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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…)

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 23, 2015

It’s that time of year everyone. It’s time for Pitt’s annual beat down of the ARCHRIVAL ORANGE. If this game doesn’t fire you up then I suggest you look at the cold metal walls around you because you’re IN THE MORGUE. IT’S ARCHRIVAL ORANGE WEEK AND WE’RE GONNA PELT THEM WITH KIWIS UNTIL THE ENTIRE STATE OF NEW YORK RUNS OUT OF BENADRYL!!!!! THE STREETS OF SYRACUSE WILL FLOOD WITH PULP!! FLORIDA’S ECONOMY WILL TAKE A HIT SO SEVERE THAT MARCO RUBIO RESIGNS IN SHAME!!! AL CAPONE WILL RISE FROM HIS GRAVE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCESSIVE ORANGES IN THE STREETS TO MAKE MANY OLD FASHIONEDS. Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy’s investment will be safe though.

Let’s take a look at the many ways Pat Narduzzi will send Scott Shafer to the ER. (more…)

October 21, 2015

James Conner has missed most of the season. Chad Voytik isn’t starting. The offense is 113th in the country in yards per game. Tyler Boyd is…ok, still doing Boyd things. But, if I told you those first three things would be where Pitt stands after six games back in August, what would you expect Pitt’s record to be? If you said 5-1 you’re lying to yourself. The likely answer would be that Pitt is a two or three win team hoping to win six and get another bowl. (more…)

October 17, 2015

3:10 to go, down four, ball on their own 38 yard line.

3:44 to go, down seven, ball on their own 28 yard line.

1:04: to go, down 3, ball on their own 24 yard line.

That’s the situation opposing offenses have been in the last three games. The result? ZERO points and three wins for Pitt. After the defense held on against VT, Narduzzi said in his press conference that the team made mistakes against Iowa that led to the 57 yard FG. Since then, not only has the defense held on, they’ve thrived. What a change from last year. When the defense is on the field with the game on the line they’ve responded. (more…)

October 13, 2015

A Few Cavalier Thoughts

Filed under: ACC,Coaches,Football,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 5:00 am

As Chas mentioned earlierd, the offense was entirely too conservative in the second half of the UVA game. This allowed the Cavaliers to make it a one score game late and add a little drama to Homecoming. Fortunately the defense came through eventually and it was all for naught. Play-calling remains an issue, but self-inflicted wounds were the bigger issue for the offense on Saturday. (more…)

October 8, 2015

Hoo’s Your Enemy

Filed under: ACC,Football,Narduzzi,Opponent(s) — Justin @ 10:12 am

This column will be shorter than usual as I’ve been under the weather all week. I’m also quite busy at work so that’s eating up a lot of my weakened energy. So, please forgive more typos and errors than usual. Long story short, Pitt is a better team than Virginia at almost every facet. Chaney’s offense is still a work in progress without James Conner, but I’m willing to give him a mulligan on last week. This week, however, the offense needs to produce and get things going as this defense is not good enough to win on its own against the likes of Georgia Tech and UNC like it did against VT.

The Cavaliers opened up the season with back to back games against highly ranked out of conference opponents (UCLA and Notre Dame). The Notre Dame game was a respectable loss, with the Fighting Irish needing last second heroics to pull off the win but UCLA was never really a contest. Since then, they struggled to beat FCS foe William & Mary and got whooped by Boise State. I respect UVA for the tough out of conference schedule, but in order to build the program you need actual wins, not moral victories. (more…)

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