Well folks, he's finally done it. Dave Wannstedt has pushed Jones and I to the point where we can't just take him anymore. For all of the problems he has had, the items we have complained about, and countless disappointments we have stuck by the program through some good times and bad. The one thing that kept us coming back was the possibility of hope. It was started with promises of Big East titles and a pledge to be competitive on the national stage. Hope was quickly lost after 3 bad seasons, but restored with a 13-9 victory. Bowling Green started to take away some of our good will, but a nice season kept our hopes on the rise only to be dashed by a terrible Sun Bowl performance. A nice 10 win season was lost after a major collapse against NC State, but even worse a loss to the rival hoopies in a meaningless loss meant that after a Wannstedt style failure against Cincy kept Pitt at 3rd in the Big East. 6 years into the Wannstedt era, only 2 bowl games, 0 Big East championships, and finishing no better than 3rd.
This past weekend, we took the annual Cat Basket road trip to Notre Dame. As we played not to win, Jones and I talked about our road trips and how Wanny has ruined almost every single one of them.
MSU - With Kevan Smith struggling, Oderick Turner dropping game winning passes, and Shady starting only due to an injury to Larod, we waiting too long to make changes. We had plenty of opportunity to win the game, but Wanny stuck too long with Smith and never let the Wildcat develop in the 2nd half where it showed some promise. Pitt loses a winnable game on the road.
Navy was a game which should have been celebrated as a blowout win against a team that had beaten the Panthers in a very questionable game the year before. Instead of being able to enjoy a great experience and seeing the Panthers move on, for some reason Wannstedt felt it was needed to put Pat Bostick in the game for no reason. Pat later played at and beat Notre Dame, but at the time, putting Bostick in and wasting a potential red-shirt was a major mistake.
Buffalo saw the Panthers build a nice lead, only to have Buffalo claw their way back. It wasn't until late in the game when the Panthers put away this MAC team. This was probably the best performance I have witnessed from the Panthers on the road.
The Sun Bowl against Oregon State, well, this one speaks for itself.
Notre Dame this year. We play non-aggressive football. Most disappointing was how the game started to wind down and with 5 minutes left we call 2 straight runs into a weak interior portion of the line. Rather than being prepared on what to do, we have to call a time out just to punt. We wasted that time out and showed we had no desire to win that game.
Those are the type of items that fuel the Wannstedt bashers, and those are only from 5 road games. Mix in all of the other disastesr we have witnessed and been a part of, it is clear that this team will never be more than mediocre with Wannstedt as the coach.
Pitt was terrible pretty much from the moment Jackie Sherrill left the school. It wasn't until Walt that we returned to mediocrity. Dave Wannstedt has continued the practice of being average/below average and we won't get out of it with him in charge.
The best case scenario for Pitt would be for Wannstedt to resign (which he is too stubborn to do) and to find an innovative coach to take over. The apologists will say no one wants this job. I think that Utah, Cincy, CMU, Boise State, TCU, and others have found pretty good coaches for programs who aren't (or weren't) considered elite. Another great argument is that it is a stepping stone job. Well my question is would you rather have a lifetime of 7-5 or a span like we saw in the late 70's/early 80's where other schools are actually interested in our coach? I'd rather take the chance to have a national championship contender, because right now, no one is interested in taking Wanny off of our hands.