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May 20, 2014

The watch lists for college sports awards are more than a little waste of time. They either are too big to be useful or they simply take the best returning players at the position from last year and slap them on the list. For the most part, I don’t even waste time posting on a preseason watchlist any longer.

The Rimington Trophy belongs in the former category. The award goes to the best center in college football. Artie Rowell made the list. Which he should, given that it has 64 names on it. That’s more than half the teams playing 1-A football. Frankly, I’m a little concerned about the quality of centers in the ACC when only 8 of the 14 starting centers could make a watchlist this big.

I have no idea if the deal to expand the seating in Heinz Field by 3000 seats — in the South Plaza — will result in yet more reshuffling and reduction in parking around the stadium. At this point, though, I just assume that will happen since every other “improvement” to the fan experience at Heinz Field has been to reduce surface lots and tailgating.

Oh, hey, a new HD scoreboard as well. Swell.

One of Pitt football’s associate team physicians (he’s also an assistant professor at Pitt’s Center for Sports Medicine, but I’m focusing on the important thing) gets quoted about breathe-right nasal strips in relation to a story on horse racing.

Yes, I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for news.

Good luck with those Wing Stops, Shawntae Spencer. At least it isn’t a BW3. I guess.

 





What do we know about football recruiting? Who is due to be here for the camps this summer?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 05.20.14 @ 6:51 am

The only teams to sell out the stadium are PSU, WVU and ND, they bring enough of their own fans. Iowa and OK St will be better than average but won’t be sell outs.

Even with 10 and 11 win seasons, there aren’t enough Pitt Fans to get it done. But better results will help.

Comment by gc 05.20.14 @ 7:19 am

don’t see how extra 3000 seats will affect parking lots since there will be no expansion of stadium required.

I said it before, and will say it again … if you don’t like to park on the North Shore … don’t! Parking is cheaper downtown and it is much easier to get out of town. Further, if you don’t want to walk, you can ride under the river

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 9:46 am

BTW, the opener against Delaware (I believe) is currently scheduled for noon. The Pirates are scheduled for 4 pm. Pitt is being pressured to move the game up to 11 am but Steve claims he will not change time.

This is his doing in the first place although, like many of you, I thought moving to Heinz was a wise fiscal decision.

We’ll see how it all works out … the way the Bucs are playing, neither game should be a big draw

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 9:52 am

correction … although, UNlike many of you, I thought moving to Heinz was a wise fiscal decision.

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 9:53 am

Chas, BTW, there is a WingStop on Andrews Road in Mentor-on-the-Lake. I’m not a big wing man anymore but tried it once – it is OK but nothing special.

FYI- there is also a Quaker Steak up here in the eastern burbs of Cleveland

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 9:59 am

The added seats won’t effect parking, but the new huge building they’re putting in will. It’s on the Heinz Field side of the Ft. Duquesne bridge not too far from Stage AE. I have no idea what is going o be there, but it’s going to axe a lot of spots. I gave up my parking pass a few years back when they moved me to that craphole parking lot at Allegheny Center. It takes close to an hour to get out of for a game w/ 25,000 fans & the whole thing is crumbling. We went back to taking the trolley & only drive in for later games that we tailgate for.

Comment by Nick 05.20.14 @ 10:09 am

I think I read that another hotel is going up on te North Shore but not sure if that is the building Nick is referring to

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 11:00 am

Easier to park at Casino. I forget what we paid but we saw Pitt, ate at Casino and saw the Pirates that day. Riverwalk was very nice. Just don’t rush everything.

Comment by Frank MD 05.20.14 @ 11:02 am

Hopefully they won’t paint the new three thousand seats Mustard Yellow.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.20.14 @ 12:43 pm

What color should empty seats be in order to not advertise their emptiness?

Plaid? Camo?

Maybe we could fill the empty seats with cardboard cutouts. When Chilly Billy Cardille did studio wrestling on Channel 11, all the fans beyond the second row were cardboard.

Comment by dinosaur 71 05.20.14 @ 2:53 pm

Partial ACC TV Schedule.

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Frank MD 05.20.14 @ 2:54 pm

We are very pleased that this important project is moving forward,” University of Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson said. β€œPitt fans will be the real beneficiaries of these enhancements. This will ensure that the college football experience at Heinz Field remains state-of-the-art in every regard.”

Is Cornhole kidding or not.

There is hardly a college football experience, with the overly loud music blaring at each break in the play, you have to scream at the person next to you to be heard. That blaring music also stops any attempt of fans starting a Pitt cheer.

A college football experience to me is; the band playing and leading the fight song intermittently thruout the game. Students starting impromptu a college cheer that embraces the whole stadium.
The cheerleaders using the large flashcards spelling out P-I-T-T to rock the house.

A larger fancier scoreboard doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I wouldn’t care if they had a scoreboard operated by hand.

The hell with the scoreboard, get the ACC logos on the field and a better PITT logo at the 50 yard line. That is what is shown to the rest of the nation during a game representing what Pitt football is or is not, not the frickin scoreboard.

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 3:00 pm

I couldn’t agree more about the loud music

Comment by wbb 05.20.14 @ 3:16 pm

I agree with you, Emel. The blaring music is a deterrent to any conversation among fans and it allows little opportunity to generate any kind of energy from the crowd.

Sometimes I get to a game and wish I had brought ear plugs.

Comment by dinosaur 71 05.20.14 @ 3:17 pm

Ditto EMels message!

Comment by Dan 72 05.20.14 @ 3:17 pm

@Nick, the added seats won’t affect attendance either!!!

“This stadium will be sold out regularly, and a Saturday night Pitt game will be the place to be on a Saturday night in Western Pennsylvania”. Cornhole circa 2001

Comment by Dan 05.20.14 @ 4:34 pm

Pitt opener is a noon kickoff. Noon games are rough enough, I will be royally pissed if it is switched to 11.

2nd game of the year is a Friday night game in Chestnut Hill. This is a big year for Paul Chryst and the program. A 2-0 start is very manageable, and almost a must for a successful season.

Going to book a room in next week or 2 for UVA trip. Anyone out there familiar with Charlottesville? Looks like Omni or Doubletree are the 2 nicest hotels. Looking forward to seeing some of these ACC towns. Hopefully can bring home a winner this year, unlike debacle in Annapolis last year. UGGHHH….

Comment by Pap76 05.20.14 @ 4:58 pm

Pitt opener is a noon kickoff. Noon games are rough enough, I will be royally pissed if it is switched to 11.

2nd game of the year is a Friday night game in Chestnut Hill. This is a big year for Paul Chryst and the program. A 2-0 start is very manageable, and almost a must for a successful season.

Going to book a room in next week or 2 for UVA trip. Anyone out there familiar with Charlottesville? Looks like Omni or Doubletree are the 2 nicest hotels. Looking forward to seeing some of these ACC towns. Hopefully can bring home a winner this year, unlike debacle in Annapolis last year. UGGHHH….

Comment by Pap76 05.20.14 @ 4:58 pm

Pitt vs. Cincinnati in 2009 drew 63,387

Pitt vs. FSU drew 65,500 last year.

In between we had tiny at QB, he was a crowd killer

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 4:59 pm

er I mean….well you know who !

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 4:59 pm

@emel, no doubt. Heinz is fine, when it’s at or near capacity.

Those two games you mentioned were great.

As GC stated above, and has been the mantra on here by many, because it’s true……….

PSU, ND, and WVU are the sellouts. Always has been even back at Pitt stadium.

Get a good BCS team, top 25 team in here you’ll get a nice 50-55.

Some good conference foes with us being in the ACC will draw a decent crowd.

However, the bad conference teams, and the Directional State, Div II teams get crap.

Now, if we have a decent top 20 team, the only thing that will change, is you might get some half decent crowds for even the crap.

But, you have to be a perennially good team, top 25 team, that people start to realize, after several years, year after year, “hey, Pitt is always good”.

Then you might get 45K for lesser teams, and that’s a reach.

Until that happens, lot’s of mustard still gonna be around.

Just the way it is here.

If Pitt went 12-0 this year and won the National Championship, they would not sell out next years opener against a Villanova or Akron or whoever.

I’m resigned to the way it is.

I just always remember Smug’s comment. Didn’t do his homework.

Comment by Dan 05.20.14 @ 5:37 pm

Problem is Dan-o PITT has a tendency to lose most of the games with sellouts or near sellouts.

Lost to both I listed above, lost to Miami in 2003(for OrangeBowl slot), lost to Utah, lost to Michigan State in 2006, lost to Nebraska in 2004, lost to Notre Dame (sellout) in 2003, lost to Texas A&M ( swinging gate)in 2002. routed by Miami in 2001 and embarrassing home loss to USF (team was only formed a few years earlier.

And then the ultra embarrassing home losses to Bowling Green in 2008 and D2 Youngstown State in 2012.

And the near home disasters against D2 Furman in 2004, Buffalo in 2008, Maine in 2011 and D2 Old Dominion in 2013. These are ALL rent-a-win schools put on the schedule to be routed at home for fan enjoyment and instead we struggled mightily to get a W.

It’s kinda amazing we can actually put 65,000 live ones, on occasion at Heinz after all the losses in big games, extremely embarrassing losses to scrub D1 and even D2 teams. And the near disasters against even more D2 teams. All over the last decade plus a couple years.

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 6:05 pm

Forgot a couple too, like the home game vs Miami (again) rout in 2010.

When are we ever going to beat those guys again !

Been a long time !

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 6:09 pm

@Emel, on a slow May evening, I would also like to point out a fallacy, that mostly, just readers, not posters have stated over the years.

Don’t know why I’m posting this it just randomly popped into my head. Also, to 99% of just the readers of the blog, not directed towards you. Just the couple I remember coming on and giving this opinion.

A few have come on a few times over the years with, “this is why I don’t post, it’s always so negative on here”, and “you people always argue about the same stuff”.

The people that have done that, if you are reading, are completely wrong.

I find this blog, pretty positive towards Pitt. Compare it to some other college blogs, NFL, NHL, and you will find this to be true. Show me a blog that’s unicorns and lollipops.

Any other sports blog in the country is the same exact way.

I will give a few of my own personal examples too of how things that have gotten beaten down, do not go on forever, when they are resolved.

I used to rant about the Pitt script. I really haven’t done that in quite awhile. I actually like the Pitt block letters, and when they added the striping in the middle last year, I think we have an excellent helmet. Haven’t criticized it since.

Use to rant about the football schedule. With PSU, OK.St., and our conference schedule in the future, have said many times, “fantastic job athletic dept”, the scheduling is excellent for the future.

I did rant for several years, that we had to be proactive to get into the Big Ten or ACC, or we were gonna get left behind. As did others.

We’re great, we’re in the ACC, love it. (I don’t give too many “that a boys” to Smug though, a second grader would have known to say yes to that offer.

So, there are a couple quick things that we don’t beat to death anymore. I’m sure many others, could give more examples.

Now, there is one that I have beaten to death, and will continue to do so, until it is resolved.

The hoops home OOC schedule. Until they get a couple or at least one home game (besides the ACC-Big Ten challenge game every other year), I will bitch about it.

Why, because it is ridiculous. Get a game or two for the fans in the home OOC, I won’t bitch anymore.

Comment by Dan 05.20.14 @ 6:12 pm

Oh, I will bitch and moan every time Pitt puts on white football pants. Someone should whisper to HCPC, “don’t do that”.

Comment by Dan 05.20.14 @ 6:14 pm

@Emel, you’re exactly correct.

Here’s an example, some may not like it, but I will tell you, it is the TRUTH.

I’m not talking about us, the die hards on here, but to the casual Pitt football fan, which we need, to get their butts in the seats……..

Delaware. Pitt needs to come out and pound them 45-10. Just the facts.

You get in a dogfight against Delaware or heaven forbid you get upset, the casual fan is gone.

Scrolls across the board Pitt 55 Delaware 17, fans get excited.

Comes across the tv, Pitt hangs on for a win against Delaware 24-20, you ain’t gettin’ em.

The casual fan wants to see good games, against good teams win or lose, obviously preferring wins. But, they also want to see blow outs against teams we’re suppose to beat.

The difference to the die hards, we’ll be there or supporting from out of state either way.

The casual fan, that’s what he or she wants.

Comment by Dan 05.20.14 @ 6:21 pm

Yep the Brotherhood of the Traveling White Pants must be ended ! πŸ™‚

And please retire the all-white Good Humor Ice Cream man look as well !

Oy Vey…..what us PITT people have to put up with.

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 6:35 pm

For those that don’t know:

link to s3.amazonaws.com

Comment by Emel 05.20.14 @ 6:37 pm

Comment by steve1 05.20.14 @ 7:07 pm

Dan, need to disagree on uniforms and venue. We are wearing Akron’s uniforms. Perhaps that is why we share those colors. If the athletic department had a clue and our program performed better, Pitt could restart the selling of its brand. We don’t do that under this regime. It would be interesting to see Pitt merchandise sales numbers up against the rest of the ACC. Low sales could be a hint that it is time for a real change in uniforms or a better on field product. It is a shame that the jersey manufacturer is so deep in Pederson’s pocket. He has a chance to leave a good legacy by changing uni’s and creating a brand, or be like Akron. Pitt fans have somehow accepted the Akron Standard.

The venue is terrible for college foo. Generic Pitt field signage. Not a big gold panther in the middle of the field or anything. It is like a high school field without pictures. The athletic department failed Pitt sports, not the other way around. I didn’t say the nordenberg administration failed Pitt. Nordenberg foolishly put his faith in the athletic leadership to do the job and create a brand and it failed miserably. Maybe the new Chancellor has a clue about how to create an academic and athletic juggernaut. If he needs help, he only need to look at Ohio State and Penn State. Academics and athletics can co-exist and actually turn a very good school into a great one.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.20.14 @ 7:58 pm

Pitt-Delaware as an evening contest would draw 40,000 – 45,000. I thought that was the point of opening with an FCS opponent – you get to play a night game for your fans.

Looking over a lot of commentary on Heinz for Pitt both written now and back in the early 2000s demonstrates a modest bump for Pitt in attendance for some games. People forget crowds of 60,000 at Pitt Stadium for games against Notre Dame and Penn State and a lot of 40,000+ crowds when Pitt was decent.

How did we ever do it? I mean the whining about parking in Oakland and getting out of Oakland after the games is incredible. We parked, walked up a hill, walked back down the hill, went to eat or drink, whatever. It wasn’t the end of the world. And we looked forward to doing it. Many of us knew where every hidden parking spot was in Oakland because we went to school there and, of course, had to park.

And you guys are mentioning the hassle of going to hassle-free Heinz. My experiences getting to Heinz and parking make attending football games in Oakland a piece of cake by comparison.

Also read that Nordenberg was not in favor of moving football off campus. Cornhole was.

What an asshole we have as AD…

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.20.14 @ 8:25 pm

Hey, do you guys remember this one played on campus?

link to youtube.com

It was friggin freezin, the stadium was packed, I drank Jack Daniels with friends until we got split up in the mob at the endzone by the Vet hospital. Ah, the joy of on campus college football!

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.20.14 @ 8:51 pm

Pirates terrible, Steelers terrible, Penquins terrible, casual Pittsburgh fans there for the taking.

Comment by alcofan 05.20.14 @ 9:17 pm

Merchandising at Pitt is a joke! If you want to buy a jersey from their site, your choices are slim. #1 jersey still available and it isn’t Larry’s! Donald had an incredible year at Pitt yet can’t find a 97 anywhere. Will 23 be available? Better be! The throwback section is getting bigger but you still can’t get the legends of Pitt! I just don’t get it! It’s like we are fine will being mediocre! Go back to script so everyone in the country can recognize us. They made it way to confusing when they switched. We have block Pitt, script Pitt and dinocat! Come on man! I wish admin loved Pitt as much as we do!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 05.20.14 @ 11:18 pm

@alcofan:

You nailed it.

Pens and Steelers not terrible, stagnant for sure. Sadly that is what I would call Pitt hoops too. But the casual fan is definitely out there to be had.

A 10-2 campaign this year and I think you would have a genuine interest. Especially with a returning QB and a stud like Boyd for 2015 and some big home games looming in next couple years(Pedo ST, Ok St, Clemson)

This is actually familiar to early 2000’s( pre-Ben, Sid, Howland-Dixon era, and Pirates nearing a decade into a 20 year funk)the Walt Harris led Panthers had a chance. Lost too many big ones at home as Emel pointed out and never captivated the casual fan that was available.

Here’s hoping and praying this 2014 edition can take advantage and get some much needed buzz and interest in Pitt football…

Comment by Pap76 05.20.14 @ 11:54 pm

@Tony in Houston:

I wish Pitt still had a stadium on campus, the administration let a program on top of the world fall apart and neglected the stadium on top of it.

I was born in 76 but my experience at Heinz and Pitt stadium is just a so-so college environment. I know my Dad has said even in Pitt’s glory days of the modern era from 76-82 if the game wasn’t a marquee matchup Pitt Stadium didn’t sell out either, and now at Heinz you have 10,000 more asses to try to put in seats.

But to your point of getting to Heinz we never have an issue. I remember a game against Ohio St in the 80’s we could not find a place to park. I was 8 or 9 years old and heard my Dad say words I never heard before. We actually ended up going home, probably worst day of my childhood. Lol

Now for todays students jumping on a bus to go watch your team sucks. But for the average season ticket holder living in the greater Pgh area, getting to games on time and the pre gaming that goes with it Heinz has never been an issue…

Comment by Pap76 05.21.14 @ 12:12 am

Also Tony in Houston I agree on the kickoff of the opener. We are kicking off for ESPN 3? Really?

Pirate game 4:05 1st pitch, instead of noon kickoff at 8:00 and shoot off some fireworks.

I have to spend now until August 30th justifying to myself why I have to start drinking at 10:00 AM for a Pitt/Delaware game..

Actually typing that I answered my own question, I ‘m a Pitt fan, it is always justifiable to have a drink…

Comment by Pap76 05.21.14 @ 12:28 am

@dhuffdaddy, I agree, I have ranted many times about Pitt script and the markings at Heinz.

I guess, like you said, I’m one of the ones resigned to it.

I remember right after we got accepted to the ACC, when everyone else was talking about who we’ll play, what players to watch, the different venues (as I was too), I also mentioned, how will Pitt handle the stadium.

Will Pitt have the beautiful Blue, Gold and White ACC logos at the 20’s??

Will there be a huge beautiful eye catching Pitt logo at mid-field?

Will they do the end zones in “Panthers”??

Will they do it up like the Miami Hurricanes, who also share a stadium with a NFL team, who also plays on grass. When the Hurricanes take the field, it’s an NFL stadium, but it definitely has Miami Hurricanes college game all over, at least the most that anyone could expect.

I’ve even posted links of pics before, too tired today, just google it. Miami Hurricanes at home looks excellent for playing in a pro stadium.

or…………..

will Pitt blow it, and miss out on the opportunity.

I remember sadly, thinking, I know how this is gonna turn out. And I and many others were correct.

Looks like a small college, playing in an NFL stadium off campus.

They did nothing. No ACC logo’s at the 20’s, no end zones.

And the midfield logo. Please, your insulting the local high schools to say it looks like a high school logo. Check the high schools out, they’re much bolder, brighter and better.

Excuses, excuses!!! The Steelers like to do a walk through on Sat nite, no money, no time, it’s a grass field, it’s too hard and

blah-dee-daa-dee-blah!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 8:55 am

I pontificated oh so many times, about how entering the ACC would have been a golden opportunity to go to Pitt script, or at least an updated modern Pitt script.

Not only would you pacify a lot of fans, it would be a huge money maker, with everyone around seeming to be changing their uniforms to make money, it would be exciting and create a little buzz…………

it was a fastball down the middle, just needed someone to take a nice level swing and hit it out of the park.

NOTHING.

So, I’ve been off the ranting train, sadly like you say, I guess I’ve conditioned to just accept it.

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 9:02 am

If you guys remember, I even told you I wrote a very professional, reasonable letter on these issues, and FedEx’d it too Smug, the Assistant Ath Dir, head of marketing and two others I can’t remember.

I mean, that’s about the most I could do, other than storm the Bastille. Too tired to do that.

Can only hit your head against a wall so often.

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 9:06 am

The reason I mention “professional”, I didn’t do it like some yinzer bitchin’.

It was a very thoughtful letter, very friendly, just kickin’ some ideas around.

I nicely requested a response.

Got no response, from anyone. My home phone, cell phone, and two email addresses were all available.

Nothing. Not even a text.

Not even an email with a form letter.

NOTHING.

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 9:15 am

I haven’t had a bad experience at Heinz Field but I would prefer to complete my 300 mile drive on the campus driving down Forbes Ave seeing the magnificent Cathedral towering into the sky. I make it to Pittsburgh five times a year and the Cathedral still inspires me and raises my school spirit. A little “romantic” but that’s how I feel.

Comment by barreman 05.21.14 @ 9:26 am

Dan…I absolutely agree with you about the new conference marketing opportunity that was blown last year. This is a University with some great, bedrock traditions…why is the Athletic Department running away from them?

Comment by barreman 05.21.14 @ 9:30 am

@ Dan-o

Just be thankful Wanny came back and got rid of the Chipmunk helmet and brought back ‘PITT’. Block or otherwise it’s much better than ‘Pittsburgh’ scrawled across the front the jerseys.

A lot of ppl like to hate on Wanny, but he certainly has to be remembered for that !

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:46 pm

Maybe Cornhole always ‘had it in’ for Wanny after he got rid of Cornhole’s creation of Chipmunk helmet and ‘Pittsburgh’.

And was just waiting for the smallest thing to happen to get rid of the man who destroyed his remake of Pitt sports into his own image.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:48 pm

Perhaps change is on the horizon with the new Chancellor. Pederson is afraid of success and I am convinced of it. People do that in life. Pitt Administration can manipulate the academic statistics for USNews & World Report, but they can’t manipulate a win/loss record in the ACC. On second thought…..

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.21.14 @ 7:28 pm

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