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Pitt’s Point Differential Suggests Worse Fate Than 7-5



In PSN’s Five Takeaways following Pitt’s regular-season-ending loss to Boston College on Saturday, I referenced the Panthers’ -21 point differential for the season as a sign that Pitt was fortunate to finish 7-5.

Now that all the games have finished and I have a moment to look at the results, I can put that in even further context.

No FBS team with eight wins finished with a point differential worse than -7 (Arkansas State) and no Power Five team with eight wins finished with a point differential worse than -1 (Oklahoma State).

Of the seven-win teams, only Miami-Ohio, Western Michigan and Nevada had worse point differentials. The only other Power Five team to have a negative point differential and finish 7-5 was Louisville (-14).

Furthermore, no Power Five team that finished 6-6 had a point differential as poor as Pitt’s.

Of the 5-7 teams, the Panthers finished about in the middle, with worse point differentials than Nebraska (4), TCU (-3), but better than Syracuse (-29), Duke (-47), West Virginia (-99) and Colorado (-100).

So, based on Pitt’s aggregate performance this season, when compared to its Power Five brethren, the Panthers should have had somewhere in the neighborhood of 5.5 wins this season.

As I said on Saturday, the number of close games the Panthers played this season left them tantalizingly close to a greater accomplishment, but they won more of those close games than they lost, and things could have — and maybe even should have — been much, much worse.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Kirk Blazic
Kirk Blazic
4 years ago

Well I don’t think any of those other teams had top 15-20 defenses keeping them in games. Maybe a top 5 defense if you take into account all the short fields the offense and special teams handed them. If the offense had been just mediocre, things could have been much, much better.

James from Florida
James from Florida
4 years ago
Reply to  Kirk Blazic

You are right, the offense is terrible, how many times did they turn the ball over giving the opponent a short field?

Probably every game this year and sometimes multiple turnovers per game putting the defense in a bad position.

Whipple’s UMass teams were the same way.

4 years ago

Not a clean Offensive season at all. Too sloppy, loose with the ball, drops, procedure penalties. They would win a game and act like they were top 10, Too overconfident. Its all the HC. The players own some of this too.

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