If it feels like it has been forever since Pitt played an actual football game, that's probably because it has been a while. That's what'll happen with a Friday night game followed by an off week. That said, we're back on schedule this week as the Panthers get ready to take on Rutgers Saturday. Pitt coach Paul Chryst met with the media this morning, as did a couple of Pitt players. Here are a couple of notes and quotes from what they said...
- Chryst talked a bit about Pitt's inconsistencies this season. So far the Panthers have followed a "lose two, win two" pattern for the whole season. While Chryst would certainly like to be a bit more consistent week-in and week-out, if they follow that formula the rest of the way, the Panthers will finish 6-6 and make a bowl game.
"It’s been different things each game, right?" Chryst said. "We’ve got to learn from those lessons. For me, it hasn’t been as simple as 'Get this one thing corrected and we’re good.'
"At this point right now, I’d be all for following that 2-2-2-2 schedule. We’ve got to go earn this one, though."
- While he has been trying to put his stamp on the program this season and into the future, Chryst said he never had to worry about players "buying in" to his system or philosophies.
"To me, getting guys to buy in means you’re trying to sell something, and we’re not trying to sell anything," he said. "We’re in the process of creating a culture and we’re here to help players be the best players they can be and to represent this university with the best football team you can."
Wide receiver Devin Street said that, despite the coaching carousel the Panthers have gone through, buying in was never an issue for him.
"I think you have to buy into these coaches and believe what they’re saying because that’s the only way you’re going to be successful," Street said.
- The biggest news of the weekend for Pitt was getting Dorian Johnson's verbal commitment on his official visit to Pitt. My P-G colleague Mike White had the story for us in today's paper. Johnson joins Tra'von Chapman as Pitt's second four-star commitment in this 2013 class. When I wrote last week about the trio visiting this weekend, the general consensus was that Robert Foster was probably the closest to committing. Johnson getting on board is huge just in terms of the momentum it gives Pitt heading into the recruiting home stretch. Johnson said he talks to Tyler Boyd and Foster fairly regularly, and if those two get on board as well it would really make for a stellar recruiting class in Chryst's first cycle.
- The biggest college football news of the day was Maryland's jump to the Big Ten and Rutgers likely joining them soon. While the instability isn't good (and I'm personally so sick of realignment news), the ACC will be just fine when Pitt goes in next year. In all likelihood, the league will grab Louisville or Connecticut from the Big East, either of which would be perfectly suitable replacement for the Terps (athletically, Louisville might even be an upgrade). The big loser, once again, is the Big East, who you have to feel sort of bad for at this point.