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Showing posts from January, 2011

Graham's the man at Pitt

First, let me be up front and say I wanted to see Penn State assistant coach Tom Bradley as the new Pitt football coach.

Why athletic director Steve Pederson bypassed Bradley, we might never know. It could be because WTAE-TV reported -- erroneously -- that Bradley was the next coach. It could be the Penn State ties. It could be because so many people were pulling for him and Pederson won't be told what to do.

Bradley's recruiting skills were so appealing, and the idea that he might take away many from the Penn State staff had to please Pitt fans as well, knowing that JoePa would be left scrambling.

But it wasn't to be.

Todd Graham is your new Pitt football coach after accepting the job Monday night.

As a side note, did anyone else immediately think of Alex Rodriguez's announcement during the World Series a couple years ago when the Graham hiring came about on the same day of the national championship? I guess that's one way to maximize interest to recruits.

Back to…

Wild card playoff picks

The push for the Super Bowl begins in earnest later today, with more than an outside chance of all four home teams losing this weekend.

Will it happen?

Take a look below.

Saints at Seahawks: The Seahawks are the first team with a losing record to make the playoffs. Does it make them a lock to lose? When the Cardinals made the playoffs two seasons ago, they were considered a lock to lose in the first round. That, of course, didn't happen and they made it to the Super Bowl. I think that's where the parallel ends, even though the Saints have never won a playoff game on the road and are missing two running backs. Drew Brees should have a field day. Saints 34-17.

Jets at Colts: This is a rematch of last year's AFC title game. Rex Ryan makes it very easy to root against the Jets in this one. New York has been uneven down the stretch and Peyton Manning has had success against Ryan-coached teams. When it comes down to it, however, I don't see Mark Sanchez making a big play for t…

Tom Bradley closes in on Pitt job

Depending on your choice of news, either Tom Bradley is the next Pitt coach, will be the next Pitt coach or is the leading candidate to be the next Pitt football coach.

Whatever the case, it looks like Pitt is zeroed in on Bradley, despite the other names (Sal Sunseri, Teryl Austin, Paul Chryst, Todd Graham)being mentioned as possible successors to the short-lived Mike Haywood experiment.

Much to my dismay, Pitt doesn't want Rich Rodriguez.

Bradley would be a solid second choice.

It didn't seem that way the first time around. When Bradley contacted Pitt about getting an interview he was turned down. My problem with the ascendancy of Bradley is this: If he wasn't good enough for an interview the first time around, why is he now the leading choice?

The short answer is, it's just Pitt. Dan Rooney recommended Pitt look at Bradley. It wasn't enough to impress athletic director Steve Pederson. For some reason, Pederson saw something in Haywood that not many other people …

Stars starting to align for Rich Rodriguez to become next Pitt coach

Back in late November, I had the idea of Rich Rodriguez as the next Pitt football coach.

I'll be the first to admit that it seemed far-fetched at the time. Dave Wannstedt still was the Panthers' coach and it wasn't certain that he'd be fired, and Rodriguez still was employed by the University of Michigan, although it was a better bet that he would be sent packing.

Wannstedt later was fired, which set the ball in motion. Pitt rushed to make a hire that didn't seem to have many finalists, selecting Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood as its new leader.

The hiring was unimpressive, and the press conference touting Haywood as a man of character and integrity was less than inspiring. Haywood was fired less than three weeks later after a domestic violence charge, creating the vacancy again and making that press conference seem even more laughable.

Then things really got interesting.

CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd touted a Rodriguez-to-Pitt move as a good thing. Later, the P…

Mike Haywood era is over at Pitt

Mike Haywood will never see the sidelines as coach of the Pitt Panthers football team.

The university fired Haywood on Saturday after his arrest on a charge of domestic violence.

Haywood says, "The truth will eventually come out."

While the circumstances are truly disgusting and hopefully the truth will be brought to light, the charge is a way for athletic director Steve Pederson to get a do-over after failing to get a solid candidate in the first place.

With a chance to inspire players, alumni and fans, Haywood underwhelmed many with his introductory news conference nearly three weeks ago. Those from Dave Wannstedt's recruiting class apparently were underwhelmed, too, as some of them decided to play elsewhere next season.

I've felt that Haywood was lucky to be considered for any coaching gig. He parlayed a couple breaks into a job at a conference with a tie-in to a BCS game. (Notice I didn't say big-time school, because Pitt clearly hasn't shown enough on th…