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January 23, 2014

2014 Schedule Thoughts and Etc.

Filed under: ACC,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 8:39 am

Here’s the one thing that must be kept in mind for the 2014 schedule. There was no way it was going to match 2013. Not with the excitement over the ACC in the first year. Not with FSU and ND on the home slate. To say nothing of the Labor Day extravaganza to kick things off. So, if that was your benchmark, you will be disappointed.

It’s a better schedule for Pitt, though. Iowa is a solid non-con. There was a bit of shifting and scrambling with the non-con because of the changes with the ACC and ND. So, that removed the road game to South Bend that was supposed to take place.

As noted, the bye weeks work out a lot better.

The Thursday night game at home with VT is a mixed bag, personally. Thursday night is a showcase night and Pitt should be happy to get to host a big one like that against the Hokies. The flip side is not many out-of-towners like myself can attend the game.

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January 22, 2014

ACC 2014 Is Now

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Football,Schedule — Chas @ 3:08 pm

acc2014coming

Sure, Pitt. I get it. You don’t leak. Not like FSU. Not like Duke. Not even Syracuse. No. You have to keep it under wraps until the 3pm time. Fine. You don’t want to share early. I get it.

You miss that early bounce and overreactions. Let people wait, only knowing that Pitt will go down to Miami for Thanksgiving weekend.

So we waited. The interminable minutes ticked by.

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December 17, 2013

Not Sweating the Non-Con

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 7:21 am

I’ll understand if you were wringing your hands over Pitt’s non-con schedule again after this past weekend. The non-con has not gotten better looking. Not after Cinci went down big to Xavier. Penn State showed why it doesn’t get basketball respect after losing to Princeton at home — by blowing an 18 point lead with 6:34 left. Duquesne lost to Robert Morris. Heck, Fresno State and Albany lost over the weekend.

So no matter what computer metric you use (KenPom, RPI, Sagarin…), Pitt’s non-con strength of schedule is down near the bottom.

It’s the reason why Pitt is still unranked despite piling up a 10-0 record. Stanford is presently the best win, and while nice, provides no boost. And thanks to getting blown out by Xavier, the same can be said for today’s game with Cinci as far as potential impact — assuming a win.

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November 6, 2013

So this is a nice addition to the future football schedule.

Pitt and Oklahoma State will play a home-and-home football series during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the schools announced today.

On Sept. 17, 2016, the Panthers will play at Oklahoma State in Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Cowboys will visit Heinz Field in Pittsburgh the following season on Sept. 16, 2017.

I do like that the dates of the games are 9/17/16 and 9/16/17. But then I’m a little tired and at this point easily bemused.

 

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November 3, 2013

Gametime for ND-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly,Schedule,TV — Chas @ 12:19 pm

ESPN could wait until noon today to announce. And by god they did. Actually they went 15 minutes past it. Holding ND and Pitt writers and fans hostage with the delay.

Faced with the reality that they have no great options they opted for the ratings bet with ND at night. With VT flopping — Pitt faced Logan Thomas 2 weeks too early it seems — and Miami being crushed by FSU, the VT-Miami showdown lost any real luster of meaning in the ACC Coastal Wheel of Destiny. That sends them to a noon 7pm start.

As I said earlier, there was no value putting ND-Pitt on at 3:30 with two Big 10 games already in that slot. That puts ND-Pitt at night. Not just night. It’s the 8 pm ABC national broadcast. ESPN opted for the guarantee of ratings with ND involved. Even if the game itself will be, um, hard to sell as compelling.

Three home night games this year. Really can’t complain about nooners this year.

October 8, 2013

ODU-Pitt Under the Lights

Filed under: Football,Media,Schedule,TV — Chas @ 6:20 am

Pitt will host Old Dominion at night on a Saturday, because… well I’m not really sure.

Initial guess, was that it to do with the possibilities of the Pirates being in the NLCS, but that didn’t makes sense as it would suggest a noon game for the NLCS. Sure enough it doesn’t. It would be a Game 7 at LA. No way that would be anything but a night game.

So that’s kind of weird for a 1-AA opponent that will be a RSN televised game to get a 7pm slot. The downside meaning missing most, if not all, of the FSU-Clemson game at 8pm that night. I’m not complaining, though, since it guarantees to be an overnighter for me in the ‘Burgh.

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September 13, 2013

Some accumulated links to make it worth doing a post, before sundown and fasting begins.

On the recruiting front, Pitt is yet to officially have any commits for the 2014 class. So they make the list of teams “in trouble” with their recruiting class.

The Panthers have yet to land a commitment in the Class of 2014, and the roster next season is hardly imposing. Dixon will lose wing Lamar Patterson and big man Talib Zanna. It looks as though Pittsburgh is the favorite to land former Vanderbilt forward Sheldon Jeter, who transferred to Polk Community College. However, Dixon could also use another wing (i.e. Isaiah Whitehead) and a big man such as Josh Martin or Gary Clark.

Also on the list of “in trouble,” Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Gonzaga and UConn. So it isn’t really about “in trouble” so much as trying to land some very good players who aren’t deciding right away.

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August 23, 2013

I know, I know. College football starts in less than a week. In nine days Pitt’s season begins. But yesterday was a rather busy day for basketball stuff so it’s time to put it out there along with some other things in the tabs.

In player news, Rutgers transfer Derrick Randall got NCAA clearance for immediate eligibility at Pitt. This was considered a mere formality since other Rutgers transfershad already been granted immediate eligibility.

“It obviously gives us a big body, an experienced guy,” Dixon said. “We thought he could be a really valuable addition, especially after losing a guy in March.”

With center Steven Adams in NBA, Pitt planned to use power forward Talib Zanna, a 6-9 senior, in the post. Randall, a center or power forward, averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds as a sophomore.

“He didn’t put up big numbers, but I think he has some strength,” Dixon said. “He could be very good defensively, and he could be a very good rebounder. It gives us flexibility. It gives us the possibility of having five big guys and the versatility to go small or big.”

Randall is 6-8, 250 pounds. No one is expecting him to be a huge difference maker, but a good role player. He gives Pitt some needed depth inside for the next two years. Randall is a low-risk, moderate-reward pick-up.

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August 22, 2013

2013-14 Basketball Schedule

Filed under: Basketball,Schedule — Chas @ 2:26 pm

At long last the ACC released its full basketball schedule. All the conference games (PDF).

This also means individual ACC teams could put out their full schedules. Including Pitt. Obviously we knew bits and pieces. Some have been announced. Others assumed.

Time to see the full picture.

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August 7, 2013

If you don’t want any basketball notes at this point, then stop and skip to the football posts. News must be noted.

With the demise of the old Big East, the new Big East cutting a deal with Fox and the American not having much in the way of marquee basketball names after UConn and Cinci; well the ACC is now taking over the spot on Big Mondays on ESPN.

ESPN has released the Big Monday schedule. The bad news is that Pitt only puts in one appearance. The good news, not only is it a home game but it is the big one: Duke-Pitt on January 27. UNC and Virginia (??) have 3 appearances. Duke, Syracuse, Maryland and ND get two. Pitt and FSU each with one shot.

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August 2, 2013

[Ed. Note: Hosting company had network problems today. I tried to publish this just as it went down.]

As we all know, one of the way Penn State did their best not to play Pitt was to claim they simply could not “afford” to lock into a home-and-home series. They needed at least a 3-for-2 deal or some other arrangement to make it clear that they were the alpha dog get enough home games. Pitt never flinched in holding firm against that. Not Pederson. Not Long. Wasn’t going to happen.

Now WVU works to find non-con games. They are looking to set up regional games (cheaper travel and games their fans might actually care to see) and neutral site games.

Holgorsen speaks excitedly and openly about other possibilities he’d like to make realities to fit his vision and to position his team for a spot in the playoff.

I’d be in favor of us and Pitt playing once in Pittsburgh (at Heinz Field) because it’s a big venue and because we’d have more people than they would,” Holgorsen said. “Us and Penn State in Philadelphia. If you can do a home-and-home, great. If you can’t, then do one game in a bigger venue. The home-and-home with (Virginia) Tech was already announced. A home-and-home with Virginia, or a neutral-site game with Virginia in (Washington, D.C.)?”

[Emphasis added.]

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July 25, 2013

Lehigh Returns

Filed under: Basketball,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 6:53 am

The trickle of non-con scheduling continues. As part of the Legends Classic that Pitt will play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, they will also get a couple home games that are ostensibly part of the tournament. One of those teams will be Lehigh.

Lehigh University’s men’s basketball team was chosen to be a part of the 2013 Legends Classic and will play road games against the University of Houston on Nov. 17 and University of Pittsburgh on Nov. 20.

Last year Pitt played Lehigh at the Pete as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off, and it went so well they decided to do it again. The game actually gets some national run as it will be aired on ESPNU that Wednesday. Giving Pitt a chance to get to .500 against the Mountain Hawks.

July 17, 2013

Just some of the topics in the basketball notes.

Still no official word on the full men’s basketball schedule. Typical I know, none of the major men’s basketball programs have announced a full schedule yet. And for most, not even the non-con. Instead there are the trickles. Like ESPN announcing some of their non-con tournaments. Including the Legends Classic that features Pitt at the Barclays Center:

Nov. 25: Pittsburgh vs. Texas Tech (7:30 p.m., ESPN2); Stanford vs. Houston (9:30, ESPN2)

Nov. 26: Consolation game (7 p.m., ESPN3); Championship game (9:30, ESPNU)

If this goes as hoped — and 5 of the 6 pundits ESPN listed for this think so — Pitt will play Stanford on Tuesday night for the Championship. Important because Stanford is the only other program (aside from Pitt) that will have any expectation of being an NCAA Tournament team. Not to mention being on ESPNU beats being an internet broadcast every time.

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June 6, 2013

Pitt was already scheduled to play in Brooklyn on November 25 and 26 as part of the Legends Classic. Now Pitt will add a trip to Madison Square Garden.

The University of Pittsburgh basketball team will play Cincinnati as part of the 2013 Jimmy V Classic doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday, December 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, ESPN announced on Wednesday. The Pitt-Cincinnati contest will be played at 7 p.m. ET as part of a doubleheader that will be followed by a Florida-Memphis matchup at 9 p.m. ET. Both contests will be televised on ESPN.

In a way it is something of a coup for the newly named American to stick two teams in this situation. Especially in Madison Square Garden where the basketball-centric Big East still considers it their Tournament home.

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June 5, 2013

Hope you weren’t thinking that you will see FSU visit Heinz Field more frequently than once a decade or so. The ACC released the football home and away crossover match-ups for the next ten years on a nice color coded PDF.

Pitt will face division opponents in the Coastal every year. Those teams are Virginia Tech, Miami, UNC, GT, Duke and Virginia. In addition, Syracuse will be Pitt’s cross-division annual opponent. Or “rival” I suppose. That covers seven games. After that it’s a rotation through the other six teams in the Atlantic division.

With Notre Dame rotating through five games against ACC teams per year, there is no way that the ACC will be moving to a 9-game schedule. That’s what makes the decision to stick with a permanent cross-division opponent so questionable. It is clear that it was done for the benefit of keeping FSU-Miami as an annual match-up. Not to mention placating NC State for not being in the same division as UNC and Duke with an annual UNC game. Otherwise there makes little sense in having permanent cross-over games.

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