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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Day He Got Punked

It's been over a month since Pitt Football concluded their season. Another season, another coach. You have to feel for the seniors who pretty much had their college careers end on this note. You have to feel for the current players who still have to endure the mess.

One person you don't have to feel for? That person is Pitt's AD Steve Pederson.

I don't blame Pederson for what happened with Mike Haywood. He doesn't have a crystal ball and there's no way he knew Haywood would go Ike Turner on the mother of his child. The firing of Dave Wannstedt was a mess, but we don't know what happened in their offseason meeting. Based on Dave's actions since he was let go, blame goes on both sides.

A lot Graham's dirty laundry got aired out after his firing. It seems Todd had his own "vision", his own "philosophy", and he had his own "traditions". Unfortunately, he didn't seem to respect the visions and philosophies of others. He also sure as hell didn't respect traditions either, whether it related to Pitt Football or even Steelers football. He cared about his own. In the end, it was about Todd Graham

It comes to no surprise as to why Pederson may have been a little shook up by his employee leaving even though he told him no. That Day, he became a victim of his own creation. In some ways when hired Todd Graham, he hired himself. Worst of all, he got punked.

As Pitt starts out with a new coach and another new attitude, maybe Pederson can start anew as well. Pitt will head into the ACC and stakes will be raised. Pitt will have to step up its game because the results have been mixed in the Big East. Let's hope it works out for the current players. Let's hope this staff stays longer than a year. Most of all, let's hope that Steve Pederson doesn't get "punked" again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pitt Basketball: Identity Crisis

After the final buzzer sounded on Sunday, Pitt Basketball finds itself at 15-11 with a 4-9 record in Big East conference play. For this team or any Pitt team in the Jamie Dixon era, this has been a situation they've never had to deal with. For Pitt fans: they're baffled, frustrated, and some are just pissed. For Jamie Dixon haters, this has been the season they've been dreaming of.

I could sit here and try to analyze what has happened with this team, but I'll be repeating every entry from every Pitt blog known to man. As the season ends, we're still asking ourselves these same questions: Who is this team? What is their identity?

That's the part that has most Pitt fans frustrated. We don't know. The team itself probably doesn't know. Jamie Dixon is also still trying to figure this out.

As much as Pitt has missed Tray Woodall, he can't fix everything even if he's healthy. Anyone remember when Pitt lost Mike Cook for the season and Levance Fields for a period of time? Luckily they had Blair, Sam Young, and Ron Ramon to weather the storm. This team doesn't have those guys. They have talent, but not leadership to step up when it hits the fan. Need Proof? Watch them play.

You could say the tone for this season was set last year when Nasir Robinson committed one of the most dumbest fouls in the history of Pitt Basketball. That's been the problem with this team. They're bright...they're talented...they just don't play up to it at times. Would the NIT would be a good thing for this team? It could make Jamie Dixon take a long hard look at his team. Maybe instead putting a band-aid on certain situations like putting Gibbs at PG, he tries to fix these situations more permanently. Other than Woodall, Pitt hasn't had a true PG since Fields graduated. It would also help him determine the players that need to held accountable, but it doesn't seem that's being done this season.

Or maybe we're all just over-reacting to this? Maybe it's one of those things where you're gonna have a season where things are a mess. I remember sitting at Three Rivers in 1998 when Steeler fans tossed their beers onto the field after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals to finish 7-9. We were used to winning and making the playoffs. It didn't matter who the Steelers lost in the offseason, they always had someone to come in take their place. That's until they ran out of those type of players, or they just didn't draft the right players.

Two things this team can do: Finish Strong or just say "F*** it, we're done. Wanna go to Five Guys?". Then again, it takes "Five Guys" to bring a good burger.

Does Pitt have "Five Guys"?