Pitt is currently 4-2, 1-1 and the remaining schedule is filled with ACC Coastal Division opponents that have all had shaky starts to the season. If they take care of business, Pitt could be looking at one of the highest win totals that the program has reached in the last decade.
The last time Pitt won at least nine games in a season, dates all the way back to 2009 when they got off to a 9-1 start and ended the season 10-3 with a win over North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Pitt was led that season by Big East Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year Dion Lewis and Big East Co-Defensive Players of the Year in Greg Romeus and Mick Williams.
Since 2009, the Panthers have reached eight wins three different times, but never surpassed that magic number. In Dave Wannstedt’s last season in 2010, Pitt went 8-5 and matched that number twice under Pat Narduzzi (2015 and 2016).
As the Panthers are on their bye week, and coming off a key momentum gaining victory at Duke, there aren’t many daunting tasks on Pitt’s schedule down the home stretch.
According to ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index), Pitt is favored to win four of their last six games. The two games that they aren’t favored in (above a 50 percent chance to win), are both home games, October 26th against Miami (46.2%), who is currently 0-2 in the Coastal and November 14th against North Carolina (48.7%).
And at this point, you would think Pitt would be able to crack the North Carolina curse (UNC has won six straight games against Pitt, dating back to 2009, when Pitt last beat them in that Meineke Car Care Bowl).
Pitt’s other remaining games that they have the FPI edge in are next Friday at Syracuse (50.3%), November 2nd at Georgia Tech (76.8%), November 23rd at Virginia Tech (52.8), and home against Boston College (73.5%) on November 30th.
ESPN’s Bowl projections after week six has Pitt going to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, New York on Dec. 27, 3:20 p.m. Pitt played in the same bowl game against Northwestern in 2016. For Pitt’s matchups in that game, ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura has Pitt playing Indiana and Mark Schlabach has them against Minnesota.