February 5, 2014

The Numbers Are Stable

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 12:50 pm

Last year, there was a wide variance on Pitt’s recruiting class in terms of where it ranked against other programs. From 20 to greater than 40.

This year, the consensus is far less spread out. once more has Pitt outside their top-40 (and 9th overall in the ACC). says #42. #43 and 247 at #44.

The loss of Wade Freebeck probably dropped Pitt anywhere from 1 to 3 spots in the rankings.

ESPNcfb2014 Scoutcfb2014 Rivalscfb2014 247cfb2014

How does it compare in the ACC?

As already mentioned ESPN has Pitt 9th. As does 247sports says 8th and has Pitt 7th.

Aggregating them very carelessly, here’s the composite ACC rankings.

1. FSU (unanimous – 4)

2. Miami (unanimous – 8)

3. Clemson (13 pts)

4.  tie VT (20 pts)

4. tie UNC (20 pts)

6. NC St. (24 pts, high #3, low #7)

7. UVa (26 pts, high #4, low #7)

8. Pitt (33 pts)

9. tie BC (39 pts, high #8, low #12)

9. tie Ville (39 pts, high #8, low #12)

11. Cuse (44 pts, high #10, low #13)

12. GT (46 pts, high #10, low #13)

13. Duke (51 pts, high #11, low #14)

14. WF (54 pts, high #13, low 14)

Yes, I know Coach Chryst is big on development. On finding the diamonds-in-the rough. I know the rationalizations when the numbers in the rankings are low are to be more dismissive of them. To point out the misses. That’s fine. I get it.

I’m not angerly disappointed. It’s just find myself unable to shake the feeling that the recruiting should be a little better than where it is.

The 2011 recruiting class rankings were as follows:

1. Alabama
2. Florida State
3. Texas
4. USC
5. Georgia
6. LSU
7. Auburn
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. Notre Dame
11. Ohio State
12. Florida
13. Tennessee
14. Oklahoma
15. Nebraska

I believe that class should have just completed its junior year. I’d submit that class rankings are not necessarily indicative of BCS success or, in some cases like Tenn or Florida, even bowl eligibility. 2010 showed USC, Florida and Texas on top.

Comment by Barvo 02.05.14 @ 1:01 pm

I know Vanderbilt is a top school academically but I thought that Pitt was also highly ranked, isn’t that why we wanted the ACC?

Comment by JP 02.05.14 @ 1:10 pm

if they get 2 out of the 4 WPIAL studs that went elsewhere, they move up into the 20s.

Especially frustrating is that 2 of the 4 were pipeline (TJ & Aliquippa) and the 3rd (Gateway) has been pretty kind to Pitt.

I don’t think Pitt will ever reach Top 10 – 15 status again, but it must protect its turf in addition to finding the diamonds in the rought.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 1:11 pm

Vandy is ranked 19th US News, Pitt is in the upper 50s / lower 60s. Pitt no doubt is good academcally, Vandy is better.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 1:12 pm


Will settle for the success the Wisky model delivered.
However the depth at QB is scary. The numbers in the class
mean PC has recruited about 50 players on this year’s roster.
Still alot of building to be done.

Comment by JR 02.05.14 @ 1:13 pm

@Barvo, not concrete or anything like you said, but you could pretty much exchange your recruiting list for the Top 15 rankings just about every year. Sans one or two revolving teams every year, but, pretty much the case.

Comment by Dan 02.05.14 @ 1:15 pm

Again, 3 or 4 highly touted defensive guys are what is missing. Other than Freebeck’s defection the offense is pretty darn good. It will be a while till we catch up to the four blue blood’s at the top. It would have been neat to beat out The N Carolina’s and VA.

Maybe Next Year.

Comment by gc 02.05.14 @ 1:17 pm

Annual Second Tier Program, content with 6-8 wins and a Toilet Bowl.

cheap on staff.

out-recruited by a 3 week UPS staff.

Comment by NOPE 02.05.14 @ 1:23 pm

And now likely to lose their best recruiter, Engram, to Ravens.

Comment by NOPE 02.05.14 @ 1:24 pm

Dovish reports the Ravens are making a strong play for Bobby Engram

Comment by BATR 02.05.14 @ 1:25 pm

I was going to save this analysis until the dead of winter. Oh wait it is the dead of winter.

Here goes.

Recruiting is right on track. Here is why:

Chryst is building Pitt using the Wisconsin Model. Chryst was at Wisconsin from 2005-2011. One year under Alvarez and five under Bielema.

Bielema took the reins of a successful and stable program in 2006, so lets his first two years of recruiting for comparison.

Bielema’s Recruiting Breakdown vs. Pitt (Rivals, by Stars). I’m starting Chryst with the 2013 class because many of the 2012 recruits were not Chryst’s.

2006 Wisc: 24 Recruits. ***** = 0, **** = 3, *** = 11, ** = 10. Avg *’s: 2.71
2013 Pitt: 27 Recruits. ***** = 1, **** = 2, *** = 15, ** = 9. Avg *’s: 2.81

2007 Wisc: 18 Recruits. ***** = 1, **** = 3, *** = 10, ** = 4 Avg *’s: 3.06
2014 Pitt: 23 Recruits. ***** = 0, **** = 4, *** = 15, ** = 4 Avg *’s: 3.00

Is there anybody, ANYBODY who can look at Beilema’s first two recruiting classes vs Chryst’s and tell me they are not remarkably similar? Look at the average * ranking! Chryst took over a reeling Big East Program, and he is actually outperforming a stable Big-10 program by two measures. Pitt is averaging more *’s AND bigger recruiting classes than Wisconsin for a comparable time period. Pitt’s average *’s over this two year period is 2.90. Wisconsin: 2.86. (Okay so if you round up they are very even, but damn it look what Chryst had to work with!)

*If* Chryst can coach these guys up the way the Bielema’s staff coached up the kids at Wisconsin – and there is no reason to think that he can’t – we can win 8,9 and even 10 games on the regular. I truly believe that.

So to sum it up the numbers show the Chryst is doing it right. He’s got a blueprint and he’s successfully executing it. Based on a comparison with Wisconsin, you can even argue that Chryst is overperforming. Outside of some bad luck with our quarterbacks, Pitt is recruiting just fine.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:30 pm

Engram doesn’t need the money and I think his wife is from Pittsburgh. I think he stays.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:31 pm

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:30 pm

appreciate the post, but that horse is DEAD.

Comment by NOPE 02.05.14 @ 1:33 pm

Here is the link about Engram BTW. link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:33 pm

NOPE – You’re wrong my friend. It comes back to life every year about this time.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:35 pm


Track record of Gateway HS recruits for Pitt and other major
schools is not very good; particularly in recent years.

Comment by JR 02.05.14 @ 1:37 pm

AP, How does Engram not need the money? Did he marry rich? Is his NFL pension that lucrative?

Hope you’re right .. and I’m sure his alma mater offered him more, so mabe you are

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 1:40 pm

NOPE – You’re wrong my friend. It comes back to life every year about this time.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:35 pm

I see what youre saying, but its a dead horse no matter what. if you keep saying how the system works and we keep seeing 6 wins..thats a dead horse, flawed system(but im sure you’ll reiterate pitt was a depleted program when PC arrived)

Truth is, Pitt will never compete in the upper half of the conference, will never pay money for a top staff, will never recruit more money from boosters..they are completely content with 6-8 wins and a toilet bowl every year.

85% of FBS programs are content with that.

Comment by NOPE 02.05.14 @ 1:44 pm

How could it be dead, I’ve seen many comments on it already.

It’s alive and well!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 02.05.14 @ 1:45 pm

Apologies if this isn’t the right thread for a basketball article.

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.05.14 @ 1:51 pm

NOPE – I *will* agree with what you are saying if we have two more consecutive 6-6 seasons. We *may* (and probably should) turn the corner next year. However we may not. Things happen.

We absolutely should turn the corner in 2015.

I’m going to go ahead and reserve judgement on this one until we actually have a body of work to judge.

I think most rational Pitt fans would agree.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:55 pm

Maybe Al Toon would have an interest in getting out of Real Estate for a job in Coaching?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 1:56 pm

Seriously, maybe the fact that Engram did not seriously consider returning to State College is that he has a ticket punched for Baltimore.

We can only hope that’s not the case.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 1:58 pm

FWIW 8 wins gets us to the Russel Athletic or Sun Bowls. Not BCS by any stretch, but at step above Toilet for sure. I think every fan can agree that if our best years are Sun Bowl years the program is mired in mediocrity. Ironically DW’s best years were the Sun and the Minekie Car Care. And those were 9 and 10 win seasons. How’s that for a dead horse!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 1:59 pm

You could be right about Engram POD. If that’s the case (which I hope it isn’t) at least he had the common decency to wait until after signing day to break the news. What a disaster if it had broken before Jennings LOI came in.

That being said, maybe he’s just really happy in Pittsburgh. It is the Paris of Appalachia, after all. link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:00 pm

@ NOPE, quit acting like a DOPE.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 2:01 pm


Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:03 pm

Atlanta… now they have the Burgh squarely in Appalachia.

The END is a COMIN’!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 2:05 pm

One source on the Engram story… but obviously not “THE SOURCE.”

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 2:11 pm

Atlanta Panther, All the more reason, to hate the Ravens!

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 2:13 pm

POD – haha yes it’s true. If you are from a place like Morgantown Pittsburgh does appear very Paris-eqsue. It’s a shame that we have to be lumped in the rest of those fools in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:16 pm

@Justinian – Amen brother!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:17 pm

You know, growing up I always thought Pittsburgh was the BIG CITY.

Thanks for bursting my bubble.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 2:18 pm

If we are looking for retired bilitnikoff winners to coach at Pitt there is always Antonio Bryant.

Kidding. Kidding!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:18 pm

Atlanta, whatever you do… don’t show that Book to any of the Recruits.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.05.14 @ 2:19 pm

POD – It’s like being the leader of the B team. Sure you’re on the B team, but at least you’re the leader.

BTW – I love the first review posted on that site:

“Brian O’Neill is a wonderful writer. He analyzed perfectly Pittsburgh’s unerring habit of screwing itself. I love his book.”

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:20 pm

POD – We must do all we can to keep it out of the hands of James Franklin. I’m only half-joking.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:21 pm

Now I know why that kid is sitting on the porch with a banjo in Castle Shannon!!

Comment by Dan 02.05.14 @ 2:23 pm

I love to tell people we’re the Paris of Appalachia. I think it’s funny. Besides no matter how many accolades the city recieves, people still thank about us as the Smokey City, the “Hell with the lid off!” that James Barton wrote about in the early 1900s.

“It’s better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”

John Milton

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 2:39 pm

Charts and graphs and numbers might lead one to think that predicting major college success for high school football recruits can be accurately predicted. It can’t, the Farmer’s Almanac has a better chance predicting the weather for next years home opener. These “researchers” know this and make a living out of the mental masturbation of the average college football fan. In about 50 years of seeing these projections I don’t ever remember Notre Dame being outside of the top 20. Pitt hardly ever smells the top 20 but handles Notre Dame with regularity on the field. These groups routinely stroke the top coaches and programs and that sells these so called insights to the public. It is a lot like the cheap tout sheets they used to sell at the horse races. If anyone really knew they wouldn’t be sharing the knowledge with us. These rating outlets are total bullshit.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 2:39 pm

Welcome SOS22!!! This board sorely needed some Piss and Vinegar! HTP!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 2:48 pm

Spirit, What all the the ratings groups don’t tell you, is how often they are off base. Look at the NFL draft and how many highly rated quarterbacks fail to live up to expectations. I like the idea of coaches finding diamonds in the rough. You don’t have to go much further than Aaron Donald to appreciate that. I think Paul Chryst and his staff know what to look for in the players they want. I also think they can recognize ability and sometimes see the work or talent a player has in their camp, that the scouting services are unaware of.

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 2:48 pm

I for one think Chryst overachieved a bit with this class. While I would like to see it better, it is a solid class with some real “sleepers”.

Pitt is still tainted by the coaching carosel of the last few years and we have an AD with his head up his ass.

I will judge Chryst by his record in 2 years. For now, can we please just teach fundamentals. As long as I see improvement every game, I am fine.

The Lebo kid is our biggest stud…to me.

Comment by Dan 72 02.05.14 @ 2:48 pm

Dan, I think this is a much better class than anyone realizes. I belive we have two stud offensive linemen two really good running backs, excellent recievers. They’ve addressed issues with the defensive line and linebackers and thay added some under the radar sleepers. This isn’t Todd Graham’s all hype and no substance. These guys know what they’re looking for in their players. We’ll know in two years how good of a class it really is.

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 2:58 pm

It is all in development. Ross, whatever his name is, better be bulking them up and making them faster.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.05.14 @ 3:04 pm

Next years recruits i was looking at a list of 41 players pitt has offered for 2015 25 of thoes are players who play on the D.
6 are OL players 1 has commited to pitt 2 we have a shot at and i am eure we will go after them hard.
3 are offered bye every team out there and we have no shot at but we offered any way.
The outher 10 are from WR and RB etc etc.
The point is next year the main targets seam to be players on the D i am sure there will be more offers but that is what i see at this time.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 3:07 pm

@ Justinian, only problem with your feeling that Pittsburgh is the “Paris of Appalachia” is that anybody comin from them there hills would ask a question like, How can you compare a city to Paris Hilton? Or worse yet, What’s a Paris?

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 3:09 pm

“I for one think Chryst overachieved a bit with this class” (Dan 72 @ 2:48)

It’s amazing how far the expectations of this program has been lowered in the past few years. Or maybe realism has set in, not sure.

We beat a favored MAC team in a bowl game by 3 pts and we’re feeling really good about ourselves … me included! We all hope that PC and staff can reproduce what he and staff did at Wiscy … but at least we have hope.

From the glass half full approach …. (1) with the schedule we have next year, winning 8 games is actually possible, and (2) the roster is loaded with underclassmen and potential.

Works for me!

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 3:12 pm

If we lose Engram from the coaching staff we are done when it comes to recruiting. Engram had his hands in getting many of these recruits and is proving he is ready for an increase in responsibility and pay. Please PAY this guy and hire another coach that can recruit in areas like Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and New Jersey!

Comment by Shawn 02.05.14 @ 3:15 pm

@ Dan 72, “The Lebo kid is our biggest stud” and our biggest stud has a hot girlfriend. Our biggest studs girlfriend dumps him for a hockey player. Our biggest stud takes the break up so hard he quits school and joins the Navy. He ends up playing for the midshipmen and he helps Navy upset us in the fourth quarter of the bowl game. I repeat it is impossible to predict what kids are going to do.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 3:19 pm

frankcam, I’m sure you noticed that the Jr day this past weekend at Pitt included top DE, LB, and DB recruits from NJ and PA, all who raved about their visit. (Of course, they all will probably do the same next week with whatever Jr Day they attend.)

Nonetheless, PC and staff appear to be much more proactive this year, realizing and learning from their mistakes. Last week, PC visited Aliquippa HS and FB staff, then went to Central Valley the following day.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 3:22 pm


Don’t like to be critical of the staff however
watched ESPN 3 show today on Pitt
recruiting. Matt House does not make
an impression. Hard to believe he is
a DC rather than a position coach.

Comment by JR 02.05.14 @ 3:24 pm

SOS22, how about this scenario … all the recruits that Franklin had flipped from Vandy get caught in a gang rape the 1st month at PSU, and Franklin gets the axe. WVU continues to falter which upsets transfer Shell so much, he starts a revolt. Rutgers and Maryland continue to spiral downwards, and draws an average of 22,000 for their home games in their initial year in the B1G.

As a result, Pitt has its best recuiting class next year since 1980.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 3:28 pm

Engram rumor is bad news. He is a good young coach and may be staff’s best recruiter. Anytime Tyler Boyd was asked about his success he gave credit to coach Engram.

I just don’t see him turning down the Raven job if offered. I hope I’m wrong.

I think in exactly one year we will really know where this program is headed. With a very manageable schedule I would hope for 8 wins and a class in the top #20 next year.

Another 6 win season and recruiting class ranked in the bottom half of ACC and it may be time to start questioning things.

I know ranking aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to recruiting, but next years class needs some defensive studs and a legit QB prospect.

Comment by Pap76 02.05.14 @ 3:31 pm

WE got a hoop game in like 3 hours and change.

Enough with the football talk.

Remember we’re a ‘basketball school.

P.S. welcome back sos22 !…thought you might have did too much jumping up and down in the student section and ended up in traction or something !

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 3:39 pm

@Emel, Close– I had to be rushed to the ER with an anxiety attack when Zanna took a tumble. Seriously it was like my whole life flashed in front of me.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 3:45 pm

Pap76 as Wbb has pointed out at jr day it was DE and LB and outher players on the D side of the ball and as i pointed out in my post of the 41 players offered 25 were players from the D side of the ball
So i think you will get your wish .

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 3:46 pm

I’m with you Pap

With that schedule next year, 1rst year starting QB or not….we have to win at least 8 games (not counting another Pizza Bowl)

Miami (hoops) stuck a little confidence builder in between ACC games in their last game.
Beating Norfolk State 64-49. Prior to that they had lost 4 of 5 ACC games. They did give Cusey a scare earlier in the year, in a real snooze fest offensively at 44-49. More recently they lost to them at home 52-64.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 3:46 pm

Knew it was medically related. lol
Had the same reaction to Z hitting the floor myself. Almost choked on an icecube in my bourbon glass.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 3:48 pm

@Emel, not gonna be able to watch or listen to game tonight, work related thing, and I have told myself not to turn on the radio in the truck on the way home.

I will log onto the Pitt Blather when I get home.

I will look for the comments section to find out who won, and I won’t even have to look at a single comment.

I’ll look to see the number of comments, it will either be somewhere between 65-85 comments or it will be 361 comments.

I will know.

Comment by Dan 02.05.14 @ 3:48 pm

I think this is another solid class Pitt brought in. It isn’t among the top-tier in the nation, but anyone who though it would be was not being realistic. The biggest thing I read from the last few classes is that Chryst is building a program for the long-term. He is bringing in a lot of players who have a big ceiling, but will have to spend a few years working hard to get to that ceiling.

We already know the quality and depth that Chryst is bringing in on offense. He is quickly building the most important position of an offense into a huge strength. We are not only getting big offensive lineman, but they are some of the top in the state. He has also brought in high-profile skill position players in Jennings and James, etc. I think the last second maneuvering by Freeback shows the unfortunate state of the QB situation. Pitt has a QB that will be slated to start for the next three years. We are just not going to get a star QB to come in this year, who is willing to sit behind Voytik for three years. Pitt is not one of the top programs that can get a player like this on name recognition alone. If we are going to get these type of players it will be during Voytik’s junior or senior year. Instead, now we get underrated QBs with potential that will need a few years to develop.

For defense, Pitt brings in more depth/potential, but not a lot of anything else. They struck out twice on two star recruits (one of them they may not have pursued too hard) and when you don’t have very many other possibilities, you’re going to have to take more chances. However, there is a lot of potential with these players, but it will be up to coaching and hard work to get them to reach it.

Overall, Pitt is bringing in some MUCH needed depth. I think if Pitt puts together a winning season this year, you will see a lot more higher-rated players look towards Pitt, and it will make the depth that Chryst has already put together that much more valuable.

Stepping away from Pitt, I think what happened with Penn State’s recruiting after Franklin joined is very interesting and speaks a lot about the team he will run. Two of the biggest observations I have about the class is:

(1) For all of his talk, Penn State’s incoming class consists of three Pennsylvania commitments out of a total 25 commitments. All three of these commitments were O’Brien commitments. Thus, of the nine recruits he brought in, zero were from the state of Pennsylvania. Now, this could be because he came from Vanderbilt where he was recruiting the south (and the recruits that he brought into the class reflect that), but when you talk big, you have to walk big.

(2) I do not find it surprising that the QB he brought into the class reflects more the type of offense he likes to run. Not much has been said about the type of offense Franklin runs and what it will do to Penn State. Penn State, and Hackenberg specifically, are use to running a traditional pro-set, QB behind the center, formation. Instead, Franklin likes his QBs to be more mobile, and his offense mostly plays out of the spread. Pitt is very aware of how hard it is to turn a pro-set offense into a spread offense. Will Penn State have similar issues?

Comment by Cosmo_Kramer 02.05.14 @ 3:49 pm

or if upitt….shows up Dan…!

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 3:51 pm

And just for kicks of the 41 players offered not one was a QB i am sure that will change.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 3:53 pm

I cannot tell you how many people say…..just give me the Wisky results and they will be happy. Its not going to happen under PC. Here are the reasons

1. Whisky Admin w/Barry on board is committed to winning. Nordy is NOT important when it comes to football. Barry hired his last HC and after ONE year, he extended his HC….that my friends is confidence. Were going into year 3 and PC is still trying to figure things out….that includes how to win. Luckily for Paul, he will most likely get extended because Nordy likes saving money when it comes to Paul’s and especially the assistants pay.

2. Assistants make or break a HC. Go back and look at the staffs under the Wisky HC, they were LOADED with assistants. Our assistants need some serious help. That includes on the field coaching and recruiting.

3. Whisky has been winning for a long time, they have built a culture of winning. Pitt not so much when it comes to football. PC does everything slow, that includes, hiring coaches, trying to win, extending offers, trying to find a quality QB.

4. When its all said and done, PC is going to be a better assistant compared to being a HC. At the end of four years, he will be around .500. That is not what I call “next” level.

Comment by jk 02.05.14 @ 3:56 pm

Hey Frankie,

What’s you’re feeling about PC only having 1 actual QB recruit in Year 3 of Operation Turn the Panthers into Badgers ?

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 3:57 pm

All good points jk

Also as I’ve posted before, Wisconsin is operating under a whole different set of dynamics in the Big 10 than PITT is in the ACC.

Hopefully it works, I’m not anywhere close to being convinced though.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 4:01 pm

Shawn speaks the truth much more sincerely than the “TRUTH” speaks the truth.

If HCPC hires from within to keep the coaching staff stable then it is time to ante up and pay the guys who are here the money needed for them to stay the course as well. Engram is a coach we can ill afford to lose at this juncture of Pitt’s resurrance under Coach Chryst.

wbb, being realistic is not necessarily lowering one’s expectations. Personally I EXPECT, not HOPE, that Chryst and Co. produce an 8 win season this year. If this team can’t produce that with this schedule then we got problems a brewing going forward from 2014. Small steps.

Next year (2015) should be the breakout season if the team continues to mature the way I think that they can. Just imagine the team full of Juniors like Boyd, Orndoff, Voytik, Conners, etc. that played last season with success after three seasons of experience and growth under their belts, not to mention quality Seniors like Holtz and others as well.

NOTHING beats experience and this team is going to be loaded with it come 2015. But this season is the hump year. All of the doubters have a reason to be naysayers until Chryst proves that he can consistantly win and do it convincingly. The minimum acceptable record at season’s end to get over that hump is 8-5, IMO. Even more is possible but everything would have to go Pitt’s way for better than 9-4.

In any case, for a reasonable fan, expectations are risen when appropriate. Expectations for next year should be higher. I can’t wait until I can end my future posts with “batter the Blue Hens” which will mean Pitt Football is just around the corner. Let the season begin!

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 4:04 pm

EMel it is not his fault he could not know one would try to choke a lady and have to be let go or that one would flip the day before signing day.

How ever he should have not run off kincaid who had commited 3 years ago he should have been loyal.

And next year he should recruit 3 one really good one and 2 outhers
and he is lucky that jaquan Davdson who is 6 foot 3 played QB in high school and can help run the scout team and take snaps at QB.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 4:11 pm

Good point about Wisconsin having great assistants, and paying them. You may remember that Charlie Partridge left Pitt for Wisconsin about 5 or 6 years ago. He then became DC, and is now new HC at FIU.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 4:15 pm

the Choker… (not his fault), the Flipper…yes (is his fault)

Him being the CEO of this ship, it’s on him !

I recruit ppl, if I lose a top one, it’s on me.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 4:15 pm

Derrick Mason being reported interested in the WR job according to Baltimore

Comment by pd 02.05.14 @ 4:16 pm

Where did the Bob Bostad land ?

That is certainly a guy, PC should have went after.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 4:17 pm

Bostad went to either Lions or Titans, I believe. Jeff Hafley is now a member of the Browns’ staff

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 4:24 pm

strange dialogue on The Fan right now.
If I heard correctly, both Conner and maybe even James may play both ways in the future … he wouldn’t rule it out.

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 4:31 pm

Emel – Shove it. I already stated we are going to the Final 4.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.05.14 @ 4:32 pm

… should have said that Chryst was the one talking about the backs playing both ways

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 4:32 pm

Chad and Trey both will get plenty of reps this spring

Comment by wbb 02.05.14 @ 4:35 pm

I’m not sure where all of this PC is great with QB’s at Whisky talk came from. Outside Russell Wilson (which was an already made product) they underachieved in the passing game. They had game managers, not game changers. Im not bagging HCPC just wondering why most think he’s a quarterback genius.


Im in BIG 10 land so Whisky talk and games on this stupid regional network are regular.

Comment by Jbizz 02.05.14 @ 4:39 pm

hey Jbizz…

How about Scott Tolzien. Two star recruit.

Not heisman trophy numbers, but this is pretty good production from a two star guy. Especially in 2010.

2009 Wisconsin 328 211 64% 2,705 16 11
2010 Wisconsin 266 194 73% 2,459 16 6

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 4:49 pm

On good authority, I know that Chryst hasn’t been limited on paying assistants. He has hired his assistants because they is who he hired. Period.

Wiscy and Pitt are vastly different schools in different conferences. And maybe if Wiscy had better recruits they might have made the Rose Bowl more often.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.05.14 @ 4:52 pm

Also, if Engram in fact leaves that’s a huge blow. Especially since Paul Chryst is unable to hire qualified assistants.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.05.14 @ 4:55 pm

Rose bowl in 2010.

Citrus bowl in 2009, finished at #16.

I’d take either of those finishes.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 4:56 pm


yea I know…and I’m on the first trip to Mars !

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 4:57 pm

right Jbizz

Wisky is a running attack school..always has been since 1990.

Other than R. Wilson who ‘fell into their laps’ after Tom O’Brien told Wilson he didn’t want him back for a 5th season, they produced NO Qb’s of note. Unless you want to say Brooks Bollinger.
But I did say…..’of note’.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:01 pm

@ Ward

Or maybe they would have won the games. 0-3

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:07 pm

Wisky is 11-14 in Bowl games.

Not much history prior to Barry A.

And to think he wanted the Pitt job in 1990 and we gave it to Paul Hackett.

That was a brilliant move !

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:11 pm

I might be a nut case for this but i would like 8 or 9 wins a year and would not think of that as mediocrity,
i would think 6 and 6 would be and 7 and 5 every year would be .
but i think 8 or 9 wins a year with a 10 win season every 4 years would suit me just fine.
not that i would not like to win them all i would
but if you give me 8 or 9 wins every year i am fine with that and would not bitch.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 5:14 pm

Concerning Engram leaving. He has done well and it is preferable he continue but if he has a better opportunity it isn’t like when Jackie Sherill left. Life will go on.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 5:17 pm

Hard Hitting:

“On defense there’s some good developmental prospects but not one- not one- is an elite prospect. That’s twelve recruits, on a defense that’s easy for any top prospect to get immediate playing time, and not one is a big time prospect. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like some of these defensive players. Connor Dintino is intriguing. The linebackers may turn out to be good, and the secondary has a lot of potential. But when you have twelve prospects and all twelve are developmental guys, then you need to recruit better. The truth is, I’m not sure if any of these players on defense can be in the two deep this season.

But the most troubling thing is that the staff clearly looks for developmental prospects almost exclusively.”

Perhaps because the defensive staff is in a developmental stage itself.

You recruit ppl like yourself. We don’t have any stud coaches on defense so therefore we don’t get any stud players on defense.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:26 pm

I’m with you Frank. 8 games is the floor once the program gets chugging.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.05.14 @ 5:26 pm

8 is the minimum number, I think most of us agree.

8 in the regular season !

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:32 pm

@ Emel, Big Frickin Deal. If you live anywhere in western PA, you can drive to Mars in less than a couple hours. $hit, when I lived in Aliquippa I’d go past the “Moon” routinely just getting to the airport. LOL!

Don’t let them kill your new found Pitt enthusiasm Upitt, I haven’t bought my plane ticket yet but I’m looking forward to hitting “Twin Peaks” with you during the Final Four Weekend!

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 5:37 pm

And BTW Emel, the main reason that Pitt is showing it’s growing pains in getting great recruits is that as long as most of these kids can remember, Pitt has sucked!

Winning solves many ills. Eight wins minimum, this year!

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.05.14 @ 5:41 pm

I’d be happy with 8 win seasons as the absolute worse season with 9 to 10 win seasons sprinkled in and every few years having a legit shot at a conference title.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.05.14 @ 5:47 pm

Yeppers Doc… only…. 8 will be Enough… in the Regular season.

Mars was only a short trip up Route 8 from me in North Park to RT. 228 or if you knew the back way thru the old Treesdale Apple Orchard Farm it was quicker than that. (which is now an Arnold Palmer Golf Course CC.)

Beautiful ride it was, I miss it, since it’s so flat down here. Also miss all the golf courses that were in that area of Pgh. to Butler.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:47 pm

In fact when I was a teen, my sister had her horsie stabled up in the Mars Area. So I know the area of The Planets very well.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 5:50 pm

Atlanta Panther program gets chugging i like that and will use it on here from time to time.
and the sooner we get chugging the better.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 5:51 pm

Spirit, If Bobby Engram leaves for the NFL I understand he going to higher level. Jackie Sherrill walked away from a Pitt team with the potential to win a National title, for more money. He never again achieved the same level of success that he had a Pitt. I hope Bobby Engram stays, but there is nothing any of us can do about it, if he goes.

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 5:58 pm

Bobby being courted by the pros tells you how good he is. I think it depends on how much he likes recruiting, he is really good at that too.

Best Penn State guy we know. Give him a raise and a shiny new office.

Comment by gc 02.05.14 @ 6:17 pm

Justinian, Please don’t rewrite History. Jack Sherill might have gotten a lot more money at AnM but that isn’t why he left. He left because our stupid ass administration wouldn’t let him open up the company purse in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. He had us at the pinnacle of college football and they decided they wanted to show him who was boss. The program has never recovered. It was a control issue, not reimbursement that cost us Sherrill. We are still paying for their stupidity.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 6:21 pm

Did the same thing to PITT’s best HC ever. That being Jock Sutherland at the Rose Bowl.

History does repeat itself….especially in Oakland.

Comment by Emel 02.05.14 @ 6:24 pm

Doc – I will be ready to get tuned up that night. Haha. As a side note, worry not boys……If Engram leaves Paul will replace him in about 7 months with a guy he knows from Wisconsin whose brother sells cheese to a farmer 3 miles down the road from his brother’s deer camp. That guy will be a perfect fit and won’t cause any problems. Haha.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.05.14 @ 6:28 pm

Concerning Engram leaving. He has done well and it is preferable he continue but if he has a better opportunity it isn’t like when Jackie Sherill left. Life will go on.
Comment by spiritofsection22 02.05.14 @ 5:17 pm


Spirit…actually life for Pitt FB didn’t go on after Sherill left. The fact is that Pitt FB went into the dumper for 30+ years and counting.

Pitt can ill afford to lose Engram…

Comment by Jackagain 02.05.14 @ 6:44 pm

How do you loose a star quarterback recruit at the last minute? Somebody wasn’t minding the store. I remember Tony Dorsett recounting how Jackie Sherrill recruited him and lived with him. Iagree if we loose Engram we loose the brightist star on the staff. This is not good management. You can only use play right away for so long to recruit Freeback should have had a career path at QB that had him chafing at the bit. More discouragement.

Comment by Pitt 60 02.05.14 @ 8:37 pm

If we lose Engram we need to replace him with some one who played WR in the NFL or the kids wont think he knows what he is doeing.
they will behind his back think Engram told us this or that.
it wont work to plug in just any one he must have played or we will be screwed.

Comment by Frankcan 02.05.14 @ 9:05 pm

Spirit, I do remember that Sherrill was steamed over lunch money for recruits or something similarly stupid by Bosic and company.

Comment by Justinian 02.05.14 @ 9:55 pm

i think engram is far and away pitt’s best recruiter. the annoying thing is that PC doesn’t seem interested in such mundane things as hiring good recruiters and recruiters with connections in hotbeds of football talent. i envy psu for opening the purse strings and going after an up and coming (and also accomplished) coach like franklin. what a concept…hiring an energetic and aggressive young coach who is charismatic and whom kids want to play for…sigh

Comment by auggie from latrobe 02.05.14 @ 10:21 pm

Winning is not a guarantee on getting good recruits. WVU is ranked above us. Virginia, who has had a losing record for years is in the top 20. Personality and salesmanship can go a long way in recruiting. We have no personality from our coaches so winning is going to have to suffice.

Comment by Caw Miller 02.06.14 @ 7:54 am

So Pitt finishes 7-6 with a national ranking of between 52-62 depending on which ranking you follow. Pitt follows that with a recruiting class between 40-48 depending on which service you follow. As such, Pitt recruited better than the team performance. So, this is a positive trend in my opinion. Pitt is recruiting better than their record indicates.

Next year, Pitt should be in the 35-45 rankings with an 8-4/8-5 final record. With stability in the coaching staff, it should lead to a recruiting class in the top 25-35, again an improvement.

A bigger problem is not extending the coach. This will be used against Pitt, especially by the school to the east. Their coach will have 5 or 6 years left on a contract and he will guarantee a kids parents that contractually, he will take care of their son during his entire collegiate experience. Pitt will not be able to say that to a parent. This is another example of why Steve Pederson must go. He doesn’t get it. It is important. If you believe in what the coach is doing, extend him. If you don’t, let the contract run out. Apparently, Pederson is not a believer yet he continues to smile through it. The smiling assassin strikes again!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 02.06.14 @ 8:26 am

Don’t worry about Engram, I’m sure Chryst has some random noname guy he used to be a WR at Wiscy that he has lined up for the job.

Extend Chryst? Hahahaha.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.06.14 @ 8:36 am

I won’t jump ship on PC if it doesn’t happen, but with next years schedule, Pitt fans and alumni deserve to see at least 8 wins If Voytek is healthy. There may potentially not be one top 25 team on their schedule at least to start the season. Miami and NC are the only 2 teams even flirting with a top 25 to start the year.

Comment by Pitt Stadium Section 23 for life 02.06.14 @ 2:17 pm

The truth Is regarding Pitt–there’s always something missing. The first two years under Paul Cryst they lost games they simply should have one. The same could be said of the recruiting class-there are players that they should have added to this class like to Dravon Henry and Montei Nicholson that they should have had but did not get. Imagine that Class! Just like we imagine beating Youngstown St and Cincy last year and Navy and NC this season. It’s always “something”. Once PC figures out how to solve the “something” issue, they will pull it all together.

Comment by Td 02.06.14 @ 4:34 pm

And truthfully, for anybody paying attention, recruiting class rankings, and recruiting in general are not the things holding Pitt back this year, it was coaching and not getting the right pieces in the right spots at the right time. PC reminds me of DW, with a minute, slight upgrade. The program deserves better.

Comment by Td 02.06.14 @ 4:40 pm

we have no new post we just lost engram are wr coach

Comment by Frankcan 02.06.14 @ 6:43 pm

Welp, Penn States recruits that previously committed before Franklin were held by Larry Johnson. There wasn’t a mass defection to OSU when he left because OSU was full and with equal or better talent. Franklin brought in the WR who bailed on Rutgers.

@Ward – you laugh at the extend Chryst hypothesis. Assuming by that response, that you disagree. Given Pitt’s Administrative non-support, starting with the AD, what would you propose? Another coaching carousel? Watch what you ask for, you might get a wifebeater and a one year wonder yet again. Pitt has to extend the guy if you are committed to what he is doing. If he goes 9-3 next year, he will have suitors and you can kiss him goodbye. He goes 8-4 and you do what? Extend or let him wait. If you wait, he is as good as gone and the negative recruiting about him not being around fills the ears of parents. Kind of like Engram. Had Pitt upped him when they realized he could recruit, we probably aren’t in this position if in fact he is gone.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 02.06.14 @ 9:09 pm

Jeff Hafley was the greatest recruiter i have ever seen truly find diamonds in the rough..ex dion lewis. I dont want to.hate on Matt House but i truly wish they would of went with someone with experience especially for PC being a first time head coach. Lets hope whoever becomes the next wr coach is as good as a recruiter as engram was. How bout hiring a special teams coach/recruiter. We can always dream

Comment by Tsingtao44 02.06.14 @ 11:05 pm

Keith Patterson bailed on the Hoopies and is going back to Fraudie at ASU. That’s 4 Defenvive Coordinators in 4 years for the Hoopies. link to

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 02.07.14 @ 8:34 am

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