Monday, July 26, 2010

Notebook 7/26

Jonathan Baldwin may be the best wideout in the Big East, but are Pitt's receivers the best in the conference:

When the Panthers are not handing off to speedster running back Dion Lewis, they will be passing to the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Jon Baldwin at wide receiver. Baldwin leads a unit that has potential, but lacks real experience. Baldwin is a genuine threat downfield, and defenses doubling him will take some of the pressure off the new guys. Last year Baldwin averaged almost twenty yards per catch. Two new guys on campus are expected to make an immediate impact catching the ball for Pitt. Drew Carswell and Salath Williams should be two of the best freshmen receivers in the nation.
Best freshmen receivers in the nation? I don't know about that. Isn't it a bit much to say two of the nation's best will land on the same team...espeially when we're talking about freshmen? And I was surprised to not see any mention of Todd Thomas who I don't expect to redshirt.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the season,'s Brian Bennett pulls out what he believes is Pitt's key stretch:
Key stretch: at Connecticut (Nov. 11), at South Florida (Nov. 20), West Virginia (Nov. 26), at Cincinnati (Dec. 4). 
Considering that span is more than half of the Big East season, I'll narrow it down a bit.  For Pitt, it will come down to the two final games - vs. West Virginia and at Cincinnati.  The Panthers start off the conference season fairly lightly and even a loss to UCONN or South Florida alone won't be enough to derail their championship hopes.  However, wins against their final two opponents might be needed.

More Big Ten talk?  Eh, I'm not going there.  I will say this, though.  I'm mildly disappointed that there hasn't been more talk about Big East expansion lately.  That's not to say the conference is done discussing the possibility.  I'm sure it's just happening between closed doors.  Still, I hope the Big East is aggressively coming up with options because this expansion thing ain't going away in the long run.

NBE has a pretty short look at the upcoming Big East women's basketball season and doesn't see big things for Pitt.

And I normally don't discuss recruiting misses, but here's a mention on one only because the kid was local.  He chose Virginia over several schools including Pitt.


  1. They must mean key stretch in regards to the Big East season because the key stretch overall are the first 3 games of the year.

    We must come out of those 3 no worse than 2-1. If we don't we won't be taken seriously for the rest of the year even if we were to sweep the Big East.

  2. 8th - what do you mean by "taken seriously"? Do you mean in terms of the MNC?

    In reality - those first three games are the least of our problems as the absolute only way to be "taken seriously" is for PITT to finally win a Big East Championship - which the first three games have zero bearing on.

    But this is typical of PITT fans, to want to jump over a natural progressive step and compete for the national championship without reaching what has to be the stated goal in the first place.

    We could win those first three game and then lose only one game for the rest of the season and end up in some 2nd tier bowl... and with that still not be BE champs again. You can rest assured 2nd place BE team is not getting a BCS bid.

    I do not want that to happen. This is the year we should finally win that conference championship and play in a BCS bowl. We are too talented not to.

  3. Depends on the goals - if a National Championship is the goal, then those three opening games are the key ones. If a Big East Championship is the goal, I think it's the final two.

    Frankly, there's been a lot of NC talk, but I don't see it. Pitt, in my years of watching the team, anyway, has never been able to avoid being snakebitten by teams they should beat. It would likely take every bit of running the table to contend for an NC, and I think the schedule is too difficult to do that.

    I'd be satisfied with a 9 or 10 win season as long as a Big East Championship accompanies it.

  4. @rkohberger

    I don't know what MNC is, but when I talk about being taken seriously I'm talking about beyond the Big East. I'm NOT talking about a National Championship. We aren't of that caliber & wouldn't sniff a shot at the title even if we went undefeated. What I'm talking about is getting to a BCS bowl game and being able to win it or at least compete.

    Winning the Big East alone and getting your doors blown off in the BCS game means nothing to me since the conference itself isn't really respected nationally. I will never get over that Fiesta Bowl loss to Utah. Losing is one thing, but to lose in that fashion. Hell, no!

    You sound more like the typical Pitt fan. Short sighted with low standards. Why can't Pitt at least be TCU, Utah or Boise State? If you think we currently, you're fooling yourself.


    I don't care about a National Title in the least. I just want Pitt to be competitive nationally. I want us to be able to go toe to toe with the Tide, Gators, Longhorns, Sooners & Trojans. I want a Pitt team that looks like it belongs on the field with them.

    I want a Big East title and a respectable to great showing in a BCS game. Utah & Miami are nice measuring sticks. No one inside of the Big East can be that measuring stick because we are too familiar with them. What's the last big out of conference win that we have had? Beating Penn State in Three Rivers?

    Like I said, a Big East title and getting blown out in a BCS game makes the Big East title worthless. It's the definition of a paper champ or tallest midget.

  5. I don't know - I'm kind of torn on that. If Pitt went 10-2 and was crushed in a BCS game, I understand where you're coming from. In looking at the Big East in that case, it would look horrible. But Pitt is kind of at a crossroads right now. They have had some success, but still have a ways to go. The recruiting is better, but still has a ways to go (at least in terms of competing regularly with the Bamas, Floridas, etc).

    Pitt needs some success to be able to sell the school to recruits. Winning conference titles in the midst of some BCS losses would still help that. Kids can be convinced that they can be the difference-maker between Pitt going from a conference champ to a national title champ. If Pitt cannot win the Big East, kids will look at that and think they're too far away to even help out.

    I think you essentially would agree with that, so I don't think our thinking is all that different.

  6. Pitt has been doing well in regards to recruiting, especially in comparison to other Big East teams. But winning a conference that may not exist in 2 years rings hollow if that is all you have done.

    It doesn't seem like the Big East cares about the Big East anymore. If there was any truth to the Memphis/Fedex rumors they should already be in the conference.

    The commissioner needs to get off his ass and start going after teams if he wants this conference to survive.

    Frankly, winning the Big East is just the means to an end. The End is the BCS game. Winning the conference will get us there, but beating Miami & Utah without Sheard would mean that we could actually compete when we get there.

    If the Big East champ goes out like Cincy did last year or like Pitt against Utah. Winning the Big East will mean nothing to recruits and soon after that there may not be a Big East to win.