is gigantic. He had a mohawk that only a guy that causes everyone near him to tremble in fear could pull off. Reports make it seem like the visits went well, but you rarely see a report that says anything else.

Aliquippa DB Dravon Henry will allegedly announce his college selection tomorrow and it’s still between Pitt and WVU. He has given Miami some attention, but it’s doubtful he’d head south. There are rumors Gateway DB Montae Nicholson could announce soon too but his recruitment has bee so quiet it’s tough to get a grasp on what’s going on. Shai McKenzie is still set to announce on the 20th of this month.

 





Losing a top guy to WVU this year is a huge joke. As Pittastic eleganatly points out WVU flies a ton, has bad education and was horrible this year. It’s one thing to lose a recruit to say OSU or even PSU, but to WVU. Really neat recruiting by Chryst and his staff.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.09.13 @ 1:40 pm

I wouldn’t go play for Chryst if I was 18. Watch the team perform, the mistakes, lack of coaching them up, etc. The guy has no personality and can’t coach and runs an archaic big 10 offense that has no chance of winning in a non big 10 conf. He is a OC and should stay that way. This kid not going to Pitt to play for WVU off a bad year tells you everything you need to know about what the local kids think of Pitt and Chryst.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.09.13 @ 1:43 pm

This hurts and tells me what I already knew…House needs to be replaced. What a joke Pitt recruiting has become that we lose an elite prospect to the Hoopies. His mother basically flat out said she didn’t like House. Welcome to the club.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 1:46 pm

If Randall were my son I would want him to make those who mistreated him pay for what they did. So as much as I dislike the idea of bringing litigation and the bulk of the political correct crap we see going on today, I can’t say as I blame him. I hope the young man can regain his confidence and doesn’t let this abuse stop him from being his best. In other words, sometimes there is a fine line between blaming others for our failures and our own lack of conviction. My hope if he were my son is that he wouldn’t get so caught up in righting the past that he doesn’t fight his best fight for his present. Derek being the best you can be doesn’t always allow time for getting even, While fighting the old fight don’t let it cost you the bigger battle.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 1:48 pm

@Upittbaseball

You have so much knowledge of what local kids think. You should establish your own blog and see how many of us check out what your have to say.

I guess Mike Grimm is a nobody?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 12.09.13 @ 1:48 pm

When Pitt starts losing local elite kids to programs like WVU, you know our program is in a death spiral. Yet nobody will be held accountable and mediocrity will reign supreme.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 1:50 pm

Very emotional press conference for Henry, from how it sounds on Twitter.

And this is interesting.

Per reports of many on Twitter, Henry’s mom was quoted during the press conference with the following:

“I talked to a lot of the players on (Pitt’s) defense, and they didn’t like the way things were set up.”

That is one giant can of gasoline to throw on the fire that House’s critics (many of them justified) have already started burning. I don’t know details as to who she talked to but it may not matter – that’s a fairly damning statement in a business where perception is often reality.

I’m not going to lie. Despite the fact that Henry’s choice of WVU wasn’t really much of a surprise, this one has shaken my faith in the abilities of Chryst and his coaching staff to close to deal on some of these kids.

It’s one thing to lose one of the best local, state and national prospects to Alabama.

It’s another to lose one of the best local, state and national prospects to a program on fairly shaky ground with a coaching staff that may not even be there next year.

From most accounts, Gibson sold the hell out of WVU to Henry. He may not even be coaching at WVU a year from now, but he outdid House for this kid. And Pitt may not have helped themselves at all, given the talk that surfaced a while back about Henry placing calls to the Pitt coaches that went unreturned for a month.

The 2014 class isn’t lost by any means, and Chryst and Co. can still close the books on a very good one. Whether they WILL remains to be seen, and I’m quite a bit less confident of their abilities to get some of these other kids – particularly Nicholson.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 1:50 pm

Gotta stay positive despite the Henry news. One kid doesn’t make or break a program. We lost Shell, but highly doubt he was good enough to turn any of our losses into wins this year. Would’ve been 6-6 with or without him, and as long as we can close in on some of these other kids I’ll be satisfied.

Also, been seeing people say that between Shell’s departure and Henry’s WVU commit that Pitt has effectively lost its Aliquippa pipeline. Will be interesting to see how this plays out going forward.

Comment by MikePITT 12.09.13 @ 1:53 pm

Stoosh, Be serious, once the kid commits to WVU did you expect anything to come out of him or his family that didn’t berate Pitt. To take some statement from his Mother and say it is evidence of our failure is absurd. I sell cars for a living and I pray someone as gullable as what that sounds to me walks in today. I’ll take the rest of the month off on that commission.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.09.13 @ 2:12 pm

Why would Momma lie? Chryst has bozos on his team. You cannot afford to lose elite prospects in need positions to a school like WVU. It has never happened before in Pitt history…until today. That should speak volumes.

Comment by TX Panther 12.09.13 @ 2:17 pm

UPittbaseball,

Give me a break.

Be critical of Chryst all you want, but there are plenty of local kids who are already playing for and committed to playing for Chryst, so let’s not revise history here.

Whether its scheme or gameplan or execution or his recruiting approach or his milque-toast personality, the fact is that he’s still lured good local players here.

Tyler Boyd had no issue. Holtz and Orndoff had no issue. Grimm seems to have no issue and neither did Dorian Johnson. He’s landed some of the region’s top local wideouts in Zeise and Challingsworth. They’re still very much in the running for Nicholson, Bookser and McKenzie.

This idea that local kids aren’t going to want to play at Pitt is a joke. The idea that high-caliber national players are turned off by any of the perceived deficiencies above is also a joke.

Henry’s recruitment was being handled mostly by House and Haering, not Chryst. The concerns that Henry and his parents voiced seemed to have with Pitt appeared much more directed at the defense schemes and – to at least some degree – House’s handling of his recruitment.

Yes, that all comes back to Chryst. Coaches delegate recruiting assignments all the time and Chryst doesn’t need to be the closer on deals (Gattuso was Wannstedt’s closer, for example). But he better be aware of where these kids stand and where there are problems.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 2:19 pm

Stoosh, if that is true about our players badmouthing the coach, it needs to be addressed.

You are never going to win them all, and who knows what they sold Henry, but offensive recruiting has been going well. Chryst better figure out what is going on with House and Co.

Comment by gc 12.09.13 @ 2:20 pm

Spirit,

Fair points.

I very well could be reading too much into that. I’ll also admit that I don’t know the context of the comment. I’m assuming it was in response to a question, but I’m not sure.

It’s a tough spot. I guess if nothing else, I was surprised by the element of candor in her response, particularly the comment about talking to other players on the defense.

I guess I would’ve expected a more diplomatic response. I can’t think of another instance where the parent of a recruit who committed to one school made a comment like that about another school that was in the running for their son. I’ve heard parents be complimentary or politely dismissive of other coaches/programs, but not really like that.

Again, though…maybe I read too much into it.

Plus, I’m still a little miffed at losing Henry to WVU. I was really hoping Pitt would’ve landed that kid, but they’ll move on.

Comment by Stoosh 12.09.13 @ 2:49 pm

If I were the coach and knew, or found out, which, if any, of my players told a recruit not to come because of their personal dislike of a coach or scheme they would be gone by spring. That kind of attitude is a cancer. Whether they are right or wrong about a coach or scheme they need to either get on board or be gone. No team can tolerate dissension in the ranks.

Comment by pitt1972 12.09.13 @ 9:06 pm

we can keep posting saying Bowling Green is good however if you watch them and watched them this season and look watched who they beat and who they lost to you just can’t say they are a good team. Got embarrased by a bad big ten team. big ten is horrible this year. BG not a good team.

Comment by druc 12.09.13 @ 10:46 pm

Indiana 3 wins in big ten and yet put up 42 and held BG to 10. I just can’t comprehend how that happens to a good team. It just can’t. They are clearly mediocre. Unless we just arne’t counting the games they played outsid the MAC. I mean geez if BG is good then Pitt must be a great team and Paul Chryst is the second coming of Jackie Sherill. Can i please have some of what you guys are smoking.

Comment by druc 12.09.13 @ 10:59 pm

I have a serious question for Pitt football fans. Why would a highly rated local kid choose to come to Pitt? I can understand choosing Pitt over Toledo and the likes, but I’m not talking about 3* marginal 4* guys. I’m talking about the “Big 4? WPIAL kids. These kids have offers from all over. If you look at US News best universities listings; NW, Michigan, North Carolina, PSU, Wisky, The U, Ohio St, Virginia, Syracuse are all rated better schools than Pitt. These schools have all had more success on the football field lately. Most of them have rabid fan bases and pack the home games. Most of them have had as much, or more recent success as Pitt putting people into the NFL. I look at the Bookser kids final 4 and I don’t understand what Pitt is doing there. OSU 102k for most home games. PSU 106K for most home games. Tenn 102k for most home games. Pitt 32k for most home games. Same types of offers for Henry, Nicholson, and Mckennsie. Paul Chryst and staff must be recruiting wizards if they are in the running for these four kids. If none of the so-called big four pick Pitt would any of you really blame them?

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.10.13 @ 12:48 am

WVU has beer in the stadium. Nuff said.

Comment by KeyboardKev 12.10.13 @ 7:57 am

@ druc, Bowling Green did lose to Indiana, true, but did you know that the MVP of the MAC Championship game didn’t even play in that first game against the Hoosiers? Also, Matt Johnson Bowling Green’s QB who won the MVP award, had to beat out Jordan Lynch the HIU QB for that honor. BTW, if you don’t know, Lynch is a finalist in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

Also NIU, was undefeated going into that MAC Championship game, beating both Iowa and Purdue in the process.

Bowling Green is ranked nationally in both offensive and defensive stats and depending on what poll that you want to consider, is ranked anywhere from the 24th to 32nd best team in the nation.

Any good coach will constantly stress to his players to never underestimate their opponent, NEVER.

Bowling Green has all the tools necessary to clean Pitt’s clock if we don’t show up ready to play football in Detroit in a couple weeks. Beating this solid MAC Championship team would be a fantastic way for the Panthers to bring home their first winning season for Coach Chryst.

Bowling Green is a good football team, and does not deserve your apparent disrespect.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 11:45 am

HIU=NIU

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 11:47 am

@bigdawg219, why would a legitimate WPIAL HS football star want to attend college at Pitt and play for the Panthers?

Here’s my short list:

-He has a love for Pitt Football.
-He wants to play early
-He thinks he can help bring Pitt Football back into being relevant on the national scene.
-He is a Pitt legacy
-He wants to get a good education.
-He has friends/teammates that already attend/play for Pitt.
-He desires to be on an urban campus.
-He wants to stay close to home.
-He likes the coaching staff.
-He wants it to be easy for all his hometown friends and relatives to come watch him play in person.
-He likes the other guys currently on the team.
-He feels that the coaching staff is honest and has the best interests of himself and his family as a first priority in his recruiting.
-He likes the city of Pittsburgh.
-He wants to see the Steelers play in person.
-He wants to see the Penquins play in person
-And he has aspirations to someday to be mentioned in Pitt Football history along with other legendary names such as Pop Warner, Jock Sutherland, Marshall Goldberg, Joe Schmidt, Mike Ditka, Paul Martha, Johnny Majors, Tony Dorsett, Ricky Jackson, Elliott Walker, Hugh Green, Dan Marino, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Bill Fralic, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, Jerry Olsavsky, Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Antonio Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Darelle Revis, Dion Lewis, Aaron Donald and soon to be legends such as Tyler Boyd. (Sorry to those that I missed).

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.10.13 @ 12:36 pm

Pitt’s bowl game is ranked #26 out of 35 by ESPN

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Jackagain 12.10.13 @ 12:55 pm

Thank you Dr Tom. You’ll never know how big a help you’ve been.

Comment by Bigdawg219 12.11.13 @ 12:21 am

Pitt has lost to Ohio, Bowling Green and Toledo recently so there is no need to speak poorly of the MAC.

Comment by move on 12.11.13 @ 2:07 am

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