May 21, 2014

Credit and curses to J.D. for noting this site. It’s a Craiglist or want ads for basketball games. Rather than individually calling each school, you can post your wants and needs for a game. Specify the date and/or the kind of opponent you want and hope someone gets back to you on this.

For example, UNC-Charlotte posted this gem: “Looking to buy a game for the opener. Competitive $$$$ – RPI 200 and below. Please call or email. Thanks.” They want a guarantee game with an opponent that won’t ding their RPI too much.

That “200 RPI or better” caveat is very common in the ads for a lot of major conference and high mid-majors looking for guarantee games.

Then there are the really sad ones. The ones looking to be bought. Like Alabama A&M looking to have practically their entire non-con on the road:

Hello Coaches! I hope you all enjoyed Dallas as well as the very exiting NCAA Tournament. We are looking for some games to fill our buy dates. They are as follows: Nov. 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, Dec. 14,-23, Dec 29-30. Please help us out in this endeavor. Thanks Coaches!

It’s never been easy, but it is a different kind of rough being a player for a HBCU these days.

Pitt has posted their remaining need:


As you can see, Pitt is looking to fill a final home game right before the New Year. Pitt has a bunch of challenging road/neutral site games. And like many other programs on the list, they need a home game to fill that has to start at home.

So who wants to spend the rest of their day coming through the list to find Pitt a game?

I’ve got Jackson State, South Carolina-Upstate, North Florida

Auburn remains a possibility for a home-and-home, but they didn’t put dates. Those were all the ones for listings after May 1st.

I really like this one from Appalachian State. “Appalachian State is looking to get paid”

Comment by Greg 05.21.14 @ 8:57 am

Is this for real?

Comment by Caw Miller 05.21.14 @ 9:17 am

Here in B’more their is talk of playing Pat Skerry and Towsn U. Please don’t !!! Pitt will lose. They are loaded!

Comment by Dan 72 05.21.14 @ 9:58 am

There is an article in PPG today talking about how Pitt recruited ,what Beano Cook once called,” Pitt’s greatest shotmaker,” Jonas Salk.

I sure hope we will be seeing an upgraded non-con schedule because last season it was embarrassing.

JD sure isn’t in any rush to replace Slice. I haven’t even heard a rumor.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.21.14 @ 10:55 am

@Greg, c’mon, I was expecting Michigan State
or Kansas.

Wait, I’m a Pitt hoops fan, your teams sound just about right!!

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 12:17 pm

South Carolina-Upstate, that’s a new one. Could be a real feather in our cap!!

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 12:21 pm

I see where Doug McDermott is a projected 9 pick in the NBA. From what I saw he is the most prolific scorer in College basketball in the last 5 years and as such should go higher.

Jabari Parker is projected 1st overall. To me that seems too high.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.21.14 @ 12:39 pm

@Dan – South Carolina – Upstate is located in Spartanburg, SC. They are called the “Spartans”. Spartanburg is halfway between Greenville,SC & Charlotte, NC on I-85.

They beat the Gamecocks last year & finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference. (Mercer & Florida Gulf Coast last two NCAA tourney teams). Played in the College Insiders Tournament.

Also Texas Southern is looking for a Guarantee game on DEC30/31.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 05.21.14 @ 12:54 pm

We actually played USC-Upstate in baseball this year.

I say let’s schedule them in all sports. Could be our new rival. LOL

Comment by Pap76 05.21.14 @ 1:29 pm

@PITT-cocks fan. I realize where it is now, and where I’ve seen it. I’ve seen an exit for it down around my sister.

She lives in Rock Hill.

Comment by Dan 05.21.14 @ 1:43 pm

Pap76, They can’t be any worse than the mighty Savanah State squad we hosted last fall.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.21.14 @ 2:00 pm

Most of the rankings I’ve seen have the two Kansas players, Embiid and Wiggins as the top prospects, with Parker being third. Parker is probably the lowest risk, he is going to be a good NBA player for 10+ years. He has good size, speed and skills. In person, he looks like an NBA player.

McDermott will be a good NBA player too. I think there are some concerns about his defense, who is he going to guard? In the right place, McDermott could be really, really good.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.21.14 @ 2:12 pm

@Pap76 – Upstate only fields men’s Baseball,Basketball,cross country, golf, soccor tennis’ & track & field. Love to see PITT play them in basketball. I live about 25 miles away. Their arena seats less than 1,000 but was named by Stadium Journey Magazine as the 15 best place to watch a basketball game. (PITT was 14’th).

Was in Columbia,SC when PITT played Upstate in baseball.

I would provide a link but don’t know how.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 05.21.14 @ 2:22 pm

This one is pretty funny:

North Carolina-Charlotte

Mark Bialkoski


Looking to buy a game for the opener. Competitive $$$$ – RPI 200 and below. Please call or email. Thanks.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:29 pm

Definition of a Rent-A-Win

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:30 pm

BYU is looking to start a H&H.

Provo anyone ?

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:34 pm

All of which leads to this question.

How many ‘bought’ games have we won in the last 13 years ?

I should have got into college coaching when you can buy 10-12 wins per season.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:54 pm

Looking back at the schedules from older era’s Pitt rarely bought wins back then.

Henceforth we didn’t win 20 games every year.

The wins were much more legit.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 2:56 pm

I remember Syracuse playing a steady cupcake schedule,mostly at home as far back as the late 70’s but we weren’t good enough to be buying any games most of the 80’s and 90’s. I think all the successful programs buy some twinkies now a days. We have certainly shown a love for Hostess Crème Pies the last couple seasons.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.21.14 @ 3:13 pm

The easy H/H would be the hoopies. Huggins has said publicly that he would love to resume the rivalry. It certainly helps them more than it helps us.

I would rather see us go to a big, east coast city where we could help our recruiting, either NY, DC, Philly or even CT. Not sure any of the big boys will want to subject themselves to coming to the Pete in December, which is a likely loss, every other year. UConn might be willing, their conference situation sucks and Pitt is an old rival, made for TV game.

Or Maybe go to an SEC school. They could use a boost in their SOS. Maybe Vandy or Tenn? Georgia and SC could be cool too, especially if Pitt is going to recruit below the Mason-Dixon Line. Or maybe go west, there are two pittsburgh guys in Arizona (Sendek and Miller).

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.21.14 @ 3:23 pm

When you sink to Bethune-Cookman, Kennesaw State, etc., levels, that is hitting rock bottom.

I’d much rather play Bobby Mo or Penn or St. Joe’s or St. Bonnie. And I see St. Bonaventure is looking for a H & H. A-10 school with long tradition in hoops, not a long road trip, travel costs for both schools would be minimal.

Pitt could even have a fair amount of fans there.

Let’s do it !

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 3:47 pm

Maybe suggest/insist their home game be played at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. 18K capacity home to the Buffalo Sabres.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 3:51 pm

Of course, we aren’t mentioned in this ESPN about big time recruiting jobs in the ACC but it’s notable that Miami is downgraded for having to play off campus. From what’s reported, it appears we have much better practice facilities than the Canes do.

link to

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.21.14 @ 4:26 pm

From ESpN Insider report on Top Five Recruiting Jobs: ACC

Bottom line: Miami is one of the top college programs in the last 30 years, and has a strong brand in the state, the Southeast and nationally. With five national championships, nine conference titles, five Heisman Trophy winners and the best two-county home recruiting base in the country, the Hurricanes are simply one of the top recruiting jobs in college football. Only facility upgrades and its home stadium keep Miami from being one of the best recruiting jobs in the country.

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.21.14 @ 4:28 pm

A good recruiting tool for us. Especially with Fitzgerald and maybe Revis entering.

link to

Comment by Frank MD 05.21.14 @ 4:44 pm

Not confident at all Frank MD that we know how to use our great recruiting tools.

It wasn’t taken advantage of for the inductions of: Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, Russ Grimm, Ricky Jackson, Iron Mike Ditka, Curtis Martin or Chris Doleman.

Nor the College Football HOF’ers: Hugh Green, Bill Fralic, Jimbo Covert, Mark May, and some of the ones listed above.

Comment by Emel 05.21.14 @ 5:00 pm

Hall of Famers and first round draft pick in Donald would be a good place to start. Sheeeeesh, we don’t know how to be opportunistic under this regime. Higher education is all about opportunity creation and capitalization. Pitt needs to get in the fast lane instead of driving 55 in a 65 zone.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.21.14 @ 7:38 pm

PG says Pitt putting ACC windfall into recruiting budgets and bigger football weight room. Hope we see results soon.

HOF, and current stars, Fitz, Revis and Shady should give us some credibility. Hopefully Shady’s excellence continues for a few seasons and Revis has a bounce back year. Fitz needs to pad his stats for a few more and he is a lock for the Hall.

Donald’s senior season should continue the trend.

Some marquis wins are what is needed most to improve the profile.

Frankcan, how about a short update to let us know you are OK?

Comment by gc 05.22.14 @ 8:44 am

gc, I read in the PG where Pitt’s recruiting budgets are rising … Wanny has to be rolling over in his grave

Comment by wbb 05.22.14 @ 9:13 am

I didn’t know that he passed away.

Comment by gc 05.22.14 @ 9:16 am

No doubt Wanny’s strength was his recruiting. What would he have accomplished with this new budget?

I am a Chryst supporter, but he has a lot to do this year to right the ship. Early signings are way less than mediocre in numbers and profile. Where’s the beef?

Comment by gc 05.22.14 @ 9:21 am

Why does Pitt refuse to play RMU? They are better than Duquesne and recruit diff. talent and styles? They have a higher RPI and would be a cheap buy for Stevie P.

Comment by tedsptman 05.22.14 @ 9:29 am


or the schedule ain’t gonna matter.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.22.14 @ 10:53 am

speaking of recruiting, maybe there is a little bit of light on the horizon

link to

Comment by wbb 05.22.14 @ 11:22 am

EMel – The Bonnie’s?

For throw back Thursday, the first college basketball game I ever saw (as a preschooler) was at the Reilly Center to watch Bob Lanier, Jim Satalin, Billy Calbaugh and the boys play against Calvin Murphy and Niagara in 1969/70. That Bonnie’s team made the final four after beating ‘Nova in the regional finals. Lanier hurt his knee in the nova game (some jackass “clipped” him). They lost to Artis Gilmore and Jacksonville without Lanier. My father and uncle believed SBU would have beaten Jacksonville and would have given UCLA a run for their money with a healthy Lanier.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.22.14 @ 11:28 am


Thanks for the link. Maybe someday there will be a report on here about who is scheduled to come to the camps this summer. As I recall, that was when we had lots of kids sign up last summer.

Does anyone know who is on the radar and likely to come to Pitt?


Comment by pmdH2P 05.22.14 @ 11:29 am

A link to the article in the Post-Gazette that wbb referenced about the recruiting budget and other ACC news:

link to

Comment by Iron Duke 05.22.14 @ 2:17 pm

Revis had a great season last year & made the Pro Bowl. No one noticed because he did it in Tampa.

Comment by Nick 05.22.14 @ 2:36 pm

Revis started 16 games, had 50 tackles, 1 sack, 2 ints, 11 pbu’s, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, made his 5th Pro Bowl, & was named Sporting News comeback player of the year.

Comment by Nick 05.22.14 @ 2:42 pm

Fitzgerald and Revis someday in the NFL HOF would tie us with ND and one behind USC. Maybe LeSean next?

Comment by Frank MD 05.22.14 @ 3:02 pm

@ Boubacar

I know the Bonnies aren’t what they use to be, however they are in the A10, and would be a far superior opponent to most of the rent-a-wins we’ve been scheduling. And like I posted travel expenses would be minimal for both teams.

Jacksonville gave UCLA all they could handle that year with their Twin Towers. You might be right about the Bonnies had Lanier been at full strength. The Bonnies crushed Nova in that Regional Final game.

And that was about the last time Niagara was relevant in college basketball, with the tiny Calvin Murphy.

Comment by Emel 05.22.14 @ 3:38 pm

Actually Bob Lanier missed the Final 4 game altogether that year in losing to Jax.

Matt Gant & Vic Thomas led them that day, but couldn’t overcome Artis Gilmore’s double double of 29 & 21.

Comment by Emel 05.22.14 @ 3:45 pm

Speaking of the Purple Eagles, Antoine Mason, the second leading scorer in the country last season, announced he is leaving Niagara. He graduated after his RS Junior Year and is eligible to play somewhere right away. He is a 6’3″ shooting guard. He is built like his father, former NBA player Anthony Mason.

Might be a good stop gap for Pitt at the two next season?

Comment by Boubacar Aw 05.22.14 @ 4:38 pm

Former Pitt Center & Big Kiwi named to NBA All-Rookie Team.

link to

Mark Cuban in some hot water over more words.

Comment by Emel 05.22.14 @ 5:53 pm

Getting closer to the ‘Thought Police’ of 1984.

Comment by Emel 05.22.14 @ 5:54 pm

Iron Duke:
Thanks for the link. Could Pederson be any more tentative about the Penn State series extending beyond the four scheduled games?

“I hope we can continue to keep that going forward,” Pederson said. “[Penn State athletic director] Dave Joyner and I continue to have conversations.”

Pitt does not want to play West Virginia. Many of you may agree there’s no point. But the Power Five rule goes into effect for the ACC in 2017 and the Hillbillies are a Power Five team who arouse hatred in the younger Pitt fans.

Just be honest about it, Pederson. You and Dixon don’t want to play WVU. Pederson makes it sound like there’s no way the two sides can get together:

“One team not likely to return to Pitt’s schedule in the near future is former rival West Virginia (Big 12). Pederson said he has not had any substantive discussions with Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck about reviving the Backyard Brawl.”

Holgorsen and Luck have basically said anywhere, anytime. How much more willing can they be?

Read more: link to

Comment by TonyinHouston 05.22.14 @ 6:30 pm


Thanks for getting my procrastinating ass in gear and booking a room for UVA game. Tried the Omni and Darden and both were booked. Ended up with Doubletree, they have a bar and shuttle service, so I lucked out. Anyone thinking of making trip should book a room soon.

June and early July are critical for Chryst and staff to land some recruits. Once kids high school camps open if they are not committed they will generally wait until after their season is over.

As myself and a couple other people have pointed out, with some of the local sports down Pitt has a chance to get some much needed buzz and excitement generated in the football program. Getting the casual fan to Heinz Field is the difference from 30-40,000 people to 50,000+. Pitt needs to win more than 6 games a year to get the casual fan interested and when you do get them there WIN! You cannot continually send people home with a loss muttering “same old Pitt”

If the PG article Iron Duke gave us the link to is any indication the move to ACC has generated more money to put back in programs. Winning would create more. I am not delusional Pitt will never have Alabama money or fan support, but they can compete yearly in the ACC Coastal division and realistically average 50,000 fans a game. In basketball the ceiling is even higher, the men’s basketball program has the facilities, fan base, and support to compete for National championships.

Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by Pap76 05.22.14 @ 7:08 pm

Don’t need to play WVU in BBall, but in Football, they insure an elusive sell out, and national TV game. It may marginally help their recruiting, but not all that much. Not sure why we are being so pig headed. Much rather play them than Okie St.

Comment by gc 05.22.14 @ 7:26 pm

Well thought out and written post, Pap76.

Let’s go, Rangers!

Comment by steve1 05.22.14 @ 7:38 pm

“I want the people in the stands and in the community to feel like they have a big part in the reason why we’re successful,” Franklin said. “I want them to feel like on third down when that offense can’t hear and they jump off sides that they’re a part of that. That when we get a big recruit that they were a part of that because when we were walking around on campus they said, ‘Welcome to Penn State,’ and gave them a big smile and a pat on the back.”

Can you imagine anyone at Pitt having the common sense to sell a similar message…nope…Too busy with clever sayings like my city my team!

Comment by HbgFrank 05.22.14 @ 7:53 pm

HbgFrank, the jury is still out…so to speak.

Comment by steve1 05.22.14 @ 8:07 pm

You are right Steve5. Franklin thinks he’s Obama and that he can just sit tight and ignore it and it will go away. Franklin may have the State College media in his hip pocket but the Vandy rape case will not go away. Eventually the roosters come home to roost

Comment by Pittman4ever 05.22.14 @ 9:58 pm

Steve1, not 5!

Comment by Pittman4ever 05.22.14 @ 10:01 pm

Whatever, I’ve been called worse.

Going to overtime. What fun!

Comment by steve1 05.22.14 @ 10:07 pm


Comment by steve1 05.22.14 @ 10:10 pm

Pap 76, I have been following Pitt football for about half a century and think your imagined averaging 50,000 fans at Heinz Field is a pipe dream. When Pitt football was at it’s high water mark of my lifetime they averaged in the fortys a few years, playing a schedule with Penn St, WVU ,and Notre Dame. They don’t attract that kind of interest even when times are good.

The compete for a national title talk in hoops strikes me as far fetched too. I would so love to see it happen but think it would take a run of luck that is beyond what is realistic to consider.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.23.14 @ 8:33 am

this past year, Pitt averaged 49,500.
Recently, in 09 (53,446) and 010 (52,165) were their 2nd and 3rd highest ever .. behind 2003 in which they had over 54K.

Of course, these are tickets sold and not actual attendance.

Comment by wbb 05.23.14 @ 9:45 am

actually the average attendance in 03 was > 59K — they didn’t even play WVU at home that year. They had over 60K for 4 home games that year .. ND, Syracuse, VT and Miami (the others were 56K and 44k)

The highest attended game for Pitt at Heinz was Pitt-WVU in 02 when over 67k saw pitt lose 24-17

Comment by wbb 05.23.14 @ 9:56 am

The big Cinci game had to have a high number as well.

Comment by gc 05.23.14 @ 11:03 am

Attendance does not equal tickets sold, many Pitt football games are played in front less than 30K.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.23.14 @ 11:23 am

I doubt very much that 60k showed up for the Cuse in 03, but I do remember very large crowds for ND, VT and Miami … as well as that WVU game in 02.

Comment by wbb 05.23.14 @ 2:26 pm

Everybody remembers the big crowds, but have we forgotten the little ones. When Pitt plays a nobody(which is often) less than 40K show up.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.23.14 @ 2:36 pm

@ gc

I just posted this the other day, we had a little less than 64K for the Cincy game in 2009.

Even though I dislike Heinz for PITT, if we started winning consistently at home and blowing out the weaklings, in a sports crazy town like Pittsburgh, we could average >55k. Maybe 60K.

The key is you gotta win and you have to have an exciting product. Even though I ended up despising Graham, as most of us do, that spread offense, with the right QB, would have been fun to watch and has taken Clemson to the Top 10 and a BCS win over Ohio Fake.

Comment by Emel 05.23.14 @ 3:45 pm

Anything over 60,000 is huge for Pitt. When you consider that PSU, Ohio ST and Michigan routinely get around 100 k it shows where we are size wise.

Makes our HOF standing even more impressive.

Comment by gc 05.23.14 @ 4:39 pm

There are only so many football fans in this not so big city. Subtract the Penn State and Notre Dame fans and then subtract those who go to Steeler games and there are only so many more left. Throw in a weak opponent and we are lucky anyone goes.

Comment by spiritofsection22 05.23.14 @ 4:46 pm

Emel, to run a spread, you need team speed, and not only at the skill positions. With the current OLs, it is a very remote possibility. The current QB would probably run a spread better than any recent QB we had except for maybe Palko but the line needs to move laterally as much as north and south.

Another consideration … WVU scored 70 pts on Clemson back in 011, and 21 on us the very game before. Not sure what exactly that means except maybe when you can slow the pace down and make them play your game, you have a chance .. otherwise if you run against them, you better have the speed to do so

Comment by wbb 05.23.14 @ 7:50 pm

Former WVU player suing NCAA for cost-of-living compensation … after all, living in Morgantown is like Beverly Hills (or at least Fox Chapel)

link to

Comment by wbb 05.24.14 @ 6:49 am

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