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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 Graham. We all can hope that Pederson's choice will turn out to be better than the Mike Haywood decision.

Looking back on the process, it's easy to see that the Panthers were too cheap the first time around, offering Haywood around $1 million per season. This time, they had to up the ante, offering Graham around $2 million.

Graham (36-17) brings an impressive resume of offense to Pittsburgh, which is what I wanted to see with any hire. Tulsa was No. 1 in offense in 2007 and 2008. They were fifth in the nation last year.

The college game has changed, and offenses like the one Dave Wannstedt ran for the Panthers don't cut it any more.

Graham can change that, which is why I'm optimistic.

I just hope fans don't take their frustrations with Pederson out on Graham.

Unfortunately, the way this program went about hiring the two coaches in the past month, no one really trusts Pederson. His reputation isn't like the Steelers, who know a thing or two about making personnel decisions.

All Graham needs to do is win a big game, which has been a problem at Pitt.

There's a lot of time until that first opportunity will present itself. Let's hope it'll happen this season.


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