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Panthers Say 8th-Place Media Poll Ranking Amounts to ‘Disrespect’

Panthers Say 8th-Place Media Poll Ranking Amounts to ‘Disrespect’

Pitt was picked to finish eighth in the 2020 ACC media preseason poll on Friday. It’s not exactly an unfamiliar spot for the Panthers, as they were picked seventh in 2019 and 10th in 2018.

Despite that, they’ve routinely out-performed those modest expectations. The Panthers went 6-2 in league play in 2018 to win the Coastal Division and tied for the fifth-best record at 4-4 in ACC play and 8-5 overall last fall.

The Panthers themselves see their continued underrating by the media as disrespectful.

“That’s just another day for us,” senior quarterback Kenny Pickett said after the poll was released on Friday. “I feel like we get that disrespect every season. It is what it is. I don’t care about preseason accolades or preseason rankings. At the end of the season is what matters.”

“We’re just gonna call it what it is. I feel like that’s disrespect,” added redshirt senior safety Damar Hamlin. “Straight like that. I feel like that’s disrespect. That don’t effect our approach. That don’t effect nothing. Ever since we all decided to come back, it was all about proving why we need to be where we deserve, so we’re not worried about no preseason list, none of that. We’re not thinking about that. We’re going to show it, week in and week out. We definitely take it as disrespect and they’re gonna see about it.”

While the Panthers acknowledge that the preseason rankings haven’t kept them from achieving their goals in the past, they do plan to use the slight as motivation once more.

“It’s definitely motivation, but there’s other motivation that we have, too, as well, so it’s just adding fuel to the fire,” redshirt senior defensive end Patrick Jones II said. “I definitely think it’s a little chip on our shoulder, but it’s not too big where it’s going to distract us. It’s just big enough where it’s going to motivate us. I definitely do feel like people sleep on Pitt, so I feel like that’s our goal this year, to get respect from everybody.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Terrence Otoole
Terrence Otoole
2 months ago

How is it disrespectful, until proven otherwise there a middle of the road acc team ,if they want to use it as motivation that’s fine but it’s not disrespectful

Kevin
Kevin
2 months ago

I LOVE Pitt, but if you look at their history, it’s about where most outsiders would place them. I pray this year will be different becuause we have the team to be REALLY good, but it probably won’t. James Conner’s senior year’s team could have been a top 10 team, but they just didn’t have the confidence they needed to win every week. H2P

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

That team could’ve been top 10 if the defense was halfway competent. They gave up so many points.

John
John
2 months ago

Considering how far off these predictions have been over the past 2-years for Pitt, ‘disrespect’ would indeed be the appropriate term. Either that or ‘idiots’. This will definitely be a motivating factor for what will still be one of the most formidable defenses in the country. Pickett may surprise in captaining the offense now that he’s had another year to mature and we have receivers — and especially a TE!, that can catch the ball.

Frank James
Frank James
2 months ago

Oh Kenny, end of season is 6 wins

Let's Believe
Let's Believe
2 months ago

I’m going with faith in this team and the heart of some of the seniors and upperclassmen. I’m going with 9-2 and top 25 finish.

Frank James
Frank James
2 months ago
Reply to  Let's Believe

That’s a lot of faith.

Vicsbean
Vicsbean
2 months ago

How is it not disrespectful? North Carolina released PITTs new schedule and they gave PITT one week bye, where as all the other ACC teams got two weeks off BETWEEN GAMES to recover from no spring ball and Covid.
NOW THAT IS DISRESPECT.
And some on here believe PITT does not get disrespected.

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