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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slap 10!

Another week has gone by, and we get our usual gang of idiots....

10. Florida

Who in the hell schedules Citadel this time of the year? I guess it was to make sure your BCS implications weren't wounded and Tim Tebow can win another Heisman. Choosing between Urban Meyer and Nick Saban is like picking which douchebag to win the "collar up" contest.

9. LSU

Don't worry, we'll get to hear how you play in the NFC East of college football.

8. Minnesota

That 7-1 start was nice. Finishing 7-5 with a 55-0 blowout against Iowa was even more funnier.
7. Maryland

Way to shit the bed when a chance to face Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl is on the line. I guess the Fridge was too busy eating pudding to find a way to beat FSU where most of their team is on probation. Keep on losing your state's top recruits to Penn State.

6. North Carolina

You guys lost to a bad NC State team....real bad.....NEXT!

5. Wisconsin

Great win over Cal......Cal-Poly. Way to add to the reasons why Penn State would never make it to the title game undefeated. I imagine you and Michigan got together and said "Hey Penn State just might make a run at the title game. Let's suck this season to make sure!"

4. Michigan State

We all knew this was coming. You're always due for some sort of bitch-up. You let KorDarryl Clark pass all over you. You couldn't even defend the smurfs they had at WR. MAKE PLAYS!

3. Pitt

A team you beat the last three years, you meet them for their biggest home game ever. Not to mention their ring of honor is full of football legends most of us have never heard of. Look to add Tony Pike to that "Ring of Honor" after that performance.

2. Texas Tech

I think a lot of people knew you weren't going to leave the Big 12 unharmed. The game was over by halftime. Looks like you couldn't score your 5o or so points to match them.

1. Notre Dame

Akron beat Syracuse. Hell everyone beat Syracuse. Good luck in getting pasted in your bowl game. WAKE UP THE ECHOS!!!

Final Thoughts on Pitt-Cincinnati

When I think of this past Saturday's loss, this song comes to mind......

Talk about a missed opportunity at a Big East title and a BCS bid. It could be worse, we could be Syracuse. I could say Notre Dame, but they're headed to the Sun Bowl.

One thing is for certain: Pitt fans will be contemplating which travel plans to make for whatever bowl game they'll be in. Whether it's buying passports, tossing lug nuts on Heinz Field after the backyard brawl, or just saying "F*** it, I'm staying home."

So it's time to play the blame game. Let's look at the list....

Bill Stull: Stull didn't have a lights out game, but neither did Pat Bostick when Pitt beat Cincinnati last year. What you see is what you get with Stull. He's not going to light it up. He'll manage the game, move the ball, etc. Cincy's defense challenged Pitt to throw. Which comes to my next part.....

The receivers: While Stull isn't exactly a world beater, the receivers helped the cause by dropping passes.

Offensive Line: I'm not sure what the staff sees in Dom Williams other than he's a senior. Other than that, I'm thankful Bill Stull made it home alive.

Defense: Not much to be desired here. Got little pressure on Tony Pike, couldn't defend the dink and dunk passes or the deep ones. We can only count the days until Eric Thatcher graduates.

So who's to blame? The big difference between last year's win and this year's loss was turnovers. Pitt forced Ben Mauk into turning the ball over three times in the fourth quarter and Pitt was able to take advantage. The blame falls on everyone from the players to the staff. It's called preparation, gentlemen. Now we get to see a fan base of MAC proportions head to the Orange Bowl. I bet Florida is really going to love the matchup in this game.

What's Next? Pitt needs to finish strong, or they'll be hanging out in Toronto.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big East Stock Market

It's been a while since we checked the Big East Market. Let's take a look at who's hot...and who's not....

1. Rutgers

Clearly the hottest stock in the Big East thus far. Rutgers has won five of their last six games. Their offense has finally clicked ( Thanks, Pitt). Their defense has been pretty tough as well. They have Army to face this week and then they close the season against Louisville.

Advice: Don't sell until close of season, it's going to keep rising.

2. Cincinnati

Winners of seven of their last eight games. They finally beat Louisville and West Virginia. They did this in two consecutive weeks. Things get a bit testy as they face Pitt this Saturday.

Advice: Sell while it's hot. Cincy has last their last three to Pitt.

3. Pitt

Pitt has won their last two games. Their last one was a total ass-beating of Louisville where we saw some cold streaks broken. Pitt has a tough schedule ahead with Cincy, West Virginia, and Connecticut. It's hard to say if they'll win all three games. UConn has had Pitt's number.

Advice: Sell

4. West Virginia

West Virginia's stock rose rapidly winning their next five games after the loss to Colorado. Their stock leveled off a bit after the loss to Cincinnati. Their next three games are against Louisville, Pitt, and South Florida. WVU hasn't fared too well against USF as of late.

Advice: Sell after the Louisville game. Pitt game is to risky.

5. Connecticut

Connecticut got off to a nice 5-0 start, but have lost three of their last five. The main reason was their schedule got a lot tougher and their injuries at quarterback have left them relying on Donald Brown a bit too much. Their stock should tumble more as the Randy Edsal rumors start to heat up.

Advice: Sell.

6. South Florida

The Bulls got off to a nice 6-1 start, but have clowned their way out of Big East contention. Their next two games are UConn and West Virginia. The Matt Grothe bandwagon just left town.

Advice: Sell what you got.

7. Louisville

Steve Kragthorpe should be on the hotseat soon...if he isn't already. Their golden era has come and passed.

Advice: Don't even bother

8. Syracuse

Their stock should rise a bit next season as the Greg Robinson era comes to a close.

Advice: None needed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Biggest Game in School History

This Saturday's Pitt-Cincinnati Game will be the "Biggest Home Game in School History" for the Bearcats. The Panthers have been able to accommodate other teams as their biggest home game. Let's take a look at some games in recent memory.

2003 - Pitt vs. Toledo

Pitt was ranked in the Top 10 and had a lot of hype before the season. Pitt was a favorite to win the Big East according to some media sources. Things looked pretty good. I remember listening to the radio as Pitt passed all over their opponent. At one point, it was 24-14 with Pitt leading. Then it was downhill from there. Toledo's spread offense led by Bruce Gradkowski marched down the field with Pitt leading 31-28 and eventually scored the game winning TD. Just when we thought the worst was behind us, Pitt bitched it up against a MAC opponent. 2003 would have a lot more blunders to come.

2004 - Pitt vs. UConn

This was UConn's first season in the Big East so this game was huge for them. This game was well known for the infamous "slide play" where Pitt positioned themselves for field goal before halftime, but with enough time to score a touchdown. Clint Sessions was quoted for thinking Pitt had this game in hand. They were losing at halftime. Pitt couldn't stop UConn's spread offense...see a pattern here? Pitt would end up heading to a BCS bowl in a smaller Big East.

2005 - Pitt vs. Ohio

The second game in the Dave Wannstedt era. It started off well when Pitt took the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Then it was downhill from there. Tyler Palko threw two touchdown passes in this the other team. Pitt couldn't run the ball..let alone throw it. Pitt would lose this game in overtime with Palko's game winning touchdown pass to Ohio's Dion Bynum. Pitt would end up 5-6 on the season.

2005 - Pitt vs. Rutgers

This was the "turning the corner" game for Rutgers. One vivid memory of this game is where Pitt had a short yardage situation where Palko ran about fifteen yards backwards and took a sack. There a lot more comedy of errors in this game. Pitt looked so damn slow in this game. On the upside, Pitt did manage to come back. They just fell short....many times during 2005-2007.

2007 - Pitt vs. West Virginia

You didn't think this column would just cover all of Pitt's losses..did ya? West Virginia came into the game ranked #2 in the BCS playing a Pitt team led by a true freshman at quarterback. Pitt was also 4-8 and couldn't buy a break. West Virginia, who rolled up many yards rushing on Pitt the last two seasons, hit a brick wall. Pat White left the game early and returned. Even he couldn't rally the Mountaineers. Pat Mcafee missed two easy chip shots and WVU had their share of turnovers. In the end, Pitt would win the biggest game in Backyard Brawl history and RichRod left for Ann Arbor with a sore vagina.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slap Five!

Panther Rants returns after a bye week where we did absolutely nothing. Today, we bring you the Slap Five. Due to some budget cuts, we can't bring you the Slap 10. Not to mention there wasn't much happening to make the honor roll complete. Lack of enrollment.

5. Illinois

Your latest piece of work should have made Comedy Central. A fumble on your doorstep, an interception near the goal line, a block punt, a roughing call late in the game, etc. From Rose Bowl last season to a possible Toilet Bowl. Juice Williams learned a lot from Donovan Mcnabb's passing camp this past offseason: How to be good one week, and suck the next week.

4. Tulsa

Scoring tons of points this season has caught up to you. Arkansas beats you and Houston rings 70 points on you. Looks like you're out of the Top 25 for the rest of the season. You may be out of the CUSA championship this season if you keep this up.

3. Minnesota

Not only do you blow of 21-7 lead, but you surrender two safeties that end up costing you the game. At least the pundits can now say the "Big Ten is a tough conference".

2. South Florida

All the hype is gone. From a Big East favorite to a possible trip to Toronto. Toronto isn't bad this time of year. Wait..I's up north and it's winter. We're not sure if you'll play in a dome and we really don't care to look it up.

1. Greg Robinson

The only thing tolerable from the Greg Robinson era has to be the blog "Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician." This blog made Syracuse football fun to watch and read about. You took a program that had tradition dating back to Jim Brown and Ernie Davis to a program that's on the level of Temple Football. We knew Syracuse Football was in trouble when Perry Patterson was your quarterback in an offense that didn't fit his abilities. Anytime Larod Stephens runs for 200 yards on you, your coaching career isn't going to last long after that. Hell Pitt rarely wins at the Dome and they did it twice in your tenure. Hell a lot more teams did it too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Streaks Are over!

The Pick-Six Watch is Over! The Fumble-Six Watch is Over!

We were way off on who would be the lucky defender to intercept a pass and run it in for a touchdown. We figured it would be one of the players in the secondary. I guess this is why we're mediocre bloggers. In the end, it was dependable Scott Mckillop. Watching the game, Louisville was begging to be intercepted and a touchdown being scored the other way. Pitt's defense went two years without a pick-six. Let's hope we see more in the future.

It's hard to determine when it was the last time Pitt's defense returned a fumble for a touchdown. We think this dates back to 2003 or 2004. Ricky Gary was the lucky person to end this streak.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SLAP 10!

The Slap 10 this week is dominated by the Big Ten. There are four Big Ten teams in this week's honor roll. Let's take a look.....

10. Indiana

Hope you enjoyed your bowl game last year. It will be the last one you'll have for the next 20 or so years.

9. Tennessee

While Phil Fulmer is retired from our list, you're not. This season just keeps getting more comical. A loss to Wyoming. So much for the Rocky Top.....

8. Notre Dame

Still can't beat Boston College. Jimmy Clausen had a great showing. Looks like those Gator Bowl hopes are fading away. There's always's not a bad place. Just ask the Big East.

7. West Virginia

You've made the Big East race wide open now. To think you wasted the efforts of Pat Mcafee who made a clutch field goal to send it into overtime and he made a field goal in overtime. Now we have to wonder if Cincinnati will represent us in the BCS.

6. Jarrett Lee

Third and long in overtime against the #1 team in the nation. Do you play for the field goal or get a first down? Ah you had a better idea. Throw an interception.

5. Doug Beaumont

Looks like you caught the same disease of returning punts that haunted Aaron Berry. Thanks for spotting us some points. You were the MVP of the Pitt-Louisville game.

4. Illinois

I guess all the hype from last season is gone. Western Michigan?!? Guess Juice Williams will need another passing camp to attend.

3. TCU

Way to keep Utah's BCS hopes alive. Now they'll wait and see which Big East team they're gonna play.

2. Minnesota

It's been a comical two weeks for you. Last week was a pick-six to lose the game. This week, you lose to a bad Michigan team. Even Purdue beat Michigan. Hell, Toledo beat Michigan.

1. Penn State

There will be no more whining about the polls. Now, we get to enjoy all the conspiracy theories for the rest of the season. The officiating, the holding, the wind, and the final drive. You've stooped yourselves as to blaming the benches with no heating. You had an easy road to the BCS, but puckered big time. Maybe if your secondary would spend more time practicing than beating up college students, they would have defended Iowa's passing game a lot better.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Best Damn WLAT Show!

Walt Harris: Welcome to the Best Damn WLAT Show! I am your host as always. Making his return to the show is my sidekick, Kevan Barlow. Kevan had his tryout with the Erie RiverRats and as always.......

Kevan: How's the job hunt coming, punk? Did Washington or Tennessee call you yet?

Walt: What job hunt? I don't need a job. Stanford is still paying me. I get to hang out in Pittsburgh and watch my former employer find a way to beat Rutgers.

Kevan: I just watched them beat Notre Dame this past Saturday. They're 6-2 and ranked again.

Walt: Which means they'll lose this week. They suck at home and they do worse when they're ranked.

Kevan: Was Pitt ever ranked when you coached?

Walt: 2002, 2003, and shot.

Kevan: Took you long enough, chapstick. Wanny has them ranked in his fourth year.

Walt: Yeah, but he has LeSean McCoy. I had to start out with players like Matt Lytle and Kevan...

Kevan: Don't even go there!

Walt: Speaking of Louisville, is Brian Brohm still there?

Kevan: No, it's Hunter Cantwell. Brian plays in the NFL. Think about it, you couldn't send one QB to get drafted in the NFL when you were at Pitt. Hell Trent Edwards managed to get drafted in your tenure at Stanford.

Walt: Didn't this blog face a little controversy when Pitt played Louisville last year?

Kevan: Yeah, they said Brian Brohm had a down-sydromish face.

Walt: Well any good QB would need their head checked if they stayed another year to play under Steve Kragthorpe.

Kevan: Actually, Brian didn't have a bad season. It's the defense that sucked. It reminded me of that Pitt defense of 2003.

Walt: Well let's go to some fan mail:

Dear Walt,

I took a job at Washington and now I'm out of the job after some really bad seasons. Where do you go from here after a bad stint? Do you coach in the MAC? Join the World Series of Poker? I mean what do you do with the economy being in bad shape?


Ty from a hotel room

Walt: Sounds like a man down on his luck.

Kevan: He joined a fraternity of head coaches that went out West and got fired. Kind of like you....

Walt: Hold that thought. Kevan, the Steelers are on the phone. Willie Parker just got hurt again! They need you!

Kevan: Really?!?

Walt: Ha Ha, just joking.

Kevan: asshole.

Walt: Well as for Ty....all I can say is enjoy earning whatever money the University will give you for doing such a crappy job. That's what I have done. I hang out at Denny's, eat Grand Slams, and bang cheap waitresses. I also have my own show. Look at the picture at the top. Kevan even does prep work for Denny's when he's not on this show. I heard he doesn't fumble the food either.

Kevan: Why don't you take off those sunglasses. Pat Hoderny called to say Summer's over.

Walt: Now I'm gonna kick your ass........

Big East Stock Market

It's been a while since we've looked the Dow-Tranghese. Let's take a look at how the market has changed.....

1. West Virginia

The Big East title goes through Morgantown....again. It could be worse. It could have went through Storrs. West Virginia has seen their stock rise since Big East play started. They have Cincinnati this week which should not be much of a worry. The Bearcats have lost their last three to the inbreds.

Advice: Buy

2. Pitt

Their stock took a plunge against Rutgers, but made a nice recovery against Notre Dame. They play Louisville this week where they haven't beat them since the Cards joined the Big East. Pitt does not fare well when they are ranked or playing at home.

Advice: All factors say to sell. I'd say buy it.

3. Connecticut

UConn's meltdown against WVU made their stock drop a bit. Randy Edsall is a good coach, but he needs more talent to get to the next level. UConn has a bye week, but plays Syracuse next. North Carolina isn't bad this time of year.

4. Cincinnati

The Bearcats could rise into the Top 3 if they beat WVU this week. If Tony Pike had an extra week to heal, maybe the Bearcats beat UConn.

Advice: Buy. Their offense is getting better and their defense is still tough.

5. South Florida

South Florida was looking pretty a few weeks back being in the Top Ten. After having their balls clipped from Pitt, Louisville, and Cincinnati......the Bulls seemed to have been neutered out of the Big East race. They're off this week. Time to rest those hooves.

Advice: Sell.....

6. Louisville

Louisville's stock has been bipolar. One week, they'll beat Kansas State. Next week, they drop a heartbreaker against UConn. The'll beat South Florida and then lose to Syracuse the next week. They got Pitt this week so here's their shot at redemption...again.

Advice: Sell. There may be no redemption this Saturday.

7. Rutgers

Rutgers has won their last two games and has a good shot at a bowl bid. They face Syracuse, Army, and Louisville in the upcoming weeks. All of these teams are beatable. Looks like they can continue expanding their stadium.

Advice: Buy

8. Syracuse

They got their token Big East win last week against Louisville. Expect to see some rise in their stock next season when they fire Greg Robinson.

Advice: I don't think any is needed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Slap 10!

Another week gone from College Football. As usual, we look at this week's screwups. There were a wealth of them from college coaches to college players. Let's take a look at the list.....

10. UAB

70 points surrendered this past weekend. With Bama doing well, no one really notices in your home state....except for us. season is ahead.

9. Oderick Turner

The announcers said they wouldn't trust you with a newborn....ouch. Hell there's a lot things we wouldn't trust you with.....being a waiter, a pizza delivery guy, a stockboy, a starbucks coffee server, and the list goes on. To give you credit, you made a nice play on that 4th and 1. I think defensive back may have been a better option for you. You tend to be the 12th guy on the field for opposing defenses.

8. Tulsa

This puts an end to any Conference USA hype. A loss to a bad Arkansas team officially ended your BCS hopes. Good luck against whatever Big East team you'll play in your bowl game and continue to boost everyone's fantasy football scores.

7. Nebraska's going to take some time. When you're subjected to Bill Callahan, Steve Pederson's wrongdoings, and Larry the Cable Guy....then it's long road to recovery. Almost like Amy Winehouse going to rehab.

6. Phil Fulmer

This will be your last visit to the Slap 10. Not to pile on..because you're fat enough as it is, but the 90's were pretty good to you. Just ask MC Hammer, Alternative Music, Vanilla Ice, Boy Bands, Dallas Cowboys, etc. The 90's were good to them. In the new millenium, you showed us many of your assclown moments. Go have drink with Johnny Majors.

5. Charlie Weis

Way to manage that 17-3 lead Pitt spotted you on Saturday. 1-3 against teams .500 and over. Your attempt to bring ND back to glory may end up just like your bypass surgery that tried to make you skinnier.

4. Marcus Sims

RJ English called, he wants to know if you'd like to hang out. Tim Worley is calling as well. I'm not sure if he still likes to party. Then again, he was the Bobby Brown of Georgia football.

3. Georgia

Great showing on Saturday. The SEC is really a tough conference this season. The only thing you manage to do was to launch Florida into the national title picture. Another reason PSU fans are pissed.

2. Minnesota

Great play call at the near end of regulation. Great throw by your quarterback. When you throw an interception, it usually helps to tackle the guy with the ball. I can't believe no one can't beat a team full of midgets in your conference.

1. Louisville

You're number one this week because Greg Robinson has owned you the past two seasons. Once Bobby Petrino left, the golden age of Cardinal Football went with him. On a good note, you'll be heading to Heinz Field this Saturday where Pitt has had a hard time winning.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rants Review

I imagine you're hands have quit shaking from the adrenaline of Pitt-ND Game. So let's look at some random thoughts from the game.

The QB Carousel: First snap of the game, Pitt gets a false start. Then we do two run plays that get nothing. After that, the obvious screen pass is coming and it fails. Bostick is then replaced by Kevan Smith. At the time, choosing between these two is like choosing which gun to shoot yourself with. Neither looked good in the first half.

New Item to the Pitt drinking game: One drink after each Oderick Turner drop. Oderick is usually good for at least two drops per game. It got to the point where the announcer made a reference to Oderick holding a newborn baby. Ouch..........

Ugly Half: The first half was an ugly one. It looked to be another bad Pitt game. Pitt blocks a punt, then Pat Bostick trips over his linemen. End of the half was a nightmare. Clausen throws a deep pass that's batted then caught. That play was reminiscent as to what we see in Pitt-ND games. ND scored on that drive. The play itself brings back nightmares of the RJ English debacle of 2001.

On our next possession, Bostick throws an INT and ND scores another TD before halftime.

One Crazy Comeback: Pitt scores 14 unanswered points to tie the game. ND then scores on the next drive. Pitt scores again on the same play call. Each team would get the lead by a FG in overtime, then the other team would score. Pitt holds the Irish to a 48 yard FG and the kicker makes it.

This sequence from the 4th quarter on reminded me of the movie "One Crazy Summer". It was the part where the one guy sat in his bedroom all summer waiting for the one million dollar call. He then gets on the air for the winning call and he's so happy that he jerks the phone cord from the wall...ending his hopes. The radio station then gets blown up by a missile. Luckily, none of us had to resort to those measures.

Some other stuff:

Pat Bostick: Threw three picks, but helped set up the tying touchdown in the 4th quarter. Some of things he did weren't pretty, but it worked and Pitt got the win.

Shady McCoy: Just saw him running up I-376. The ND Defense is still chasing him.

Jonathan Baldwin: Gets better every game.

The Oline: Gets better every week.

The Defense: They their ups and downs today. Golden Tate was a thorn in their side. They kept ND out of the endzone for most of the second half and all of overtime. The secondary had their problems early in the game, but stepped up with the game on the line.

Connor Lee: He's money.

John Taglianetti: We didn't know he played for Pitt. Thanks NBC Announcers.