Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cat Basket Podcast Number 16

The podcast is back and DPJ is riding solo. He goes over all of the big stories coming out of the Buffalo game and going into the bye week.


johnny said...

Fantastic episode! The beginning was very logically and well articulated and then you transitioned into an awesome stream of consciousness from the heart.

I want to believe in the coaches and I know that the players are putting in the time and effort.

My brother sent me a picture text of the Victory Lights after Buffalo and it made my week.


Brian Ising said...

Good stuff. Depressing stuff, but I agree with almost everything you said.

Here are a few comments I have:

I'm pretty sure the "Invisible Hand" of Foge Fazio is guiding personnel decisions. So blame him for not letting Wanny put in Nix or Baldwin or Cross.

Anyways, here's Cav's explanation of why we haven't seen Cross:

"To be honest with you, we didn't think we'd need Cross in the first two games.''

To me, that quote says it all and confirms what I had already suspected: the BG loss was 100% on the coaches. How can they expect the players to respect BG when the coaching staff obviously didn't respect them? When we were down 3 or 10 pts in the 2nd half, did it not occur to them that maybe we might need Cross to win the game? I guess not. This is just another example of our coaches not getting it. I'm now convinced that they never will figure it out.

I completely agree with your comments regarding increased playing time for Baldwin, even as a decoy. This is another example of how predictable Cav's offense is. When Baldwin is in the game, there is a very good chance that the play is for him. Do you remember a few years ago when Pestano was used only for reverses? As soon as he came in, we knew (and likely the opponent's defense knew) that they were running a reverse. It has been the same way with Baldwin so far.

Much like you said that this is Wanny's defense, this is also Wanny's offense. Cav is the popular scapegoat, and I agree that he is a pretty crummy OC. But he has been calling plays like this for 4 years and Wanny hasn't made a change. At this point, this is Wanny's team and Wanny's coaching staff. He is to blame for the lack of creativity on offense.

As for the defense, I think Wanny is again to blame. Phil Bennett was an outstanding defensive coordinator for several schools, yet he comes here and the defense disappoints. Paul Rhoads appears to be well-respected among other coaches and landed the coordinator job at Auburn, yet his defenses were poor at Pitt. What is the only constant? Wanny.

As you said, blowouts will be few and far between with this regime. Here's a fun fact: our biggest blowout win in the Wanny era was 41-0 over Youngstown St. What else happened in that game? We wore script Pitt uniforms. This is indisputable evidence that a return to script Pitt will result in more blowout victories.

Thatcher blew the coverage on that Buffalo TD. He has certainly been a disappointment. Perhaps he's the one who should be benched. But that won't happen because he's the 5th-year senior.

By the way, Rutgers is losing at home to UNC, 17-6, at the half. Our schedule is seriously horrendous. We do not have a good football team, but we still may win 9 games. What will probably happen is we will go 7-5 or so against this garbage schedule and Wanny will be able to say we're making progress and he'll get an extension.

One final comment: Kinder's open. And Baldwin would be too if they would ever put him on the field.

DPJ said...

Excellent stuff as usual Brian.

johnny said...


I agree with everything you had to say, except that I wish to add that any posters who devote the majority of their posts to Pitt Script or Pitt Stadium should go back to the 70's or just hang themselves.

Also, as I read your post, I had the Rutgers game in the background and before I even got to the last few paragraphs, I couldn't help but notice Rutgers getting embarrassed. (38-6 as I type this and their hard core fan base is filing out of the stadium halfway through the 3rd quarter.)

Even assuming equal improvement to Pitt this year, we should win the majority of Big East games. Cuse is terrible, and Louisville flat out sucks. If I were Schiano, I would consider putting down the Happy Valley Real Estate guide.

I foresee another year like '04, where the bulk of teams in the conference finish 4-3 and 3-4, prompting a series of tiebreakers.

The coaching staff must alter their philosophy and I continue to hold out hope that they will, despite evidence to the contrary. Perhaps I should be encouraged by Cav's baby steps in remembering that Byham is actually pass eligible, though DPJ nailed it when he said DD should be used more. Bennet's defenses for Bill Snyder at K-State were too good for me to believe that he has lost his touch.

Finally, Brian, I wish to also note that Porter and McGee are open as well.

Brian Ising said...


The Pitt script comment was completely tongue-in-cheek. I just heard someone mention that about the YSU game. I thought it was a completely ridiculous argument and felt like sharing it. I am fine with the logo as is.

Rutgers is horrible. The clock has struck midnight for them. Rutgers is back to being Rutgers. We should blow them out. Having said that, I predict a 3-point game either way.

If Schiano can get the PSU gig, that would be a fantastic upgrade for him. His stock will only decline the longer he stays at Rutgers.

I used to hold out hope that our coaching staff would alter their philosophy. That hope is gone. Unfortunately, they are what they are at this point. As for Bennett, I don't believe that he has lost his touch. I believe that Wanny is forcing his principles upon the defense and that his defensive principles do not work in the college game.

As for the "Kinder's open" comment, that is an inside joke between DPJ, myself, and a few others. I agree that McGee, Porter, Byham, and Dickerson have also been open quite a bit.

johnny said...


Believe me, I knew it was tongue-in-cheek, simply because nobody under 45 cares enough to complain about it. It cracks me up when the old-heads say stuff like, "I heard that somebody asked all the current players and they unanimously said they would switch to Script Pitt."

I'm sure they were willing to say anything to get the creepy middle aged guy out of their locker room.

Also, I think I remember the Kinder's open comment from a few podcasts ago now that you mention it.

John said...

Im 25 and I want the script back. I also want Walt Harris back. He is the best thing that happened to Pitt Football in my lifetime and we treated him like garbage. Shame on all you WaHa and Pitt Script haters. I hate you!!!

DPJ said...

John, you may be 25, but you dress like you're 55, therefore I say your point is not valid. (for those who don't know John (JT) is a friend of mine).

Maybe you can start a petition to bring back WaHa.