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October 6, 2015

Now to Avoid the Letdown

Filed under: Fans,Football — Chas @ 9:40 am

Virginia is not a good football program. They were a unanimous pick in every publication, in every every preseason poll — coaches and media — to finish last. Not simply in the Coastal division, but the ACC as a whole.

They are a mess. Mike London is a dead coach walking. They are 1-3. That one win coming against the 1-AA William & Mary Fightin’ Jon Stewarts. And even then, they had to hold on for that win.

And yet…

They have talent. Make no mistake. Mike London has lasted as long as he has, not because of his coaching acumen or naked pictures of the AD. He’s done it because he has recruited better than the team’s record should suggest (Yes, I know recruiting rankings and such are completely nebulous and questionable with individuals, but they are a decent indicator of overall team talent). 2011-13 recruiting classes were all considered to be in the top-30 by Rivals.com. 2014 had them at 41 and last year was in the 40s.

Obviously slipping, but still. The recruiting sites constantly had the Hoos above Pitt in recruiting.

They nearly beat Notre Dame until giving up a 39-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left. Leading to an image that just summed up UVa football in the Mike London era.

sad uva fan

We’ve been there.

Mike London will be fired because he’s done zilch with the talent, but it is there. In that respect, Virginia can’t be assumed as a win. It should be a win, but Pitt can’t be assuming it will be given.

Pitt has gone 3-1. Coming off a strong win against Virginia Tech (and you can denigrate it and this particular VT  squad all you want, but that win had significance). The team is feeling good about itself. The fans are cautiously optimistic. It’s homecoming.

So how many of us, even half-jokingly, are waiting for the cartoon-like, “KABOOM!”?

Reflexively. Defensively. To preserve our sanity. How many are expecting the bad thing to happen?

This is the letdown game to avoid. One more thing to try and change for the fans first.

Justin has posted a few times (slightly tongue-in-cheek) about the Pitt revenge tour that the first three games represented. Not to mention, that last year Pitt was 3-1 — with an ACC win and only a loss to Iowa — with a bad team coming to Heinz Field.

It’s unfair to expect Head Coach Pat Narduzzi to exorcise in one year all the demons that Pitt fans constantly see around the football program. Let alone change the national perception.

But a solid win this Saturday can be another blow against the old perceptions within and without.





Just catching up on reading:

Dr. Tom re: Pitino – lmao!
Emel – thanks – I am well seasoned!!

I too, remember the PayDirt signs on the goal lines. And I remember the visitors “visited” quite often. Our place kicker at the time, Joe Spicko, had a booming leg for that era, but occasionally missed extra points. We used to say that he “put the excitement back into extra points”!

1-9 seasons weren’t too hard to sit thru, if you smuggled enough wine into Pitt Stadium on Saturdays!

I’ve often wondered what happened to Coach Dave Hart. Surely he wasn’t the same Dave Hart that became AD at 2-3 schools later – was he?

Comment by Savannah Panther 10.07.15 @ 5:51 am

Pitt has offered North Allegheny soph guard, Curtis Aiken, Jr a scholarship. Now, if this guy verbals and then flips elsewhere, Pitt should never ever offer anyone but a senior a schollie again.

Comment by wbb 10.07.15 @ 7:13 am

@bostoncommons, @yeti, and @dinosaur

LOL, yes, and my comment in regards to sporting events or concerts is not because I’m a better fan,

and going to church, certainly not holier than thou…..

for myself, it’s purely from a “lazy” stand point!!!

LOL

If I’m gonna make an effort, to get up and go somewhere, you better believe we’re not leaving!!

Comment by Dan 10.07.15 @ 9:09 am

Don’t know how the crowd will be, but it does seem we have some new posters, and I know I’ve had a few more people at the plant talk about the Pitt game.

So…right direction.

The ol “Winning cures a lot of things” is true.

Just can’t stub the toe Saturday.

Comment by Dan 10.07.15 @ 9:11 am

Changing gears for just a second. The only way I see the Bucs winning tonight’s game is for Cole to hit their pitcher with a 99 mph fastball the first time he comes to bat!

Comment by pittman4ever 10.07.15 @ 11:29 am

Yep Savannah…..Dave Hart did indeed become an AD.
Think he was at Missouri the longest.

And now his kid…Junior is an AD somewhere, perhaps Tennessee.

Comment by Emel 10.07.15 @ 11:52 am

Yea see I was only reading the Press Sunday Sports section about Pitt as a kid when the Paydirt sign was at one of the Endzones at Pitt.

My first live Pitt football game was Tony Dorsett’s 300 yard game against Notre Dame, I believe. If I was at one before then I don’t remember.

Now I did attend Pitt basketball earlier than that, as my Dad would take me and that was a Pitt team that included Buzzy Hairston, Bill Sulkowski, Carl Fleming, etc.

Comment by Emel 10.07.15 @ 11:57 am

Emel, I was there also. I believe it was 303 yards for TD that day. He was a junior and the year was 1975.

Comment by pittman4ever 10.07.15 @ 12:04 pm

Yea pittman4ever….TD got robbed of another Heisman that year.

He had far superior stats to that of Ohio Fake’s Griffin.

I think it was at that point, I truly started despising Ohio Fake. Speaking of, haven’t heard from our poster with my favorite name.

OhhowIhateOhioState

Comment by Emel 10.07.15 @ 1:19 pm

Players play and coaches coach. Some players coach, but no coaches play.
In my experience, let downs occur when teams are stale…bored….stuck in a routine.
Let us not forget that this team has played a grand total of 1 game at home. 1 friggen’ game!!!
That alone should ensure spirit…interest and attention to detail.
I know UVA has talent….never doubted it and I know the PN staff will remind Pitt players just where it is they rank alongside these guys from UVA.
My concern is more along the lines of X’s and O’s. UVA will gain yards in the air….will 30 het fooled as he did on a 3rd and long. Rain will not be part of the equation…..will UVA hit us with quick strikes like Rutgers did all those years ago.
The staff has to prepare the players well and the players have to execute well. If they do, we will win…if they don’t, we won’t.

Comment by sfpitt 10.07.15 @ 4:51 pm

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