But they also have a lot of question marks. The loss of Tyler Boyd has put scrutiny on an inexperienced group of receivers and they face a tough schedule with trips to Clemson and Miami in November.
What do the pro prognosticators think? Almost across the board, the experts say Pitt will be an improved team over the one that went 9-4 last year. However, most don’t expect the on-the-field improvement to translate into more wins. In fact, only one expert thinks the team will win more than 8 games: Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports, who picked the Panthers to win 9 games, along with the ACC Coastal.
While the Panthers don’t have an appearance in either of the big polls’ top 25, both the AP and Coaches polls have the Panthers among “teams also receiving votes”, at #34 and #41 respectively. However, ESPN’s Power Football Index rates Pitt as the 24th best team in the nation.
Here’s the list of expert predictions so far. We’ll update this post when more pundits weigh in (we’re still waiting on all of the local outlets.)
How will Pitt do in 2016? The experts weigh in.
|Expert/Poll||Website||ACC Coastal Finish (Record, ACC Record)||Overall Ranking|
|Bill Connelly||SBNation||NR (7-5)||29|
|Campus Insiders||Campus Insiders||NR (7-5, 5-3 ACC)||32|
|CBS Sports||CBS Sports||--||33|
|Chris Johnson||Sports Illustrated||2nd (9-3, 6-2 ACC)||--|
|Coaches' Poll||USA Today / Coaches Poll||--||41|
|College Football News||College Football News||NR (7-5, 5-3 ACC)||48|
|ESPN Football Power Index||ESPN||NR (8-4, 5-3 ACC)||24|
|Greg Wallace||Bleacher Report||NR (8-4)||--|
|Jeff Sagarin||USA Today / Jeff Sagarin||--||36|
|Paul Myerberg||USA Today||3rd||37|
|Steve Lassan||Athlon Sports||4th (7-5, 4-4 ACC)||38|
|Stewart Mandel||Fox Sports||1st (9-3, 6-2 ACC)||--|