Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Something to Think About

Prior to the NC State game I wrote an article about how that game would have decided what the trajectory of our season was going to be, and it did. Losing that game killed our momentum towards a top 25 spot going into Big East play. Also it took away any margin of error that we would have for the rest of the season. I think you can look at this Friday as a much bigger game in terms of the health of the program.

Wannstedt has lost 4 straight to Rutgers. Last season the game against Rutgers can be pinpointed as the moment our title hopes died. While Bowling Green was a worse loss (at home and a MAC team) it was very similar to the loss against NC State. Two games that good teams and teams that win conference titles never lose. Last season, we regained our momentum by beating USF on a Thursday and this season we have regained our momentum by beating two lower half Big East teams.

Friday is another moment that will define Wannstedt's career. There is no reason for a team with our talent level to lose to a rebuilding Rutgers...NO REASON. The only excuse will be that the coaching let us down again. Greg Schiano flat out has Wannstedt's number. He understands how to put an offense on the field that can dominate our defensive gameplan. Wanny has to prove that he can overcome the mental block that playing Rutgers poses to him.

A win here means we are 3-0 in the Big East. That means absolutely nothing nationally and won't give us any more "respect". What it will mean for the program is something a bit more significant, we can get to the USF game in a position for that win to mean something. Also Wanny will have finally beat Schiano and we can start to breathe when Rutgers comes up on the schedule.

We need to continue momentum so that when we pull a big upset in the Big East, like we always do, it means something significant for the program. This year is the year like we have heard so often.

6 comments:

rkohberger said...

Have to disagree about the NC State game - actually it meant very little in terms of the main goal for PITT's season - and that is to win the Big East and get to a BCS bowl. This has been the stated goal of the program, staff and players since before camp started. As an OOC game the NCS game has zero bearing on that at all. Every fan would have loved to win that game, but in reality - the work is ahead of us in-conference.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Two games that good teams and teams that win conference titles never lose."... All you have to do is remember back two years to when PITT beat WVU - who was the conference champs and lost to our 4-7 team. Unless you somehow feel that at 4-7 we were somehow better than NC State is this season, which is a reach IMO. You could even add the 2004 Panthers who lost to a rather crappy 5-6 Nebraska team - yet won the conference.

How in the world can you state that "the only excuse" in a loss would be on the coaching staff? That's a pretty emotional statement considering we could blow the game on turnovers and lose.

Funny - There has been so many 'moments that will define Wannstedt's career' over the past few years I've lost count. I mean damn, we just read that last week didn't we? He has won some of those 'defining' games and lost some of them - and yet, here he is...

Danny said...

If we beat NC State, we would be ranked around #20 in the nation and would be considered a legit threat to win the Big East. It's not that we lost, it's how we blew it down the stretch that kills our perception. It's pretty much USF and Cincy as the big dogs with us and WVU fighting it out for 3rd place.

You comparison of Pitt/WVU and Pitt/RU is an unfair comparison. In a rivalry game anything can happen. Rutgers is a very poor program this year after losing so much talent and playing poorly thus far, this is a game Pitt should win without much drama.

Good teams do not lose to Bowling Green and Ohio. Good teams do not need to come from behind in the 4th quarter to beat Buffalo and UConn.

Talent alone should win this game regardless of any blunders by the coaching staff. Not adapting is what cost us the NC State game, and not preparing and adapting could and would be the only reason as to why we would fall to Rutgers (which we won't).

DW has had many moments define his career because that is what he is known for. Everyone knows that he was able to put together decent seasons in Miami. They also know that he had many boneheaded losses. We're seeing the same thing at Pitt.

Sadly with the administration happy with having a "Pitt guy" who won't give the university a black eye, we are settling for at most, 9 wins per season and no Big East championships.

Danny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rkohberger said...

There is a world of difference between being 'considered a legit threat' to win the Big East - and actually winning it. Regardless of perception, the results of that will have to come on the field of play. This is my point.

I used the WVU game as an example not from PITT's perspective but from the eventual BE Champion's perspective, WVU which was the intent of the Blog post's author when he said 'a game teams that win conference titles never lose'. Yes, it was a rivalry game but to a perceived vastly inferior opponent talent wise. Again - which is the point of the author.

"Good Team" is a loaded, and very subjective, phrase. Yes, Virginia - good teams lose a game or two every single year. Excellent teams do not, and when the dust settles there are very few of those. PITT may well be an good or very good team this season - especially if they run the table - which I very much doubt they will do. However, I also think that if we have a few more losses and still win the BE they will have met the goal of the season - and be a good team.

BTW - I'll disagree with why we lost the NC State game, although not adapting may have contributed... in that loss I lay the blame on the kids on the field not being able to tackle the ball carrier. Four plays made all the difference in that game, four scoring plays where our defenders didn't wrap up the ball carrier and stop the TD. Hell, pile onto that Bill Stull not completing a pass on that last series also - again on the field mistakes as opposed to the staff losing the game.

We just fired a non-PITT Guy head coach who was the source of a black eye for the University and he never got us more than 9 wins, and Harris' BCS season was an 8-5 year, so I don't get your point. That 8-5 season would bring the Wannstedt critics howling out in public to call for his head, regardless of if he's a PITT Guy or not.

Anthony said...

rkohberger:
Unfortunately you are trying to rewrite history. Wannstedt and Harris should never be compared because Wannstedt was brought in to pick up where Harris left off. Pitt fans should howl about 8-5 seasons. According to Jeff Long, Steve Peterson, and Dave Wannstedt, we were going to the "next level." We aren't there. In fact, in many ways we have slid backwards under Dave Wannstedt. The Pitt administration, ever fearful of the truth as its plays out in football game day attendance, refuses to acknowledge that the Pitt program has gone no where after Harris' departure. And, for the record, Harris brought Pitt national recognition with Antonio Bryant's award the the near Heisman for Fitzgerald. So..when we discuss Pitt football let's focus on the facts not emotion.

rkohberger said...

Anthony - let's do focus on facts, and on what is actually posted.

Danny wrote this: "Sadly with the administration happy with having a "Pitt guy" who won't give the university a black eye, we are settling for at most, 9 wins per season and no Big East championships." Which means that somehow PITT is sacrificing wins for 'not getting a black eye'.

I answered that even with a guy who wasn't squeaky clean like DW we never had what Danny was saying we should have.

Somehow you took that to mean that I said DW's tenure is better than Harris'... which I didn't say. I didn't raise the point of character in coaches - Danny did. Danny also is the one who compared the two coaches when he wrote that paragraph... unless he's thinking about a future hire where the PITT administration doesn't care about a coach's ethics - which was a leap I couldn't make from what he wrote.

And how in hell did I "rewrite history" when all I said was that Harris never got over us 9 wins and his BCS year was a 8-5 season?? Which was the arbitrary standard that Danny set in his post. Isn't that true?

So yes - please do focus on facts and not emotion, especially inferred emotion from the words that you put in other poster's mouths.