Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cat Basket Podcast Numer 14

First week over and it's crisis mode again for panther fans. DPJ and Jones attempt to put into context where we stand after the upset by Bowling Green. Rant filled but with more disappointment than anger.

Cat Basket Podcast Number 14


johnny said...

Pragmatically, we will not eat the remainder of DW’s contract. He is here the rest of this year and probably next year, for better of for worse.

For me, the trouble starts at OC and the lack of our offensive creativity. We need somebody new to come in after the season, regardless of ties or school affiliation. If this individual uses us as a stepping stone after 3 or 4 years, so what? We will still be a nationally recognized stepping stone, and I don’t think that anybody thinks anything less of LSU after Bo Pelini used them as a “stepping stone” to a head coaching job.

Big time programs have rolled the dice on younger people with less distinguished resumes than the present administration and the creative young people have yielded results. Steve Sarkisian took over at OC at Southern Cal when he was only 31. Major Applewhite is only 30, and he has served as OC for Bama last year and now he’s assistant head coach at Texas. I think we can agree that Pete Carroll, Steve Saban, and Mack Brown are successful college football head coaches and pretty solid evaluators of talent.

A head coach needs the attribute of charismatic leadership, and based on recruiting, public relations, and being an overall “ambassador” to the university, DW has this part down. However, the other important facet is the ability to identify and hire talented coordinators to game plan and develop the players. I am not sure how much X’s and O’s planning DW has to do, nor am I convinced that it matters. That role falls under the auspices of the coordinators and position coaches. Get a good OC with the present talent level and the win total is guaranteed to increase.

As a final example, consider that during their dynasty period, Florida State finished in the Top 5 for fifteen years in a row. Consider the magnitude of that achievement with how dynamic player turnover is in the college game. However, once their talented OC, by the name of Mark Richt, went to Georgia eight years ago, Florida State has only had 1 ten-win season.

johnny said...

Just one more post about the team. Paul Zeise wrote in the PG that this team reminded him most of the 2001 squad, which started the year 1-5 before winning out and going to the Tangerine Bowl. Dave, this may have been your Freshman year. Regardless of the merit of the observation, when I read it, I practically vomited. It was a pretty difficult time for fans back then, since the first two months of the season included multiple high profile ass whippings.

When you guys discussed the worse loss of the DW era, you are probably correct that this loss beats Ohio U, since it was at home, and Notre Dame, because no matter how bad they are, they still have some kind of mystique. However, I will go one step further and say that this is the worse loss since Week 2 of the 2001 season, where we got embarrassed by USF in like, their 2nd year of I-A ball at home. The loss deflated the expectations and PR momentum of a team that was coming into the season ranked, as a chic pick to win the Big East, and with the reigning Biletnikoff winner in Antonio Bryant.

I do believe that the players will improve this season, though poor coaching may lead to some underachieving in terms of wins. I just hope that things do not get significantly worse before they begin to get better. To paraphrase Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld, I hope that this isn’t the first of many public humiliations.

DPJ said...

I agree with you 100%. After the loss I immediately thought back to that bad USF loss. I also thought, I hope that doesn't happen because I don't believe this staff has the courage to change things drastically like the 2001 team did.

I'm also afraid that if we beat buffalo we will have fans coming out claiming that everything is fine. It will be a tough game. Buffalo dominated UTEP this week. Hopefully we come out with a chip on our shoulders and work our way back up.

DPJ said...

And yes, 2001 was my freshman year at Pitt.

Joshua said...

So, I'm guessing that article is looking more accurate every day, huh?

DPJ said...

You're actually stealing a bit of my thunder. I was going to bring that up again this week in a column that I am writing. However, I will admit that after one game, the guys who wrote it are right and I am wrong. It will be interesting to see after 12 games who ultimately had the better foresight.

John said...

To me the worst loss of the DW era was the Navy loss last year. I beleive Pitt had a bye week before that game. We had 2 weeks to prepare for that crazy Navy offense. Rhoades and Co told us how they were so prepared to stop it. It was a miracle that Navy didnt score 50 on us that game. We made NO adjustments and got embarrased on national tv to NAVY. Terrible.

johnny said...

Navy was a rough loss, but when you factor in the context and expectations of the respective games, Bowling Green was much more rough.

Going into Navy, Pitt was already 2-3, coming off of the Virginia debacle.

Bowling Green was the home opener coming on the heels of a successful promotional campaign featuring talented players, a preseason ranking, and the promise that this would be the year we would turn the corner. There was a buzz about going to a bowl game, and the outside shot of contending for the conference.

Navy also ran an obscure offense, whereas Bowling Green employed the same dink and dunk spread offense that I have seen murder Pitt several times with no adjustments made in-game by any regime.

I don't disagree that Navy was stunning, but seeing the manner that Pitt lost to Bowling Green and the way that the loss deflated the season at the beginning makes Bowling Green the worse loss in my opinion.