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October 31, 2017

You know there really isn’t much of a choice with regards to Pitt basketball this year. When Ryan Luther and Jonathan Milligan are the cover boys for your media guide by default. Every game against an ACC opponent will have opposing bloggers and message boards going there.

Hell, as Pitt fans we went that way quite a while ago.

A secret scrimmage that stayed a secret. Exhibition game with Slippery Rock this weekend. I’m at least curious.

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October 30, 2017

Continuing the 2d Half Improvements

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:47 am

In both the season and after halftime.

Two games deeply colored many people’s perceptions — especially mine — on the progress of the defense. The Oklahoma State game, obviously. And the first game of the season against Youngstown State.

 

Oklahoma State just devastated Pitt’s defense. From the receivers to the O-line to the quarterback scrambles. By all appearances, Pitt had not simply taken a step backwards defensively. They had fallen backwards over a cliff.

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October 28, 2017

Open Thread: UVa-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 8:01 am

12:30 pm

Multiple RSNs and ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Stuck on the couch as my back flared up this week, and driving 4-5 hours in a day was not on the table.

Fun times to be in the football equivalent of bubble watch with bowl eligibility.

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October 27, 2017

ACC Basketball Media Moments

Filed under: ACC,Basketball,Conference,Media — Chas @ 7:26 am

The ACC Men’s Basketball Media Day was Wednesday. The talk that dominated was about the FBI probe, as coaches danced around Rick Pitino’s very existence. Don’t worry, the ACC isn’t going to simply rely on the NCAA’s own panel to examine issues. No, they are going to have their own damn panel.

Toward that end ACC commissioner John Swofford unveiled Wednesday a five-member task force to study issues exposed by recent federal charges against, among others, four assistant coaches, two Adidas employees, a financial adviser and former agent.

Outgoing Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage is chairing the five-man ACC group, all of whom are steeped in the game. Littlepage played at Penn and coached at Villanova, Virginia, Penn and Rutgers. Boston College AD Martin Jarmond played at UNC Wilmington, Florida State AD Stan Wilcox at Notre Dame. Duke AD Kevin White sits on the NCAA tournament selection committee, and ACC senior associate commissioner Paul Brazeau coached at Hartford, Boston College and Ohio State, and worked previously for the Big East and NBA.

The latest scandal “is a wake-up call, and it’s an opportunity,” Swofford said during a one-on-one interview at the ACC’s annual preseason media gathering. “If we don’t take advantage of this opportunity, shame on us collectively.”

Swofford wants the ACC task force to offer suggestions to the NCAA commission, chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and including retired players Grant Hill and David Robinson. He wants the group to canvass not only ACC coaches, but stakeholders outside the conference.

I’m sure this will do great things.

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October 23, 2017

Anything But Pretty, But…

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 5:24 pm

…it was a win.

There were points during the Pitt-Duke game that felt like literal hate-watching. Not simply the offense just making me angry and frustrated. It was the coaching. The decision-making. It really was the first game in Pat Narduzzi’s tenure that really pissed me off from the POV of  “what the hell are they thinking?”

It was a game, that Pitt could have lost (some might argue should have). I’m sure all five Duke football fans feel the same, though, it’s not like Duke did much more to say they “should have” won.

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October 21, 2017

12:20pm.

Various Network affiliates, and on theACC Digital Network.

Since Pitt joined the ACC, the games with Duke have been almost absurd offensive showcases.

The first two games saw the teams combine for 113 and 99 points respectively. Last year, Pitt hung 56 on Duke.

Even in the relatively tame 2015 game, Pitt put forth 31 points en route to a win. That was Pitt’s lowest scoring output. Outside the Rice, game, Pitt hasn’t put 31 points or moreup in their other 6 games.

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October 18, 2017

Unsurprising Outcome

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:43 am

Well, that UNC-Pitt Thursday night game on November 9 looks to be one hell of a dog.

That Pitt lost was not a surprise. That the running game struggled again, not a surprise. Poor handling of working Kenny Pickett into the game — kind of a surprise.

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October 14, 2017

12:00 pm

RSNs or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Homecoming. James Conner bobblehead day.

The noon and noon-adjacent home games on Saturday will continue until Pitt can be a consistent factor in the ACC. It sucks, but at least Pitt is getting paid. Another morning of trying to get out the door before 7 am and hitting the road. Whee.

Another top-20 team, though I didn’t see this coming with NC State.

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October 11, 2017

What Do You Want To See in Final Six?

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:46 am

I’ve calmed down a bit. Stepped back. Had a chance to breathe.

A lot of people have pointed out in the ensuing hours and days after the end of the Syracuse game, that playing Kenny Pickett for one snap at the end of the game is not the worst thing in the world.

And they are right, with a big caveat.

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October 7, 2017

Narduzzi F**ks Up

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 4:26 pm

Okay, I’m a little hot. If you are offended by [expletive redacted] then don’t click below.

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It’s not a rivalry, but there have been enough open threads over the years for the need to differentiate in the permalink.

12:30 pm on various RSNs (whatever the hell they are calling the Pittsburgh sports channel these days, NESN, YES and others) and WatchESPN/ACC Digital Network Extra.

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October 6, 2017

Missed a lot this week. Solo dadding with the wife out of town.

I was hoping. Oh, how I was hoping this would be a better story. The firing of Scot Shafer at Cuse a couple years ago not only meant Syracuse has improved; but it ended the whole Kiwi Killer stuff.

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October 2, 2017

Pitt Needed Rice

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:41 am

No one, including the players and coaches, thinks Rice is much beyond a bad team. That still doesn’t change how much Pitt needed that game. They needed an easy win, and they got it. They didn’t turn it into a needless struggle or a painful slog. They had a nice, laid-back blowout.

Max Browne was returned to starting QB, and looked like a different player. With some actual protection and a non-top-10 opponent, he looked something the former 5-star QB grad transfer Pitt fans were hoping to see.

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September 30, 2017

Pitt-Rice: Open Thread

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:34 am

12:00 ACC Digital Network Extra/ESPN3.

I’m rationalizing attending the Rice-Pitt game on Yom Kippur as its own form of atonement after what Pitt has done for the first 4 games.

This is a family game for me. My sister did her graduate and doctorate work at Rice (applied mathematics, and yes, she’s the smart one in the family) and her husband has a masters from the school.  They still live in Houston, and my parents moved down there a few years ago. They were fine during the hurricane and flooding, if you are wondering.

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September 29, 2017

In light of the burgeoning scandal in college basketball, the response from some corners is that if players were compensated — paying players, permitting them to cash in on their likeness (autographs, cut of jersey sales, etc.), and even allowing them to cut deals directly with shoe companies — it would end this sort of shenanigans. So would eliminating the NBA’s restriction on high school players that creates the one-and-done rule.

It’s an appealing notion. And it would reduce it a bit. Everyone would have to get comfortable with shoe companies dictating which schools would get the players. Nike deciding which blue bloods get certain players in their stable. That certainly would be what happens. Shoe company paying six-figures for a 5-star, elite player. They are going to tell him where he’s playing. They are going to recoup that money in apparel sales.

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