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October 31, 2016

Clearing Basketball Tabs

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Conference — Chas @ 7:40 am

The season is less than 2 weeks away. ACC Media Day. Low expectations from without, higher from within. Time to catch up on some things. And I’m not even getting to recruiting in this post.

ACC Media Day was last week, and Pitt ended up as the preseason pick to finish 12th.

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October 21, 2016

ACC Matchups During the Bye Week

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football — Steven Callahan @ 6:07 am

Week 8 of the college football season is coming up and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers are getting a much needed week off. While the Panthers are enjoying their only bye week of the season, there are still a few interesting games being played in the ACC. Some of these games can have huge impact on Pitt’s season, so the fans are still going to have a lot of interesting football to watch this week even without their favorite team playing.

With Virginia Tech rolling over Miami last night, the chances of full Coastal Chaos are slightly diminished. Miami is now 1-3 in the division with three straight losses, and at this point are only looking to make a bowl game. Virginia Tech now sits upon the top of the Coastal with the head-to-head edge over North Carolina and no losses in the division. The game at Heinz Field next Thursday could be their de facto clincher, as their remaining ACC games are at Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia.

The other three ACC games played this week will all take place on Saturday afternoon. The most important of these three games is the matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Virginia Cavaliers. The Tar Heels are tied with Virginia Tech at the top of the Coastal Division. Since Pitt lost a very close game to North Carolina earlier this season, they can only advance to the ACC Championship Game by finishing the season with a better record than the Tar Heels. North Carolina has to lose at least one more game this season if Pitt wants to win the division, so it might as well happen this week against Virginia. The Cavaliers are not a very good football team, so it will take a great performance to knock off North Carolina. It is worth noting that North Carolina has only two wins by double digits this season. As much as they were preseason darlings, they have not been that consistent.

The other two ACC games this week are among teams in the Atlantic Division, so they do not have that much impact on the Pitt Panthers. The game between Syracuse and Boston College has very little impact on the entire conference since both teams are sitting at the bottom of the ACC standings. NC State will also be going on the road to face Louisville this Saturday. While it does not directly alter Pitt’s season, fans should be rooting for a Louisville victory. The ACC will look like a much stronger conference if they have two teams in the top 10 of the rankings. This can’t happen if Louisville, led by Florida native Lamar Jackson, loses to NC State. A strong conference will give Pitt a much better bowl game if they are unable to win the Conference Championship game.

October 8, 2016

Blewitt=Yellow Jacket Slayer

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi — Justin @ 4:47 pm

Fourth and One from their own 34. A little over two minutes to go. Georgia Tech was barely contained on the ground all day long, but most of the big gains were pitches to the outside. The Yellow Jackets opted to just go for the yard and run inside. Tyrique Jarrett said NOPE. I myself thought Georgia Tech was going to score after the long touchdown to Orndoff. The defense has blown it or come close to doing so five games in a row. Leave it to the senior nose tackle, all 335 pounds of him, to put the offense in position to win. (more…)

October 6, 2016

In a few years when Florida State fans, boosters and probably their board of trustees complain that the TV money from the ACC Network isn’t enough/keeping up with the SEC (because we all, damn well know they will be first in line to complain), we can all remind them that they were the ones leading the charge to leave the money on the table to keep their extra non-con game.

Not that they will care or even accept any blame.

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October 3, 2016

Back in August the ACC punted on the whole issue of football schedule requirements. With the agreement with ESPN for the ACC Network, content had to be improved/increased.

The ACC had two proposals for annual scheduling. The 9+1 solution: 9 conference games and 1 game against a Power 5 conference program. Or the 8+2 solution: 8 conference games and 2 games against a Power 5 conference program.

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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

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…)

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