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June 15, 2016

Here is a detailed and in-depth look at the Panther football program under Pat Narduzzi.  It was written yesterday by Bill Connelly of SB Nation  and is a wealth of historical and present (and future) info about where we have been and the direction he thinks we are going into the 2016 season.

Here is an opening salvo to get your attention:

As fans, we have plenty of funny tendencies. If you raise the stature of our program just enough to break our heart with high-stakes losses, we will resent you for it.

It’s funny (if you’re not a Pitt fan, at least) to look back to the end of the last decade.

Under Dave Wannstedt, Pitt pulled off one of its most significant upsets, in 2007 (taking down WVU in Morgantown to prevent the Mountaineers from advancing to the BCS title game), then went 9-4 and 10-3 over the next two seasons. The Panthers went 8-5 in 2010, giving them 27 wins over a three-year period for the first time since 1981-83.

And Wannstedt resigned under pressure, hated by a large portion of Pitt fans.

But I’ll disagree – unless he thinks I am the only Pitt fan whose opinion matters I don’t think Pitt fans hated Wannstedt at all.  It was more like they were so disappointed with all the crap that went on back in 2010 and his inability to outright win a BCS bowl bid in his six years as head coach that any sort of a change was a relief.

But let’s not put binders on as this writer has – there were a hell of a lot of Pitt fans that didn’t want to see DW go at all.

Aside from that this is a fantastic read.  It is a breath of fresh air to read someone state the true comparisons between Chryst’s time at Pitt and Pat Narduzzi’s first year.  We fans are infused with a lot of Narduzzi’s energy and exuberance so we look at last season with an overly positive view.

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June 13, 2016

The Pitt News weighs in with two articles.  The first is regarding the rise in Pitt’s season ticket sales:

Pitt’s athletic department announced in a letter Tuesday morning that 93 percent of season ticket holders have renewed their subscription for the upcoming football season.

On top of that, Pitt has sold almost 10,000 new season tickets, putting the University on track to break the school record for season ticket sales — a goal Athletic Director Scott Barnes set in February.

This is an interesting fact – the excitement generated after the 2002 season when we went 9-4 under Walt Harris produce a record for sales.

Pitt’s all-time record for season ticket sales is 53,775, set in 2003. According to the letter — which both Barnes and head football coach Pat Narduzzi signed — the school expects to actually break the record in August, when the majority of undergraduate student ticket purchases occur.

I went back to look at what that might have been the reasons for that and wanted to see if there were other factors than the winning record. I think what goes into making fans excited is not just winning seasons. I have said on here many times that one of my favorite seasons was the 2007 one where everything that could be thrown in our path to stop progress was… and we still felt it was a great ending when we beat WVU 13-9.

I remember very clearly that after the dust settled on that year we fans were excited to see what 2008 was going to show us.  Of course we wanted to see LeSean McCoy in action again. That is one of the main attractions when looking forward; to see how your favorite player’s career is going to turn out is a powerful motivating factor for fans to attend games… along, of course, with that all-important W/L record.

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June 8, 2016

(Yesterday we had Part 1 of this recruiting article where we addressed a couple of pertinent question about the business.  This Part 2 continues that and we’ll have Part 3 on Thursday to wrap up…)

3.  Is it only the players who have to be convinced to go to a certain school?

The answer to this is a resounding no!  Every Pitt player’s family, mostly parents, I have talked to said that the coaching staffs probably spent as much time selling their school to the family and recruit’s HS coach as they did with the recruits themselves.

After all that is why they do “in-home” visits.  On those trips the staff doesn’t necessarily need or want to talk to the recruit so much as have the family hear them talking to the recruit.  A good recruiter will have already had many, many conversations with the player before an at-home visit. Walking into the home itself is when showtime begins.

Here is an interesting website that covers recruiting from a family point of view.  Covering in-home visits the author, a past college football staff coach says this:

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May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day to all who served, their families and our Active Duty members serving today.  Today is a when our thoughts should turn to more serious things other than sports and college football.  Let’s wish for safe passages to our current service members both home and abroad and give a hearty thank you very much to all who have served in the past.

One personal note: When you think of our service members and the missions they undertake remember that what our citizenry sees publicly is the tip of the iceberg of what their responsibilities and duties really are. It truly is a 24/7/365 job and let us also appreciate that at any moment their phone may ring and they could be on a flight within the hour to anywhere in the world to keep us safe and healthy.

Bravo Zulu to all!!

But hey- we are also Pitt football fans on this Memorial Day so here goes –

Everyone loves talking about the upcoming Pitt -Penn State game that will be played at Heinz Field on September 10th.  It will be a noteworthy game in many ways – first time the teams met since we beat them in 2000; a PSU coach who may be on the hot seat sooner than later; bragging rites for recruiting the state of Pennsylvania, and last, but not least, in Pitt fan’s books – James Conner’s return to playing in a big game.

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May 20, 2016

Pitt announced yesterday the start times for the first two games of the season (and the Thursday night game hosting VT, but we all knew that was going to be a 7pm game).

The season opener against Villanova will be at 1:30 and shown on ESPN3.

The September 10 game against Penn State will be at noon and shown on ESPN or ABC. Disappointing, but not too surprising.

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April 27, 2016

Let’s hope we see a scene similar to this tomorrow night with Tyler Boyd being the subject:

The Post-Gazette’s Sam Werner weighs in with an article asking if Boyd could be the only Pitt player drafted this year.  Here is the depressing part:

Beyond Boyd, tight end J.P. Holtz and cornerback Lafayette Pitts figure to be the next most likely candidates to hear their names called this weekend, though it’s likely one or both will have to wait to try to catch on with a team as an undrafted free agent.

Holtz played in all 52 games over his four-year career, starting 48. He said NFL teams have approached him about possibly switching to fullback and he has no objections.

“I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to make a team,” he said after pro day.

Pitts also didn’t miss a game the past four years and started 51. According to Brandt, he clocked in at 4.44 seconds at Pitt’s pro day and should have plenty of offers from teams after this weekend if he isn’t selected.

If Boyd is the only Panthers player chosen, it would mark the second consecutive year Pitt had just one player chosen. Offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings was the only one to go a year ago. Pitt had three players chosen in 2014, which broke a three-year streak of having no draftees.

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April 25, 2016

Well, to start off… due to popular demand we have started a “The Pitt Blather” Facebook page.  Here is the link for that.  I did it on a whim. Actually that isn’t true, I did it because we had talked bout it six months ago and I figured “How hard can it be?”

Honestly, you won’t see any more content on there than you do on here.  I set it up sp that it is more of an advertisement for new readers so the can become commenters and we can then cut some of the commenters on here that are pissing us writers off.  You know who you are and start packing up your laptop and get ready to move on.

Just kidding I think. What I’ll do is when we have posted a piece up on here I’ll copy the link and post it for the Facebook readers to use to come over here to read it.

I also asked that if any readers want to comment on and discuss the offense then to please do it on the Blather site itself.

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April 17, 2016

Well, you know the players had fun out there.  I think the fans did too – as long as you kept the realization that is was a glorified scrimmage foremost in your mind.

As we talked about on here earlier, the way the Captains conducted the draft we fans were never going to see a full 1st team out there so neither the Blue team nor the Gold team was anything like what we’ll see going into or coming out of fall camp.

But it was a beautiful day for Pitt football and I have to say to anyone who professes to be a big fan and then decides that there are “better things to do than watch a glorified scrimmage” then too bad for you as you missed out on a great Saturday afternoon of football and having a blast with other Pitt fans.

Watch this and then we’ll address some points that I took away from the scrimmage…

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March 14, 2016

Pitt Gets Fair Seed

Filed under: Basketball,NCAA Tourney,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 7:33 am

I can’t complain over Pitt’s seed or opponent.

Pitt is a #10 seed in the East Region. They will play #7 Wisconsin in St. Louis at 6:50 pm on Friday on TNT. TV viewing-wise, that is remarkably convenient.

Pitt is a slight underdog against Wisconsin.

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January 26, 2016

Pitt and the rest of the ACC officially released the 2016 Football Schedule today. While opponents have been known for a while, the dates have not. Let’s take a look! (more…)

January 20, 2016

 It is getting close to crunch time.

The all-important recruiting Letter of Intent Day (LOI Day) is fast approaching; February 3rd is the date this year with April 1st as the last day the National Letter of Intent (NLI) can be signed for players to qualify for the 2016 recruiting class and football season.

Pitt is pushing hard for verbals from Central Catholic’s 4* Safety Damar Hamlin, a and Khaleke Hudson a 3* Athlete from McKeesport.  Both are local guys who Narduzzi very much wants to land for several reason, not the least of which is that they are local kids and both are being recruited by Penn State and other top name programs like OSU and Michigan and have many other prime offers.  If Narduzzi lands these two guys other recruits will sit up and take notice for their future choices.

On the other side of this is the angst we have about kids who are already committed to Pitt being actively recruited by other programs up to and sometimes including LOI Day. Such as highly sought after 3* Henry Miller of Kissimmee, FL. He’s a CB who will serve us well in two ways: first he’s a good play and we need CBs but secondly, he’s a Florida recruit and if you want your program to grow into a solid winning one those Florida kids with their speed are good ones to land.

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December 29, 2015

Post-Bowl Disaster

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Opponent(s),Players — Reed @ 11:21 am

Before we get into the actual game information and facts, all of which you readers have been addressing in your comments since Navy’s 10 play 75 yard drive in the  beginning of the 1st quarter, allow me to talk about some other aspects of Pitt football and The Pitt Blather.

First off, except for the game itself, the last two days were about as great as college football can be. The atmosphere surrounding the bowl from noon on Sunday (when I checked into a hotel in Annapolis) through the pre-game tailgates until the end of the game was top-notch and everyone was happy and glad to be there.

The evening pub crawl was the most fun I have had in many years and I mean that literally.  At each stop the bars and restaurants were jammed with Pitt fans that were chanting, singing and talking, loudly, about the 2015 season and our new head coach.

It really made me, and others I’m sure, very proud of the university and the team.

There were some funny things going on – for some reason just because I did that article on here about Annapolis and the Pub Crawl, which was also pasted up on Facebook by a Pitt fan group, whenever I was introduced to anyone they always asked “Hey, where are we supposed to go next?” like I was a tour guide or something.

I honestly didn’t remember the exact things I wrote and had to ask my friend to look that article up on his phone.

Also, I met about 50+ fans who ‘read the Blather but don’t post on it’.  It always surprises me a bit when someone says that and when I asked why they mostly said that they felt like an outsider because of all the regular commenters we have on here.

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December 26, 2015

113590It is now T-27h 30m until Military Pub Crawl muster and we Blatherites better get serious about where we want to meet on both Sunday and then again on gameday Monday for the guys who aren’t getting to Annapolis until the day of the game.  Here is the weather report as of this writing.

Sunday:  69º/44 º   Cloudy    20% Rain    13 mph wind    89% Humidity

Sunday:  46º/39 º   Cloudy    10% Rain    13 mph wind    62% Humidity

On Sunday I’ll be checking into the O’Gallagher Hotel at around noon and will probably take it easy, have a big lunch and watch the Steelers-Ravens game that afternoon.  That game should end around 4:00 so… I suggest that we Blatherites meet at the Ram’s Head Tavern at 4:00 for the official “Pitt Blather Meet & Greet” and get a bit of a head start on all the other 7000+ Pitt fans who will be crawling in Annapolis that evening also.

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December 20, 2015

**** Breaking News – ex-Terp WR Juwann Winfree has committed to Pitt this afternoon.****

My friends at Facebook’s Pitt Panther Fanatics asked me to draw up an offensive game plan for the Marine Bowl Pub Crawl on Sunday the 27th… the pre-game day festivities for our Panthers matchup with the Navy Midshipman.

I live about 30 minutes away from downtown Annapolis and we go there regularly for events and meals and such so here is what I recommend for maximizing the cheap drinks hosted by the listed bars (below) from 4:00-9:00 pm… along with some good food

One thing to note is that Annapolis is on the side of a hill and I’m going to list the places to go from the top of the hill down toward the waterfront and the City Dock.

If you look at a map of the Downtown area you see two large traffic circles and then a smaller one down at the waterfront.  The two larger ones are the “Church Circle” that is the western one and the other is the “State Circle” (State Capitol bldgs) a bit larger and to the east.

Capture

We don’t want to mess with the State Circle so we’ll begin our tour at the Rams Head Tavern which is on West Street (MD-450) just before getting to Church Circle. Do not be put off by the road name, MD – 450 is really just a big street.

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December 19, 2015

PITTSBURGH (8-4) vs. #21/22 NAVY (10-2)

MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN

December 28, 2015 • 2:30 p.m., ET

Annapolis, Md. • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000/FieldTurf)

PITT BOWL GUIDE LINK (PDF): Pitt Military Bowl Media Guide

Pitt’s ‘pump-up’ for this season…

Here is “The Journey “- the “pump-up’ to Navy’s  2015 season…

GAME STORYLINES

*  Pitt makes its 32nd all-time postseason appearance when it faces nationally ranked Navy in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

*  Led by first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi, the Panthers finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, their best 12-game mark since 2009. A bowl victory would give Pitt nine wins, its most since that 2009 edition finished with a 10-3 mark.

*  The Panthers and Midshipmen are not unfamiliar foes. In a series that dates back to 1912, Pitt leads, 22-14-3. The teams split the past four meetings, the most recent occurring in 2013 when host Navy defeated Pitt, 24-21, on a field goal as time expired.

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