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Pat Narduzzi Unfairly Ranked As Middle of the Pack ACC Head Coach



Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi.

Once again, 247Sports does not appear to be very high on Pitt.

A few days after 247Sports listed Pitt as a team it expects to “tumble” in 2023, a 247Sports and CBS Sports collaboration features Pat Narduzzi as the sixth-ranked coach in the ACC.

247Sports and CBS Sports collaborate each season to rank each and every Power Five head coach. So, of course, the ACC coaches are ranked in the division and throughout the Power Five ranks. And it’s not exactly flattering for Narduzzi.

Here’s what 247Sports’ Will Backus had to write:

“Narduzzi lost a Heisman finalist at quarterback, had to cycle through signal-callers due to various injury issues in 2022 and still managed to win eight regular-season games — including a bowl victory over UCLA. This came a year after he led the Panthers to their first ACC championship in program history and first New Year’s Six bowl appearance since 2004. Narduzzi has just one losing season on his ledger as Pitt’s head coach.”

Okay. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, no, not really.

The ranking lists Narduzzi as the sixth-best head coach in the ACC, behind Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, North Carolina’s Mack Brown and North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren.

If there’s one sure-fire head coach in the ACC that has earned his standing in the ACC, it’s Swinney. He’s led Clemson to a couple of national championships and a couple more College Football Playoff appearances.

You can argue all you’d like about Swinney, but he’s 161-39 with two national championships and eight conference championships. He’s No. 1.

If there’s another coach in the ACC with a resume to challenge for the top slot in the conference, it’s Mack Brown. But the majority of his success (both his national title appearances and his national championship) came way back in the old Big 12.

In the ACC, in his second go-around, Brown is 30-22 with one ACC championship game appearance. And in three appearances against Narduzzi’s Panthers, he’s 1-2.

Since Narduzzi was hired ahead of the 2015 season, he’s gone 62-41 (41-25 in the ACC) — with two ACC championship appearances and an ACC championship.

In that time, he’s gone 2-2 against Swinney, 2-1 against Brown, 2-0 against Clawson and 1-0 against Norvell. His only true setbacks have come against Doeren, going 0-2. Otherwise, Narduzzi is 7-3 against the top-ranked coaches in the ACC since he arrived in 2015.

The ACC Coastal may be no more, but Pitt won two ACC Coastal titles and a legitimate ACC title under Narduzzi over the last handful of seasons. Since Narduzzi took over at Pitt, only one team not named Clemson has won the ACC. And of course, that is Pitt.

A Pitt squad that beat Clemson on its run to the ACC title and then smoked a Sam Hartman-led Wake Forest in the ACC championship game.

Of the six coaches ahead of Narduzzi in the ranking, only Swinney has won an ACC title. And since Narduzzi was hired as Pitt’s head coach ahead of the 2015 season, only Swinney has won more games than Narduzzi.

So, while it may be trendy to elevate Norvell after one season (which, wouldn’t you believe it, Pitt’s ACC title season didn’t mean a thing) or Clawson after a lack of actual ACC titles, Narduzzi is still just treading water according to most outlets.

At the end of the day, while the 247Sports/CBS Sports lists don’t mean much, Narduzzi is not the sixth-best head coach in the ACC.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

Like you stated, this particular ranking doesn’t mean much. That being said … it isn’t completely ludicrous to have PN at #6 … may be 1 spot low, at best 2. Would be much different if they had him at 9 or 10. Let’s see how we do w/o the coastal. H2P !

Bill R
Bill R
1 year ago

They should have an article about who the most likable coach in the ACC is and have that ranking. Would have the same relevance. He has been the second-most successful coach in the ACC behind Swinney and is 2-2 against him. End of story and Hail to Pitt!

1 year ago

These know-nothing sports personalities really can be imbeciles. They just throw out opinions but don’t even provide solid data to back up what they believe. I think there should be a professional service that ranks the sports personalities. Publicly posting their ‘record’ of predictions and statements would make them much more cautious about just spouting-out unsubstantiated gibberish.

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