Four coaches in three years? If there’s anything the Pittsburgh Panthers program needs it’s stability! Will they have it in Paul Chryst, the former Wisconsin Badgers offensive coordinator who gets offers every season from teams everywhere, but now he’s finally taken one and left Madison. Can the meat and potatoes, blue collar type coach bring to Pitt what’s been missing under Dave Wannstedt, and the dude who came for one year and bolted for Arizona State?
The Panthers will have a solid running game this year, but their QB play could keep them from being anything special.
2011 was: rather mediocre, especially when you consider how bad the conference record is. The 6-7, 4-3 season was “highlighted” by a bowl loss to SMU. Todd Graham’s no huddle, high pace spread didn’t work as they finished 88th in total offense. QB Tino Sunseri isn’t very good, and really hasn’t been, but what else do they have to go with?
2012 will go smoothly if: The schedule is favorable early on, and the Big East is down, they have a chance if there’s depth on the line- both of them. It all depends on how fast the personnel can adjust to Chryst’s scheme.The line can run block, but doesn’t really pass block all too well. You gotta like their secondary too.
2012 will be rough if: They don’t make a huge improvement in the passing game. TE Hubie Graham makes for a great target. But there’s a lot of questions, on both sides of the ball.
BMOC: RB Ray Graham, WR Devin Street, FS Jarred Holley, TE Hubie Graham, DT Aaron Donald
All-name team: S Bam Bradley, S Deaysean Rippy, RB Rushel Shell, the 5th rated RB recruit in the nation, CB Lafayette Pitts (at least to be on this team)
Bottom Line: They should be just okay. Maybe better than .500 as West Virginia is gone and the league is weaker. 7-8 wins certainly looks likely, as they have running game depth and could play ball control with Chryst’s system. But they’re likely a team that is not as good as their record states.
Rankings Athlon- 45 Lindy’s- 44 Phil Steele- 49
All the 77s
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
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