UPDATE (4:24 PM)- by Alan Saunders
The ACC scheduling debate is over, at least for now. The conference’s athletic directors have voted to retain the status quo of eight conference games plus one power five opponent.
The ACC’s new television partnership with ESPN, which will include a standalone ACC Network, was the reason for a proposed change, but the athletic directors were deadlocked between choosing a “9+1” option or an “8+2” option.
Pitt’s Scott Barnes was originally against playing a ninth conference game, as he wished to preserve as many opportunities as possible for Pitt to play traditional rivals such as Penn State and West Virginia.
But as Barnes saw the dwindling number of Power Five games available to be scheduled, he said he was considering changing his mind.
The current schedule setup hurts the Panthers this year, as their crossover game is against No. 3 Clemson. Pitt plays Syracuse every season out of the Atlantic Division.
UPDATE (3:24 PM)-
** Kevin Stallings and his staff continue to actively recruit both the Class of 2017 and 2018. Today, they were in Maryland looking at a 4-star guard. Per Corey Evans, Pitt was scouting Bel Air 4-star shooting guard Montez Mathis, who holds offers from NC State and West Virginia.
Pitt was in today for 2018 John Carroll guard Montez Mathis, per his coach
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) October 5, 2016
UPDATE (3:12 PM)-
** A big offer came today for Aliquippa 2018 safety Kwantel Raines, who I believe should be the #1 target on Pitt’s 2018 recruiting board.
UPDATE (12:51 PM)-
** Current Pitt 2017 commitment Dontavius Butler says he’ll make his official visit this weekend for the Georgia Tech game.
— Dontavius Butler (@_DBIII_) October 3, 2016
UPDATE (12:25 PM)-
How good has Pitt’s right tackle been this season?
Pitt OT Brian O'Neill hasn't allowed a hurry, hit or sack in 132 pass-block snaps this year. Best pass-blocking efficiency in the ACC. ???? pic.twitter.com/p7i3EPKzoP
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) October 5, 2016
UPDATE (12:20 PM)-
Former Pitt fullback Conredge Collins has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and AAC/Big East due to "long lasting effects of concussions"
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) October 5, 2016
CANADA MAKING THE GRADE by Alan Saunders
How good has Matt Canada been as Pitt’s offensive coordinator? Really good, according to one observer.
Dave Bartoo of College Football Matrix ranked every FBS offensive coordinator through the first five weeks of the 2016 season, and he has Canada as the 10th-best in the nation, right behind Alabama’s Lane Kiffin.
Bartoo gave Canada an “A” grade overall and said he is performing 33.32 percent above his career average.
The rankings take into account number of plays per game, yards per play and the talent level of each coordinator’s team and his opponents. The full list can be found here
Pitt is averaging 250 yards rushing per game, 16th in the FBS. They’re 59th in total yards per game, 38th in scoring offense and 29th in red zone efficiency.
GARNER BACK WITH BILLS by Alan Saunders
Former Pitt wide receiver/tight end and Brashear grad Manasseh Garner is back in the NFL after being signed to the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills. Garner had been in training camp with the Denver Broncos this season. He missed time earlier this offseason after having an appendectomy.
He spent time with the Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns in 2015.
Garner lettered at Pitt in 2013 and 2014, finishing his career with 50 catches for 592 yards and two touchdowns.