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Showing posts from November, 2012

I like Louisville to the ACC

I've been a fan of Pitt athletics since I was a kid.

I've grown accustomed to failures and shortcomings the past 25 or so years, so it's hard to not take a cynical view of things.

When Maryland announced it was leaving the ACC and moving to the Big 10, it seemed like a minor loss for Pitt fans. Maryland football is nothing exceptional, but the basketball program could excite.

Today, espn.com announced the ACC has landed Louisville to replace Maryland.

As a Pitt fan, that's good news.

I think Louisville is an upgrade in football and turns the ACC into a superior basketball conference.

In fact, I think the new ACC will be better than the Big East's basketball conference, which, before the defections, might have been the best ever.

Pirates' pursuit of Russell Martin a mistake

There's no question the Pittsburgh Pirates need a catcher next season.

The rumor is the Bucs are prepared to offer Yankees catcher Russell Martin a three-year contract worth $25 million.

That sounds about right for the Neal Huntington regime.

They overpay for washed up veterans.

It's like clockwork.

I'm sure Erik Bedard, Clint Barmes, Nate McLouth and Rod Barajas are still fresh in your memories.

Maybe Huntington has forgotten. He certainly hasn't learned from past mistakes.

If reports have any validity to them, Huntington is pursuing a player in decline.

Martin hit .211 last season, which follows a trend in falling batting average since 2007 (.293, .280, .250, .248, .237 and .211).

He played for the Dodgers before his move to New York, where his power numbers improved (7 and 5 homers with the Dodgers before 18 and 21 for the Yankees).

Maybe the rumors aren't true.

Maybe the Yankees will decided to up the ante.

Maybe someone like the Seattle Mariners will outbid t…

Pitt football still has shot at bowl?

The Pitt football team still has a shot at a bowl game.

While I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not, I'm pretty sure it's a sign of how watered-down the bowls have become.

But, if the Panthers (5-6 overall, 2-4 in the Big East) beat South Florida (3-8, 1-5) on Saturday, they should be on their way to the prestigious BBVA Bowl or the granddaddy of them all, the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl.

It's a game Pitt should win.

Which means it's very likely they'll lose.

I'm not sure how a losing record in the Big East should qualify any team for a bowl berth, but it does.

But I guess we should look at the bright side: a season that started with an embarrassing loss to Youngstown State could end up with a bowl trip, no matter what bowl it is.

At least that's some momentum to bring into the ACC.


Steelers find a way to reach another low

Eight.

As in eight turnovers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' offense had more turnovers than points (7) in Sunday's brutal-to-watch 20-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The day was better served to prepare for Cyber Monday shopping than enjoying a Steelers game.

Charlie Batch looked like, well, Charlie Batch.

The running game was 4-for-4, as in four different running backs with four lost fumbles.

And despite all of the deficiencies on offense, the Steelers still had a chance to win the game in the closing minutes.

I guess that chance existed in theory only. If you turned on the television late in the fourth quarter, you might have clung to the hope of a last-minute touchdown drive.

The rest of us knew how it was going to end -- a loss to the lowly Browns.

And while I just called them lowly, they are better than their 2-8 record coming into the game indicated. Their problem was closing out games, something they were able to do against the Steelers.  

At least the defense looked stron…

So much for Byron the great backup

I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…

Can't wait for the Pitt football season to end

The Pitt football season started with an ugly loss to Youngstown State.

I guess you could say my enthusiasm for the season left before the Panthers left the field that night.

I think Paul Chryst can be a good coach and I think the move next season to the ACC should be good for the program.

I'm not sure Tino Sunseri is good for the program, however.

After nearly pulling off the upset against Notre Dame last week, Sunseri threw kicker Kevin Harper under the bus, backed up, drove over him again and tossed him in the garbage.

Harper, you see, missed a field goal that would have won the game.

"We missed a field goal; that's why we lost the game," Sunseri said after the game. "It came down to a special teams play, we didn't make the play. Give credit to Notre Dame for being able to finish it off."

Maybe I'm being too harsh.

I don't think so. I'm pretty sure Sunseri has cost the Panthers a game or two in his career.

He certainly should know better…