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December 19, 2013

No Luck With Nicholson

Filed under: Assistants,Coaches,Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 3:07 pm

Defensive back Montae Nicholson. A 4-star stud that Pitt really needed for the secondary opted for Michigan State today. If it wasn’t for the loss of Dravon Henry, I probably wouldn’t be too upset. Losing two potential big-time players from your own backyard. At a position you know will need help very soon. That isn’t good.

In Nicholson’s case, there was the extra knife twisting that he mentioned that his final two were Michigan State and Florida State.

I can’t fault a defensive player for choosing Michigan State. They play a hellacious defense and it is a huge emphasis. But it is impossible not to be disappointed.

And along with that disappointment, the urge to cast blame.

It is impossible not to look towards Matt House. The young defensive coordinator who did not exactly impress in his first year. His change of the type of coverage in the secondary, resulted in the corners struggling mightily all season. And seemed to go away from those players’ strength struggled mightily.

This is probably not the right time for me to get into Matt House. So I’m going to keep it simple.

I really, really want to be fair to House. It’s not his fault he was promoted to the spot. That’s on Head Coach Paul Chryst.

With that said, you take a position like that, you take the heat that comes with it. So far I have seen little on the field to suggest he should be a defensive coordinator. And his work in recruiting has been similarly lackluster.

Pitt is landing some really good recruits on the offensive side of the ball. To the point where Shai McKenzie would be nice, but not a big loss. But the defense needs some studs. Some players might develop or surprise, but it feels like it is heading for a rough go. He’s only got one game left with Aaron Donald to anchor that defense.





So beyond the mystery (to me) as to why any 4-star would choose the downtrodden Pitt program (besides being close to home), it’s a pretty compelling case that House is the problem.

Is there any chance that our somnambulant head coach is paying attention and will do something about it?

Comment by BATR 12.19.13 @ 3:11 pm

Bummer. Move on, just another 18 year old kid. There are tons of them out there.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.19.13 @ 3:23 pm

This is terrible news. Dravon Henry and Montae Nicholson would have been two significant immediate three-years starters in the defensive backfield and would have immediately elevated the program. Now, even if they land McKenzie, its still treading water. Big, HUGE loss today for Pitt fans. Bookser, Grimm and McKenzie are big time gets, but once again, losing these two studs hurts.

Comment by Td 12.19.13 @ 3:26 pm

Even with big time recruits I’m not convinced Matt House can be successful as D coordinator. Without any, this is getting downright scary.

This is a huge loss. This defense without Aaron Donald wreaking havoc up front has the makings of a total disaster.

House promotion looks worse everyday.

Comment by Pap76 12.19.13 @ 3:32 pm

Michigan State is not Ohio State or Michigan and never will be.

So losing him to Sparty even hurts worse.

East Lansing is a craphole to boot. And Detroit as we all know is a ‘lost city’ of tens of thousands of abandoned homes and high rise office/hotel skyscrapers.

And he left to represent that area of the country.

Recruiting at PITT should be based to local recruits as an opportunity to represent one of the few northern ‘rust’ belt cities that has re-invented itself and is actually thriving and teeming with new restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.

And the untold opportunities that exist for Pitt athletes to ‘make connections’ with all the Fortune 500 companies that call Pgh. home. (currently 10)

I think it would be quite easy to sell PITT.

Maybe for someone from Wisconsin, not so much.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 3:32 pm

Too bad but this one not unexpected. From all I’ve read, Pitt was lucky to stay in it with Nicholson as long as they did.

It could be coincidence that Pitt having more success recruiting offense…or not. All I know is there is a significant need for upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, and I don’t see any coming from this class thus far.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.19.13 @ 3:34 pm

@@@@@@

Losing the Gateway kid is not the
end of the world although it will
seem like it by reading the comments
on this blog. Agree that promoting
House was a questionable decision
by the HC. The HC will ultimately pay
the price for incompetence and we the
long suffering Pitt faith will continue
to live the nightmare of Pitt FB. Hard to
believe Northern Illinois is ranked. Buffalo
is going to a bowl game in San Diego and
we are going to Motown. How long
can this go on??????

Comment by JR 12.19.13 @ 3:36 pm

Pitt was never really in consideration as his top choices were FSU and MSU. Some local recruits just want to go elsewhere. In four years I’ll let yinz know if he was a loss or not.

Comment by chethejet 12.19.13 @ 3:42 pm

@Emel: Sorry man but you’re way off base here. Do you think lots of Michigan State students hang out in downtown Detroit? No, they’re hanging out on campus, and Michigan State is a pretty big party school, not to mention it’s got a good looking campus: link to web2.geo.msu.edu

And, come on Emel, be honest with yourself for a second: do you really think the average incoming freshman cares about how many fortune 500 companies are headquartered or have satellite offices in the respective cities?

For these top, TOP recruits, you’re not selling the university as a whole. You’re selling the football program. Michigan State just had a great year and got a ton of publicity for it, and that’s an easy selling point for the program. You point to what you’re doing CURRENTLY and are able to reasonably project to the future. What’s Pitt bringing to the table? Hey, we finished 6-6 and blew a bunch of winnable games, we just went through a very public coaching carousel and the guys we settled with are pretty inexperienced. So, when can you start?

Come on Emel, and everyone else for that matter. Bring yourself back to reality. You need to WIN to get recruits.

Comment by MikePITT 12.19.13 @ 3:42 pm

I just don’t get it.

We have a world class practice facility, where you can hobnob with one of the iconic NFL franchises in the NFL.

Does any other college team have that to offer ?

We have a history of producing NFL-All Pro and NFL HOF players thruout history.

We’ve won 9 National Championships.

We have a beautiful central campus area. Nicest that I can ever remember it being.

We have World Class academic and professional programs that are recognized as such.

Currently the leader rusher and one of the most exciting NFL players is a recent PITT grad.

And Aaron Donald just did what NO COLLEGE PLAYER, other than one other,has EVER done. Win the Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik & Nagurski awards.

Only thing with the local kids that might factor in with their decisions is this:

The Post-Gazette’s constant, incessant negative reporting on most ALL things PITT. These kids do read that rag because they also write articles about the WPIAL teams and it’s players, mainly…
them.

This certainly could and most likely does have an effect on some of this.

As wbb mentioned on previous post concerning ‘Perception’. In this case the Post Gazette is creating a Negative Perception of PITT.
They are even starting based on the last couple days, to try to create a negative perception of PITT basketball.

As for Pitt football, they’ve been doing this for quite a while now. It has to stop !!!

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 3:52 pm

@ MikePITT

nice pic….but let’s see one of it, from mid October to end of April. When it’s not green at all. And that by far is the time of year when the majority of students are on campus.

The other point, is we have a campus area AND the whole city of Pittsburgh to play/explore in. Which in it’s entirety makes East Lansing look pale in comparison.

Maybe I am off base but I’m a city boy and in my book I’ll take Pittsburgh and it’s entirety over any place in an economically, on life support, state like Michigan.

Not to mention the crummier weather Michigan has for MOST of the school year.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 4:00 pm

Maybe the kid likes green and white but couldn’t get into Dartmouth.

Comment by steve1 12.19.13 @ 4:00 pm

9 NCAA’s isnt 100% true. But that was so long ago these kids can care less or even know we were good 60 years ago. Its about the now and we have stunk over the last 28 years.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 4:02 pm

House cant recruit House cant coach what good is he
we did not get one great defence of player this year
only 2 star LB both 2 star.
no relly good DB only average ones house is a joke a good offence is not enough.
i tex to the asst AD and said to him the same thing as i wrote here house needs to go.

this class can not be saved on the D side.

i am so mad i could chew nails

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 4:10 pm

Just looked at the Pitt Site and House’s resume. Well at least he is not a liar. No one would put that weak a resume together.

In his picture he looks like a guy that got beat up a lot as a kid.

I guess we are just supposed to trust Chryst’s judgement and that he knows talent.

As I have been saying, and Emel mentioned today, I didn’t like the way he handled Thomas (Hope he is not pissed off enough to try the pros).

Overall, the D was very inconsistent, other than Donald. If he got the job because he did such great work on pass coverage the year before, maybe we ought to rethink it. There was no pass rush and yet I don’t detect an effort to recruit some.

Losing these two recruits alone is not that damning, but when you add it to the rest of the mix it does not inspire confidence.

If he adds to his resume the great coaching of Donald, I think I will throw up. How do you go 6-6 with one of the greatest individual defensive performances of all time?

He should be on a very short leash, if not gone. (see Frankcan, I can go negative)

Ironic that he is a Michigan State Graduate.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 4:12 pm

Emel, you forgot the best wide receiver and the best corner in the NFL are also Pitt Grads.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 4:16 pm

DR Tom this class of recruits is down the tubes
as far as the D
we do well on the offence players but have stunk it out on the D i wonder if chryst is blind to this
House cant recruit he cant coach he should go.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 4:21 pm

should have atleast called Mike Elko last year..but noohooo. MAT HAUSSSSSS

Comment by NOPE 12.19.13 @ 4:24 pm

What I don’t understand is, if the formula is a power running game, you must have outstanding defense to win. You cannot just outscore teams that are built to put up points.

This is Chryst’s third recruiting class, well 2 and 1/2. All the recruits with big stars are on the offensive side. Surely he knows this.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 4:25 pm

Montae, Good luck, goodbye, good to look on the positive side of things. He went to the B1G so we won’t be playing against him in the ACC so that he can rub our faces in it every year if he turns out to be a great one down the road. Concerning Henry, same thing, plus he is going to West Virginia for crying out loud, he actually warrants our sympathy, IMO. Next.

What’s Shai got to say today?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.19.13 @ 4:30 pm

In sales perception is reality…How do these four star studs see Pitt/House/Chyst. Answer is obvious.

Comment by Dan 72 12.19.13 @ 4:37 pm

@@@@@

Kids want to know a coach’s resume
House’s resume is weak. Conversely
how would we feel if PC had gone to
UW? Pitt needs to win some games
The program is in shambles and we all
know the reasons. Painful to be a Pitt
fan. Another big day tomorrow.

Comment by JR 12.19.13 @ 4:51 pm

Lots of other 18 year olds out there??

I agree, I think that’s what Pitt’s been playing with the last 30 years.

“Other” 18 year olds!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 12.19.13 @ 4:52 pm

Dan the man how are you.
house must go he sucks as a recruiter and as a coach.
what i dont get is how chryst does not see this
are D has no big time recruits i am so pissed

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 5:00 pm

I fail to see how a Pitt coach telling a recruit what he will expect at Pitt and not feeding him BS like Gibson does is Houses fault? Nicholson was not in the Pitt camp but still he is local and hate to see him go elsewhere. In 9 months the light will go on for Henry. Did Pitt clean up in WPA. no. But have they gotten the lions share of local recruits yes. You can’t get everybody.

Comment by chethejet 12.19.13 @ 5:10 pm

chethejet yes that is part of house job to sell kids on pitt i wish he was as good gibson at that part.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 5:16 pm

Chet, you are the voice of reason, and normally I would agree, but where are the defensive impact players?

The question is, do the good defensive players want to play for House. So far the answer appears to be negative.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 5:22 pm

With the local kids, they get so much day in and day out negative media conditioning concerning PITT you have to be a good to great salesman to overcome that imo.

Nobody on our staff fits that as far as I know.

Did PC ever considering hiring a PITT man for his staff ? (other than as a grad asst.)

Wanny for all his faults believed in his mission and bled Blue & Gold. And the local HS coaches really liked him.

Do not know what PC’s image/persona is with the local coaches.

But as I posted on the previous article.

We’ve only produced double digit win teams (1976, 1979, 1980, 1981) when we had an abundance of 4 star or higher ranked recruits.

That is our history in the modern era of college football. Just a couple upper end recruits of 22 starters will get you what we’ve been, 6-6 or worse. Wanny had more than a couple so we were double digits in 2009.

If the recruiting isn’t stepped up, I could see us sliding into mid 90′s territory again.

What does Cornhole care, he’s got a guaranteed contract for another 5 years and Pitt got it’s guaranteed big money from the ACC.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 5:23 pm

To me Pitt is a very average program and isn’t going to land many top prospects. It is what it is they are cheap and didn’t want to spend on a DC!!! They lost games and recruits because of this. Truth is I was happy with Wannstache here. Maybe he wasn’t a great coach but kids wanted to play for him and we made a bowl every year. That is the ceiling for this program right now. I have no problem with what PC is doing but he’s only here because Mike Haywood beat his GF!!! GL to Nicholson he made a good choice if he wants bigger bowls.

Comment by Mike 12.19.13 @ 5:25 pm

This is Michigan States first Rose Bowl since I had a redheaded GF from Michigan.

Remember watching the game with her, it was many years ago. like 1987 or 1988.

So that is an anomaly. MSU usually plays in a 2nd or 3rd tier bowl. if at all.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 5:32 pm

Which came first the great prospects ,or the great coach. We aren’t getting either but HCPC is doing well enough to win us 6 or 7. That is actually a little better than I expected. Maybe if the line recruits work out we can do a lttle better yet. We had better score more because it looks a little bleak on the defensive side of things.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 5:39 pm

@Emel The bowls we play in aren’t even bowls they’re cups.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 5:42 pm

@Emel We just spent 5 years in Birmingham and now are happy to be going to Detroit!!!

Comment by Mike 12.19.13 @ 5:45 pm

I really think some of you are delusional. The D is a hot mess and that is WITH the best defensive player in the country on it. Pitt has missed on 3 big recruits in Henry, Nicholson, and Winovich in their backyard. There doesn’t seem to be much focus in the defensive staff on what they are doing and I feel that is solely because House has no place being in charge. If HCPC really wants to be a leader and not a manager he needs to replace House tomorrow.

Comment by Shawn 12.19.13 @ 5:51 pm

HCPC reputation of being an offensive guru and what his offense does is easier to sell. I see that as his path right now. Now I agree at some point defensive recruits will need more focus. Pitt has to sell what they do best. Now I do agree that House has one more year to show he is the guy for the job.

Comment by chethejet 12.19.13 @ 5:51 pm

Forbes list of the most valuable football programs:
link to chron.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.19.13 @ 5:54 pm

lol Mike

I’m not happy going to Detroit.

I was of the opinion, for self respect sake, PITT should have DECLINED that Bowl invite.

This is a NO WIN game for PITT.

We beat BG, big deal; we lose to them, it’s more EGG on our face. That’s a losing proposition for any organization.

And the payout is so small it will probably barely cover the team’s traveling expenses.

And with the $18 Mil we get from the ACC we don’t need chump change playing in a loser bowl game like the one in woebegone Detroit.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 5:58 pm

Oh and it was 3 years in another craphole, rusting out, falling apart Legion Field.

But it was deserving for Tiny to play there as he was another joke.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 6:01 pm

Maybe we are getting all these Oline guys because they will need to change out every series from being tired. Scores should be just like the Duke game every game!

Comment by Shawn 12.19.13 @ 6:03 pm

Seen that Tony, don’t be piling on now.

Cornhole should be proud of that pitiful ranking.
But didn’t you know he’s done an absolutely marvelous job according to pal Nordy.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 6:04 pm

I hope they realized the mistake they made in NOT redshirting Dorian Johnson this year. And don’t make the same mistake with Grimm & Bookser.

These kids need to beef up for a year, not get put on the field too soon, get manhandled, possibly lose their confidence in the process.

I don’t believe many Top 30 programs put true freshmen O-linemen out there to be brutalized.

Biz wasn’t even ready AFTER his red shirt year.
(don’t buy the injury excuse, srry)

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 6:08 pm

Thanks, Chas. So nice to get PC-free, real analysis.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.19.13 @ 6:14 pm

We’re only going to Detroit for a week….Nicholson is going there for 4 years.

link to youtube.com

Comment by Jackagain 12.19.13 @ 6:15 pm

MikePitt:
Agreed. Pitt teams since the 1950s have not been competitive with MSU, as recently as Wannstedt’s tenure. I think we’ve won just one or two games through the years

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.19.13 @ 6:16 pm

Pitt Sucks. Get used to it. Fuckin can’t catch a break.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 6:17 pm

Emel:
I tread lightly here because I don’t want to set you off. Pitt’s football budget is near the bottom for FBS schools, at least according to the Wall Street Journal. Heinz Field is nice and all that, but MSU has a huge on campus stadium which they fill. Pitt embarrassed itself on national TV against Miami. Michigan State destroyed the myth of Urban.

I mean, c’mon, that’s stuff these guys pay attention to.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.19.13 @ 6:19 pm

How do we not suck? Hire a competent AD. Find a Chancellor that truly cares about football. Find a real DC.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 6:19 pm

I don’t get it. How can you suffer through a football season like Pitt just gave us and come away with the conclusion that the defense was our biggest problem? Our problem areas in order of largest to smallest: (1) Special Teams – flat out horrible with the exception of the Fla St game – bad punts, long returns by them, no returns by us, fooled by fakes, fumbles…(2) Offense – at times powerful, but too often erratic, and sometimes inept. (3) Defense – Too often put in bad positions by our horrible special teams play (bad punts, long returns) and 3 and outs from our erratic offense, and, too often playing it way too safe…just my opinion.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.19.13 @ 6:27 pm

How can you think that House deserves a second season after these poor recruiting results and poor schemes and game day preparation?

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 6:31 pm

TX Panther, best post of the day. Also, its 100% accurate.

Comment by jk 12.19.13 @ 6:32 pm

I mentioned Curtis Bray today, he is coaching the D-line for Paul Rhodes, tough year 3-9, but they did beat WVU. Anyway his bio says he recruited Joe Flacco, Scott McKillop and Larry Fitzgerald to Pitt. Not to shabby.

HbgFrank, more worry about the defense for the future not the past. But they also had leads they could not hold this year. Agree on special teams but where do those players come from? You recruit offensive and defensive players, never heard of anyone being recruited for their special teams talents, other than kickers.

The argument is that kids want to come to play offense, but defense, not so much.

You need both to win.

Just my opinion but it is easier to win with great defense and average offense, than the opposite.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 6:42 pm

Do you think Henry and Nicholson would have helped the special teams next year?

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 6:44 pm

I wouldn’t wanted to go to a 6-6 program playing in an empty stadium either.

Comment by Chris 12.19.13 @ 7:06 pm

gc i cant belive it you woke up and dumped the koolaid good job you have saw the light.
now if chryst would wake up and get rid of some of his asst coachs starting with house.
may be we could all start drinking the koolaid but no he will let the asst coachs drag him down

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 7:25 pm

I don’t blame the recruits. They are making the right choices. Pitt isn’t elite. Pitt doesn’t have their act together. Pitt doesn’t have what it takes to win. All are solvable problems within Pitt’s control. It just takes leadership and quite frankly some balls. Why Pitt doesn’t hold those in power accountable for results is beyond me. Again the fish rots at its head. Start there. New Chancellor and new AD. Pitt has some of the best and most passionate supporters among schools. They have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a reason to get into the game. Give them a reason.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:25 pm

Who was the guy on here that told me I was crazy when I said Joyner from Fl. St. Was a stud. Whoever it was said Pitts was better. I just remembered that. Oh and most said Winston on the road woukd be nervous and make mistakes. LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 7:32 pm

So Upittbaseball who among the four stars left do we get? Shai is probably VT now. Tell me we didn’t only land one of the top six recruits in PA. If that’s the final tally, heads need to roll.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:38 pm

Those calling for Houses’ neck off of the past season seem to be off base to me. I really thought we would be challenged to win 5 games this year going in. Beating Notre Dame certainly didn’t seem likely. As feeble as we are I think one could make an argument that we did a little better than expected. The real weak parts of the team seemed to be special teams and the offensive line IMO

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 7:41 pm

PC coach chryst is a good man i know he is a nice man a honest man.
and that is how i know he will never make us a winner.
if you want to win in football you need to be a nick saban a todd graham a les miles or a urban meyer.
you have to have some mean in you.
nice guys finish last

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 7:44 pm

I think we all agree that special teams besides Blewitt sucked. The O line I think got better and is setting up real good for next year. If AD wasn’t on D our D would have been atrocious. How anyone cuts House slack is not facing reality. The man lost two defensive elites. The man is not respected by players on the team. The man is in over his head. Any elite school would not have hired him in the first place. Any elite school would fire his ass now. That’s why Pitt isn’t elite. We don’t have that attitude. We don’t have the balls. What pussies we have become.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:47 pm

Woah, TX Panther, cool your jets a bit — I was actually appreciating your thoughts until your most recent burst. You don’t fire a chancellor because the football team is on the downswing. That’s a joke. Chancellor Nordenberg’s list of priorities is vast, and football is towards the bottom, with GOOD reason. Near the top is improving the academic ranking of the institution, which has nothing to do with the success or failure of the football program. After that is battling with Harrisburg for funding and deciding whether or not to bring Pitt private once and for all. After that is fundraising from alumni, which I’ll admit has a bit to do with the football program, but largely fundraising comes from successful graduates who are wealthy and feel good about donating, which has more to do with priority 1 (academics) than anything else.

I agree about reconsidering the athletic director. But on the other hand, our other sports: basketball, baseball, wrestling, etc. are performing relatively well, and so just because football has been in the toilet isn’t enough to put his job in jeopardy.

Comment by MikePITT 12.19.13 @ 7:48 pm

TX – I dont get excited about these monster slow OL. I want guys that are smaller and quicker with fast hands. The DL’s tore up our big OL this year. Its about quick hands and feet. This isnt the Big 10 with Bug Slow OL. Shai will go to VT and I think we are about done. The kid in GA will go to GT. I dont care about Shai. He is another tear away from being done with football. Pederson and Chryst and House are all content with 6-6 and no arrests.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 7:49 pm

Mike – Baseball played no one last year and had the nations worst SOS. In the ACC we will win maybe 25% of our games. The ACC in Baseball with laugh at our facilities. Pederson is a disaster and Nordy is responsible for him. TX – it wouldnt be accepted in most ACC sxhools and anywhere here in Texas. Hell Baylor now cares way more about athletics than us.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 7:53 pm

TX Panther, I think you are correct in your statement that Pitt is not elite. You and I and many here might like us to be but the reality is we aren’t. The men that run the school don’t see athletics with the same priority we do. I would describe their attitude this way. If most of the time we can compete with the teams that play in the top 20 and once in awhile make the top 20 great. Try to appear to have a well rounded diverse program that doesn’t lose money and doesn’t embarrass the school with criminal activity. That is why they love Dixon, and why they fired Wanny. The powers that be at Pitt don’t care and don’t want bothered. They think our athletic programs are doing great.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 7:59 pm

Upittbaseball, Nonrevenue generating sports do not matter at all to the administration. The cost of supplies for bathrooms on campus is a higher priority.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 8:03 pm

not that i think that is right or not that i like that but i think that is the way it is which is to bad and i hope i am wrong but i dont think so.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 8:03 pm

Wow such gnashing of teeth over one high school kid’s selection of a college. Get back to me in four years on this and then a logical discussion can occur.

Comment by John in South Carolina 12.19.13 @ 8:18 pm

I’m not saying fire Nordy. He’s on his way out anyway. But we do need a new Chancellor that appreciates what the football brand provides to a school via increased donations both academic and athletic, increased gate revenue and sponsorships, better quality of out of state students, and a better overall student experience. I know that Pitt doesn’t care enough. And that’s what’s frustrating. If Pitt doesn’t care, why should we?

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 8:22 pm

And one kids selection begins the pattern. That’s why it’s important. Learn data analytics and get back to me in four years.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 8:24 pm

Spirit – Go watch a game at LSU (Baseball)- Hell their Baseball Team probably makes more in Ticket sales and Concessions than we do in football.

link to nola.com

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 8:26 pm

I apologize for being snippy. But Montae is the second recruit we’ve lost after Henry. I would say they were must gets for many reasons even more so than Shai. I make my living studying relationships. What I see with Pitt is deeply troubling. Recruits must also see it. Just pisses me off. Things won’t get better without making some significant changes. Damn the stability if it leads to these results.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 8:30 pm

Guys we have a head coach that is a good guy but isn’t a leader of men. Our defensive coaches are rookies and not ready for this level. Our school leaders aren’t truly invested in the success of the program. Of course these recruits, their families, and high school coaches see this. The real stink is the city WILL support a winning program but we may not see that any time soon. Like the Oline though!

Comment by Shawn 12.19.13 @ 8:37 pm

Upittbaseball, I love baseball and was drafted by the Athletics but that doesn’t change the order of things at Pitt. I am not trying to disparage any sport or point of view concerning them. I only point out the insignificant role sports have in the overall picture at Pitt. These academiens see athletes as inferior intelects and place priorities accordingly. We are lucky they let us have the teams we have, because if it wouldn’t hurt the university they could live without them. They resent the dollars paid to coaches and think only their sphere should enjoy those types of rewards.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 8:41 pm

This stings, but not surprising. He was linked to MSU for a while. Worst part is losing him AND Henry. Two defensive studs PITT could badly use.

I’m concerned about House and his zone reads. Against UM he gave up 10 yards a pop on the quick hitch. I don’t know why he didnt switch to press coverage. Every D has a cover 0. That fact alone might be scaring the elite DBs away.

There’s still a few good D prospects on PITTs list. PITT can still finish strong.

H2P!

Comment by VAYinzer 12.19.13 @ 8:59 pm

This stings, but not surprising. He was linked to MSU for a while. Worst part is losing him AND Henry. Two defensive studs PITT could badly use.

I’m concerned about House and his zone reads. Against UM he gave up 10 yards a pop on the quick hitch. I don’t know why he didnt switch to press coverage. Every D has a cover 0. That fact alone might be scaring the elite DBs away.

There’s still a few good D prospects on PITTs list. PITT can still finish strong.

H2P!

Comment by VAYinzer 12.19.13 @ 8:59 pm

spiritofsection22 that is true but short sighted ND and texas and outhers pull in big bucks becuse of football and we could to.
i think that is what makes us so mad they could have a gold mine if they spent the money the old saying is you have to spend money to make money.
ND knows this
i know thoes in power dont want to see this but it is true there is big bucks in football for the school if they werent snobs they would know this
they do know this but the powers that be want to be above it lets hope the new man when he comes on board thinks more of money and less of being a snob

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 8:59 pm

But Spirit, we both know that sports and not academics stirs the passion in people and creates traditions that differentiate schools. It is a shame that Pitt’s leaders don’t fully understand it. It is also a shame you were drafted by the Athletics. The Rangers could have used you I’m sure.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 9:02 pm

vayinzer there are some average D prospects left
dont think there are any good ones they have a shot at and am sure there are no great ones that are left on there list like the prospects they lost.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 9:07 pm

Spirit i was drafted bye uncle sam you know for vet nam does that count. just jokeing around to bad it was not the mets.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 9:10 pm

@john in sc, why the gnashing of teeth, why does this hurt so bad? Good question.

At least in my opinion, we won’t be any better until we have better players. While nothing is 100%, Dravon and Montae have the skills to be impact players. They have the size, speed, athleticism, and instincts to make what Tomlin calls splash plays.

If you want to tackle the 4.3 punt returner you need guys that can shed tackles, have enough speed to get there and agility to make the play. These two, are the kind of guys that can get it done.

If you want to compete with FSU, Miami, Clemson, Va Tech, Boston College and North Carolina we need more impact players.

We are losing four this year, two on either side of the ball, if anyone on this site does not know who they are, I would be surprised.

If we want to get better we need eight of them next year. We need to fill the pipeline every year.

These two players could have made a difference on special teams next year. Grimm and Bookser will not. We need four star players on the defensive side of the ball.

Wanny did not miss on too many of these type of guys. There will always be some that want to leave town, you can’t win them all, but we need to win more.

Like was said before, we had the best player in the country this year. More kids should want to follow in his footsteps, to be the next AD.

Where are they?

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 9:23 pm

While we cannot win with WPA boys alone, we cannot win without the best of them. We need to do better.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 9:28 pm

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Imagine you are a MSU fan. If you lose a player to Pitt, how would you feel? Just won b1g, going to Rose Bowl, great defense, Narduzzi Broyles, Great HC…As a Pitt fan I’m almost sold. We are who we are…It is what it is. H2P!

Comment by Bones 12.19.13 @ 9:30 pm

Leaving same shoe on MSU foot. On campus stadium, good crowd, atmosphere, alumni. ….championships? What’s throwing money do?

Comment by Bones 12.19.13 @ 9:38 pm

Bones, we are a BCS program with the most unqualified coordinator. Many of us travel long distance to attend games, and give the program our constant attention. At least in return, we need an attempt of trying to be successful.

Comment by wbb 12.19.13 @ 9:39 pm

gc you have woke up that was well said and all very true glad to see you get it. with out good players you can be just so good and no better. you are right on the button or you hit the nail on the head.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 9:40 pm

Wbb you also hit the nail on the head you speak the truth.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 9:43 pm

Spirit – I agree with you. By the way Congrats on being drafted by the A’s and Frankscan – God Bless you for your service!

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 9:55 pm

gc well said. Perfect assessment of the importance of players like Henry and Nicholson. I didn’t expect Nicholson but getting neither him nor Henry really hurts. Heck, better to get both, because one of them may not pan out.

To get higher rated recruits and turn around a program like Pitt, you need to sell it HARD. If not the HC, then somebody on the staff needs to be able to close a sale.

My expectation is that Pitt does everything within the rules possible to get their top targeted recruits. This supposed approach they are taking: “this is what we are, and by gosh we sure hope you like us enough to come play for us”…well I can’t think of anywhere that would work. Even Alabama has to compete for recruits.

In this day and age, in big time college athletics, slow and steady is not going to win the race. And 2 impact players in every recruiting class results in 6-6 And Pizza Bowls from now ever after.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.19.13 @ 10:01 pm

Iron Duke i could not say it as good as you you are so right you speak the truth,
we really do need a top notch recruiter we need a real good sales men .
i dont think the forest gump approach will get us over the top.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 10:10 pm

I know this is just one indicator, but according to ncaa football.com our total defense ranked 42nd and our total offense ranked 102nd in the FBS this season. That is how you get to 6-6. Fixing the OL has to be our priority. It appears that HCPC is on the path to doing that.

Comment by HbgFrank 12.19.13 @ 10:33 pm

info for you i just went over all the sites that list players we have been recruiting and except for the 4 star WR who we still have a shot at the rest are all 2 or 3 star players.
as bugs bunny used to say thats all foks
i mean it we can not get any more great players this year just 2 and 3 stars left so 22 might be all we take this year unless he brings more of what we have all ready have just to get to 25.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 10:49 pm

HbgFrank, you’re right, I’ll give them an “A” for offensive line recruiting. We’ve had what, four 4+ star O-line recruits under HCPC? That has to pay off at some point. But not much so far on D. I fear a big drop off w/out Donald next year.

I wish I could be more patient, but I see other schools with new coaches having success and I want some of that. You know I hope I’m wrong and all these 3-star guys become the next AD, but that’s like hitting the lottery, not good odds.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.19.13 @ 11:06 pm

HbgFrank, agreed, I am happy with the recruiting on offense, no doubt it is needed. But 42nd shouldn’t make you happy and that was with the great Aaron Donald and a lot of tackles by Hendricks and Gordon.

We need to reload on defense and need more quality players. I don’t see the pass rush getting better next year, or enough impact players.

Thomas will make a lot of tackles if he does not leave and Gonzalez got better. Vinopal plays hard but is too small and slow to cover many in the ACC. Williams is gone leaving Pitts who did not have a good year.

Our defensive ends just are not good enough to get it done.

We need at least two 4 star guys a year on both sides of the ball, we are getting them on the O, but not the D.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 11:10 pm

“Turning down the Panthers— who have also been rebuffed by recent Aliquippa commits Dravon Henry and Jaleel Fields — was “ridiculously hard,” he said. But Nicholson said he felt closer to several coaches on Michigan State’s staff.

The choice surprised his parents. Crawford used to work at Pitt, and his father — also named Montae — is a Pitt alum. ”

Read more: link to triblive.com

So let me get this straight….his mother worked at PITT and his father is a PITT alum.
And House is a Michigan State grad.

Something in this equation doesn’t meet the smell test.

We lost the Apke kid from Mt. Lebo and his dad was Steve Apke who played LB for PITT. And his coach was none other than PITT LB coach Chris Haering.

These guys can’t only not coach, they’re incredible bumblers when it comes to recruiting.

Just incredulous !

Comment by Emel 12.20.13 @ 1:24 am

I’ve said this to the point of nauseam…A 1st time head coach with all of his experience on the offensive side of the ball just cannot have a defensive staff this green. This may ultimately be Chryst’s downfall.

Minus Palermo, who does have almost 30 years experience. Although amazingly at schools such as Austin Peay, Memphis State, Tennessee Tech, Middle Tennessee, and Appalachian St, none of them are as a coordinator, this staff is in over their heads.

Inoke Brecterfield, who may be their best defensive coach, 3 years, 3 schools, all D line.

Chris Haering a high school coach his whole career.

And the leader of this group, Matt House, has a few stops at Buffalo, Gardner Webb, and North Carolina as a position coach totaling 4 yrs. Plus a couple years in the NFL as a quality control assistant.

This inexperience, plus a lack of talent on D is a recipe for total disaster…

Comment by Pap76 12.20.13 @ 1:49 am

Spirit…22:

I thought we’d be 4-8 so 6-6 is an improvement. However, expectations and judgments are made each time the team plays. There’s a chance we’re going to lose to BG in a big way with our offense stifled. A loss in Detroit will not help the program.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.20.13 @ 6:05 am

Unfortunately we’re blowing smoke. The trustees love Nordy,the Pittsburgh sports community awarded him the Dapper Dan Award, and worthless Steve Pederson is going to hang around until his contract is up (no one else wants him).

So when Pitt contacts us with their numerous fund-raising requests, consider just how little impact fans have on the direction of the football program.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.20.13 @ 6:08 am

MikePitt:

You forgot to add: Nordenberg’s obsessions include aggressive expanding of UPMC throughout the region. He cares a whole lot about that. Surely the trustees are going to pick a Nordy clone to replace him. Heinz and Peterson provide TV venues for free UPMC advertising.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.20.13 @ 6:19 am

Some great comments on here. The reality is that PITT will move on, but everyone is right who says that you need these types of athletes to compete and win in the ACC. Worse, is that they are both in our backyard. There aren’t as many 4/5 star players in WPA anymore so when there are: Foster, Henry, Nicholson…PITT needs to be successful and land most of them. Its not like Florida where you can get another 4/5 star prospect. Losing a kid to MSU, OSU, or UM isn’t surprising but PITT needs to do a better job with the elite local prospects. They just have to.

Next year is a big year. Still like the class, as its building depth, but it would have looked a lot better with Henry and or Nicholson.

Keep the faith.

H2P!

Comment by VAYinzer 12.20.13 @ 6:41 am

Henry, Nicholson… these are just the names we know.

How many other recruits and their families are being TURNED OFF by HOUSE but who will forever remain nameless?

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 6:52 am

McKenzie later today. Not holding any breath.

All signs pointing to VaTech.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 7:06 am

TX Panther, Really?

“But Spirit, we both know that sports and not academics stirs the passion in people and creates traditions that differentiate schools. It is a shame that Pitt’s leaders don’t fully understand it. It is also a shame you were drafted by the Athletics. The Rangers could have used you I’m sure.”

There is a school located just a few blocks from the Pitt campus that you may want to think about. No renowned athletic programs, but quite a tradition. It’s called Carnegie Mellon University.

Comment by Barvo 12.20.13 @ 7:20 am

Would be great to get McKenzie, but also not holding any breath.

Good article on PPG PITT Redshirt Diaries about Nicholson. Puts a good perspective on HCPC and local elite recruits:

link to blogs.post-gazette.com

Comment by VAYinzer 12.20.13 @ 7:21 am

I slept off my depression. It didn’t help. Maybe Shai surprises us in a good way today and says that Pitt’s recruiting staff is great and he’s excited about the direction of the program. Haven’t heard that since the Wanny days.

Once Nordy retires I am sure he will be sitting on the UPMC board and doing paid consulting work. Pitt TV games are a great way to advertise the Frankenstein he helped create.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 7:23 am

I think you don’t understand tradition. You mean CMU’s tradition of attending class, winning robotic awards, recruiting 1600 SAT students, having some of the ugliest women students? If so I’ll give you that. But the college memories that most normal people hold dear are those that surround sporting events. Why are you even on this blog? Go to some academic one and see if you can find or create some traditions around sticking your nose in a book.

Comment by TX Panther 12.20.13 @ 7:29 am

Saying Dravon Henry and Montae Nicholson would have contributed immediately or would have been three or four year starters is making a huge assumption.

It is not that big of a deal.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.20.13 @ 7:35 am

Nicholson is an amazingly fluid athlete. A much bigger loss than Henry in my opinion.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.20.13 @ 7:41 am

a much needed heart-warming story

link to cleveland.com

Comment by wbb 12.20.13 @ 7:46 am

Given the turmoil that has existed in Pitt FB for years, it does not surprise me that certain 18 year olds want to leave. This isn’t anything new. How many high school seniors in this area want to stay here, athletes or not? I bet not many because they think the grass is greener on the other side. It has been that way for some time. For some it is. For others it’s a pipe dream.

Chryst deserves about four recruiting classes to turn things around. Yes, the local recruiting needs to improve. Yes, we all hate smiling Steve.
Yes, House did a poor job as DC. Two of those things can be easily fixed. We’re stuck with smiling Steve until a new Chancellor is selected who puts his own people in place.

Comment by Penguins Fan 12.20.13 @ 8:11 am

Nice story wbb, was not aware of the blood clot.

Great to hear Pinkston is back.

The sad thing reading the red shirt diaries is how few 4 star players there are in the region. That’s why it hurts to lose the only two in two years.

Since it is even harder to win the ones from out of town, good to have a coach who is supposed to win with three stars.

Comment by gc 12.20.13 @ 8:28 am

Thanks for the link, VAYinzer, that was an even handed synopsis of where we stand at this juncture. Notrocketscience, although you are attempting to calm the emotional hysteria that is created when Pitt is dissed by a high level recruit, your opinion of “no big deal” in itself is a rationalization. This recruiting class is in dire need of defensive recruits, most importantly the front seven. Even though Henry and Nicholson are both DBs their addition to this class would have done nothing but improve it’s stock overall.

Not getting either of them hurts, they could have been contributors right away on special teams IMO. However it is not a sign that Pitt’s recruiting efforts are abysmal, but lets not kid ourselves, we sure could have used both of these guys, dearly.

Now concerning McKenzie, IMO, he is not an essential get for this team considering that we have three RB’s committed already in this class, and two of them are higher level recruits who could make an immediate impact if they live up to their potential. The real important ones left out there now are both Jennings and Kamara. Even though we have some upcoming talent waiting in the wings to replace Street next season, like Zach Challingsworth, we NEED fresh troops in the pipeline at the WR position. These guys are them. If we miss on both of them then I would call the late recruiting push for Chryst and Co. a failure. If we get one of them, then we are OK. If somehow we snag both of these guys, then that would be great for the program going forward and it should sure help to quiet down the current whining that dominates this blog as of today.

We’ll know soon enough about Shai but if he goes elsewhere, that in fact will be “nobig deal” but please give us at least one wide receiver to compliment Boyd, that is essential!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 8:47 am

@wbb Thanks for the headsup on the story.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 9:25 am

Pat Narduzzi receives $558,000 per year at Mich St as dc. House is a bush league dc in a program that is going to magnificent Detroit while the Spartans will be smelling the roses.
Given the choices between programs in their current states it is easy to understand Nicholson’s decision.
Programs in Pitt’s position have one priority//////Sell the vision of a promising future////ummmm let me think Narduzzi or House///// say goodbye to Mr. Nicholson.

Comment by Isnore 12.20.13 @ 9:36 am

I call the people that control things at Pitt the “plaid crowd”. To understand them helps to understand their choices like Smilin’ Steve. The plaid crowd is offended that a coach makes more than a head of a department at the hospital. The plaid crowd was offended by Tiger Paul and saw him as an embarrassment. The plaid crowd fired Jock Sutherland and lost us Jackie Sherrill. The plaid crowd sees athletics as Neanderthal activity in their advanced world. I could go on and on but in short they don’t see sports as we do and never will. The plaid crowd runs Pitt and every once in awhile things get away from them and we succeed athletically. When that happens they pull in the sails and throw out the anchor.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 9:37 am

SofS22, you date yourself, the plaid crowd has evolved to the pinstripe crowd, long ago. The essence of your post is appreciated however, irrespective as to the current fashion statement that is in vogue.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 9:44 am

@spirit, couldn’t agree more.

Leads to wonder though, WHY??

Tons of other universities embrace academics and athletics. Studies have found (google them), top athletics help bring in more money for the university as a whole. Applications go up. Prestige for the university goes up.

I hate cliches’, but it’s a win win for everyone to have excellent academics and athletics.

Who are these people at Pitt??

Are they trying to be Princeton or Yale??

Do they think they are better than most academically???

There are about 125 Div 1 football schools. We can make fun of some of them, but when you get serious and have an adult conversation, guess what……..

Every one of those schools, has students and alumni that think their school is a top academic institution. No reason they shouldn’t either. Most of them are.

Make fun of Alabama?? Tell that to the Alabama engineer alum who’s making 6 figures. Bet he thinks Alabama is a pretty good school.

The girl at Miss. St, who just got her teaching degree and already has a job. Bet she thinks Miss.St can’t be beat.

My point being. Why sacrifice athletics or look down on it, at the price of what???

We’re a great academic institution, world renowned, and I’m prouder than a peacock to be an alum.

Guess what though, there are hundreds and hundreds of great colleges and universities across this country.

Look at the football top 40. Great athletics and academics certainly can co-exist, not only that, they can prosper and flourish.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 9:53 am

Dr. Tom, The plaid I am referring to doesn’t go in and out of style it is the kind of plaid a Presbyterian minister might wear. Kind of like the plaid in the kilts of the old Scottish regimen. Bagpipes at a funeral plaid.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 9:58 am

Missing on BOTH Henry & Nicholson just plain HURTS :-(

DISAPPOINTING & DISCOURAGING

Comment by The Truth 12.20.13 @ 10:12 am

SofS22, so are you implying that the strings at the University are still being pulled by those who are of old money that have traditionally rubbed elbows with the family types with last names like Carnegie?

I’m more inclined to think that “new money” business types are the influencial movers and shakers in the University policy and politics these days, although that is just speculation on my part. Hence my fashion statement reference.

And I concur with The Truth, he speaks, the truth.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.20.13 @ 10:29 am

Dr.Tom, I have never met any of these people and I have no real knowledge they exist. This is just how I see them in my minds eye so to speak. You might be way more accurate as to their actual appearance. Sport to the people I imagine involves horses, rifles, and hounds.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 10:42 am

We need Jeff Hafley back.

Comment by Hoss 12.20.13 @ 10:46 am

Love what Howland and Dixon have done for our basketball program, couldn’t ask for much more.

However, we caught lightning in a bottle.

Think of this for a moment.

Just suppose, SUPPOSE, no rumors here, just a thought, that if Coach Dixon did take a job somewhere else. West Coast, whatever.

Picture the coaching search in your mind.

Sean Miller?? Ha Ha, he commands the big bucks now.

Some other big name out there. That’s a laugh.

The search committee would take a couple weeks, rumors would fly, wild speculation would occur, names tossed around left and right.

Then Smug Smilin’ Steve would hold a news conference, to introduce the new coach.

An assistant from St. Louis Univ., the head coach from Montana St. or the head recruiter from Maryland-Eastern Shore.

That’s it folks, that’s what we’re dealing with.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 10:47 am

That’s why I laugh sometimes at people getting mad at Dixon and calling for someone else. (only a few, but they pop on here).

Guys, if that would happen, we ain’t gettin’ John Wooden or Adolph Rupp!!

Would I like some Final Fours, sure, who wouldn’t, but you have to look at the whole picture. You can dream, but it ain’t happening from these people.

So, no matter what happens in hoops, we should be really thankful that we have Dixon.

Comment by Dan 12.20.13 @ 10:50 am

Fact – Sean would have taken the job when he was at Xavier. So Arizona and its history had the foresight to hire him but our morons didn’t. Sorry but Miller and Dixon are on way different levels in respect to style, swag, coaching and recruiting. I’d take Archie over Dixon. Look at the guard he recruited to Dayton!

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 11:04 am

@Dan, Dixon is making more than what they would like to pay now. They know they have a good thing in basketball but if he were to have success and command a large bump I can see them the plaid crowd saying no. The scenario as to them replacing him would probably be more ridiculous than when they hired him. My guess is they would probably bring Howland back on the cheap, kind of Johny Majors.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 11:11 am

Upittbaseball, I can’t fault the plaid set for not hiring Sean Miller out of Xavier. Arizona had a need and an opening ,Pitt didn’t. You might prefer Miller and I like him and think he is a fine coach but it isn’t like Dixon had done something wrong and deserved to go. He has done more for Pitt hoops than anyone in the programs history, but you would have fired him? Your suggestion strikes me as absurd. Furthermore so far Sean hasn’t done anything better than Dixon. You say he recruits better, then how come he doesn’t have better results? You like his style better, so we should fire Dixon for style? Swag, come on.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 11:22 am

Spirit – Dixon got Pitt to a certain level but his results imply that’s as far as he can go. Yes, I would fire a successful coach for a better coach. If you had a stock that returned 10% a year that would be considered very good. But wouldn’t you sell that stock and buy another one if it returned 20%??? That’s my point. Maybe you aren’t paying attention but while we are losing to a bad Cincy team with 3 losses and we don’t score a bucket in 10 minutes Miller has AZ ranked #1 and he beats great teams like Duke and Michigan. He has balls and goes and plays good team while Dixon schedules Slippery F-ing Rock. Yes, I would have fired Dixon only after I called Sean and he confirmed he would take the job which he wanted before AZ came calling.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 11:54 am

Upittbaseball, Your analogy doesn’t fly. The stock change doubles the investment. Dixon’s record is as good as Miller’s and at the time you suggest you would have made this change it was better. Dixon has beaten Duke and played Michigan tough last year when they were way better than this years team. Cincinnati has lost twice not 3 times by the way. I am a Sean Miller fan but he isn’t so much better than Dixon that we should have fired the best coach we have ever had to get him. Calling our people “Morons” for not making the impractically bizarre move you suggest is for lack of a better word moronic.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 12:46 pm

Spirit – I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I do like the moronic call to my morons comment. Let’s see what the season brings. I like AZ to maybe win it all.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.20.13 @ 12:53 pm

You could argue that you would rather have Miller as a coach , but the way you suggested we get him strikes me as wrong. I wouldn’t be banking the farm on AZ this year either. We have one common opponent Texas Tech and we beat them by almost identical margins with our game at a neutral site. Michigan doesn’t impress me this year and I think we will handle Duke at the Pete. The ranking is nice but I would be very surprised if AZ is around beyond the sweet 16. The West Coast just doesn’t face the competition that we see in the East and Midwest. Sean is a great coach and I hope he does well.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 1:03 pm

I don’t mind losing any of the recruits over the past few days. I like our current RB recruits. I watched Nicholson and can see him playing as a middle linebacker, short choppy strides. CB is the one that we could use but only if we would put him on an island like Revis. I will now go a different angle as I typically do in these matters.

I put much of this on our Athletic Director and marketing department and here is why. Pitt is bashed bi-weekly in the media with no retort. Smizik, Collier, go down the list. In Columbus, OSU owns the media. In State Pennery, they do too. Try getting any negativity in Alabama or West Virgina, or Clemson, or Tallahassee. We know what they do for police investigations. The point is that the universities have outreach programs and communications and government programs that get to the decision-makers in the media and make deals. Pitt doesn’t and the AD is viewed as incompetent at best.

Who would have let the women’s bball team go winless in the big east? Our guy did after many terrible seasons. Who was in charge when heroin was being used by our athletes? Steve P. Who was allowed to schedule the weakest baseball schedule in the nation, just to get a high winning percentage? Steve P. Trustees don’t look at SOS. They actually thought Pitt was great. Go to swimming, go to track, go to soccer, go to softball, go to lacrosse(?), go to hockey. Let’s face it, Pitt is the victim of accepted mediocrity.

This next part pains me to say. Who thinks that academically we are superior? Pitt is not. Let’s admit that. We are above average, but the rankings are manipulated. My word folks. The universities hire people that study rankings and how to manipulate them. It is business.

How many of the top programs in Division 1 share a stadium with a pro team? That should answer your question. The AD convinced the chancellor to go cheap. To get back on point, the recruiting is fine gentlemen. We can’t complain about the oline recruiting or running backs or quarterbacks or tight ends. We need a quality WR. We have a real nice kicker. We need some defensive help. I would stay after Henry but I like our DL recruits. Need a back 7.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.20.13 @ 11:34 pm

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