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Pitt shows it's interested in winning with Wannstedt gone

Dave Wannstedt is gone as the Pitt football coach.

A season that started with high expectations, a No. 15 ranking and a clear shot at a BCS bowl bid ended with a berth in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Maybe that was just the ultimate embarrassment for the administration. Their football team ended up playing in a bowl that has zero recognition. C'mon, the BBVA Bowl? Really? 

Wannstedt was a good recruiter at Pitt, but he'll never be remembered as much of a game-day coach.

For me, he'll be remembered as the guy who didn't think Joe Flacco was good enough to start for the Panthers.

Being humbled by rival West Virginia at home was surely a big blow to keeping Wannstedt on board. And I'm sure not being able to sell out a rivalry game with major bowl implications didn't sit well with many people as well.

The fact is, Wannstedt never took the program to another level after replacing Walt Harris.

The next step is figuring out who will be the next coach. Maybe recently fired Broncos coach Josh McDaniels would be an interesting choice. I, personally, would like to see Rich Rodriguez get fired at Michigan and have his name mentioned as a replacement.

Whoever emerges, there will be one major problem. If the coach is really good, his stay at Pitt will be a short one. My guess is any of the finalists for the position will view this job not as a final destination or one of the best jobs in college sports -- like Wannstedt likely did. The new coach will view this job as a steppingstone, leaving after some success.

That's where the danger lies. But it's a risk that needs to be taken.


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