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December 22, 2013

The WPIAL Crapshoot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Panther Rants Collective @ 12:56 am

Well I imagine a lot of you have seen the recent news of some certain WPIAL kids going elsewhere. You’ve witnessed the meltdown on message boards, Twitter, and probably read some columns from the local papers.  Here’s some things we should already know as Pitt fans:

1. Pitt has six verbal commits from WPIAL players.   They had around 8-10 with last years

2. Pitt isn’t going land every WPIAL kid.  Some kids just don’t want to stay in PA.

The latest saga with these recent players has been a bit comedic.  Shai McKenzie was upset that Pitt recruited other backs and questioned their loyalty. I guess it’s okay for him to visit other schools if he really did have his heart set on Pitt.   Shai is going to get a lesson in loyalty when he learns about the depth chart in College Football.  Think Frank Beamer is going not recruit any backs next year?

Dravon Henry’s mother took shots at the Pitt staff.  Days later, a defensive player for Pitt took home several awards.  She gloated about Tony Gibson.  Tony was just doing what he does best like any other recruiter: being a salesman.  I’d love to sell her a car.  Can you imagine the interest rate you probably con her into signing for?

Recruiting the WPIAL has never been easy for Pitt going back to the Walt Harris years. Some high school coaches, which won’t be named, even had a hand of sabotaging Harris’ recruitment of their own players.  It got worse when Harris started recruiting Ohio and Florida.  When you recruit elsewhere, your backyard tends to feel a little slighted even if your players aren’t Big East let alone FCS worthy.

It even got hard for Dave Wannstedt in the end.   Wannstedt was recruiting New Jersey and Maryland a lot more.  Wanny had a lot of momentum from Pitt’s BCS appearance. He was landing some big name players out of the WPIAL. Then after some 5-6, 6-6, and 5-7 seasons…the momentum seemed to fall.

Here’s WPIAL recruiting in a nutshell:

1. Pitt offers, they accept and commit

2. Pitt offers, they want to think about it.  A bigger program offers, and they commit elsewhere.

3.  Pitt doesn’t offer which pisses off the high school coach.  After that, it becomes difficult to recruit any other players from the school.

4.  Pitt offers, but recruit wants to wait it out. Pitt lands a similar player and pulls the offer.  Recruit gets mad and complains to Mike White or Kevin Gorman.

There’s probably a lot more scenarios you can add in the comments section.   It’s almost Midnight here and my brain is fried.  Bottom line from what has happened recently….move along there’s nothing to see here.  Pitt can land WPIAL kids, but they won’t land them all.  They may miss out on a lightly recruited player.  It happens to other programs as well.  Let’s wait and see how everything plays out.  Regardless of what happens, we Pitt fans will wake up the next morning and put our Pitt gear back on for another day.





Disappointed that one of my responses was blocked but so be it.

A solid point all around. These kids seem to have no problem accepting tickets and going to games (football and basketball) with the local school even after the Panthers seem to be eliminated from contention.

Recruits are in a tough predicament because they are not afforded help in sorting out programs, depth charts, etc. Recruiters sell a bunch of crap and it all sounds good. Players get caught up with friendships and partying and commit without really understanding the depth charts. The recruits are further hampered in their lack of understanding what these grant in aids are all about.

A recruit can require that the scholarship be for four years and not one. Highly recommended. Every four star that gets offered by a big program should demand it. At that point, they would know if they are a priority. A recruit should also pre-negotiate an “out” if the current head coach leaves, to the point where they can transfer anywhere without a potential to be blocked. Again, this goes to a schools actual commitment to the player. Those are two off the top of my head from a recruits standpoint that I would advise them out of the gate. You heard it here first!

I am not concerned about the group that announced they were leaving the area. If Pitt is not it for you, just say so and move on. Why take the tickets. It goes to your integrity, young men.

Study the depth chart. Study, study, study. Great to play with friends, but at the end of the day, they are your competition to get on the field. Understand that. Again, no need to worry about the ones that go away. Let them go. No sure things and I wish them all well. Would like to have seen them all in Pitt unifo

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.22.13 @ 1:52 am

No amount of recruiting can convince an 18 year old to stay in Western Pennsylvania and play for Pitt if he does not want to. There are plenty of 18 year olds to recruit. A stellar offensive line can make an average QB and RBs look better.

Comment by Penguins Fan 12.22.13 @ 6:30 am

Every program has this-laveon bell from Columbus went to mich state, how many fla players are at uga, Clemson, and so Carolina? This is why getting into Fla, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, etc is important for Chryst. Get who you can from wpial but don’t make it life or death.

Comment by John 12.22.13 @ 8:06 am

dhuffdaddy–agree with much of what you say about recruits needing to do their “due dilligence.” Maybe there is a business opportunity here for a service that provides recruits and families an unbiased evaluation of their options for a modest fee? Probably would need to be a nationwide vs local service to work out financially since it might need to be done “pro-bono” for poorer Kids/families and that would reduce the overall potential for profitability.

I believe you are correct that 4-year ships are available–just not NCAA required, so a kid can ask for such and that is a good idea to test to see how bad you are wanted. On the other hand, I am not sure they can negotiate to have the ability to be free to leave if the coach leaves. They may be able to do it to the extent they can’t be blocked from going on ship at the new school during the year they sit out as a transfer–that is controlled by the school. But, I don’t think they could negotiate an agreement to allow them to play without sitting out a year since that is an NCAA waiver perogative rather than something the initial school that recruited him would have any control over.

This being said, IMHO, the NCAA rules should change so that all ships are 4-year and only become non-renewable due to failing out of school or getting in trouble with the law for other than misdemeanor offenses. Also, for all career ending injury situations the NCAA should mandate the player be put on a guaranteed medical hardship scholarship until graduation or 5-years from initial enrollment (whichever comes first).

Comment by pitt1972 12.22.13 @ 8:38 am

The truth of the matter is that Paul Chryst is the standard definition of mediocre. While Donald is a beast and dominated, this team still lost 6 games this year and last. In both seasons, there were times when the team looked completely overmatched. Its simple. Even if PC is not a “great personality” or “Salesman” in that mold that attracts young talent with a slick personality during the recruiting process, if he could just demonstrate that he could coach and win 3 more EASILY WINNABLE Games, he would have gotten Nicholson and Henry. Pitt should have crushed VT this year, and Navy and NC as well as GT. But they couldn;t get a first down when they needed it or make a stop when needed. There are times when the entire team’s body language is just awful and defeated. Stupid plays, running out of bounds short of the 1st down, missed tackles. Pitt is not going to get these guys because they don’t have the look and feel of a winning team. In two years, they have actually gotten worse, not better. This is a continuation of the last 20 years. Terrible. You’re not going to win games with players like Ray Vinopals and Pitts and Kevin Weatherspoons linebackers that can’t tackle and OL that cannot block and special teams that cannot make the routine tackle. Mediocre.

Comment by Td 12.22.13 @ 8:45 am

Well, you can rationalize all you want and poke fun all you want at Henry’s mom, but perception is reality. Henry invited his final 2 for home visits, Gibson on one day and House the nest … so House had ample opportunity to clear up any misconceptions. FURTHER, if you look at mom’s statement real close, you will notice that she mentioned that it was House himself admitting to having coaching issues … LOOK IT UP.

Now, Anthony Davis, 3-star CB from Gateway, reportedly was a heavy Pitt lean a few weeks ago but the experts are now sating that he is leaning back to Temple. Perception is reality.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 8:53 am

I also think Vinopal had a bad season. He was missing tackles and out of position and getting burndt 85% of the games. Against ND he catches 2 wounded ducks and he is superman.

Pitts flat out was bad everygame. The Defense needs talent.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.22.13 @ 9:07 am

Here is ESPN tweet after Henry announcement:
Jared ShankerVerified account?@JShankerESPN
Dravon Henry’s mother she preferred WVU after the meeting with Tony Gibson and didn’t get the same feeling talking to Pitt’s staff.

Fact is that if you do some research, you will find that mom wanted Henry to go to Pitt before these visits.

Remember when PC was hired. The thought on him was that he was a great OC but not a good recruiter .. and he needed to have good recruiters on his staff. He has Rudolph and Engram on offense but apparently nobody on defense.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 9:09 am

td–I will disagree somewhat–at least for now. And, that’s not because I am convinced Chryst is a great coach. I will just say that I think the jury is still out regarding “coaching” being the big issue with Pitt at the moment. Given the coaching hiring and firing soap opera since Wannstadt was canned and the negative effect it has had on recruiting and the resultant roster makeup–I am unconvinced that “coaching” itself has had very much to do with the recent won-lost records. I tend to think it is far more a talent and depth problem than an x’s and o’s problem.

The scary thing to me is the “catch 22″ problem. You need to win to recruit better talent; but you can’t win without the better talent and Pitt is mired in the middle playing at or just below 0.500 football. We may need a season full of lucky breaks leading to a better record than the talent merits in order to have a chance to break out of this crummy “catch 22″ cycle.

Comment by pitt1972 12.22.13 @ 9:13 am

Pitt could change that perception with the right people, facilities and results. It is all solvable and within Pitt’s control. First steps would be to increase the recruiting budget. Hire and pay well recruiters who know the ACC blueprint. And come up with an identity.

My wish list for Santa
1. Experienced and well paid assistants
2. A new wardrobe for Chryst
3. A third uni for the season
4. A Final 4
5. A bowl win
6. One of Emel’s naughty elfs
7. A focus on recruiting the South
8. An on campus stadium in 10 years
9. Donald’s number retired
10. Peace in Panther Nation.

I’d have to talk with the evil Santa from the South Pole for a new AD and football championship.

Comment by TX Panther 12.22.13 @ 9:14 am

Smizek actually wrote a good piece on recruiting.

No doubt Pitt has to do better, there are issues and it is not as easy as many think.

Td, you kind of contradict yourself, Pitt needs to win more games, but they can’t with the players they have.

That is the conundrum that Smizek raises, you can’t recruit better till you win, you can’t win till you recruit better.

Classic Catch 22.

A win would help this week, but just a little bit. Make us all feel better, but not a “game changer”

Merry Christmas and all that Jazz

Comment by gc 12.22.13 @ 9:20 am

Bottom line: It’s about coaching and not the recruit. University of Georgia gets the best athletes in the country, every year and still has a problem winning their conference in the SEC.

We all want to see Pitt football to go back to their glory years. Pitt had its chance when they hired Graham but something happened to Graham that caused him to bolt to Arizona State. Until Pitt administration changes its football planning, Pitt will remain a mediocre football program. As a Pitt fan for over 50 years I’m conditioned to accept whatever… That’s life.

Comment by MariettaMike 12.22.13 @ 9:31 am

Coach Chryst himself has admitted that he is kind of a vanilla personality, no news there. But a good leader surrounds himself with the best people possible to attend to their particular job descriptions. I’m not convinced that HCPC has accomplished that just yet. Creating a full time recruiting coordinator positon this season was a step in the right direction but I’m not sure it is manned by the guy with the solid credentials and experince re

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 10:07 am

Jamie wins without the WPIAL.

Comment by alcofan 12.22.13 @ 10:23 am

Dan Kabala is our Recruiting Coordinator, I think he has to be questioned along with the actual hands-on coaches, who personally visits and keeps in touch with every high level recruit that we offer, when they end up going elsewhere. Constant evaluation of the process improves future performance. The misses have to be examined.

This staff could also learn a lot of what “seals the deal” by doing personal interviews with players and their family members after LOI signing day to gather that body of information that were determining factors in that decision to commit to the Panthers. Then build on those positives going forward.

Dhuffdaddy makes a lot of valid points on what kids SHOULD be considering an asking for during that recruiting process, for sure. One very important aspect he left out however is the infrastructure in place at the school to support the student athlete academically. The proper tutoring and special needs systems that are in place for some of these student athletes makes the difference between graduating and just being set adrift down the road without a diploma for many of them.

The elite programs are all about the business and the NFL futures of the top teir players there but for the majority of “regular” programs like Pitt, should still be focused on the fact that a football scholarship is simply a vehicle to obtain a higher education that otherwise is unattainable for a large percentage of these kids who go to college on football scholarships.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 10:27 am

Dr Tom, I AM convinced that PC is not surrounding himself with the best people possible ….and I, like many others, expressed outrage at the promotion of House. After a 2 month search, which occurred during the final part of the recruiting season last year, he promoted his unqualified DB coach to DC.

you may recall just about a year ago on this very blog that Chas presented several viable options for PC to consider …. even many with connections to Pitt, Pgh and Wisc.

It seems to me that PC has been directed to (1) don’t spend too much on assistants and/or (2) not to worry about the record in the near future …. develop your young players and coaches and maybe we will have something in a few years.

Of course, the 3rd option may be that PC cannot hire anyone outside of his comfort zone.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 10:28 am

I want PC to be successful here. I like him as a person and think he can grow as a coach. It is important to remember that Pitt has caused a lot of its own problems. It essentially lost two recruiting classes and is still playing kids that were recruited from a different system.

Pitt won’t get every WPIAL kid, but like Foster from last year, Henry was there for the taking. I talked to both of them, and Pitt just did not recruit them well enough. Henry was not treated like the priority he should have been. High school kids have egos, and Pitt needs to play the game if it wants those types of players. I think Pitt could do better than House, as a coach and recruiter.

Comment by Brian 12.22.13 @ 10:32 am

I have a feeling in 10 years some of us will be talking about the exact same stuff here as history continues to repeat itself. AD will still be here. Jaime cant win in March and Chryst cant recruit coach or hire people that challenge and make him better. Oh and that Heinz stinks. The Best thing I heard last night was that Tulane is building a on campus stadium!!!!! Tulane people! The announcers said how in college it is essential to success. Tulane! Pitt cant but Tulane can. All that land where that dogshit golf course sits would be perfect and near highway.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.22.13 @ 10:42 am

@alcofan: Pitt basketball is a very good mediocre program. Pitt annually beats up the Sisters of Charity teams then folds to the likes of Cincinnati. I’m conditioned to accept whatever Pitt’s football and basketball programs deliver. I guess that is what the definition of a fan is. H2P!

Comment by MariettaMike 12.22.13 @ 10:43 am

Its “little sisters of the poor”

Comment by alcofan 12.22.13 @ 10:51 am

Finally, my previous point of the Chryst mild mannered personality, anybody in sales can tell you, ask Upittbaseball, you have to “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. There is no need to outright lie or make promises that are never able to materialize for these recruits but in getting top level talent into this Pitt program requires painting the future picture of Pitt getting back to the point that they have been multiple times in it’s long history of successful football eras. You got to sell the “vision”. Also, there is no reason to downplay such accomplishments of Aaron Donald’s and the other Panthers that are currently playing in the NFL. That’s who Pitt is and recently has been. Looking further back into Panther history can only enhance Pitt’s image in the eyes of recruits, who most likely have little knowledge of that storied history without it being explained to them during visits.

A football program mired in mediocrity can rise to prominence when the right guys are in the positions of leadership, but the recruiting process has to be firing on all cylinders to accomplish that quickly. I’m not sold on that recruiting process with Pitt just yet. Average recruiting classes most likely will result in average results on the field. Chryst and Co. have to upgrade in that recruiting department if we ever expect Pitt to get back to those glory days of the past.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 11:06 am

Calling Pitt’s basketball team mediocre is ridiculous. I would guess that 95 percent of the DI teams would love to have Pitt’s program. Look at its winning percentage in the Big East. No team (UConn, Cuse, Ville) won more games than the Panthers.

Dixon plays a soft schedule, but he is talking about upgrading it. Pitt lost to Cincy but it beat Stanford. It is a probably a Top 30 team this year.

I have faith JD will get Pitt to the Final Four.

I can’t say the same about the football program.

Comment by Brian 12.22.13 @ 11:08 am

And by Top 30, I meant Pitt, not Stanford.

Comment by Brian 12.22.13 @ 11:09 am

The Final Four this season, Brian? Now that is a leap of faith! Dixon’s track record at the big dance speaks for itself.

BTW, does Pitt play a football game this week? I’m sure Chas & Co. will have something about it in the near future, hope it shows up before Christmas.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 11:21 am

Let me clarify my earlier statement on winning games- I agree that you cannot consistently win with the Ray Vinopals of the world and with a roster of short, slow, poor tackling and undersized players on Defense. However, a good coach figures out in the short term how to steal a few games on coaching and leadership alone until he can get “the better recruits” (IE Henry, Nicholson, etc). Now my earlier point still stands–PC could not find a way to beat YSU, NC, GT or NAVY with superior talent to those teams. That’s on Chryst and the coaching staff. Steal a few games! Fake it until you make it!

Comment by Td 12.22.13 @ 11:41 am

Chryst plays ball control offense and even under that sometimes the defense and special teams get on the field. So Pitt is weak in these two areas and something needs to change as one out of three is bad.

Comment by Frank MD 12.22.13 @ 11:48 am

@Dr Tom

Yeah, where is Justin? “Know Your Enemy”

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 12.22.13 @ 12:08 pm

Thanks for this post. There are all kinds of reasons that local kids bolt for a school out of the area. Nicholson reportedly wanted to run track. Sometimes kids just want to leave the situation because there is some kinds of trouble in their lives. In the end these are eighteen year olds. Who knows what is in their heads or what their parents and friends are saying.

Henry may regret his decision. WVU seems to be sinking like a stone. They’ve got the more challenging home/road Big 12 schedule next year. Holgorsen may very well be gone after next year.

To the people that said Pitt was outclassed in many games this year, did you actually attend, watch or listen to all of the games?

The only game in which Pitt was dominated was FSU. Pitt was in or could have won every other game. Special teams killed against NC. Special teams and big plays against Miami. Special teams and a big receiver against GT. Against Navy it was kicking field goals instead of TDs, a terrible punt, and a defense that forgot how to defend the option. Against VT it was OL pressure. In each of those games they were within 10 points.

The margin of error is not great in many games. A dropped pass here, a sack there, a bad punt here, a missed tackle there. Get a grip.

Comment by Barvo 12.22.13 @ 12:30 pm

I Think Dixon will get Pitt to a Final Four. I did not mean this year. An NCAA Tournament win would be nice.

Comment by Brian 12.22.13 @ 12:38 pm

Barvo, a dropped pass here, a sack there, silly turnovers here, a timeout not called …. and Pitt also could have easily finished 2 and 10

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 1:25 pm

Barvo, yes, the margin of error was not great in many of our games, but that goes both ways. Pitt loses games against Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame and Syracuse just as easily as the ones they in fact did drop. This could have been a really, really dark season for the Panthers. At 2-10 the doomsday prepers on this blog would have already had Chryst and House’s heads mounted on stakes with a long list of potential head coach applicants ready to go. The Same Old Pitt should have been like 3-9 at this point, so I see progress. Please fix the special teams though, their performance JUST STUNK and cost us multiple games.

I don’t know what Pitt team roster that TD is referring to above, but the only team in his list that beat Pitt who we clearly are superior to in talent/experience dept was YSU. The fact that we sit at .500 is a accurate indication of the team that we are right now in the ACC. We are what our record says we are. That is going to change however.

Now this same team, with the majority of the same players and coaching staff is going to be transformed next season for one very simple reason, the player’s game experience and team continuity.

We will lose only five game changer Seniors from this team next year. Aaron Donald obviously, and then Savage, Hendricks and Ezell and Street. The returning lettermen that return will be much more seasoned come 2014 and as a team will perform well above their stats in 2013, IMO.

The keys to this team’s success next year will be the continued growth of Matt House’s defensive coaching, filling the hugh hole in the defensive line left by Donald and Ezell and finding the right playbook for Chad Voytik’s development.

The surprises will be the strength of the OL, the newcomers at the RB position and those who step in to take over for Devin Street.

The biggest unknown will be the DL replacements and who are going to emerge as the leaders of this team for next season. You’re going to laugh at this one but I think our defensive leader ends up being Anthony Gonzalez. This guy has stuck to it and has been moved around into more positions than anybody else on the team during his time at Pitt, but now he has found his home at the LB spot and his history as a HS QB spells leadership to me during his Senior year, he’s been throgh it all!

Don’t be surprised to see Chad show up big in the leadership dept either on the offense. He single handedly saved what recruiting class we had when Graham bolted and that will show up in the leadership dept when he is on the field behind Center. The wide receiver corps are going to surprise us too. Don’t forget about our suspended bad boy Ronald Jones, he is going to be back in the mix for next season. Also remember the name Jester Weah because he is going to make a splash at the WR position next year too.

The other leader who will emerge on the O will be Spoon. He will take over for Street in that leadership department at the same position going forward.

The huge question mark is on the defensive line. If Chryst solves that problem, then we will see a a better overall team next year ending up with a better record also.

First though, everybody has to be extremely focused on not dropping this bowl game. Motivationally speaking, it is an absolutely must win game going forward with this young team just from a confidence standpoint.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 1:31 pm

My guess is Justin’s wife had their baby.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.22.13 @ 2:47 pm

Life is cyclical! I used to watch the old transformers cartoon when I was a kid, now I’m watching it with my son! We can only hope that Pitt football will have a bounce back to the glory days! You have to think that they can, what’s the point in being a fan if you don’t? All it takes is that one coach or AD and it can happen. Look at Stanford, they won one game under Walt and now they are going to multiple BCS games. Is Chryst that guy, don’t know but you have to believe. This past Pirate season shed new life on how I look at sports! The unthinkable can happen!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 12.22.13 @ 3:06 pm

Stanford is in a state where there is a wealth of FB talent. That’s what Western PA was like back in the 70s, but no more. The PAC12 is also has the biggest exposure on the west coast, but that’s not the case for the ACC in much of the eastern time zone.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 4:20 pm

That’s why Pitt needs to recruit in the south. And hopefully Chryst turns out good. But Stanford also has always had a President and AD that values overall sports. They win championships in many sports. We won’t be Stanford until Nordy and Smug leave. We also won’t be Stanford until our new Chancellor focuses on improving Pitts academic ranking instead of building a medical empire. Stanford wins with a far better student athlete.

Comment by TX Panther 12.22.13 @ 4:43 pm

Kudos to the Panther Rants Collective for their post. If I remember correctly there last attempt was a little more controversial (and profanity laced).

The PITT basketball is not at the elite level but is more than a “very good mediocre” program. I know South Carolina would be very happy to have PITTs’ success. They fired there coach that took them to two straight NIT championships and have been a dumpster fire since.

Speaking of missing persons, I miss the calming wisdom of Rev George from Columbus.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 12.22.13 @ 4:49 pm

One of the first sane posts I have seen about recruiting the local kids in some time. Kudos!

Comment by John in South Carolina 12.22.13 @ 5:38 pm

Stanford has the 4th largest University endowment in the country at over $17 Billion. Pitt is well endowed but not nearly in the same league at $2.6 Billion. Let’s try to keep things in perspective here. The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees will make athletics a priority when a big $$$ booster comes along and asks them to. Otherwise, they are doing what they should be doing and balancing all University priorities.

I’m sure if there is a “medical empire” blog, they are bitching about not building another on-campus research lab where Pitt Stadium was instead of building the Pete.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.22.13 @ 5:45 pm

Pitt Dad:

Why would they? Pitt’s #1 priority appears to be health services expansion, even ruthless and anti-government, of its medical center. And the university could do both athletic and medical expansion. Football should be paying for all the Olympic sports.

To be successful in athletics, they need to adopt an aggressive campaign for excellence and dominance, just they have done with UPMC. And like UPMC, they need to spend money to make money.

When an organization like UPMC, which clearly has a payroll department but refuses to pay taxes because it claims to have “no paid employees”, an argument so inane it’s hard to comprehend, they are risk takers and outside-the-box thinkers.

Investing university dollars in athletics would pay dividends. At every major BCS program, football is the financial engine. Not at Pitt. Pitt ranks below Temple in the overall worth of its football program.

That’s piss poor leadership or maybe just distracted leadership, It’s hard scheming to find ways to pay low wages to your employees, lie about it, and constantly be on the move to crush health care competition inn your region.

It’s UPMC all the way, baby, plastered over every image that could possibly be broadcast to the nation.

Here in the South it’s football, football, football. We have the #1 health care center in the USA in Houston but you’ll never see a sign or t-shirt about it. You will see lots of Texas A&M – SEC shirts, though.

Donors need to put Pitt in time out and refuse to contribute to football. It’s time to stop the enabling of mediocrity and misplaced priorities. Nordy and the trustees (Pederson is too insignificant to count) will notice that.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.22.13 @ 6:15 pm

off topic … but Pitt-transfer John Johnson, in his first game of eligibility, came off of the bench to score 20 for PSU today.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 6:16 pm

@TonyinHouston – I was trying to approach the subject lightly. The point is not to refuse to contribute to football but to find a big $$$ donor, like John and Gertrude Petersen, to give the money needed to jump (re)start the football program.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.22.13 @ 6:26 pm

Once Stanford decided to commit to its football program, they were able to take advantage of being a school with a national academic reputation, much like Notre Dame. And much like ND, Stanford recruits nationally. Stanford only has 30 Cali kids on its roster. By comparison USC has 72. Pitt has 57 PA kids.

Re: the theme of this post, I haven’t seen anyone say that Pitt should get every single WPIAL recruit. The angst has been about Pitt not getting enough quality defensive recruits, regardless of where they are from, which seems like a thoroughly legitimate concern to me.

Pitt had an opportunity for two 4-star defensive recruits this week – one of which is from a high school that is a traditional pipeline – and got neither. Nobody said this is the equivalent to the collapse of Western civilization, but I don’t understand how you can be a fan, and not be bothered by that.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.22.13 @ 6:27 pm

Pitt needs to understand how to be difference makers in recruiting. They can go into any current 4 or 5 star recruits house and say this. I want you to consider Pitt and this is what I am going to do to protect your future regardless of your decision because I care about you and your success.

1. You will get a four year scholarship, not a year to year grant that these “big boy programs” are offering. At a minimum young man, you will now be able to go back to OSU, PSU and Michigan and require they match it because of what I am offering you. If they don’t offer it, you aren’t as special to them as you are to me. If they do offer it, why did they wait until I did? I do have your best interests at heart son, not them.

This is what sells to parents. Personally, I would go back to Henry and offer it that way. WV did not. He is year to year. Obviously, there would need to be deal breakers such as felonies, conduct detrimental to the team, grades, etc. as mentioned above, but nothing too harsh. There are ways to out recruit competitors and Pitt needs to be creative despite the administration. Be differentiators fellas!

From there, you go down the list of selling points.

The last one should be…Son, we will be getting a new Athletic Director that is respected by his peers and not ridiculed. When that happens, there will be no limits as to what we can accomplish. And while we do this son, we will not compromise our academic standards so that your degree will always have great value. That is of course, if you are not still in the NFL!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.22.13 @ 6:48 pm

Listen, we should have known right then when Pitt offered Heywood $1.4m while WVU paid their new hire $2m what the priorities of the Pitt admin are. Then to make matters worse, the one time the admin does shell out the money, the coach leaves town.

I actually was hoping that, with the additional money that membership of the ACC would bring, the admin would spend more money … but apparently the only money shelled out was a handsome raise and extension to the AD …. a guy who IMO is responsible for the current state of the FB program.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 7:03 pm

Some rambling thoughts.

Still love Pitt’s basketball team. We will have a good year. I won’t predict the final record or ranking, but the country sees us as players.

Had my annual Christmas shopping/dinner with my two sons. They told me about a ESPN special where Clarett was made to look like saint. The bad people were Ohio State and the NFL. Coach Tressl and Clarett are doing charity together around Youngstown?

Can you imagine the stories that will come out, in a few years, about Rushel Shell . How badly he was treated by Pitt and the coaches.

Please, nobody comment about Shell smoking dope, or about not being liked by the team. If these statements are true, they don’t change the poor running game, poor season record, or the awfull recruiting by Pitt.

No, the problem is Chryst. He is a bum! No need to waste my time using more descriptive adjectives on him. It will be a long time before he/we forget about not taking Shell back.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 7:06 pm

Pitt Old Grad, the fact is that OSU were every bit as bad as Clarett in that sorry situation, especially the former AD, a fact that I knew long before I saw the ESPN program. The point of the documentary is that plenty of mistakes were made on both sides, admitted to, and now they are constructively trying to make amends.

If you recall the early part of the recent tattoo/Tressell situation, Terrell Pryor was being made out as the main culprit … even though he was just one of many players over many years who exchanged merchandise for tattoos/favors. As evidence was uncovered by the NCA, it was Tressell and OSU who were turning their back on the many improprieties that had been n occurring for many years..

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 7:23 pm

You live by UPMC, you die by it. All Pitt is…a free advertisement for UPMC. Our university brand is no more and no less than a medical apparatus.

Comment by TX Panther 12.22.13 @ 7:28 pm

To continue … nobody is blaming Chryst for the Shell situation, and I believe anyone is taking it our of proportion if they think his handling of Shell was the reason for the current recruiting issues. If anything, it was his hiring of House as DC as the primary reason.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 7:28 pm

TonyinHouston, agree with you how important the football program is to a school’s reputation and financial well being. Tony, what do you mean by “even rutless and anitgovenment of its medical center.”? By the way, I’m not looking to discuss politics here especially this fuckin govt!

By the way Pitt’s medical school is down to somewhere in the high teens or maybe a lower rating in the 20′s . Not too many years ago, we were in the top ten as high as 6 to 8.

Is UPMC part of Pitt or does Pitt have a financial arrangment with UPMC? I thought UPMC was a separate enity.

Of course, large organizations like UPMC are the future of how medicine will be practiced.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 7:38 pm

Since when have Pitt’s engineering, education and philosophy programs tanked?

Must be within the last month or so.

So much angst here.

Comment by steve1 12.22.13 @ 7:53 pm

wbb, you can spin it anyway you want. Yes, Chryst is to blame for the Shell siuation!

Chryst chose not to take Shell back. The WHOLE country can’t believe what Chryst did with Shell. Yes, the state of Pitt’s recruiting is one of the results, besides Chryst poor ability to recruit. Moreover, Chryst hired House.

Like I said Chryst is a bum!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 7:54 pm

The only future for our football program is to find a coach who can RECRUIT! This does not take any smarts.

I’m so pissed, I could spit!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 8:00 pm

As stated above, UPMC claims in court that they have no paid employees. Yet, if you click on their web site, you will find a claim that they are the largest employer in Western PA (unless they removed it recently.) They are masters of circumventing standards and make large profits that you wouldn’t think a non-profit would make.

As an ex-employee, I know many who make the claim that UPMC’s regard of the bottom line is the reason for decreased healthcare rankings. I know for a fact that Children’s was the 4th ranked (US News and World Report) pediatric hospital in 02-03 and remained in the Top 10 the next few years .. but that ranking decreased after UPMC fully acquired the financial operations of Children’s in 06.

On one hand, UPMC is a model healthcare financially in an unstable business environment. On the other hand, it is regarded as ruthless with every intent of creating a monopoly in Western PA. I do know is that the cost of healthcare is not low compared to many other comparable environments.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 8:04 pm

STEVE1, you have to make the distinction between UPMC (healthcare) and Pitt (the university.) The university continues to be ranked anywhere from mid 50s to mids 60s (again US News.) However, overall UPMC has lost some of its high rankings .. but nonetheless, it still is ranked highly overall.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 8:08 pm

After a year of Chris James and Quadree Ollison everybody on here will be asoon be questioning, “who was Shell”? Old Pitt Grad, you get a pass an immediate pass, the short term memory is the first thing to go, oldtimer.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 8:18 pm

DR.Tom, thanks for being so understanding to your elders. Started taking Bacopa. Hope it doesn’t help short term memory too well for me. Because right now I am one pissed puppy over the Pitt football program!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 8:40 pm

ND star BB player out at ND

link to cbssports.com

academic issues, one day after they blew an 8 point lead in last minute … see, Pitt isn’t only team with problems

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 8:54 pm

Working my way thru the comments.

Watched the VT game, yes the score was close (19-9), but the game was not. Pitt was thoroughly outmatched the whole game, as whenever Foster decided to ‘dial up’ some pressure, Pitt folded like up a ironing board.

Anybody that thought we had a chance to win that game while watching us rush for 23 yards, and accumulating a Total of 210 yards for the game of which 75 yards came on a late late touchdown was not really watching the game. So we had 135 Total yard thru almost 4 quarters. Anybody that calls that competing and not being overmatched is delusional or really hitting the Kool Aid hard (same difference).

That’s one of our losses while looking good on paper as only a 19-9, we were thoroughly outmatched in this game and had VT had a competent
QB this game would have been 45-9. Since they settled for 5 FG tries with 4 being made.

So add VT to the FSU game and the Miami game as that was a mismatch as well.

Will dissect some of these other close losses, as most of us did when they occurred. Shame we have to rehash this stuff, I guess don’t think we’ll remember how bad we truly were in some of these games.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:07 pm

Off the top of my head, UVA pretty much self-destructed in that Pitt/UVA game. Handing us 2 TD’s and that was it for the day for the offense, 14-3 over the worst team in the ACC who went win less in conf. at 0-8. Did Pitt dominate that game……hardly.

We had a Grand Total of 199 yards of Offense and a whopping 11 first downs. Connor ran for 27 yards on 15 carries, less than 2 yds/carry and Ibrahim luckily had a big carry late in the game.

Another horrendous opposing QB, saved us that day, as Watford of UVA was absolutely horrid. While there were folks on here praising how good UVA’s dfense was, apparently Ball State of the MAC didn’t get that note, as the MAC layed 48 pts on them, and over the course of the season, UVA’s defense was ranked 99th in points allowed at over 33 ppg.

So we were kinda fortunate to beat 0-8 (2-10) UVA, as only (D2) Virginia Military Institute scored less points than Pitt on UVA’s schedule

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:20 pm

The Syracuse game was one that went down to the final play and had not that timeout been called they likely score on the trick play of the FG as PITT was asleep and not covering the Cuse player split wide.

In game 11, we had a grand Total of 239 offensive yards. And again couldn’t run the ball at all, Bennett avg’d 2.5 ypc and Connor gained 26 yards.
Some offensive guru.

Again we were saved by an opposing horrendous QB who threw for 150 yards or so, with 42 of that on one throw to the kid who hadn’t caught a pass since Sept, who easily beat the Pitt coverage.

So this was another game we got real lucky winning. Real lucky, a blocked XP which happens about once a season or two.

Those of us who witnessed this game, commented at the time, it was one of worst played games by both teams they had seen for awhile. Probably since PITT/UVA.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:31 pm

As wbb mentioned this team could have easily went 3-9. Played poorly enough to certainly.

And that was with Aaron Donald and Tom Savage and Devin Street and Jason Hendricks.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:36 pm

Good analysis on both games Emel.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.13 @ 9:41 pm

Frankly this team got worse as the season progressed sans the ND game and that game hinged on the 2 Rees gifts to Vinopal.

So their ability to coach up all these 2′s & 3′s is in great doubt.

The O-line was horrible most of the year and only improved a little when they finally put Juantez Hollins in after letting DJ get manhandled there as a replacement for Biz. Some of us on here were calling for Hollins (being a redshirt Senior) to be at least tried since before mid-season, when it became apparent these opposing teams were just bull rushing, over,around and thru Biz and then Johnson at LT.

So with that in mind, there is no guarantee that this coaching staff is going to coach up Grimm & Bookser. If Biz, DJ, Rotheram & King are any indication. And I understand the S & C coach is playing the role of the scapegoat here. As we all should, since so many of us have been around the block more than most.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:46 pm

I will give them some credit, they did apparently do a decent to pretty good job with TJ Clemmings with his move from DE to RT. In some games he got run around or thru, but overall he did a pretty decent job. That kid probably has pretty good feet, since he played DE and is quicker than most O-lineman, better footwork etc.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:53 pm

Thx Doc,

Hoping for the Big W in the Pizza Bowl. It’s not good to end any season with a loss.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 9:56 pm

Speaking of missing persons, I miss the calming wisdom of Rev George from Columbus.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 12.22.13 @ 4:49 pm

Yes where is our friend the Reverand. SFPitt as well. Still remember him being one of the few Pitt faithful to brave the Buffalo weather in that horrid Pitt/Buffalo game of 2012.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:03 pm

link to upmc.com

UPMC is the largest non-governmental employer in Pennsylvania, with more than 60,000 employees.

Comment by Pantherman 12.22.13 @ 10:05 pm

Reverend George may have lost his faith (in Pitt FB)

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 10:28 pm

I think I need to stop following either the Jets or Pitt. I have very shitty weekends in the fall and it needs to stop. I need one day that isn’t spoiled by hopeless football.

Comment by Chris 12.22.13 @ 10:31 pm

On one hand, UPMC is a model healthcare financially in an unstable business environment. On the other hand, it is regarded as ruthless with every intent of creating a monopoly in Western PA. I do know is that the cost of healthcare is not low compared to many other comparable environments.

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 8:04 pm

Actually a lot of these hospitals that UPMC have taken over in the small towns and communities that are in and around Pittsburgh were headed for bankruptcy. As it’s all about demographics in these areas. The Pgh. area is one of the heavily senior citizen area’s in the USA. And who pays for the medical costs of all these seniors? Medicare does. And that means the reduced rate of payment that Medicare pays out versus what the Hospital would get with a payment from an Insurance Company for a person below age 65.

So in fact a lot of those community hospitals around Pgh, would have gone bankrupt and closed, leaving those areas WITHOUT close medical care.

UPMC is doing a service for those communities for sure !

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:36 pm

lol Chris…..such is life my friend.

Question for you…..how’s your Liver doing……..in lieu of your predicament ? :-)

@wbb

Maybe the Rev had some money on ND

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:44 pm

Of course there is always a lot of angst here…and there should be when it comes to a football program that has been mediocre at best for almost 30 years running. Vehemence for dixon and basketball still surprises me considering the overachievement dixon has had with his talent. Will he get to the final four? Dunno but personally i will stand by the man, imperfections and all. But this particular chain seems almost just flat out anti-pitt, which i just do not get. Here is a school that is the 21st best public school, among very stiff competition, with so many excellent programs, including meds and many others. Imperfect, sure. Not top 10, sure. But 20+ years since i graduated and lived in the city, and i gotta say i am proud to be a pitt grad, warts and all.

Comment by DD 12.22.13 @ 10:45 pm

Chryst chose not to take Shell back. The WHOLE country can’t believe what Chryst did with Shell.
Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 7:54 pm

The whole country couldn’t even be concerned with Pitt football at all.

The only ppl driving this story is/was the PC media. Where nobody from a certain sector is held accountable for their actions. And only certain ppl are to blame for all of life’s ills and that sector of societies predicaments.

One thing I think the whole country is fed up with:

is with those promoting this non-sense via the media, tv and the movies.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:51 pm

The only future for our football program is to find a coach who can RECRUIT!
I’m so pissed, I could spit!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 8:00 pm

Agree with this one, who wouldn’t.

If you’re gonna spit though, wait until you meet Cornhole, then spit away.

Otherwise it’s not in keeping with being a Pitt grad. *(unless your really congested of course)

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:56 pm

Ok I’ve read everything….think we need a new thread. lol

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:06 pm

Emel, the reason UPMC is thought to be ruthless is the way they are trying to create a monopoly in the area, and wipe out all competition. Since they own hospitals and are a major insurance carrier (amazingly no conflict of interest especially since they remain anon-profit), they can limit competition vis a vis, charging a much higher rates for competitors (Highmark) for services at their hospital.

As a consequence, Highmark and other carriers are being squeezed out since soon there will be very few hospitals that will carry their insurance in the area. Highmark was forced to buy a struggling West Penn Allegheny health system in order to survive in Western PA. If this system fails, then UPMC will likely monopolize the entire area, and already high rates will increase even further

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:08 pm

What goes around comes around. Highmark (Blue Cross, Blue Shield) had a monopoly for as long as I can remember in health insurance in Western Pa, for as long as I can remember.

That is until…UPMC came along !

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:13 pm

Also we’re getting this info from a media that is supportive of Highmark’s position, not UPMC’s.

Keep that in mind.

Highmark advertises and has advertised for decades on the local Tv stations and in the print newspapers. So they also have a vest interest in Highmark staying in business and relevant.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:16 pm

Highmark also pays taxes

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:17 pm

They didn’t when they were Blue Cross/Blue Shield, are you sure ?

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:20 pm

They did build a nice Taj Mahal though where the old Jenkins Arcade was though. Complete with Italian Marble staircases and $100,000 desks for their execs.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:22 pm

And I’m not getting all this info from media … I am an ex UPMC employee and have been working the healthcare industry for over 10 years

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:22 pm

and speaking of Taj Mahal, do you know anything about the top floors of the US Steel .. er, I mean the UPMC Building?

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:24 pm

Yea I use to eat dinner up there sometimes…

The Top of the Triangle.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:26 pm

Think it’s gone now, it was nice, they had a grand bar up there. Great view of course.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:29 pm

Well the UPMC President doesn’t need to eat there, if is it still exists, he has his own chef (not making this up) …not bad for a non-profit.

BTW, you are correct, Highmark doesn’t pay taxes unless their status has changed

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:29 pm

Looks like Highmark is still a non-profit and besides monopolizing Western Pa, they also monopolized West Virginia and now Delaware.

link to en.wikipedia.org

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:33 pm

Rates for health insurance were always high in Western Pa, because they kept OUT companies like UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Humana, Cigna and others for decades.

Quite by coincidence(I’m sure) the former Insurance Commissioner of Pa, Constance Foster was an exec for BC/BS/Highmark.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:37 pm

Having lived around the country for over 20-30 years, and being in the financial industry.

I’ve never seen one area of the country so thoroughly monopolized by one Health Insurance company for so many decades.

Whatever Highmark/BC/BS gets….they deserve. Believe me.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 11:43 pm

well trust me, UPMC is now the problem now in WPa. And BTW, they haven’t exactly taken over all struggling hospitals but in fact, have closed some hospitals in poor neighborhoods while building new ones in more affluent ones.

Listen, UPMC is doing what capitalistic firms do … they grab as much as they are able, and try to limit competition as much as they can. Personally I don’t like the idea that they can own all kinds of hospitals and at the same type be a major insurance carrier … but when did my opinion ever matter?

Comment by wbb 12.22.13 @ 11:44 pm

How could u say winning 3 more games wouldbof landed Nicholson and Henry?? Jesus Christ people u all are ready to jump ship after 2 fN years! Give PC a chance ..we need stability and once he gets his stamp on things we should be in great shape. I am upset with certain things like the defense but I will cross my fingers and hope for the best. Hail to PITT …some of u need to settle down and quit being whiny lil bitchea

Comment by Tsingtao44 12.22.13 @ 11:49 pm

Wbb, can you imagine if Pitt had choked the way ND did in that OSU game? There would be 1,000+ comments on this board!

Comment by HbgFrank 12.22.13 @ 11:50 pm

I’d be happy if I could watch the news & not be inundated with smear campaigns from both UPMC & Highmark. It’s been going on for years, has ramped up to an all time high, & is thoroughly nauseating. They’re all a bunch of crooks & jagoffs. I just saw Highmark’s new one calling out UPMC for claiming to not employ anyone while typing this.

Comment by Nick 12.22.13 @ 11:53 pm

One thing I think they made a mistake on was not starting mg Voytik..their is a reason why Savage has jumped from school to school ..just wish Voytik had more experience going ‘nto next year cause I think he is gonna be a good player H2P

Comment by Tsingtao44 12.22.13 @ 11:56 pm

Emil, good to see you back. I never said the country cared about Pitt football.
The football country just can’t believe Chryst was stupid enough to get rid of him.

By the way, I have no idea what you are talking about in the balance of
that segment. Can you clarify?

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.22.13 @ 11:57 pm

wbb

Hospitals closing are happening all around America.
And now with the ACA(obamacare), that will hasten.

We’ve got an aging population and then 50 million of Food stamps and 20-30 million illegals accessing healthcare in America.

The aging are being paid with Medicare, the majority of the 50 million on Food Stamps with Medicaid, all at reduced Gov’t payouts compared to what hospitals would get with regular insurance companies. The 20-30 million illegals medical costs are being shifted to those that have insurance.

This is equates to a recipe for disaster. And to top it off, our idiot pols don’t want to address it, because it means tough decisions.

UPMC is doing what it has to do to survive in the environment I described above.

It is by no means easy.

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 12:00 am

thx Old Pitt Grad, appreciate it !

I’ll go back and take a look since wbb & I have been having our little healthcare/hospital conversation, i’ve lost track on what i said concerning your comment.

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 12:04 am

Still can,t figure how Al Sharpton get’s good ratings on TV

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.23.13 @ 12:12 am

The only ppl driving this story is/was the PC media. Where nobody from a certain sector is held accountable for their actions. And only certain ppl are to blame for all of life’s ills and that sector of societies predicaments.

One thing I think the whole country is fed up with:

is with those promoting this non-sense via the media, tv and the movies.

Comment by Emel 12.22.13 @ 10:51 pm

What didn’t you understand, Old Pitt grad ?

and about Al Sharpton, he’s on MSNBC right ?

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 12:15 am

Universities with hospitals are a tricky business. The hospitals hide under the university tax exempt status as research facilities. Unfortunately, part of providing “research” means that your costs of care are higher. As such, the teaching hospitals cannot be competitive in the marketplace because of unstable and falling reimbursement rates perpetuated by our government.

It’s neat to see the actual books and marketing plans of these facilities. They all fear a cure for cancer! Seriously, they do. The worse news is that if cancer is cured, there will be a huge food shortage which will cause an uprising of epic proportions. How this helps our recruiting beats the tar out of me. Support Chryst. Can the AD!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 12.23.13 @ 12:19 am

If the latest 3 western pa hs phenoms(?) didn’t come to Pitt because of the Shell incident so be it.

Shell was obviously ‘walking on eggs’ since before he even carried the ball once for Pitt. Since he was suspended before his very first game and his Coach’s first game EVER as a Head Coach.

If all this is too change the culture of Pitt football, and to somehow transform us into the
‘Stanford’ of the East, I’m all for it.

It would be nice if us alumni were ‘clued in’ with a letter from the Admin. that doesn’t have to spell this out verbatim, but hint at it, around the edges.

I think you would see a ‘sea change’ in the outlook of a lot of us.

H2P !
VeV !

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 12:34 am

Emel, if you want to look at the recent profits of Pittsburgh’s 4-letter giant, you will find that they are doing a hell of a lot more than ‘surviving.’ which leads to the question … just how much profit should a non-profit make?

Yes, Highmark was also guilty of this .. but that doesn’t make it right.

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 7:02 am

wbb, amen to that. Emel the ACA will help hospitals by reducing ER visits and through more people being insured demand will increase. Margins may narrow, but as web said does a non-profit really need a 2 billion + surplus?

Comment by gc 12.23.13 @ 8:32 am

and a 50 million dollar jet airplane. The only people enjoying the UPMC – Highmark battle are the lawyers and the media, they are cashing in big time.

Maybe they ought to let Romoff run the football program, he does get results.

Comment by gc 12.23.13 @ 8:42 am

@@@@@@

Thankful that JD is our BB coach
Glad Chryst stayed rather than go to UW
Focusing on the WPIAL players who
have committed to Pitt
The star rating system is largely BS
Chryst deserves a chance
Pitt’s seeding in the NCAA will be determined
by its conference record
Hoping we get a committ from a wide
receiver to compliment TB
Anytime ND loses I am happy

Comment by JR 12.23.13 @ 8:43 am

This is how ESPN rates Pitt’s move to the ACC (and we were the 36th most watched football team this season). The BIG question is the last line from the report.
5. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
The move: Big East to ACC
Improved visibility: B
Competitive standing: C
Future outlook: C
Overall grade: C

In joining the ACC’s Coastal Division, Pitt joined a mob of mediocrity. So far, the Panthers have done little to distinguish themselves, either.

Pitt enjoyed more TV exposure in the ACC as the 36th-most-watched team this year thanks to games against Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame.

But the ACC hasn’t really delivered much of a recruiting uptick, as the Panthers have only two fouhttp://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10170091/texas-missouri-top-realignment-scorecard-colorado-suffers?ex_cid=espnapi_publicr-star prospects committed.

The opportunity is there for Pitt to make the next step. Only the Panthers haven’t shown signs they will be able to take advantage.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.23.13 @ 8:51 am

Here’s an un-jumbled link:

link to espn.go.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.23.13 @ 8:53 am

@ Tsingtao44, most of the posters on here who are motivated enough to take the time to express their comments are also impatient enough to be clamoring for changes before the changes already in place have the opportunity to sprout their potential. I’m with you on giving this current coaching staff the 4 years necessary to lay out their results to the fan base and show us what their best shot is. That’s 2015. The next 2016 season Pitt vs. penn state starts up again and that is the year heads roll if a .500 season is still the standard result to a season’s record, especially if we lose to penn state. As Emel (and others) have already eluded to, this Pitt team at 6-6 is what everybody expected preseason, it could have been A LOT worse. Now that we’ve got it, some are already clamoring for a new staff. Ignore it, just white noise. More important is seeing if the decisions that HCPC has already made, House to DC for example, starts paying dividends shortly.

We’ve invested the season in getting his feet wet at this post, now can he show that he is maturing into that role or was that time and effort wasted? House has had a few weeks to study Bowling Green. I’m going to be very interested in this game on Thursday for that very reason. Not withstanding the special team play, (which is not House’s responsibility but could have a bearing on the game too) Pitt’s defensive effort against a very productive Bowling Green offense will be the key to victory for Pitt. You would think that Pitt should be able to dominate this game, but I’m not sure we can even hang with these guys, which is just sad in the first place. But if House surprises me with a defensive effort that can limit the scoring potential of this team, then he has my vote of confidence going into the Spring. This is one of the reason why the Pizza Bowl matters.

BTW, Old Pitt Grad, what is it with you and Rushel Shell? Believe me, I once loved him too, and was sky high when he came to Pitt. He’s from my old HS! He is following in Dorsett’s footsteps! But you know what, he’s a slouch, not a team player and thinks that his HS records made him somebody special. Shell fu*ked himself over, not Chryst. Coach Chryst was applauded by most for sticking to his guns and not allowing this spoiled brat to weasel his way back into the Pitt team. Shell would have added nothing to the team this year other than a subversive undercurrent of speicail treatment that Pitt football doesn’t need right now. I’m glad that he is a hoopie now. Get over it.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 8:56 am

I’m tired of the hoopla over 18-year-old kids.The press conferences, etc. I’ll wait and cheer for the ones who show up.

Comment by jack 12.23.13 @ 9:02 am

wbb, Pitt could have a great recruiter for the defense, but I won’t go there anymore. It’s pointless! It’s why Pitt will always be mediocre.

Comment by jack 12.23.13 @ 9:07 am

Was USC playing Fresno St comparable to Pitt playing Bowling Green?

Will we avoid the poor starts of NC and Miami? Will we see the offense of the Duke first half?

The seniors deserve to go out on a high.

If Street plays, we win.

Comment by gc 12.23.13 @ 9:14 am

Speaking of special teams – as well as the Steelers special teams have done at times, poor play cost them 3 games and the playoffs.

Dr. Tom – totally agree & support your comments – the next two years (when HCPC recruits starts to influence the outcome) will be measuring sticks. Also, keep in mind the competition outside the ACC gets tougher and you have to assume the ACC teams will also get better, so a 9-3 or even an 8-4 will not be easy to come by.

Happy Holidays, H2P!!

Comment by markp 12.23.13 @ 9:15 am

BTW @ Old Pitt Grad, I fully agree with Dr. Tom. Shell was a problem child from the getgo. Coach Chryst absolutely made the right decision when he let him walk. Get over it! We are way way better off without him.

Merry Christmas to all my fellow Blatherers! H2P!!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 12.23.13 @ 9:24 am

@ Jack, Could he of who you refer to have the initials TB? I suggest that you don’t give up that idea just yet. If Pitt’s defense gets embarrassed by an unstoppable Bowling Green offensive performance, then I’ll be lowering my banner of support for Chryst’s questionable hire for the current DC, as well.

Considering the reduced NCAA sanctions that have already occurred against pedo state and the fact that any apparent stigma attached to the pedophiles in happy valley continue to evaporate more so day by day, I find the argument that TB is still radioactive due to Sandusky’s sexual transgressions less and less valid.

I totally agree with you on the enhanced clout that this coaching staff would have had with TB on board, even if he comes in at a position like recruiting coordinator, forgetting about the DC controversy altogether.

You have to think that guys like Henry and Apke could have been Panther commits if he was the guy responsible for their recruitment this season in the first place.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 10:05 am

As always we want Pitt to succeed but sometimes frustration overwhelms us. FB just cannot get going and BB hangs in there. Pitt is an attraction on TV because we have fans across the nation and are connected to the Steelers. Kids will be kids and I just hope Chryst knows what he is doing. Jamie may get lucky one year in the NCAA.

Comment by Frank MD 12.23.13 @ 10:28 am

Said this before and I will say this again…HCPC is here at least until his contract runs out. Now, I dont think based off what we have seen with recruiting and product he will be what we need to compete but he is ours and that isnt going to change. I liked HCDW but always got upset because he wasn’t an offensive guy but always thought he was. Instead of going out and getting a good asst coach he tried to make due and ended up losing his job because of it. I feel HCDW couldnt identify his weakness and therefore couldnt fix them. Despite this I think HCDW was a leader.

I see HCPC a little different. I fear he is a manager. It appears to me that he surrounds himself with yes men. I dont think anyone would have thought he would hire a guy with a paper thin resume for DC last year but he did. Why would he really do that? Pitt’s recruiting has been a hot mess for the most part so why is Desmond Robinson and Dann Kabala still employed? I understand people saying 2 and 3* recruits can be coached up but lets face some facts. Pitt is recruiting 4* and they arent landing but a very small fraction of them and there are reports that its because this coaching staff is incompetent. If those coaches that are recruiting these kids are messing up why are they still employed? Its a very valid question!

Rushel Shell…yeah he is an ignorant, self-obsessed, punk. I think most everyone would agree with this but he is also very good at football and a kid that can still be molded given some true guidance and direction. A leader would recognize this and take on the challenge. Now, I cant speak for how he interacted with the rest of the players but I can tell you he interacts with those kids we are trying to recruit now. Additionally, when he decided he wanted to come back to Pitt HCPC and the team captains had a huge bargaining chip they could have played that could have helped in changing Shell’s attitude.

BLUF I truly like HCPC as a person and I hope he does show me I’m stupid and dont know anything about football BUT I dont think it will happen. I think HCPC is a great manager and managers are best used as coordinators. College football coaches need to be leaders that are willing to make hard decisions in a timely manner. HCPC just hasnt shown me this and that is why I fear he isnt gong to be successful as a head coach at Pitt or anywhere for that matter.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. And while I see there is a lot of disagreement in Panther nation I am happy because it means we still have passionate fans who care! H2P!!!

Comment by Shawn 12.23.13 @ 10:31 am

Shady McCoy best second round pick ever.

Comment by alcofan 12.23.13 @ 10:50 am

Shawn,
Good post. Pride could be a potential pitfall for any HC, especially an inexperienced one. In other words, you need to have the right guys around you and let them do their jobs. Only time will tell re HCPC, but I too hope you are wrong. I think HCPC could be a very successful HC with the right guys around him. I believe HCDW could have been successful too, but his poor game management and scheming always limited his teams- if he had gotten a good OC and let him run the offense, he may have been successful. In PC’s case, I’d like to see a good DC hired who can command respect, and I think we’d be set.

Comment by 1618mt 12.23.13 @ 10:55 am

Tom Brady was a 6th round pick; Roberto Clemente was a Rule 5 pick-up; James Harrison was an undrafted free agent.

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 10:58 am

@@@@@@

Anyone who is upset about the loss
of Shell doesn’t understand the negative
implications to the team when one player
is treated differently from others. I support
the coach. Our RBs will be better next year

Also the plan to build the O-line is a good one
RBs and QBs get killed other wise.

Let’s beat BG on Thursday

Comment by JR 12.23.13 @ 11:10 am

@ Shawn, First off, I also want to see HCPC succeed, but if he does, that will be mutually exclusive of your knowledge base or the level of your intellegence. Personally, I think that HCPC has shown some leadership with this team already. The one instance that impressed me with his ability to make a “hard decision” as you say, was the one he made about the Shell debacle. Shell caused his own hot mess with that one and I think that Chrst made a very difficult decision NOT to let him back. I think that our running game this season would have been better with him here than not, but the team’s unity and the underlying work ethic and personal responsibility Chryst is attempting to instill into the players on this team would have been negatively affected, IMO. So that was a tough one for Chryst to stand by, because in the short term he would have had a more effective running game this season, but he refused to let the short term benefit over ride his longterm philosophy.

The other leadership move I think he showed the Pitt Faithful, is that that he made no moves towards showing his interest in the Wisky HC job, when it became available. Yeah, I know the public relations effort put forth by his previous boss that said that he never offered it to Chryst, but the fact is, if a guy like Fraud Graham had had that same situation presented to him, a guy like him would have been beating down the Wisky’s AD door for a chance to come back for his “dream job”. If Chryst had petitioned for that job, I think that he would have been considered a front runner and maybe many on the Blather would already have gotten their wishes for a new coaching staff already, if in fact he had bolted back to Wisconsin to take that HC position. But Chryst never even entertained the issue because he had made a commitment to the Pittsburgh HC job and he stood firm in that decision.

Also, I think the term “incompetent” is too severe a discription for Pitt’s staffs recruiting efforts, but I would like them to be much “more effective” in closing on some of their high level targets, improvement IS necessary in recruiting no doubt about that.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 11:12 am

Dr. Tom – maybe a work in progress for HCPC and his staff. In the professional world, if you get a new assignment and/or get promoted, there is a transition period to come up to speed and perform better. HCPC’s whole staff is new to their job.

Comment by markp 12.23.13 @ 11:38 am

@@@@@@

Players can succeed at Pitt. AD for
instance. Also look at Shady. He might
win the rushing title this year and a huge
contract. Better days ahead for Pitt.

Comment by JR 12.23.13 @ 11:50 am

Then let those better days begin with a surprising decisive win ove the MAC Champs on Thursday, JR.

I’m wondering why we have no thread of interest about the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl yet on the Blather. I sincerely hope that the team is more charged up about the bowl than the rest of the media is about it. Three days prior to the game and I’m still hearing nothing but CRICKETS about the match up from any of the Pitt media sights.

I betchya that Bowling Green is charged up for the game though. Appreciate the game and respect your opponent. As I’ve been saying for two weeks, this is a MUST WIN game for Pitt for multiple reasons. If we La De Da the prep for this game against a lowly MAC team we are going to get our lunch eaten and embarrassed, anybody remember YSU?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 12:34 pm

Dr. Tom, I don’t think of the MAC as lowly. Remember YSU? Pitt will be fortunate to beat Bowling Green. We need to get real and understand that right now Pitt would have difficulty competiting in the MAC let alone become their champion like Bowling Green.

Comment by MariettaMike 12.23.13 @ 12:54 pm

MM, implied sarcasm.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 12:59 pm

Hey what do you know, some talk about the bowl game.

link to cardiachill.com

Good Q & A for future discussion on here when a bowl game thread is actually posted.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 1:24 pm

Fellow Blatherites…. I just wanted to weigh in briefly regarding the WPIAL talent going elsewhere. As others have mentioned, sometimes local kids just don’t want to go to the local school. I am from MD and purposely went to Pitt to get away from home, to meet new people, experience a new city, etc. Probably half my high school class went to Maryland and I just didn’t want to be a part of that scene, so I completely understand kids wanting to go somewhere else. Now if their main reason for not picking Pitt is because of the staff or team performance then of course those are other issues that have to be addressed. Let’s beat BGSU and hope that has some carryover!

Comment by J-Man 12.23.13 @ 1:48 pm

Just got done reading those articles, that I linked above, from CardiacHill and Hustle Belt on the bowl game. Man, what a different vibe provided between the two sites, Ours, blaaahhh, Theirs, “It’s never too early to start the hype” is quoted in the second sentence of their Pizza Bowl preview. Now who do you think might be more motivated to play in this game???? Lots of opinions that I don’t agree with detailed in these previews.

I’m still waiting for that one game of the season that Pitt decides to show up as a complete team on both sides of the ball for a full 60 minutes. ND almost was that game but not quite. So I would greatly appreciate it if the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl is the game that the Panthers come out, hungrey, prepared and ready to kick some serious ass. I couldn’t think of a nicer send off for Aaron Donald to the NFL draft than a dominating performance by him and his team in his last game in a Panther uniform.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 2:05 pm

Dokish is making the case that the WPIAL is still a source of D-1 talent.

No surprise here.

Truth is… the GAMECHANGERS are far and few between, wherever they come from.

But, no matter how well a program recruits… the long-held belief espoused by some that it’s MOSTLY recruiting and not coaching that makes the different… simply isn’t true. 50-50 is probably a lot closer to the truth.

Ohio State is one prime example of where a Head Coach and his staff can make an immediate impact.

At Pitt, the re-establishment of a Top 25 program that every four years or so makes a run at the Top 10 is possible with the consistent recruitment of a good balance of “decent” talent sprinkled with a few standouts.

However, it does require coaching… not just from the Head Coach… but from a COMPLETE coaching staff that can also do its share of recruiting.

Chryst has yet to prove he has put one in place… and the clock is ticking.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.23.13 @ 2:59 pm

Speaking of the Chryst Staff… what’s the story with the replacement of Todd Rice?

After taking a risk with the promotion of HOUSE… I would think that the SMART move by Chryst at this point would be to place it safe with a totally logical hire for Strength and Conditioning that few if any would question.

There’s only one name that comes to mind that would fulfill this need.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.23.13 @ 3:07 pm

POD, recruiting is definitely much higher than 50 percent to be a successful college coach. My guess is 80 percent evaluating and recruiting the right high school players. If you successfully recruit a high percentage of your targets but they turn out to be very averge or below players, you lose and then are fired. recruiting is much more than getting yeses. It is getting yeses from players with an upside, not ones that have already peaked in high school. But it still remains a fact – if you can’t recruit, you will lose and be fired. You cannot win in today’s D1 without good talent.

Comment by RayHpgh 12.23.13 @ 3:24 pm

PittofDreams it ain’t gonna Happen!!

Smiling Stevie and Buddy are NOT ON THE SAME PAGE.
When Buddy left he made several remarks directed at our brilliant AD that have closed the door to a return.

Comment by isnore 12.23.13 @ 3:26 pm

Ray… don’t know that I disagree with your points.

50-percent emphasis on recruiting leaves plenty of room for recruiting of players with upside.

But that “upside” isn’t ever going to be reached without some SOLID coaching by a staff that is complete from top to bottom.

Yes, Meyer is an extreme example… but still an example of how a TOP Coach and his Staff can immediately transform players into winners.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.23.13 @ 3:35 pm

isnore… that’s too bad.

Chryst better get lucky then with whoever he tabs.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.23.13 @ 3:36 pm

Why is it that every time a position opens on the staff we have to hear calls for a former Pitt person to be hired? If Buddy Morris was so great he would have a job with a football team. He has not had such a position in years.

How about Pitt hires the person most freaking qualified?

As for Dokish, his list makes a case for D1 talent in the WPIAL. It also makes a case for the star ranking being inaccurate.
Many of the players on that list were not 4 star rated but ended up being very successful in D1.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.23.13 @ 3:46 pm

You are on fire today, Dr. Tom. You make excellent points.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.23.13 @ 4:01 pm

Pitt Dad:
How much money would a donor need to give to influence the direction of the program? One of the compliments former Pitt great Brian Generalovich made about Pederson is an increase in fund-raising under his leaderhship. So how much will it take to penetrate the Nordenberg & trustees shield of mediocrity.

Another point: I’m not a fan of Nordenberg but I acknowledge he is skilled at getting what he wants. If Nordy really focused on athletics, using football as the potential money-maker, Pitt would be a perennial Top 25 program. If he really wanted to…

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.23.13 @ 4:10 pm

And here I thought it was that Taco Bell lunch that I ate today.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 4:11 pm

PoDreams.

Not sure it is 50/50 and sure Ohio State was 6-7 the year before Meyer got there but they were 12-1 the year before that and have won 10+ games just about every year for the past 10. Meyer’s gone 24-1 with Tressel’s junior’s and seniors. Ohio State has recruited 50-4* players and 5-5* players the past four years. The talent pipeline was OVERFLOWING with riches when Meyer took over. We’ve only recruited 43-4* players the past 13 years combined.

The past four years of recruiting:
Auburn: 6-5* and 50-4*
FSU: 9-5*, 40-4*
Stanford: 4-5*, 29-4*
Pitt: 1-5* and 12-4*

The correlation between recruiting and wins vs. coaches and wins is much stronger, IMO.

I think some of you guys have selective memory about Pitt’s historically abysmal recruiting.

Go back and look our recruiting class in 2010, the year after our 10-3, bowl win season. 9-4 the year before. Undoubtedly the best position Pitt football had been in in 40 years, no?

What did we get recruit-wise? Four 4* players total, NONE FROM THE WPIAL (according to Rivals). Only five total recruits from the WPIAL that year (Penn State had four 4* recruits that year from the WPIAL as a point of comparison). Only ONE (“1″) of the top 20 players in the state of PA committed to Pitt that class.

We signed 6 of the top 22 PA players last year and 7 of the top 23 are committed so far for 2014.

I bet our recruiting competition never fails to mention that we’ve had almost twice as many head coaches (7) as winning seasons (4) in the past 10 years.

Not saying the recruiting is great and certainly wish it was better, but WOW, talk about revisionist history.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 12.23.13 @ 4:17 pm

I’m sure most of you guys saw that CJ Leggett, the guy we thought would come to Pitt if Shai went elsewhere, committed to Georgia Tech over the weekend.

Comment by JJ 12.23.13 @ 4:30 pm

Correction: UPMC is the largest employer in the region and second largest employer in the state.

Comment by TonyinHouston 12.23.13 @ 4:39 pm

Wow only 4 winning seasons, I think it’s 5 (if we’re counting 2003 (8-5)) but still that’s the definition of mediocrity. 5 winning seasons in 10 years (if it’s 4 we are below mediocre)

The 2010 recruiting class blew up because DW was forced out, and then the boondoggle of hiring Baby Mac Daddy for 2 weeks.

I think I posted this before but it bears repeating. In the position PITT finds itself, just geographically, in between 2 powerful football programs. Yes Pedo State is still powerful, as they’re Top 5 when it comes to producing football revenue, and of course Ohio Fake is Top 5 as well, in both revenue and winning. Just this fact ALONE, to me, means we need an ultra dynamic HC to have even a chance of competing.

Into the mix is also the fact, in our hometown, the major newspapers give us the short shrift, and the other tv/radio media does as well. In our hometown, over 50% of the population or close are Pedo State or Wvcc graduates or attendees or just plain fans of.
This demographic might be why the local 2 big newspapers actually seem to revel in covering PItt in a ‘negative’ way. And seem to actually cater to them. (example – day after Aaron Donald swept the Outland & Nagurski Awards, nothing at all on the PG’s homepage while they did have a headline on something trivial Pedo State.)

In my opinion this is why they covered DW in such a negative light and reveled in his failures. They knew as I knew, he provided one thing PITT hadn’t had for decades,……..stability. And a coach who had street cred based on his extensive resume and NFL Head Coaching experience. No matter how they dissed him, they couldn’t take that away from him.

You’re not going to see many or any negative articles about PC. The local media is quite happy he is Pitt HC. They see him as no threat to making inroads into Pedo State’s dominance in recruiting and soon all their sanctions will be over. They weathered the storm while Pitt tripped over itself (repeatedly I might add).

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 5:06 pm

First off, that liar Shell put himself in his own hot mess! Good riddance! Have fun in a spread offense with all the jucos Cheat Lake CC is reeling in. Interested to see that report out Pedo State that O’Brien has recently requested that his pro buy-out clause be further reduced. Can only imagine the amount of dough the Redskins and Cowgirls would offer him to take over. Can’t see him with the Jets as that is the hoodie’s division. Go pro Bill, you know you can do the job of head coach in the NFL! Very proud of the senior football class! Thank you for standing tall in the trenches thru some trying times. Beat BG and best of luck to all of you in the future. H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 12.23.13 @ 5:08 pm

Pardon me while I digress…

41 years ago today, I was a 12 year old newspaper boy delivering the Saturday afternoon Pgh Press. My route took me down Morrison Drive In Mt Lebanon. I stopped at 410 Morrison and chatted for a moment with the Rev. Kelly, who was washing his car on an unseasonably warm day.

The Steelers were playing the Raiders in their first-ever playoff game and he had it on the radio. Things sounded good until Ken Stabler scrambled late for a TD.

The Steelers found themselves faced with 4th and long from their own 40 with only
22 seconds left. The Reverend Kelly turned to me and said, “Joe, I think its time we bowed our heads and pray”. So I did. Real hard. As in pop a vein hard.

The Immaculate Reception.

So there you have it.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 12.23.13 @ 5:11 pm

Shawn,
Because I agree with you, well writen.

Guys, I am old and your internet symbols are causing me more work looking them up! Though, this may help my mind keep active. However, for activity, I miss walking/playing golf more than hanging out with you guys on this site.

Too bad Chryst wasn’t offered the Wisconsin job (Wisconsin knew what it were doing), Pitt would have kept Shell (and watched him grow up) plus maybe 22 other players.

Dr. Tom, have got to tell you about a dentist my sister fould when I was about 9 or 11. She was so impressed with all the cavities he found in all of us missed by our former dentist. After 4 or 5 fillings and long subway rides back and forth, I did not go back. Funny the 10 additional cavities to be filled were never really there. Should have sued the bastard. Do you think dentist could be evil people?

Merry Christmas too you all!

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.23.13 @ 5:15 pm

btw, I understand Chryst is more than likely going to be here for the full length of his contract, unless the team really bombs next year and the following year.

Pitt’s BOT main concern imo at this point is no more coaching changes for awhile and less criminal activity by the players.

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 5:21 pm

from SB Nation today

link to sbnation.com

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 6:16 pm

Joe, I have an entirely different version of that day.

I was sitting in the 6th deck right behind the scoreboard, and as Stabler broke DE’s Craig Hanneman’s contain you saw nothing but green turf and #12 accompanied by 2 blockers running down the sidelines, straight towards us. The first time the Raiders had crossed the 59 yard line, they score a TD with only 2 minutes.

There were no prayers …. only a mild-mannered, accountant-looking type type sitting in front of us letting go a tirade of F-bombs.

You all know how it ended. Funny thing, I did not attend many Steelers games back then (I was in college) … but the next Steeler game I attended was a little over 2 years later in New Orleans as the Black & Gold beat the Vikes for their first SB.

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 6:30 pm

I count on Rivals 7 recruits from s.w. Pa., 2 of them 4 star, Bookser and Grimm. Not perfect but not too shabby at this point either. Beating Bowling Green would be ideal but not a disaster if it doesn’t happen. They are the MAC champions and had to beat the no. 16 team to get there. We are low middle ACC this year and and on paper #1 in the MAC is stronger than that this year IMO. My points? The sky isn’t falling if some good s.w. PA recruits go elsewhere or if we lose to B.G. IMO. Obviously I’d like to get most of the s.w. PA. top recruits and win the pizza bowl. That’s why they call us fans. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone. HTP! Beat the greenies (or whatever they are called!) Btw, how can a team with that name have orange unis?

Comment by OPFIM 12.23.13 @ 7:42 pm

Emel, just read your 5:06 piece. You are so right about the handling of DW. What I would have given to have kept him. And I’m talking about the value of money before the Fed stated printing the stuff.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 12.23.13 @ 8:11 pm

FYI — transfer WR Dontez Ford is eligible to play on Thursday. He received some decent practice time last few weeks since the underclassmen took all of the snaps in the early bowl practices.

Wonder if he plays, if he’ll be ineligible for a bowl when he is a senior

Comment by wbb 12.23.13 @ 8:46 pm

@OPFIM, Bowling Green is a town in Ohio. The BGSU mascot is a Fighting Falcon, so going green for them I guess is a low priority. Your feeling that a loss against these guys is somehow acceptable, I totally disagree with.

It is time for this team to begin establishing it’s persona. IMO, Pitt should be offended by the lack of respect shown them by the odds makers. Pitt+6, seriously? When this team decides to play up to it’s potential they will bury the best that the MAC has to offer. The issue is that Pitt has not yet decided to bring it for every game, for whatever excuse you want to offer as a rationalization, they have been inconsistent at best.

Why this team can play well enough to beat ND but can’t bring home a win against Navy remains an enigma to me. The final thought on this matter however, IMO, is how can this team possibly accept anything less than a victory?

BGSU has played nobody accept NIU in their MAC Championship game. The two major conference teams that they played resulted in losses. If the Panthers have any team self respect they should be coming into this game with an angry attitude with something to prove to the oddsmakers. It is time to start EARNING some respect. This game is a first step in that process.

Even the concept of accepting defeat in this bowl game therefore should be inconceivable to these guys if they are who I think they are. Defeat is NOT an option. This is a MUST WIN for this program. This is a turning point for this program. Winning is the only acceptable outcome for the Panthers. It is the responsibility of this coaching staff to impress that on our guys so that their performance reflects that commitment to nothing less than victory, PERIOD!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.23.13 @ 9:33 pm

@TonyinHouston – $100 to $200 million – T Boone Pickens money

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.23.13 @ 10:32 pm

Dr. Tom, I don’t disagree with your enthusiasm or desire for a victory. Pitt is a young team (look at the number of freshmen and red shirt freshmen who see significant playing time) and Pitt has limited depth. I don’t want the players to consider defeat acceptable but I think we Blatherites need to not at this point decide the sky has fallen and the program is in the toilet if we don’t win. I’m hoping that the break will have provided enough recovery time for the nicks and strains that may not make news but do take a toll on depth to heal. We need everybody on the 2 deep and then some. Now let’s win it. B.t.w. orange unis on a team named Bowling Green is just wrong! (J) (J=joke.) HTP and have great holidays.

Comment by OPFIM 12.23.13 @ 10:39 pm

Football or any sport for that manner is no different on any level.. … You have to have good players to win (regardless) of the coach..
People are spoiled in pittsburgh…. I’m a yinzer living in Philly and my buddy reminds me that in the last 10 yrs…. We have won 2 Super Bowls(appeared in three), won a Stanley cup, have the 2 best hockey players I the world and have the reigning MLP……. And on top of that people in western pa are good people cause people out here are pricks and he also confirmed that….. Paul Chryst is “good people” so just relax and let his job…. Happy holidays old pitt grad and realize that you can’t let the inmates run the asylum…..

Comment by Zero93 12.23.13 @ 11:16 pm

Well PITT football ppl certainly aren’t spoiled.

We’re one of the most abused fan bases in the western world. If it’s not the national media dissing us, it’s our own GD local media.

Gino’s or Pat’s….Zero93 ?

Comment by Emel 12.23.13 @ 11:49 pm

@ Emel, if you’re going to crunch those numbers that you listed above, then include these numbers below into the equation, to qualify them.

Bowling Greens opponent’s records.
Tulsa 3-9
Kent State 4-8
Indiana 5-7
Murray State 6-6
Akron 5-7
U Mass 1-11
Miss. St. 6-6
Toledo 7-5
Miami (Oh) 0-12
E. Mich. 2-10
Buffalo 8-5
NIU 12-1

Only four teams with winning seasons and then at the other end of the spectrum, four teams that couldn’t put together a season with more than 3 wins. All of a sudden Bowling Greens stats don’t look so shiney do they?

If Pitt lets these guys beat them, IMO, we have some major internal issues with this team’s self image and coaching staff. Come on, Pitt is not only representing it’s own university but also the ACC. I think that it is time to ante up and start showing everybody that Pitt is playing big boy football in a major conference and shouldn’t be disrespected like these bowl predictions are inferring for crying out loud. Where the hell is the Panther Pride in this team? One MAC site even predicts a 12 point win by Bowling Green, no respect given to the Panthers!

Hail to fu*king Pitt. Just go out and win a GD football game on Friday will ya?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.24.13 @ 7:54 am

The loss of big Western Pa recruits this year is devastating because it reflects a loss year on PSU probation year. This was the time to make hay and we squandered it.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 12.24.13 @ 11:07 am

Spindler, agree, can you imagine what a recruiter would have done these past few years with (1) joining the ACC,(2) PSU’s issues and (3) current WVU struggles? Instead …

Comment by wbb 12.24.13 @ 11:39 am

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