Many of you have probably read my breaking news story about the future of Dave Wannstedt and have e-mailed about it and asked what it all means.
Here is what I can tell you - based on a lot of conversatons I've had in the past 24 hours, it is does not look good for Wannstedt and it seems like the University is set to go in the proverbial new direction.
Now, I'm not saying it is a "done deal", but it clearly looks bleak for Dave at this point as I haven't talked to anyone who has even said "he will be back with certain conditions."
Here is, according to multiple sources, the list of things that have added up against him and caused those within the university to get to the point where they are even contemplating firing Dave.
** Six years, zero Big East championships. I know, I know, the Panthers technically won a share of the Big East title and even though the conference recognizes that and they'll get a trophy for it, let's be honest, the Big East champ is the team that goes to the BCS Bowl and this year that is Connecticut. It really all began to add up against him last year when they lost to Cincinnati and thus lost their chance to get to a BCS bowl.
** Too many losses in big games. The Panthers had three chances to really make some kind of statement on national television this year - Utah, Miami and West Virginia. If you want to throw Notre Dame in there, that's fine as well. At any rate, Pitt's record was 0-4 in those games and they didn't even show up against Miami and West Virginia.
** Too many losses in little games: The loss to Connecticut this year was a prime example of a number of bad losses over the past six years, which has really held this program back from being all it can be. The list of the losses - and you know them all, I don't need to rehash them - has mounted up. Yes, the turnovers, the penalties all those things are on the players, but when they continue to happen, right or wrong, the buck ventually stops with the coaching staff.
Those things in and of themselves likely would not have been enough to tip the scales, but when you add them with these, it likley became too much for Dave to overcome.
** No shows: Everybody know that Pitt - along with just about every other college - inflates its attendance numbers some in terms of actual people in the stands. But there were nearly 60,000 season ticket packages sold (counting student tickets, tickets alloted to the opponents, corporate tickets and comps) yet they never even sniffed that number in terms of people in the stands and that is never good. Some games there were between 15,000 and 20,000 no shows, which is bad for a program trying to increase interest in it.
** The arrests: If you are 10-2 and two-time Big East champs, a string of arrests like Pitt had can be much more easily swept under the rug. When you are losing games and people feel bad about the product on the field - well, these incidents become magnified and there is a perception when so many happen so quickly - right or wrong - that you've lost control of the team. Again, I'm not saying I agree or disagree, I'm just the messenger.
Now, there are a lot of things swirling out there about perhaps a change in coaching staff and some other changes and Wannstedt getting another year to try and get it right.
That is obviously a possibility but at the end of the day it comes down to this - if Mark Nordenberg and Steve Pederson believe that a change is needed, there is no reason, regardless of how they feel about Dave as a person, for them to go that route and force him to make changes and whatnot.