Thursday night at Heinz Field, Pitt takes on North Carolina who will enter the game with a surprising record of 1-8.
Blah game, not important, right? Wrong.
Pitt has four wins and need to win two of the last three in order to qualify for a bowl game.
The Panthers have qualified for a bowl game eight seasons in a row. It won’t be easy to extend that streak because two of their last three games are against ranked teams, at Virginia Tech and undefeated Miami.
While Pitt won’t be fighting to play in a January bowl, they will be playing meaningful games with a team full of young, talented players.
If they were able to qualify for a bowl, despite what some think, it will be a big accomplishment that will give the team plenty of confidence heading into the off-season.
The critics of Pitt will say that it’s easy to qualify for a bowl game and it’s a terrible sign of the state of the program that they’re having a hard time reaching that magical six win level.
If that’s the case plenty of reputable programs are in the same shape as Pitt.
Here are a list of schools that like Pitt are fighting to qualify for a bowl or have already been eliminated:
Mississippi, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Maryland, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Florida, Baylor, Purdue, Indiana, BYU, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas.
Showing this list of teams isn’t meant to try to make fans feel better if Pitt doesn’t go bowling. It’s just a reminder these things happen to other programs too, not just Pitt.