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September 28, 2016

I swear I was going to do a basketball post first, but the Big 12 stuff has piled up and makes me laugh so much more.

For those keeping track at home, the Big 12 spent the last few years publicly saying that they have no interest at all in expanding beyond their current ten teams. The only exception being Oklahoma President Dave Boren’s quarterly outbursts about needing two more teams or complaining about how they should have taken Louisville when they had the chance.

Over the summer, just as everyone was really and truly ready to believe them this time, they publicly announced they were taking applications for two, possibly four new members.

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September 3, 2016

Nova Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 8:18 pm

Before I go into anything about the actual game, remember something: it’s just a game.

This is real life.

No matter what happens this season, it is truly an honor to be a fan of James Conner. I had a chance to talk to him after practice and a few games during my wannabe journalist time and it’ll be one of those things I talk about for the rest of my life. I’ve been choked up following his battle numerous times and his first touchdown was a special moment and vintage James Conner. His stiff arm started at the 6 and continued several yards into the end zone. It was a beautiful symbolism to see him attack a defender with such intensity.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post. (more…)

August 30, 2016

Special Season

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi,Schedule — Justin @ 12:00 pm

I noted this on twitter a few days ago, but I wanted to expand on it a bit further. 2016 could potentially be a special season for Pitt. All of the elements are there: experience, leadership, talent, depth, coaching, and opportunity. The national spotlight will be on Heinz this Saturday with the return of James Conner and it won’t leave with Penn State visiting the following weekend. Back to back road trips against ranked teams, Oklahoma State and UNC, pose big challenges.

Hypothetically, what if Pitt starts 4-0? A win over a rival and two ranked teams on the road plus the emotional angle of Conner would make the national media nuts. That would lead to a top 15 ranking with the easiest stretch of the schedule ahead.

Why is this not crazy? (more…)

August 25, 2016

ACC Network and Scheduling

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Media,Money,Schedule — Chas @ 11:07 am

Have to start somewhere…

Most of the offseason around the ACC has been about the speculation that the ACC Network was never going to happen. That the losses in the last year at ESPN over cord-cutters and a shrinking subscriber base meant that the Mouse Monopoly was not going to add another channel devoted solely to a conference. ACC schools would have to just accept the extra $3 million/year each on the present deal.

Never should we count out Ninja Swofford. Last month came the surprise announcement by ESPN and the ACC of the long-discussed, but seemingly doomed to never happen ACC Network.

ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital network, it was announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte, N.C. The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.

Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year.  More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches.

Sure the cable channel won’t roll out in 2017… or 2018. But, it is coming.

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May 17, 2016

Recapping ACC Meetings

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Media,Mouse Monopoly — Chas @ 7:21 am

Reminder Pitt on the Prowl alumni events kick off this Thursday in Cleveland (hope to see some people there) and then to Chicago on May 23 and NYC on May 25. Coaches Pat Narduzzi, Kevin Stallings and Suzie McConnell-Serio will be at all the events.

Script unveiling is tomorrow. At least May has been somewhat active.

ACC meetings from last week didn’t reveal anything earth-shattering.

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May 10, 2016

ACC meetings started yesterday and the big topic that the media (and fans) wanted addressed: ACC Network. Still as clear as ever, which is not even a little.

But to the surprise of no one tracking this saga, ACC commissioner John Swofford plans no public enlightenment during this week’s league gathering at Amelia Island, Fla.

Swofford told the ACC Digital Network’s Jeff Fischel that he remains “very focused” on a sustainable television path for the conference. This he did without mentioning over-the-top (OTT) outlets such as Netflix and Hulu, and partner ESPN’s bleeding of traditional cable subscribers and subsequent personnel cuts.

“We think we’re in a really good position for the long-term,” Swofford told Fischel. “We’ve just got to make the right decisions and time things appropriately.”

“I don’t know that there will be public clarity,” Swofford said of this week. “I think we will move further down the trail of where we’re headed, without question. … We’re really just not going to have a whole lot more to say until we reach a point of saying something definitive. It takes some patience with that, but we’ll get to a good place, I’m confident.”

That was some well phrased nothing.

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May 9, 2016

Even if nothing comes of it, the late-spring/summer brings talk of conference realignment/expansion/chaos. These days, most of that is emanating from the Big XII.

Conference meetings have been happening. The ACC has theirs this week. The Big XII had a preliminary meeting last week, but don’t have their real meetings until after Memorial Day.

It always boils down to money, but the Big XII is wrapping this one up primarily in the matter of the College Football Playoff. How a more members and an unbalanced schedule is actually a plus for getting teams into the CFB playoff.

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April 29, 2016

No, nothing about Laremy Tunsil’s moment of honesty — before a PR (or assistant agent) hurriedly hustled him out of his press conference. Good times coming to Ole Miss.

The satellite camps are still allowed. This has been one of the sillier controversies of the spring.

The SEC and ACC pushed for a complete ban — and got one — on the camps because of paranoia and wanting to protect their natural recruiting areas. They can dress it up however they want, but it was only about protecting their own self-interests. And yes, Coach Pat Narduzzi was fully in support of such a ban, but  I still don’t get it.

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February 15, 2016

Dixon Stuck?

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Dixon — Justin @ 3:37 pm

I had a thought I posted about on twitter that I wanted to elaborate a bit on but I’ll start with a few caveats. First, Jamie Dixon is a great coach and the odds are whenever he’s replaced the new coach probably won’t be on his level. Second, I do not advocate firing Dixon; he has earned the right to try and get this program back to where it was a few years ago.

But, do I think he will turn it around? Doubtful. (more…)

February 4, 2016

As far as the recruiting rankings go:

Rivals — 30th (5th in ACC)

Scout — 27th (4th in ACC)

ESPN — 31st (5th in ACC)

247 — 26th, though 30th in their composite rankings (4th in ACC)

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November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

 Pat Narduzzi Press Conference (italics are mine at the end for the ND story)

Notre Dame Week

 PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi ND Preview

PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT (HTML LINK): Narduzzi Text Transcript

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Offensive Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Assistants,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 10:35 am

There’s one glaring thing the offense is missing. I’m going to highlight some offensive stats and I want to see if you can find the one area this offense is missing as well. The thing that UNC had and Pitt didn’t on Thursday and the one problem that is holding them back from being good enough to have beaten UNC and Iowa. Let’s start the stats! (more…)

October 30, 2015

Post Game Thoughts: UNC

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 8:50 am

I said in my preview column that “Pitt’s offense will have to have their best game of the season OR the defense will have to hold UNC to their worst since their first game” and that UNC has only scored under 26 once. Well, lo and behold UNC scored 26. The defense stepped up in the second half but after spotting the Tarheels a 20-3 lead, the offense didn’t have enough firepower to finish the comeback. I’m sad that I was correct that assessment.

There are two key things I want to make clear. (more…)

October 28, 2015

Know Your Enemy: UNC

Filed under: ACC,Narduzzi,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 4:51 am

No pressure, but this is the most important game any player on this roster has ever been in. It’s unquestionably the biggest game since for Pitt the 2010 Backyard Brawl. It may be even bigger than that. If Pitt wins, Narduzzi and company are in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal. Lose and Pitt will need a lot of help. If the goal is to be a nationally relevant program, these are the games you have to win.

UNC comes to town with similar pressure. Both teams were 6-6 last year and thanks to some coaching changes (UNC added DC Gene Chizik) have taken an obvious step forward. Like Pitt, a win for the Tarheels will put them in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal.

How $%&@ing awesome is it to have a nationally televised game with huge implications on the line in late October? Let’s take a look at what UNC brings to the table. (more…)

October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015

Pat Narduzzi Press Conference 

North Carolina Week

 PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Narduzzi UNC Preview

(more…)

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