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Many people (myself included) wondered how the Pitt Panthers would fare in 2009 after losing LeSean McCoy and Scott McKillop to the NFL. As today's #8 ranking in the AP poll (and #12 ranking in the BCS) would substantiate, I think they've done quite alright for themselves.

The Panthers played a solid-yet-unspectacular brand of football in defeating a lifeless, beaten-down Syracuse team on Saturday at Heinz Field. That sounds like an awfully snobbish way of describing a 27-point victory, but the Panthers left a lot of points on the field, something they simply cannot do in their remaining games, which will all be played against teams much better than Syracuse. This was a 6-3 game until very late in the first half, when Greg Williams' 51-yard pick-six all but sank the Orange for the day. That's much too close for two teams with such differing levels of talent on their respective rosters.

I feel that Frank Cignetti did not have a good day calling plays, with some very questionable moves throughout the contest. How do you have a weapon like Jonathan Baldwin on your team and only attempt to get him the ball three times? I'm still trying to figure that out. When you're playing a Syracuse, you want to put them away early. The longer they stick around increases the odds that the game could be decided on something like a freak play, and this team has played too hard for such an outcome. The play-calling needs to get more aggressive. Period.

Pitt's #8 AP ranking is their highest under Dave Wannstedt and the school's highest since 1989. For much of our audience, this is the best they've ever seen the Panthers play. And as I alluded to earlier, the most exciting games on the schedule still remain to be played.

Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Cincinnati are all winnable games for the Panthers. The Irish have been an incredibly inconsistent group in 2009, despite a roster supposedly loaded with talent. Charlie Weis is tiptoeing near "dead man walking" territory, especially after Saturday's loss against Navy that was highlighted by Jimmy Clausen throwing a ball directly into his receiver's back (and subsequently picked off) on a critical fourth quarter drive. For the coach that gave Wannstedt a high-profile, prime-time, nationally-televised loss in his first game at Pitt in 2005, Saturday night could be a bit of sweet revenge for the Stache.

The Mountaineers game is of the "throw the records out the window" variety, but looking at their resume in 2009, it's less than impressive. Their seven wins are over Liberty, East Carolina, Colorado, Syracuse, Marshall, UConn, and Louisville. Of the BCS-conference teams on that list, their respective win totals are as follows: Colorado 3, Syracuse 3, UConn 4, and Louisville 4. Translation? The Mountaineers have not really beaten anyone of consequence. But Pitt should not fall asleep at the wheel, lest they forget how West Virginia did that very thing against them in 2007.

I'm not looking all the way to the Cincinnati (potential Big East championship) game, because I've learned to always manage my expectations for this Pitt football program. But I must say, it's hard not to be excited when you see what could lie ahead for Wanny and his young men.

As for Penn State, Saturday was a massive letdown on a number of levels, starting with their backfiring Terrelle Cryer t-shirt extravaganza. The one-time apple of PSU's eye had a hand in each Buckeye touchdown and accounted for 175 yards of offense, completely redeeming himself from this. OSU outgained the Nittany Lions by a 353-201 margin and limited Penn State to 76 yards rushing on 30 carries. Worst of all, the game put the Buckeyes in position to take command of the conference with a pending matchup against Iowa on Saturday.

Saturday's loss dropped Penn State to 18 in the BCS, 19 in the AP, and 17 in the USA Today poll. Which would put them (drum roll, please)....below Pitt. When it rains, it pours in Happy Valley. But I encourage some calm among the Panther faithful when celebrating this milestone, because these things have a way of changing quickly. No one remembers where you're ranked in week 10 - they remember where you finish. There's still much football to be played, and that is what we should really be looking forward to.

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Adam said...

Pitt's BCS ranking is indicitive of the schedule it's played.

Penn State is only 6 spots lower after two high profile home losses, so for as much schedule garbage as Pitt fans have thrown Penn State's way, it looks like we're getting the last laugh. The computers have spoken.

The BCS scenarios for both teams remain unchanged really because of all the carnage this weekend. Pitt still needs to win the Big East, and Penn State is still fighting USC, Boise, and now Miami for the last two BCS at-larges.

Will the BCS take two mid-majors (TCU being the other)? Probably not, because it's all about the Benjamins baby, and programs like PSU, USC, and Miami rake in the ratings at a much higher rate than Boise St. could ever hope for.

Nothing's changed. Penn State just can't win the Big 10.

BURGH08 said...

This is what Adam said on the "Pitt Still Absent from Top 25"entry on this blog:

"Why am I arguing with you all? We're #5 and have gameday coming for Whiteout weekend."

Before that, this post:

" Pitt fans are too stupid to realize that when analysts talk about the Big 10 beaing "weak", they're talking in comparison to the SEC and the Big 12. I'd agree on that front. Compared to those two, we aren't nearly as strong at the moment.

But compared to the Big East, it's not even close. When you have one ranked team, you can't even come close to talking about how weak out league is."

I would also encourage calm among the Panther faithful. After all, you can look just as foolish as Adam does now.

Adam said...

Time and place

BURGH08 said...

O for 2.

Adam said...

Every Big 6 league SHOULD have a couple of ranked teams minimum, and just because the Big East has gone from nothing, to what should be expected doesn't mean I'm going to eat crow.

The Big 10 is arguably healthier than it was heading into Iowa vs. PSU, when the only three ranked teams we had were OSU, PSU, and UM. Wisconsin and Iowa have jumped into the fray now.

The rankings will correct when Pitt, Cincy, and WVU start beating on eachother like PSU, Iowa, and OSU have alreay.

You should check out the BCS computers by the way...

Steve said...

Analysis: If Pitt wins out, beating Cincy and WVU, the rankings will be flawed and if they lose to them the rankings will be correct...according to the crow eaters around here anyway.

NickDawg said...

Looks like Adam and probably every other poop stater have been losing sleep since saturday...Pitt is now ahead of them in every pool and right dr evil said..whoooohahahahahahaha

Dan Claycomb said...


What he's saying is if Cincy beats Pitt then Cincy probably won't gain spots unless someone above them loses but Pitt will drop. Similar to Pitt vs. WVU. The team ranked lower always has more to gain because of the way the polls are done.

Which kind of annoys me. If Pitt loses to Cincy, it doesn't mean they aren't the 8th-12th(depending on which rankings you use) best team, it just means they aren't better than the 4th but pollsters would still drop Pitt a few spots. I hate that its just an automatic reaction based on whether a team won or loss rather than how they actually played.

Also as a PSU guy, if OSU wins next week and we get a BCS bowl over Iowa, I'll feel dirty. I would prefer Boise get one of those spots.

bonilla disciple said...

how many spots did you jump after beating SYRACUSE?

NickDawg said...

the same anount of spots Penn st jumped after beating syracuse

Louis Lipps no longer accepts my phone calls... said...

Actually my good friend Adam, Pitt kicked the living crap out of a top 25 team this year. I don't recall Penn State doing that at any point this season.

Ok, I do have one problem with Don's assessment of the game. Syracuse has played just about everybody tough for the 1st half and actually has a decent starting 11 on defense I feel (they were tops against the run in the BE going into Saturday'sgame). There's not much depth behind that starting 11, which is why they get the doors blown off of them in the 2nd half most weeks.

I'm not trying to make it sound like a big win for Pitt, but Marrone at least has had these guys playing hard and tough against just about everyone they've gone against, especially on defense.

Adam said...

Dear NickDawg,
Please take a flying leap. You make even Pitt fans like BURGH look like Herbstriet.

Dear Steve,
My "correction" comment referred to the Big East at large, and not Pitt specifically. Someone has to lose in the remaining Pitt vs. WVU, Pitt vs. Cincy, WVU vs. Cincinatti games. All three teams are at their respective high water marks but things can't stay that way. Only one team is going to finish in the top 10 given how late we are in the season, and how little time the losers will have to recover. It's the nature of college football. Could that team be Pitt? Sure, but things can't finish this way for the Big East as a whole.

Dear Louis Lipps Blah Blah Blah,
Billingsley's computer didn't spit us out 2 spots ahead of Pitt because it's in the Nittany Lion Club. Regardless of what the humans (the subjective) think of Pitt's schedule, the computers (the objective) think little of Pitt's competition. That might change once Pitt plays Cincy and WVU, even if they lose, but right now Pitt's getting hosed because they've played no one.

BURGH08 said...

Louis Lipps-Agreed on Syracuse. They have a good defense, and some good athletes. If they can recruit, I think they will get back.

Adam-Keep posting. I have never seen someone post so much and yet know absolutely nothing. It's getting me through a boring Monday, so hat's off to you.

Actually, let me wind it up a bit: In the last blog entry you said you have 'experience from the last 25 years' about Penn State's season not being disappointing (which others disagree with)

A.) How did you start getting that 'experience' and...

B.) How old were you when you started getting it?

Louis Lipps no longer accepts my phone calls... said...

Wait, so one computer thinks PSU is better than Pitt? Now, I obviously don't spend all of my time looking for small tidbits online that prove that Penn State is awesome like you do, but aren't theire 6 computers in the BCS formula?

South Florida, like it or not, top 25 in all polls and computers etc etc. They came to Pitt and got housed 41-14.

Fact: Penn State played only two teams that could be considered good and lost by 10+ to each at home. Everyone else they played was straight up garbage.

Why don't you ever comment on the Steelers, Pens, or Pirates? Why is it always you coming in here yammering on about Penn State. Once in awhile, just tip your cap and move on.

Besides, it's all pointless. Penn State doesn't care about Pitt anymore, our rival's West Virginia now, your's is... well I'm not exactly sure, Temple maybe? It's never going to be settled the right way on the field, so get on with your life.

NickDawg said...

Adam - all I have to say is Terrelle you wish you wish Penn st played Pitt now since pitt is ranked higher on all accounts..just livin the dream son

LeeTunnel said...

The Temple/PSU rivalry is Awesome.

Jared said...

Fact: TRUE Penn State fans still harbor extreme dislike, if not all out hatred for Pitt. If Pitt fans want WVU to be their rival, that's fine, at least they are on the same level (academically that is).

A real solution would be for Pitt to do 2 for 1 with Penn State in football, and Penn State do 2 for 1 with Pitt in basketball. That way everyone is happy, right?

Unknown said...

Pitt and WVU are "on the same level" academically? According to who? You? Try checking the US News rankings sometime.

Adam said...

See "Williams, Derrick" and "Robinson, Michael".

Louis Lipps,
You can tell me about South Florida all you want. The computers don't give two shits. Their only respectable win is over WVU. The next best one is 4-5 Florida St, so the computer probably sees them as crap too. I don't make the computers, I just report on them and right now, they think Pitt has done nothing but beat the teams they were supposed to beat. AGAIN, THAT COULD CHANGE, but right now you can't tell me a win over #24 South Florida legitimizes Pitt as a top 10 team.

Dear NickDawg,
Last I checked, Pryor plays for Ohio St., and he picked over Pitt long before he ever picked over us, and that should tell you all you need to know. But hey, you just keep living vicariously through Ohio St., and bragging about their accomplishments. It only highlights you own inadaquacies.

BURGH08 said...


See "Major, Drum" and "Manure, Grill".

Adam said...

You know, even on Penn State's worse day, we still have the college atmosphere you apparantly can't understand. We still have the best student section, we still have the whiteout, we still have the giant football stadium, we still have a marching band you can actually hear, we still have an unmatched tailgate scene. We still have the tradition, we still have a legend walking the sidelines.

One thing we don't have, though, is your inferiority complex.

Adam said...

O almost forgot.

On your worst day, you're just a college team playing in a half empty pro-stadium.


ReadingRambler said...


You are delusional. Like all PWNED State fans.

Your old man Paterno is nothing more than a man who needs some pepto bismol.

lol, poop state. Funniest thing I've read today.


Adam said...

It's barely funny.

ReadingRambler said...

You're so lucky Marino barely threw that pick to Roger Jackson PWNED State fans.


Adam said...

Not according to Laura Nichols.

ReadingRambler said...

Delusional fan Adam,

Wanny is unamused. Perhaps that's why he barely allowed Poopy Old Man to steal one or two recruits out of the Steel City and from behind Wanny's Wall. But not even Poopy Old Man's wife's bacon lasagna can convince Pryor (who you called "arm punter" before he destroyed you)to COME TO PENN SCHATTTATE.

Now tell me about your awesome volleyball team that SMASHES opponents. They could take your football team.


ReadingRambler said...

Also, I want to let you all know that I tried PWNED State and they suck.

ReadingRambler said...

OT: I really hope Ed Hightower is fired!

Adam said...

Everybody does. loses. And Pitt is no exception. You're just jealous.

That's what I found on google images when I searched your name. I don't know what he's saying, but that's what you should do.

ReadingRambler said...

Aw, screw this. I'm gonna go play video games.

Before I go:

Danny Morrisey is an assassin.
Your wife sounds hot.
That's what she said.
Suck it, Bobby Bowden.
Hot fencers.

Adam said...

Cornley will SMASH this Tebow character.

BURGH08 said...

Adam, if I have such a 'complex', why are you talking about things such as 'atmosphere', 'student sections', and 'white-outs'.

Last I check, it was about winning and losing. I'm a Steeler fan, and the last thing I think about is 'talking smack' about sellouts.

That's why you are admired for the clown you are here. The sad thing is it really has nothing to do with your team as much as your stupidity.

Unknown said...

Rambler, you are really cute, you know? Trying to make Pitt look bad by pretending to be a Panther fan. Seriously, how old are you, 12? As for you Adam, well, at least you're sincere. Typical psu fan. Team having a disappointing season? That's okay, you'll just make fun of Pitt (which you supposedley don't care about). Granted, Pitt is ranked higher in every poll, has a better record, and a legit shot at a BCS bowl, and penn state has lost its only two difficult games this year. But you guys have a good band! And you have whiteouts!! Too bad they don't rank teams on crowd size, but rather on how they play. Now, why don't you guys go spam your new "archrival's" blogs. I'm sure the folks at Michigan State and Temple will appreciate your wit.

Adam said...


Comments like your's above and the fact that most Pitt fans think like that are precisely the reason I, and most other college football fans, don't respect Pitt FANS. I stress fans. I don't have a problem with Wanny. I don't have a problem with Stull, Baldwin, or Lewis. I respect what they've done this year. They're a good team. I didn't have a problem with Shady. Hell, there are Pitt players I loved. Julius Paige was awesome. Come to think of it, I loved that whole Pitt team in those years from Knight, to Zavaskas, to Tory fricking Morris.

If it were about the teams, I'd probably root for Pitt as the home town team. But it's not. It's about the ignorance of people like you, and large segments of the Pitt population.

College football ISN'T about winning and losing or the team. It's about the school. It's about rolling out of bed 15 minutes before kickoff and being on schedule. It's about putting your arms around total strangers to sing the alma mater. It's about the traditions like the drum major's flip at Penn State, or his backbend at Pitt. It's about the fight songs. It's about the cool things you can come together as a school community to do, like the Whiteout, or the "S-Zone" at Penn State, or the Oakland Zoo at Pitt. For alumni, it's about always having a place to call home no matter where your career takes you. It's about seeing life-long friends every weekend in the fall. It's about the memories that surround the football games. It's about being a part of something bigger than yourself.

That's what we as Penn State fans believe, and the fact that you and most of your Pitt bretheren don't is why we'll never respect you, no matter how good your teams are.

BURGH08 said...

Although I am a Pitt fan, I will defend Penn State in the matter of Adam.

There are plenty of Penn State fans that have a dislike for Pitt, but don't have the mind numbing ramblings that he does. Furthermore, they are an intelligent bunch when it comes to talking football, and Clint is an example of that type of fan here.

Adam is a guy that admitted to being a Steeler fan earlier, and is still at the end of the day just flat out uneducated on anything sports related.

Unknown said...

Maybe they should stop calling it college football and start calling it "rolling out of bed 15 minutes before kickoff." I love all the things you just mentioned, don't get me wrong, and they are fun things about college football, but in the end, a good program is a winning program. As for your respect, I could not care less how much you and your penn state "bretheren" respect me. I have gone to nearly every Pitt home game (football and b-ball) in the past three years, so don't give me a speech on what college sports are about. psu is a good team, but not as good as you thought. Why can't you just accept that without belittling Pitt?

Adam said...

My comments were directed at BURGH and people like him (or her?) who unfortunately make up most of the Pitt fan base.

I didn't belittle your traditions. I didn't belittle your team, and I thought I was pretty clear in no belittling people like you. From your comments, I can see you "get it", and I'm not trying to tell you anything.

BURGH08 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WKC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WKC said...

Let me say I know BURGH, work with him, and enjoy the friendly rivalry of Pitt/PSU as we used to know it. I'm also a long time ticket holder in Happy Valley and a donor to the program, and attend most programs games when I can.

Let me also say I support BURGH in that Adam is a complete joke to anyone that follows Penn State football.

Only a F*&^ pansy would talk more about the flip of a drum major more than a average quarterback in Pryor beating us last week. Or about the son of Ironhead beating us up front.

I'm more of a lurker here, but Adam is a complete dumb ass, and I don't even believe him to be an actual graduate or student of the university. If he is, I'm embarrassed to accept him in our fan base.

Adam said...

You probably wanted to get rid of Joe Paterno too.

Adam said...

I'm also proud to be an embarassment to you.

And I don't know where you get off thinking that I've even once suggested that I don't care about what happened Saturday. It sucked some major ass. But believe it or not, the sun came up here Sunday morning, and the same things I loved about Penn State on Saturday at 3:30 are the things I loved a day later.

If that's a "joke" or an "embarassmnet" to you, you must be a pretty angry guy.

BURGH08 said...

If I was a 25 year old student, I would love the sun rising the next day also. One less day I'm not in the real world.

WKC-I know you made the 'we' comments on purpose. :) Other than that, well said.

Jared said...

2009 Penn state football team + 2009 Pitt schedule = undefeated Penn state

BURGH08 said...


Unknown said...

Pitt ranking
#12 in BCS
#08 in AP
#09 in Coaches

Poop State
#18 in BCS
#19 in AP
#17 in Coaches

I am presenting facts, not opinions.

Unknown said...

How is "Poop State" even funny? That, and the name "BURGH08", immediately discredit any post.

BURGH08 said...

I didn't know Adam's father posted here.

Unknown said...

I'm not even a big fan of Adam but at least he makes good points. You hardly ever make a good point. He at least periodically says positive things about Pitt, but Pitt fans never acknowledge that PSU just simply has the better tradition.

BURGH08 said...

I wouldn't be a fan if I was paying his tuition either Dan. Don't you think it's time he gets a job?

Adam said...

My dad's name is Jack.

Anonymous said...

A couple quick points:

(1) With our toughest three games yet to play, Pitt will have plenty of opportunity to prove if they are for real. (And if they do that, will be far higher ranked then any other PA team at season's end, by compters, people, BSC, God, and pretty much everyone in the universe. Except Adam.)

(2) Adam is an r-tard who thinks the Stillers should pick up LJ. Should anyone give anything he says any weight?

(3) The Pitt-PSU hatred is obviously still alive and well. Just read these comments. (And on that note, the game is clearly more important to PSU, for the simple reason that Penn's Taint has no actual rival. Sorry, but it's a fact. Unless, of course, we measure football based only on finances. Which explains the bowl system. So maybe I'm wrong.

(4)Hail to Pitt. And Penn's Taint still sucks.