Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.

Monday, September 29, 2008

SLAP 10!

10. Virginia

I know Coach K usually has good Duke teams. They're usually pretty hard to beat with all those good recruits he gets. You know those Bobby Hurley types that like to throw up bricks. Wait a got hammered by Duke in football?

9. Central Florida

About that potential Big East invite: Don't call us, we'll call you.

8. East Carolina

No more potential BCS bowl game. Now you're wondering if you'll make it to the CUSA title game. I imagine you'll face West Virginia in the bowl.

7. Tennessee

It's pretty bad when Paul Rhoads has your number for one Saturday. You should've spent more time analyzing the LSU-Auburn game. Hell, ask Pitt for their video collection.

6. Clemson

I think you should tell pre-season magazines to no longer consider you for the ACC title or anything else that may be good publicity. It seems to backfire on you every season.

5. Georgia

Every year and lots of hype. Pre-season hype that is. Things are looking good, and then you find yourselves down 30 points at halftime. It doesn't get any more fun playing in the SEC.

4. Florida

I should have you guys rated higher, but this was one was difficult. I mean it's not like you lost to LSU or Bama. This was to Ole home. You'll finish with a good record so Tim Tebow can pick up another heisman.

3. USC

For some reason, Oregon State has your number. Maybe it's because your Parade All-Americans got ran over by a midget. Maybe it's because Matt Sanchez looked like a statue in the pocket. Maybe it was that sea of Orange that you thought this was Syracuse. Maybe your PAC 10 conference isn't as easy as you thought.

2. Wisconsin

I think you just made Penn State fans worry about their losing streak to Michigan. Up 19-0 against a bad Michigan team, you lose 27-25. This week, we'll now have to see commercials about the upcoming Michigan-Ohio State game.

1. Wake Forest

There two types of BCS teams that lose to Navy. They're called Pitt and Rutgers. Try to keep it this way. You know Navy gave up lots of points to Duke and Ball State previously. Just sayin....

Pitt-Syracuse Notes

Panther Wide Receivers Invest in Insurance Policy

PantherRants has learned that Pitt's wide receivers have taken out insurance polices to protect themselves in case of injury. This was done as a precautionary measure in case they get crippled while trying to catch one of Bill Stull's passes. Because of the lack of a deep ball, some of them have found themselves in bad situations especially when trying to catch a pass over the middle. The terms of the policy have not been released.

Cavanaugh Hired as a Temp

Panthers' Offense Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was calling plays for both teams on Saturday. He was hired as a temp to handle play calls for the Syracuse offense along with his duties at Pitt. This marks the first time a coach was working for both teams. Cavanaugh was able call an effective game on both sideline as Syracuse had the lead at one point. Up 14-3 with a fourth down and 1 at the Panthers' forty yard line, Cavanaugh elected to punt to see if he could make the game interesting. He did as the Panthers' rallied to win the game.

Austin Ransom Promoted to MLB

After his display of senior leadership, Austin Ranson will take Scott Mckillop's place at middle linebacker. Scott will be a reserve while Shane Murray takes over Ransom's old position. Dave Wannstedt has said that "Austin has made an impact on the defense and his hair makes him look like that thing off "The Predator". Opposing offenses: GET TO THE CHOPPER!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Butt Rock Friday - Syracuse Edition

Don't know if you've noticed but Syracuse sucks. And so we really felt the need to find the shittiest of shitty songs for this week's Butt Rock Friday. A song that crosses from Butt Rock into just straight up ass, which is what Syracuse football is, has been and will be.

So here's Dio with what Syracuse's been since Paul Pasqualoni left town, "Last in Line."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meeting of the Biquarterion

The Biquarterion is a group of once powerful Big East mascots. They meet in Jake Crouthamel's old clubhouse. They control absolutely nothing and don't plan on it in the future.

Hello Everyone, glad to see everyone has made it to our first meeting. This is good because we have plenty to accomplish for this upcoming season

What exactly do we have to accomplish?

Well one thing Red Storm is to why you guys even still bother to field a basketball team in our conference. I mean look at you, you're just a logo. You don't have a presence of any type of being or thing!

Our course we do, we're the Red Storm. We were featured in "Coming to America". Many great players like Kenyon Martin and Ron Artest have come from our program.

Sure you are.....and do.....

What the hell is a Red Storm?

I can tell you what a Red Storm is. They were serving them at $1.25 at the Golic's house. I'm looking forward to playing your team, Roc. The Panthers are looking good so far.

Hey drunken Mick, I'm Wildcat. Roc hangs with the other group.

Oh yeah....wait where the hell am I? What are we doing again? Who is this cookie monster lookalike over here? Am I in a episode of Sesame Street?

Oh Pleasth....Thsilly! I'm Blue Demon! Your "in the conference" brother!

My "in the closet" brother?

Ok Guys, enough bickering. We came to discuss what we need to accomplish. The Octonion has gained total power the last decade. Letting go Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech didn't help. The Octonion also has basketball teams better than us. So how will you help me accomplish going power again?

Haaaarrrrrrrrr maties!!!! We plan to sail out to other kingdoms to defeat thee and take the precious treasue of Madison Square! Then we'll sail to take the greatest treasure of them all!!!!

NIT Championship?

Most likey thee it will be.

I tawt I taw a putty tat!

Jesus, I have to talk to Otto about joining the football conference. I can't take this much longer. Golden Eagle, will your team be competitive since Dominic James retired?

Dominic tw'ied to gain a 10th year of eligibility due to his injuries from excessive
flopping. It was either him or Eric Devendorf. They wanted Eric instead. Otherwise, we should make the Big Dance and lose in the first round at best.

Hoya, you might be on to something. How does a football member get their player an extra year of eligibilty when one of ours can't?

You boysth a thso silly! Mike Cook didn't get an extra year and you don't see Roc here being paranoid.


OOOOOH a freaker! I better watch out for you!

My sons, please stop fighting. We must play and pray together and the Kingdom of the East is ours!

Friar, go sit with Red Storm. We're not expecting much from you guys either.

I forgive you my son! A conference divided will fall if we don't act now!

What ta goofy ol' man talkin bout?

With King Tranghese gone, the football and basketball schools might split. Which means we might have to merge with the Atlantic 10 or the Patriot League. Who are you? Where's Golden Eagle?

Golden Eagle is dead. He flew into a powerline when he tried to stop Tom Cream from going to Indiana. This is his son.

So what are we going to do?

What we usually do.

What's that? I'm not worried. We'll go independent in basketball and schedule cupcake teams.

My team will make a run at the conference title and the final four, Nova will make the big dance where they'll have to play in North Carolina and get screwed over by ACC officials, Marquette may make the dance as will the Irish, Depaul and Seton Hall will do whatever, Providence may show some progress this year, and St. Johns will field a basketball team.

We have a team.

We bet you do......

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wannstedt Suspends Football Program for USF Game, Possibly Second Half of Syracuse Game

Pittsburgh, PA --- Citing the deepening crisis in the financial markets, University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt has suspended the Pitt Football program for its upcoming game against South Florida. “My friends, now is the time for our league to come together as Big East Brothers to help solve this deepening financial crisis. And really, the only way to do that is to cancel the upcoming South Florida game. That, or call it a draw.” When advised of Coach Wannstedt’s unilateral suspension of the game, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt was puzzled, citing the fact that to date Wannstedt hadn’t show the slightest interest in economics, had little control over the situation, and that as a coach he should be able to handle more than one thing at a time. Wannstedt said that he hoped to be able to schedule the game at a later date, perhaps after Pitt has secured a bowl bid.

Coach Wannstedt added that depending on how the market goes, he may need to suspend the second half of this weekend's Pitt game against Syracuse as well. “We’ll be watching the ticker very closely for any fluctuations. Signs of an impending crash can be very subtle, so we may need to cancel the second half even if the market is booming.” When told that the stock market will not even be open on Saturday during the game, Wannstedt simply said that he would be taking no further questions.

Weekly Update With Foge

White Oak (PR) Foge took time last week to do a little relaxing and play golf. We caught up with him at Luciano’s in White Oak.

PR: Why Luciano’s?

FF: They have excellent pizza and I have been in the mood for a good massage. Kyoto Spa is right down the road. I can kill two birds with one stone.

PR: Happy Ending?

FF: No Comment

PR: What are you taking back for Wanny?

FF: He wanted a Pizza with pepperoni and anchovies, but I will not allow any fish. That is well documented here about the fish. I substituted mushrooms, so he’ll get a pep and mush pizza.

PR: To the game, was it as big a win that everybody is making it out to be?

FF: Absolutely! I mean any win that Dave gets is a big win. He is not even at .500 yet. So yes, it is a big win. Plus, Iowa is from the most overrated conference in the country so Pitt will get some credit for this win nationally.

PR: Were you impressed with the offense?

FF: From what I heard Cavanaugh did not make it to the game until the second quarter. I heard that a certain ex-coach was calling our plays from his seat. When Matt arrived, he promptly took over but was slurring his play calls.

PR: Can you elaborate as to where Matt was for the first quarter?

FF: No, but I think Steve P sent him to the Kyoto spa.

PR: Did he leave early?

FF: From what I understand, there was a brief exit in the 4th quarter but he was back in time to call the plays at the 2:44 mark.

PR: What do you think of Cav’s bubble screen passes to the WR?

FF: If Cav ever calls another screen, flanker screen or bubble screen, he should be handcuffed and led from the stadium. That play has not worked all year or last year for that matter.

PR: Did you see where Dave was asked about Greg Cross and he responded we had about 6 plays for him but just didn’t have the right time to use him? What are your thoughts about that?

FF: I am not sure when the right time to use him would be then. I mean, the kid as quick feet, scored a spectacular TD on his first play but then sits for the rest of the game sans one awful play call at the end. I just have to keep asking coach about it. Maybe ¾ of the game he should be in there and Billy Stull should sit.

PR: What do you think about Bill Stull?

FF: His name fits him. Bill Stull, stall; get it.

PR: Yeah, we get it Foge.

FF: I mean he’s okay, but damn it, he’s as fidgety as Wyndell Williams in a prison shower. The minute he sees a defensive player, the ball is over thrown, under thrown or he just freezes to get smashed. I can’t believe that Pat Bostick could not beat him out. He had a rough game.

PR: What do you make of Shady’s fumblitis?

FF: Not sure. He just has to start holding onto the ball. Case closed.

PR: Scott Mckillop getting handled and missing more tackles?

FF: Scott was up and down and still needs to be more consistent. He did have another ole’ miss of a quarterback. He says all of the right things, however. Uses all of the right clich├ęs. He’ll make an excellent coach or politician one day.

PR: What about Kirk Ferentz’s coaching?

FF: Wow! When you make 3 mill and coach the way he does, it’s amazing he is still employed. Any time Dave out coaches somebody it’s an eye opener. Kind of like the blind leading the blind but hey Dave was the best coach on the field yesterday. With the exception of a former ex-coach, who called the plays in the first quarter.

PR: Can we beat a horrible Syracuse team by at least 2 touchdowns?

FF: I think so, but if anyone can bitch this thing up Wanny and Cavvy can. In all honesty Fralic, Hillgrove, myself and eight slobs from the Original Hot Dog Shop can go up to Syracuse and win. They just beat Northeastern by 6 points last week. I would say that with Pitt’s players, they should win by 24 (37-13). With Wanny and Cavvy at the help, look for Pitt to win 26-17.

Well, thanks Foge for being able to sit down with us this week. We’ll see you next week and uh, hey where is that massage place?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dave Wannstedt Press Conference

Dave Wannstedt had his weekly press conference where he discusses the Iowa game and the upcoming Syracuse game. Panther Rants was there to bring you the highlights of his press conference.

On the Iowa Win:

"It was a good win for the program. I usually don't do well off bye weeks. Mainly because, I'm too busy driving my Pontiac Trans AM while listening to some Jerry Reed. The weather is good for this kind of driving and we're always on some good missions. One time, we drove all the way to Texas for these gigantic fish sandwiches. Cav is usually driving the big rig and he's always my lookout for speed traps.

We stuck to our usual game plan: to get a nice lead and hope the other team doesn't come back and beat us. I felt bad for the Iowa offensive line because they had play in Philadelphia the next day to prevent Ben Roethlisberger from being spiked to the ground."

On the upcoming Syracuse game:

"This should be a big test for our team because it is a conference road game. The game is in a hostile environment called the Orange Dome. They have a solid football team and a good coach in Greg Robinson. Syracuse is close to being on track to getting better. They just need to give Greg some more time. His team is coming off an emotional win against Northeastern. They lost to a MAC powerhouse in Akron which is never an easy game. "

Making Game Plans for Syracuse:

"We'll continue to get ahead early and see how much we can outsmart the Syracuse coaching staff. A bid to the International Bowl may be on the line for the both of us this game. They've had trouble scoring points and it comes down to execution. We want to be cautious in case they make great execution. Last time we playing in the dome, Larod Stephens was "still running". Their quarterbacks seemed to be an upgrade over Perry Patterson and Anthony Smith is already guaranteeing a win.

They came close to beating us last year so we'll need to keep to offensive game plan simple. We don't need turnovers. Turnovers were big in the Iowa game. I'm always preaching turnovers to you guys, but you don't seem to get it."

"I is Antnee....And I is have a website..."

Thank you, Anthony Morelli.

Or should we say Anthony Michael Morelli.

During a week where Pitt actually won and we have very little to bitch and make fun of. During a week where we are gearing up to play a Syracuse team that's so bad that we can barely muster the enthusiasm to make fun of them (but we will anyways). During a week where we expect few people reading our site because Pitt fans rarely bitch on blogs after wins and Syracuse only has 16 fans left, Morelli comes through in the clutch.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you, Anthony Morelli

Yes, the former Penn State quarterback done started himself a website. And even though there is a disclaimer saying that the site is not afiliated with Morelli in any way, given some of the entries on the site we can only believe that he's the one performing writing and editing duties. First of all, what "fan" gives enough of a damn to start an Anthony Morelli site? Even he most diehard of Penn State twits wouldn't bother with this. And if they did it wouldn't be for Morelli.

Sccondly, take this gem from his home page:

Anthony Morelli on Penn State's third play from scrimmage in the 2006 season-opener against Akron, Anthony Morelli stepped back for his first pass as the Nittany Lions' starter and threw a picture-perfect 42-yard scoring strike to Deon Butler to begin a successful day and season for the record-breaking quarterback.

Holy jumpin' shitballs. Apparently Anthony Morelli, or whomever is doing the prose for Anthony Morelli, is a big fan of the full name of Anthony Morelli because Anthony Morelli is not once abbreviated to Anthony Morelli's last name anywhere in the paragraph on Anthony Morelli on the home page of Anthony Morelli dawt owrg. We are also told in the "video" section of the site that, "Some of Anthony Morelli Videos might take some time while loading. Please wait for Anthony Morelli videos to load."

Yeah, we'll get right on that.

Still, we have to wonder what the hell the impetus was behind starting this site. Certainly Morelli didn't think there'd be a big market for former Fat 10 Conference slightly above average quarterbacks, did he? There's no, or, or And he might want update the sonofabitch, being that he's not currently on the Arizona Cardinals roster...or any other team's for that matter.

But at least he finally got one thing right: he says that he attended "Penn State University" on his bio. Well, better late than never I guess.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SLAP 10!

After another exciting week of College Football, let's see who made the honor roll.......

10. Fresno State

The only reason why you're on this list is because I needed a 10 honorees. How in the hell do you go from beating Rutgers convincingly to needing overtime to beat Toledo? That's why you're a mid-major. The BCS teams don't take you serious enough and the non-BCS teams want to beat you.

9. Sylvester Croom

You came off a nice season last year. Now you're 1-3. Things aren't going to get any better as the SEC conference play is starting. You might want start updating that resume in case.

8. Iowa

Pitt felt so bad for you that they let you come back and take a three point lead. Your offensive line looked almost like the Steelers' offensive line. If this keeps up, I bet Big Ben will regret that contract extension. Hell his career might be shortened. As for Mr. Ferentz, I guess those Penn State rumors aren't really true......

7. Steve Spurrier

Nice win over Wofford....seriously.

6. Bill Stewart

So let me get this straight......Noel Devine is punishing the Colorado defense. You have a critical 3rd and 1 where it's pretty obvious you need the ball in the hands of Devine or Pat White. Instead, you pull Devine and let some other slap run for a short loss. You might be Foge Fazio re-incarnated. I think maybe the WVU administration should have pulled all the strings to keep Rich-Rod. I guess 13-9 was no fluke. No John Denver Bowl trophy for you......

5. Auburn

Nice defensive showing the second half. I guess Paul Rhoads' pogo stick was working good enough. Not enough air on those jumps. I guess that's why you lost. There's a reason you hate Alabama. They're everything you wish you would be.

4. Rutgers

It can't get any worse for you guys. At least you didn't lose to Navy in a shootout like Pitt did last year. So what biblical references will Greg Schiano use now? Rutgers season headed into armageddon? Better keep an eye on that recruiting class. It may get a little smaller as the season unfolds.

3. East Carolina

I guess there will be no mention of you guys playing for the national title. You guys came close last week, but then finally bit the bullet against a bad NC State team. Up 21-17 and a chance to kick field goal to go up a touchdown, you go for it. Not to mention you guys got stopped and gave NC State all the momentum. Enjoy the CUSA title game. Maybe we'll invite you to the Big East one day....

2. Mike Teel

Mike showed us the leadership and composure qualities of a quarterback. When things go wrong, just punch one of your teammates. I'm not sure why you'd do that. It's not their fault you suck. Greg Leonard and Ray Rice won't be there to bail you out this year. Have fun turning that corner. Just don't turn the ball over again.

1. Pat Mcafee

Look if you want to follow in the footsteps of Mike Vangerjagt as a choking kicker
, you need to make it to the pros first. You can't choke in college unless one of your teammates did that to you after this game. Another easy field goal missed. Why do you do this to yourself? Do you like the abuse from the fans? Are you getting back at someone? You didn't get enough attention? You know you and Mike Vanderjagt went to the same college....West Virgina.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pitt Wins Despite Unexpected Steeler Changes

BLAWNOX (PR) - Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt was admittedly dumbfounded today following Pitt's 21-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. "In all the years I watched Bubby Brister run the Steeler offense I never knew he was ambidextrous and could move out of the pocket," Wannstedt said from Primanti's in Harmarville. "We've watched every Steeler game film Steve Sabol down at NFL Films could send us from 1988-1991, and we swear Bubby was just your typical slow-ass, righty QB."

With Brister utilizing his new found ambidexterity, and running ability, the Steeler offense kept Pitt's defense off balance. "Yeah, Phil [Bennett] and I were thrown through a loop on that one, kinda like on one of those roller coasters at Kennywood. I like it there, good french fries...speaking of which, they didn't put enough on my Capicola sammitch here." Despite the work of Brister, the Pitt defense adjusted. As did the Primanti's staff, getting Wannstedt his extra fries and an IC Light on the house for the error.

Equally as unexpected was the re-emergence of Terry Bradshaw in the Steeler offense. "Now Terry is a Hall of Famer for a reason, plus he was really funny in that 'Failure to Launch' movie and in that Toby Keith music video," said Wannstedt. "He made some nice throws out there, and I guess he got himself a nice hair transplant because he's got a full mop." The two Louisiana natives split time running the Steeler offense, with Brister getting the nod for most of the second half. "They also had [Ben] Roethlisberger and [Neil] O'Donnell on their roster as well, so they must've really gone all out with their free agency signings this week in preparation for us. Why didn't they cover this on the Tunch and Wolf show?"

Another interesting development came after the game had ended. Wannstedt admittedly made a faux pas when meeting the opposing head coach at mid-field. "I thought Mike Tomlin was black, it really surprised me to see a middle-aged white guy walking to me and acting like the head coach. I'll have to watch Stan Savran on Sportsbeat to figure out what the hell is going on." Last game, Wannstedt was stunned to find himself shaking the hand of a black Marv Levy from Buffalo. Sources indicate that Steelers owner and chairman Dan Rooney intends to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Butt Rock Friday - Iowa Edition

We at Panther Rants know good and damn well that Nirvana is far from butt rock. For starters, it's the wrong decade entirely. Secondly, you never see some guy on the roof of his house, installing new shingles, with Nirvana blasting out of his 1988 Panasonic boom box with the bent antenna and paint stains. But the truth is, we could think of no better song to welcome Iowa with, given their recent legal troubles.

So here's Nirvana with "Rape Me," a pretty damn appropriate song given what non-conference BCS teams have done to Pitt at Heinz Field since...well, the move to Heinz Field.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best Damn WLAT Show Period

Sponsored By:

Walt: Hello Everyone! Welcome to the "BEST DAMN WLAT SHOW" period! We have a great show for you tonight. We have two new co-hosts to the show. We're also back at Denny's and we have a nice booth set up here.

Kevan Barlow: We also have a new logo as well. I love it.

Walt: Yeah, the Pitt people we hired procrastinated in making us a logo for the show. It goes to show the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to show logos, team logos, merchandise, uniforms, etc. Anyways Kevan, introduce our two new co-hosts.

Kevan: Our first co-host is a Pitt legend or at least some people think he is. He was the golden boy, the first guy to throw five touchdowns at Notre Dame, and a guy who said he'd run his mom over. Give it up for Tyler Palko!

( crowd applause )

Tyler Palko: Thanks for inviting me on the show.

Kevan: Dude, why do you keep checking your cellphone?

Tyler: To see if anyone needs an "arm". Some practice squad should be calling me soon.

Kevan: It ain't happening. If they need an arm, they'll call the drummer from Def Leppard before they'll call you.

Walt: You know, that guy is a really good drummer. We need a band on this show. He could be the band leader.

Kevan: I thought you invited Kool and the Gang?

Walt: I did, but you remember that scene from Animal House?

Kevan: Do you mind if we dance wif yo dates?

Walt: Exactly. Like Otis Day, they don't know who I am now. Then again, we should head to Carlow after this and find us some women.

Kevan: Speaking of that, I know someone who may need that help. Ladies and Gentlemen, our new co-host, Mr. Tyre Young!

Tyre Young: Thanks for having me as co-host. It's great to be on this show.

Kevan: Well we needed a Michael Strahan for the show. I mean you were a mean defensive player with his share of women problems. The only problem is Mike's not broke like you.

Tyre: What's this me having problems finding women? How did you guys know?

Kevan: Well, it's no big secret. We found this page about you on the web.

Walt: When you're posted on, you know you're going to have women troubles. And what's this about making it the NFL? You told your women this?

Tyre: Well, I did leave IUP early because I figured I didn't have much else to accomplish....

Walt:'s only IUP. I can't see what you can accomplish there.

Palko: You left IUP a year early? IUP???? Are you serious?

Tyre: Hey Palko, I saw what Kevan did to you the last show. I can do the same thing you know.
( Palko hides behind Kevan's chair. )

Kevan: It's ok, Tyler. I'll make sure big bad Tyre doesn't get to you.

Walt: I'm not sure about that, Tyler. If it was Nick Goings in that chair, I'd feel more safe.

Kevan: F*** You......

Walt: So Tyre, did you make it to the NFL?

Tyre: No, but I still check my cellphone every hour.

Kevan: I just had this same conversation with Tyler. You both need to let it go.

Walt: Yeah, Kevan "let it go" many times in his career.

( Palko sits back in this chair )

Palko: I don't what I'm worried about. Tyre isn't going to do anything.

Kevan: He may shoot your ass

Palko: No he'll just shoot himself on the way over to me!

( Palko, Barlow, and Young scuffle )

Walt: Well, we're going to have to end this show on a bad note. It was a bad show tonight and I think our team had an issue with preparation. Sometimes you write a script and it just doesn't work. We'll see you next week as I try to make this show into a big time ratings contender. Ladies, remember if your man tries to say he's going to be in the NFL....always take it account that he left a PSAC school early. In other words, don't date him girl!

Former Iowa Coach Discusses Pitt Game

Ames, Iowa: We caught up with former Iowa head football coach and legend of the program, Hayden Fox today. We questioned the coach about his relationship with the Iowa program. "I coached there for 20 years and am still very active in the Ames community. We were fortunate enough to go to 14 bowl games so there's a lot of fond memories for the fans, myself and the community."

The topic turned to the current squad. Fox stated, "The team is really coming on after a couple of years where expectations were not met. It's always tough to maintain a high level of performance year in and year out in such a strong conference." Fry described that playing heavyweights such as Minnesota and Wisconsin State make for a difficult slate. "Those are our traditional rivals so it's always a dogfight."

When asked about his fondest memories as a head coach, Fox points to his experience with Heisman trophy finalist, Chuck Short, back in 1985. It was a magical run and everyone had a lot of fun with it. I said once that he was destined for greatness and I think that really bore out in his NFL career."

When asked for a prediction for this week's game, you could still hear some resentment about his transition out of the program. Fox elaborated, "I still think that Pitt is going down. Kirk is a great coach even though Luther Van Dam should have gotten a more serious look to take over for me."

Big Game Aftermath

Blawnox (PR) Ahhh! Finally, back to civilization. After my initial report of the big game, I promised to do a follow up of the tailgating, the game itself and the celebration or sorrow that immediately followed the final whistle.


I have to admit it folks; the Hawkeye faithful really have clung to trying to imitate the Steeler Nation. They are hardcore partiers and they eat like a kid with Prater Willi syndrome.

I stopped by several tailgates throughout the morning. John Saxson of Cedar Rapids, a longtime Black and Gold Fan, said, “who are you rootin’ for man?” When I told him that I was a reporter from Pittsburgh covering the big game and that I was in fact cheering for the Hawkeyes, he was elated. Miller Lite was being thrown my way as well as steaks, potatoes and of course corn. And I mean lots of corn. Mr. Saxson just wanted to know if there were any farms around the Pittsburgh area that I could hook him up with.

Megan Murray of Iowa City showed me use 97 and 98 of the 101 things Iowa women do with corn. WOW, and I thought yinzer women were skanks. Good show though, and now I know where the word corn hole came about. You just have to love the Hawkeye girls.

The Big Game:

Thank God for the rain, and this drunk who kept blowing chunks from his nose. Those were the only things that kept me awake. Iowa State is just plain bad. Coaching stinks and the players are sub par. Iowa has some very talented players, no doubt about it. They have a running back that although he has a hard time reading and writing, is big, strong and fast. He is hard to bring down. Kirk”don’t call me Kurt” Ferentz plays as close to the vest offensively as Wannstache. So I am anticipating a 13-10 ballgame on Saturday.

We Pitt fans thought that our River City Rivalry trophy was hideous. The CyHawk trophy is downright embarrassing. This thing looks like a plastic trophy that is handed out at midget league banquets. It was also very flimsy with the top being broken off at one point of the celebration festivities.

Post Game and Celebration:

Again, going back to Megan Murray and her showing us some interesting things to do with corn; it appears as if some male students and student athletes just couldn’t contain themselves in the post game celebration. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but geesh guys, you could have at least waited until you get back to your barns.

Downtown celebration was pretty fun. I have to give credit, they partied all night. I ended up at Miss Iowa’s apartment where I was stationed until Wednesday.

Thanks Miss Iowa. I understand why you didn’t want me to leave. I know its hard to find someone in Iowa that doesn’t have manure on their boots and doesn’t think that fine dining is an Arby’s, but I did have a nice time with you. I’ll see you Friday night for a nice long weekend.

The Pick-Six Watch

September 30, 2006.....what is the significance of this date? Let's look at some information gathered:

1. Pitt played and beat Toldeo ( yes, we know )
2. The game was on a Saturday ( yes, we know )
3. Palko had a nice game ( yep )
4. Pitt was 4-1 after this win ( you don't get it, do you?

All of these are good points to bring up. There's not much that needs re-visited from that dreadful 2006 season. There was a lot of expectations and hope for a bowl trip. That's what you'd expect from a 6-1 start. Then came the Rutgers game and everything went downhill. The UConn game was the icing on the cake. So what is significant about the 2006 season that carries to the 2008 season?

That game was the last time the Pitt defense had an interception returned for a touchdown. That person was Gus Mustakas. Darrelle Revis had a pick-six against Cincinnati two weeks before. He's in the NFL. Clint Sessions had one against UVA. He's in the NFL. I'm not sure about a fumble returned for a touchdown. I don't have time to look that up either. I went all the way back to 2004 and can't find any record of a fumble returned for a TD. So on Panther Rants, we present: The Pick Six Watch


1. Aaron Berry

Berry had two interceptions last year, but he has yet to get on the board for this season. Height-wise, he's not bad. He also has speed and the ability to lock down on receivers. Right now, he's the favorite .

Odds: 25-1

2. Jovanni Chappel

Jovanni is in a full time role at cornerback this year. He's a little on the short side, but he's supposedly quick as well. Right now, he's second on the list...unless Buddy Jackson takes his job.

Odds: 50-1

3. Elijah Fields

Elijah is going to get more playing time. He would be second on the odds-makers' list, but he's sharing his role with Dom Decicco. Elijah has the height and game-breaking speed to return one for a touchdown. It just depends if he can catch on playing defense and not have to be pulled for
Dom Decicco. He also has to deal with playing alongside Eric Thatcher.

Odds: 100-1

4. Eric Thatcher

Eric is more known his hitting than his ability to defend. Then again, he hasn't done much hitting as of late. He was torched last week against Buffalo for a TD. If you got money to burn and want to make a high-risk bet, here you go.

Odds: 400-1