The 2022 Pitt football team didn’t accomplish their ultimate goal of repeating as ACC champions but by no means does that mean it was a bad season. In fact, the Panthers were able to accomplish something else that was very important.
Pitt proved many doubters wrong as despite losing first round talent in quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver Jordan Addison, they put together another 9-win season and once again should have a number of players selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
It was important to show people outside the program and future recruits that the ACC Championship wasn’t a fluke, and they weren’t a flash in the pan. Thanks to the hard work over the previous years by Pat Narduzzi and his staff establishing a winning culture and bringing in talented players, 2022 was more evidence that Pitt football is program that’s here to stay.
The win over No. 18 UCLA in the Sun Bowl was Pitt’s ninth of the season, which allowed them to reach an important milestone.
This season combined with last season’s ACC Championship year gives Pitt 20 combined wins over the last two seasons. That’s the first time that’s happened since back in 1981-82.
I know they’ll be some that will brush that off and claim that’s not such a big deal but you’re the glass half empty crowd.
Take a look at how many Power 5 teams were able to accomplish that 20-win feat and the win total of some of some other notable programs.
WIN TOTAL LAST TWO SEASONS
Ohio State 22
Notre Dame 20
Ole Miss 18
Penn State 17
NC State 17
Michigan State 16
North Carolina 15
Florida State 15
Texas A&M 13
West Virginia 11
Here’s another interesting stat courtesy @ADavidHaleJoint. Take a look at the recruiting rankings from these teams with the 20 teams. This is their average recruiting ranking from 2018 thru 2022. The point of this is to show that Narduzzi and his staff are still winning, despite not getting the 4 and 5-star recruits. It also shows that they’re able to identify and develop talent.
AVERAGE RECRUITING RANKING (2018-22)
Ohio State: 5.4
Notre Dame: 11.8