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September 30, 2017

Pitt-Rice: Open Thread

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:34 am

12:00 ACC Digital Network Extra/ESPN3.

I’m rationalizing attending the Rice-Pitt game on Yom Kippur as its own form of atonement after what Pitt has done for the first 4 games.

This is a family game for me. My sister did her graduate and doctorate work at Rice (applied mathematics, and yes, she’s the smart one in the family) and her husband has a masters from the school.  They still live in Houston, and my parents moved down there a few years ago. They were fine during the hurricane and flooding, if you are wondering.

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September 29, 2017

In light of the burgeoning scandal in college basketball, the response from some corners is that if players were compensated — paying players, permitting them to cash in on their likeness (autographs, cut of jersey sales, etc.), and even allowing them to cut deals directly with shoe companies — it would end this sort of shenanigans. So would eliminating the NBA’s restriction on high school players that creates the one-and-done rule.

It’s an appealing notion. And it would reduce it a bit. Everyone would have to get comfortable with shoe companies dictating which schools would get the players. Nike deciding which blue bloods get certain players in their stable. That certainly would be what happens. Shoe company paying six-figures for a 5-star, elite player. They are going to tell him where he’s playing. They are going to recoup that money in apparel sales.

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September 28, 2017

As expected, Rick Pitino is out at Louisville. Technically, he is on administrative leave. That, though, is for contract/money reasons. He has to be put on leave for 10 days before he can be fired for Louisville to avoid paying a tremendous buyout. Again, this is more the cumulative effect. Not just for this scandal.

This will end up with lawsuits and an eventual settlement — unless the FBI is given/releases some direct evidence of Pitino’s knowledge before it gets to trial.

The somewhat surprising thing is that Louisville’s AD Tom Jurich is also out. Some reports have said he was told to place Pitino on leave/fire him, but he refused. Others deny it. Regardless, this is a big hit for Louisville as Jurich is widely credited with building the Cards into the athletic program it is today — and how they were able to get into the ACC.

Jurich’s firing also has the effect of triggering a reduction in the buyout their rather nomadic football coach would have to pay if he were to take another job. Bobby Petrino’s buyout to leave goes down from $8+ million to $4.25 million. Why, hello there, Nebraska. What’s new with you? Ole Miss, what’s happening?

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September 26, 2017

“Always be a pessimist, you will never be disappointed.”

Variations on a theme.

I don’t think of myself as a pessimist. More that I am a cynic.

Whether it is as a wounded idealist, someone who wears it as an armor rather then choosing to believe or strive for something, or a realist with a sense of humor.  Perhaps all of them and more.

Which means a day like this creates something interesting.

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September 25, 2017

Surprising Regression

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:44 am

A 1-2 start was not completely surprising. Disappointing? Yes. But not something completely unexpected. Even a 1-3 start was hardly out of the realm of possibility. But the way this third loss went down was not what anyone saw coming.

The defense was decent. Yes, the Yellow Jackets piled up the rushing yards,  time of possession and finished with 35 points. That’s what they do in the triple option. The defense also came up with four turnovers, made stops and generally gave the offense a chance. But they were gassed. They were gassed by halftime and finished by the end of the third quarter.

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September 23, 2017

Open Thread: Pitt-GT

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 11:11 am

12:20 pm, ACC Network Affiliates or ACC Digital Network/WatchESPN.

Sorry about the last minute thing. Did a nice long run this morning with my daughter. Got a shower. Had some coffee. Felt good. Sat down for a minute, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Getting old is something.

Ben DiNucci gets the start at QB. No one (including me) seems to have a problem with this. DiNucci has simply been more of a spark. He’s shown more confidence. And just seemed to be more of the leader on the offensive side. Max Browne simply seemed to lack confidence out there. Especially when Pitt got into the redzone.

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September 21, 2017

So Many Issues

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:40 am

…Of course, the downside of a beatdown like Pitt was given against Oklahoma State; is that with so many problems, where do you begin?

The defense does get Jordan Whitehead back, but that hardly addresses the issues for the defense. Which, in my view, starts up front.

The Cowwboys may have piled up the passing yards, but I really didn’t think the secondary was too bad. The inability to tackle, to not get the pressure up front. Oh, the missed chances. When you keep missing chances to get off the field on 3d down.

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September 20, 2017

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Laugh

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:25 am

Here’s the good thing about a good-old, beatdown. There are no what ifs. No, “Well if only..” Nope. All of them together would just have added up to a closer loss then what happened. Pitt was dominated from start to finish.

To be honest, I was mostly over the game within five minutes after exiting the stadium. I didn’t bother hanging around for the press conference. There wasn’t much to dwell on as far as the game itself.

The team, season, program? Yeah, those are legit questions. Perhaps even a source of angst. But not on that day. It was one of those games, you just need to walk away from as quickly as possible.

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September 16, 2017

Open Thread: OKSt-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:58 am

Sorry, it’s been a week — and it stayed that way.

During the game this past week, a lot of frustration with QB Max Browne. I’m not in favor of benching him and moving on at this point. Head Coach Pat Narduzzi has made it clear that isn’t going to happen.

I don’t believe he is a bad quarterback. But he definitely is not as good as Nate Peterman or Tom Savage. There are clearly some limitations on him, beyond his, uh, limited mobility. The most glaring is the way his passes tend to sail. It works on longer throws where the receiver has time to get under them. When it comes to being in the redzone or making shorter passes…

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September 9, 2017

Open Thread: PSU-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:50 pm

3:30, ABC.

Pitt is a heavy underdog.

Penn State is ranked #4 nationally, Pitt is unranked.

PSU looked great at home against an overmatched opponent last week. Pitt, not so much.

Nit partisans are highly confident in this game. Ranging from blowout win to a mere tune-up.

Pitt fans won’t be surprised by a loss, but won’t exactly view it as an impossibility to pull off a win.

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September 7, 2017

Quiet Tension

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 7:35 am

This is a bit awkward.

But at least they got the logo correct.

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September 6, 2017

Mandatory Silence

Filed under: Football,Media — Chas @ 7:38 am

Media blackout week for Pitt-Penn St. No assistants talking. No players. No meaningless window before the real practicing starts. Yay, stupid side-issue.

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi did it last year for this game. I thought it was pointless and silly last year as well.

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September 3, 2017

Less Then Impressive Opener

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 9:14 am

I’ve had a bit of time to digest this. A walk back to a friend’s house in the drizzle. A 2+ hour drive home in the drizzle/mist. A bit of bourbon while half-watching college football the rest of the evening. Getting a long, needed night of sleep. Morning pot of coffee. Prepping ribs for a nice relaxing day of smoking those suckers. Happy in the knowledge that I still get to go pick up a growler of a really good IPA (trying to decide between Revolution Citra Hero or the Fat Heads IBUsive is not the worst choice).

Basically, I’ve just let that game yesterday kind of mellow out in the background.

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September 2, 2017

Open Thread: Youngstown St.-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:09 am

1:00, ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Morning, all. The first turnpike AM run into the sun and the new season. Feel the optimism, excitement and potential. Followed by those moments of doubt, dread and cynicism.

We’re all trying not to look past this game to the one the following week, right?

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September 1, 2017

Killing Time Until Saturday

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:39 am

I’m just going to assume that Tulsa is really trash and Oklahoma State isn’t that scary good on offense. It helps me sleep easier.

Good question in this article about Quadre Ollison as the starting running back: Can Pitt spread it around with the running backs this year?

A lot of guys in our room are going to play,” said Ollison, whose name appeared first on the depth chart this week as Pitt prepared to open the season Saturday against Youngstown State. “No running back wants the ball 40 times a game. Your body wears down.

“Our ability to keep guys fresh and keep rotating guys in and out are going to make us really, really good.”

For the past two seasons, Pitt has largely rode one running back most of the season. James Conner carried 216 times in 2016, compared to 42 by freshman Chawntez Moss, the next-busiest back. Moss’ total was only 7.7 percent of Pitt’s total carries. Two years ago, freshman Darrin Hall backed up Ollison (212 attempts), with only 64 (12.6 percent).

Those are the two smallest percentages for the No. 2 back at Pitt in the first seven years of this decade.

As the article notes, it has been true freshmen as the #2 back for the last five years. Which may have contributed to the numbers. It’s not like there weren’t other, older backs behind the starter. Just that the best one in the practices were the freshmen. I mean, we haven’t even heard much about Moss in the depth chart. A lot of the chatter suggests it would be A.J. Davis after Hall.

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