The bye week feels like a great time to break out my old column Optimist vs. Pessimist. There’s not a whole lot to be optimistic about the rest of this season, but perhaps a bowl win could inspire a little hope like it did at the end of last season. Naturally, two more wins are needed before Pitt can even think about going to a bowl game. Let’s examine whether or not James Conner and company can win two of the last three games against UNC, the ARCHRIVAL ORANGE, and Miami. (more…)
the Media Day for the ACC Operation Basketball went off yesterday. Other than the awkwardness with academics and investigations at UNC and Syracuse, it was a typical media day. Coaches and players answered the same questions. The conference commissioner filibustered as long as he could to minimize the time allotted to the media to ask questions.
And, of course, the preseason conference poll was released. The ACC has its voting done by all the local media covering the teams (I’m sure my ballot just got lost in the mail).
That’s right. ACC basketball media day is today. Coach Jamie Dixon, James Robinson and Cameron Wright are down in Charlotte for the day.
The ACC is doing interviews and taking fan questions on Twitter with the hashtag #ACCTakeover . I don’t see any problems when UNC Coach Roy Williams gets his turn. What could go wrong?
There will be coverage on ESPNU and on ESPN3.com all day today.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are coming to Heinz Field this Saturday in an attempt to continue the craziness that is the ACC Coastal Division this season. Everyone in the division is 2-1, 2-2, or 1-2. That means each team is still within one game of first place. There are scenarios in which the entire division goes 4-4, a cluster%&#@ that would certainly make things interesting. A win this weekend and next will suddenly put Pitt in the driver’s seat to take the division. (more…)
There’s a scene in Oscar-snubbed film “The Replacements” where Coach McGinty (played by Gene Hackman) asks his NFL replacement players what they’re most afraid of. After some typical responses, QB Shane Falco (played by the enigmatic Keanu Reeves) hits the nail on the head:
Last week, some hack wrote about Pitt’s success in the red zone and the result against FIU was two turnovers in the first two red zone possessions. As recommended by readers, this week something negative shall be written.
Trey Anderson came in for a series in the early fourth quarter in a situation that once against perturbed Pitt fans. If you listen to Paul Chryst’s press conference, it won’t take a mind reader to see why: Chryst was not happy with Voytik’s play and pulled him for a series to calm his nerves. A quick second look at the game and it’s obvious Voytik was not finding open receivers and he would not let plays progress properly as the game wore on. In fact, there was a fine line between good Chad and bad Chad: the touchdown pass to Boyd late in the second quarter. (more…)
Pitt is headed south for a matchup with the Golden Panthers of Florida International and as Chas mentioned earlier, there’s not a lot of important information to discuss. FIU is a team in rough shape; they’re one of the worst teams in FBS and have a true freshman starting at QB. To be blunt, if Pitt isn’t comfortably ahead in the 4th quarter it is cause for concern. The goals for the game are 1) health 2) comfortable win and 3) get backups good in-game experience. Anything beyond that is a bonus. Another statistically great game from James Conner would be a boon to his Heisman whispers.
With that said, it feels a bit prudent to look ahead a little. Pitt’s next two BCS opponents, Iowa and Virginia, have key games this week. Iowa plays in-state rival Iowa State and Virginia faces off against the newest ACC member, Louisville (Louavuhl). Thus far, Iowa appears to be a team that is trending lower than expectations and Virginia is exceeding them. (more…)
A quick stat for yinz that I just tweeted.: last season Pitt averaged 23 points per game on the road. That total INCLUDES the 58 points from the Duke game. If the Duke score is removed, Pitt only scored a total of 57 points on the road last season, a mere 14.25 points per game. Pitt’s offense was not perfect. Voytik had a bad turnover, there were some early pass protection issues, and the defense let Tyler Murphy run wild on the first drive.
The football team opted to do the exact opposite of the fan base: not panic. (more…)
Most will agree that Pitt’s upside this season would be ACC Coastal Division Champion and a good bowl game. If you have delusions of grandeur and think Pitt could beat Florida State in the ACC Championship game, maybe you should stop partying with Wes Welker. But, Pitt was given a nice start Monday night when Miami fell to Louisville, thus giving them one loss in the ACC already.
Why is that game relevant to this week? (more…)
Well, the dates are all set. The ACC television is set. The times for many of the non-con games and any accompanying TV coverage are still unknown.
The ACC released its complete schedule with dates and times yesterday (PDF).
Pitt’s ACC opponents were already known, just not the dates. February is going to be brutal (PDF).
The week before that is a Saturday home game against Louisville on CBS. Pitt’s ACC schedule definitely has a very difficult middle. The start and ends are noticeably weaker. But that middle. Oh, that middle stretch of late-January through the third week of Februrary. It’s very likely that in that 9 game stretch ND and Bryant will be the only unranked teams Pitt faces.
I’m not sure why the ACC starts media day on a Sunday. Other than to make it as clear as possible to BYU that they will never receive an invite. I mean, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal for the media. Prepare the stock “Five things for ACC Media Days” column in advance. Show up on a Saturday to the nice resort hotel. Get one free night to party and have a good time. Nurse the hangover. Put the digital recorder on the podium and let those stock questions flow to the players.
I mean, it is media day. It isn’t really about the media any longer, as we saw from the 4-day long SEC event. It is about marketing the conference to everyone else. It is about getting the fans ready for football season. It is the starting point to coverage for the new season.
The ACC will be supposedly be announcing something “big and breaking” today. Fingers crossed its the announcement of Bojangles coming to Pittsburgh.*
No one has been arrested so far this offseason. And I’m not saying I want any players in trouble with the law. It’s just been real quiet the last couple weeks.
Nothing with recruiting. No police blotter. No conference insanity. Just ridiculously quiet.
So, what are still in my browser tabs that need to go?
Not a surprise, but still good news. The ACC is moving the ACC Basketball Tournament up one day, so that the championship game will be played Saturday night rather than Sunday.
The Atlantic Coast Conference will move its tournament championship game to the Saturday night before Selection Sunday after being a Sunday afternoon staple since 1982.
The ACC announced the scheduling change Tuesday during its spring meetings in Amelia Island, Florida.
The ACC tournament will be in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2015, Washington, D.C., in 2016 and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in 2017 and ’18. The 2019 ACC tournament will be held in Charlotte before it goes back to Greensboro in 2020.
Big shock that all the coaches of former Big East teams are happy to get back to normalcy.
“Prime time on Saturday night during the tournament week is another step in the right direction,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN.com from the meetings.
The ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Atlantic 10 were the highest-profile conferences that have played a Sunday final recently, causing the selection committee to sometimes come up with an alternative bracket depending on who was playing for the title.
The ACC tournament will run a Tuesday-to-Saturday format, meaning the league’s regular season will end on the previous Saturday instead of Sunday. There will be three first-round games on Tuesday of Championship Week, four second-round games on Wednesday, four quarterfinal games on Thursday, the semifinals on Friday and the Saturday championship game.
“I think it’s huge. The Friday night doubleheader resonates around the country, it always has,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “The extra day is good for the two teams with the preparation, and Saturday night you have the whole television audience.
“We’ve talked about this since we came into the league. This will be a great thing to switch to this.”
“I love the move,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told ESPN.com. “I’ve always thought it was powerful when we did it that way in the Big East. The Sunday final is almost an afterthought since the attention is all on the selection show.”
Brey is absolutely right.
No one really gets too worked up over conference logos. It doesn’t carry the emotional weight of a school logo. In the end they all just seem like corporate branding exercises.
Apparently the ACC is updating its logo, where the primary change is with italics.
The ACC has a brand new logo (but don't tell anyone) pic.twitter.com/zcXRT0nKMc
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 13, 2014