Countdown to College Football: Day 37 - Pittsburgh

School: University of Pittsburgh

Mascot: Panthers

Fight Song: Hail to Pitt

Head Coach: Pat Narduzzi

Stadium: Heinz Field (Capacity: 68,400)

Best Place to Eat on Campus:

The fine city of Pittsburgh was the first place I'd ever tried french fries smothered in cheese sauce.  It was at some hole in the wall on the opposite end of town of Pitt, but I was glad to see our winner, Big Jim's, carries fries and cheese sauce as a menu item.  Big JIm's has an excellent sandwich menu and also serves calzone's and the oily gooey disaster stromboli. Naturally, this appeals to us. 

Greatest Moment in Program History:

There was a time, from the mid 70's to early 80's, that Pitt was one of the elite programs in all of college football.  Johnny Majors and then Jackie Sherrill led Pitt to four double digit win seasons in five years, and in 1976, a National Championship. Pitt completed their only undefeated season since 1937 with a win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. 

Current State of the Program: 

After a fair degree of sucking in the mid 90's, Pitt has righted the ship and has consistently been competitive, making bowl games with regularity. Pat Narduzzi took over in 2015 and has put together consecutive 8-5 seasons.  Narduzzi is an excellent coach, and is working to turn Pitt's defense into a unit similar to his aggressive and violent defenses at Michigan State. This has been a challenge as the ACC has scores of competent offenses. Pitt played in far more shootouts than I'm sure Narduzzi would have liked last season. Luckily, the brilliant Matt Canada, engineered an offense that offset the defensive woes.  Canada is now at LSU, tasked with revamping an LSU offense that has been spinning its wheels since 2008. Shawn Watson is an experienced and capable replacement as offensive coordinator, and the Pitt defense should only get better.

Prediction: 9-3

vs Youngstown State - W

at Penn State - W

vs Oklahoma State - L

at Georgia Tech - W

vs Rice - W

at Syracuse - W

vs NC State - W

at Duke - W

vs Virginia - W

vs UNC - W

at Virginia Tech - L

vs Miami - L