PittBlather: below average.
PittBlather: Rebuilding was expected, but there has not been the development expected.
NunesMagician: sounds familiar
PittBlather: To be fair, the offense has had miserable volume of injuries
PittBlather: Starting QB
PittBlather: #1 WR
PittBlather: Two freshmen O-linemen expected to be on the two-deep if not starting.
PittBlather: Another O-lineman went down a couple weeks in.
PittBlather: So, the setbacks on offense. Well, there was some understanding.
PittBlather: Defense, however, has just been shoddy.
PittBlather: The numbers look good -- as Wanny will be happy to tell you -- but that's because Pitt got buried so quickly in a couple games that the other team stopped bothering in the second half.
PittBlather: Pitt under Wannstedt has inexplicably and excruciatingly dropped a game each season. All three times in OT
NunesMagician: In reading some of Wannstedt's comments this week I get the sense his interviews are as painful to listen to as Greg Robinson.
PittBlather: I noticed you commenting on that. I think there is something wired into former DCs of the pros.
NunesMagician: Like they can't tell the truth, no matter what
PittBlather: It's always frustrating when coaches speak and there is such a blatant disconnect between their words and reality.
NunesMagician: Robinson would gain so much goodwill with the fans if he would just be truthful. We all know things suck, just admit it and move forward
PittBlather: Yes, but that would mean admitting culpability. It's easy to say -- I'm the coach it's on me -- overall. But to take specific blame for things. Like a porous d-line. Never getting a grip on the concept of defending the spread. Developing an O-line. No. Then it's just bad luck and things that will happen eventually.
NunesMagician: Right...of course. Luck of the draw
NunesMagician: But based on Wannstedt's rep coming in and the expectations, I get the sense his leash is even shorter
PittBlather: Yes and no. The frustration is building with Wanny, but most fans are realistic. He gets at least one more year.
PittBlather: The simple reality is Pitt is without an AD.
PittBlather: That means there is no one to fire him.
NunesMagician: cushy gig
PittBlather: Plus there is still the classic tossing some coordinators over the side first.
PittBlather: Something that would easily placate me if DC Paul Rhoads were finally removed.
NunesMagician: So even if Pitt loses out, he comes back?
PittBlather: Yes, Wannstedt will be back in 2008.
PittBlather: I would be completely blown away if it didn't happen.
PittBlather: He has recruited very well. That's a big saving grace. When he was hired -- and I can't help but think of it now as almost a national trend -- the emphasis was on finding a coach who could bring in the talent.
PittBlather: Something of a theme after the 2004 season -- The Orgeron at Ole Miss, Weis at ND, Robinson at SU...
PittBlather: The coaching acumen seemed to come second.
NunesMagician: And the fruits of that thought-process are rearing its head
PittBlather: yeah. Painfully. It is so hard to find that rare mix. I think many were intoxicated by Pete Carroll at USC and the volume of talent he recruited. Thinking it looked easy as long as you stockpile blue-chippers.
PittBlather: Of course that USC thing brings things back to your school and the good DOCTOR.
NunesMagician: Ah yes...Big D.
PittBlather: Does Gross have to toss Robinson over to keep his job?
NunesMagician: For better of worse, their fates are tied together so the quick answer is yes.
NunesMagician: And even then, he needs to hit a homerun with his replacement if he wants to keep his job much longer. I don't know if you saw how empty the Dome was two weeks ago but that's not changing anytime soon.
PittBlather: yeah. I saw. Brutal. How many were no-shows versus unsold tickets?
NunesMagician: I believe paid attendance was announced around 34,000 and actual was assumed to be about 20,000
PittBlather: It's amazing how easily things change. It seems no school in the BE is immune. The
NunesMagician: And then you throw in all the other things Gross has done to alienate the fans and the community (killing the swimming program with little reason, telling the crowd to "hush up" at Midnight Madness, making an unnecessary public stink of the Boeheim/Hopkins announcement)...they say winning cures all and that's about all he can hope for at this point.
PittBlather: The Boeheim/Hopkins thing seems the craziest
NunesMagician: Yeah, no one wants to admit their fanbase is fair-weather until it actually happens
PittBlather: To an outsider. It was fait accompli last spring, I recall. And even then I learned the reaction by 'Cuse fans was, "duh. of course this guy will be succeeding Boeheim." Then to refute that. Just seems to be foolhardy and the sort of thing that will take down an AD. Messing with the bread and butter.
NunesMagician: All comes back to control. Boeheim is the only major player in the department that he doesn't have hand on.
PittBlather: At this rate, there will be a chance to use the overplayed analogy of holding too tight to sand by Gross.
NunesMagician: The trendy rumor is that Gross is just keeping the seat warm for Boeheim and that must just eat him up inside
PittBlather: Boeheim to AD? Really? Is that serious?
NunesMagician: I wouldn't say that's anything more than rumor, but if the guy wanted it I highly doubt anyone (save for Gross) would stand in his way
PittBlather: The rumor floated after Pitt's AD left for
PittBlather: This seemed more wishful thinking than anything else. Unlike Robinson, Wannstedt is great at schmoozing. The fundraising. Talking passionately about Pitt. It is actually very impressive. When he gets going about the school. You want to believe in him. That he can do it as a coach and you really hope it will happen.
NunesMagician: I wouldn't trust Robinson to be able to schmooze with fundraisers. Hell, I wouldn't trust him to be able to sell me life insurance.
NunesMagician: The thing is...he seems like a really nice guy. And I have no doubt if I met him, I'd think he was a good person with good intentions.
NunesMagician: But then I watch his football teams play and I listen to his "I saw some good things out there, I really did" shtick and it just gnaws at me. He's going down as the Gerry Faust of Syracuse football.
PittBlather: Yeah. Wannstedt is actually great to listen to until he starts talking about the team and getting ready for an opponent.
NunesMagician: How bout some rapid fire?
NunesMagician: Pitt going bowling?
NunesMagician: I say no as Pitt pulls away in the end
PittBlather: It is not going to by UConn.
NunesMagician: Better than UConn going into the
PittBlather: Edsall has a good team when they aren't being busted for various indiscretions.
PittBlather: see also, 2006.
NunesMagician: Big East basketball, happy with Pitt's preseason ranking?
PittBlather: Can't complain. + or - 1 spot from there makes sense. Seems the same for the
NunesMagician: I'm very pleased with being outside the Top 25 to start the season. We have enough pressure on these young guys
PittBlather: The 'Cuse beat writer wasn't happy about Pitt being ranked
PittBlather: Posted a couple times about Pitt being overranked.
NunesMagician: Yeah, we shall see. I'm just happy the Big East looks competitive
PittBlather: What year does it finally split?
NunesMagician: Good question, I think another 2-3 years of only playing rivals once a season will take its toll
NunesMagician: We play
PittBlather: I expect it to last a bit longer. I originally thought it would be around 2010, but now I can see making it to the end of the TV contract.
PittBlather: The funny/sad thing will be that the basketball schools will be the ones driving the split.
PittBlather: The football schools should, but for whatever reason they don't push.
NunesMagician: As long as no one does anything drastic like join the Big Ten (I'm looking at both of us), we'll deal.
Misery Loves Company
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