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Pat Narduzzi Drops in College Football Head Coach Ranking

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Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi.

It’s that time of the year when rankings — of any sort — are all the rage. It’s easy content, whether head coaches, conferences or quarterbacks are being ranked.

In the middle of May, when spring seasons are finished and the bulk of June official visits are still a couple of weeks away, head coaches are usually ranked. And that’s the case with a recent CBS Sports ranking of the top Power Four head coaches in college football.

Narduzzi was ranked as the 38th-best head coach in college football in an article by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports, a nine-spot drop from the list last year at this time. It was a ranking compiled by the CBS Sports and 247Sports panelists. And it’s not surprising, considering the Panthers are coming off the worst season of the Narduzzi era.

Here’s what was written about Narduzzi:

Pat Narduzzi: The Pitt coach has been an interesting case in these rankings. I’m curious if his gruff persona affects how people view him, which causes him to miss out on some of the credit he deserves, considering what he’s accomplished with the Panthers. He’s won an ACC title and played for another, which is more than plenty of other ACC coaches ranked ahead of him can say. That said, his teams can also be a tough watch at times! That was the case last season when the Panthers finished 3-9 after going 20-7 over the previous two seasons. It was Narduzzi’s worst season at Pitt, and his stock took a hit amongst our pollsters. 2023 rank: 29 (-9)

Narduzzi is entering his 10th season at the helm of Pitt football, and it’s certainly one of the least optimistic offseasons of his tenure. The Panthers are coming off a 3-9 (2-6 ACC) season, and there’s no guarantee that a rebound is in the works. The early betting odds project a modest rebound, with a win total set at 5.5.

There are reasons for optimism — and pessimism — entering the 2024-25 season, with an entirely new offensive staff led by Kade Bell actively installing a new offensive scheme, but it remains to be seen how the Panthers will be able to bounce back.

Narduzzi took a risk in hiring a young, inexperienced Bell to run his offense, but I thought it was a decision worth making. But there will need to at least be some sort of offensive leap in the coming season.

Narduzzi has done an excellent job establishing a culture in Pittsburgh, winning an ACC title in 2021 (the only ACC program to win a conference title aside from Clemson or Florida State since 2011). His in-game coaching can sometimes leave much to be desired, but he’s brought a hard-nosed, defensive style of football back to Pittsburgh.

He’s 65-50 (43-31 ACC) in his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, and he’s only one season removed from the most successful two-season stretch in the last 40 years.

It’s an important season approaching for Narduzzi and the Panthers, which will certainly require more than three wins.

Narduzzi is the eighth highest-ranked coach in the ACC in the CBS Sports Poll, sitting behind Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Dave Doeren (North Carolina State) and Jeff Brohm (Louisville), who haven’t been ranked yet in the two-part list, but also Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Mario Cristobal (Miami) and Mack Brown (North Carolina).

ACC Coaches 

  1. Undetermined but will be either Swinney, Norvell, Doeren or Brohm
  2. Undetermined but will be either Swinney, Norvell, Doeren or Brohm
  3. Undetermined but will be either Swinney, Norvell, Doeren or Brohm
  4. Undetermined but will be either Swinney, Norvell, Doeren or Brohm
  5. Dave Clawson (Wake Forest) — 30
  6. Mario Cristobal (Miami) — 35
  7. Mack Brown (UNC) — 37
  8. Pat Narduzzi (Pitt) — 38
  9. Rhett Lashlee (SMU) — 45
  10. Manny Diaz (Duke) — 48
  11. Brent Pry (Virginia Tech) — 50
  12. Bill O’Brien (Boston College) — 51
  13. Brent Key (Georgia Tech) — 54
  14. Justin Wilcox (Cal) — 57
  15. Troy Taylor (Stanford) — 60
  16. Tony Elliot (Virginia) — 62
  17. Fran Brown (Syracuse) — 67

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
7 days ago

should be lower

Rob
Rob
7 days ago

Totally agree. His extension through 2030 is easily Lyke’s biggest mistake.

DirtyO
DirtyO
7 days ago

Maybe he could wrestle Dewie the bear at the end of an FCS game?

Clark Martineau
6 days ago

Glad Narduzzi’s here. He’s all-in for Pitt. This can be an exciting year with the new offense. Hail to Pitt!

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