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ESPN Football Power Index Projects Mediocrity for Pitt in 2024



Pitt football.

It doesn’t take a psychic to see that the expectations surrounding Pitt football entering the 2024 season are, to put it mildly, slight.

Pitt is coming off the worst season of the Pat Narduzzi era, finishing the 2023 season at 3-9 (2-6 ACC), and the Panthers are considered a low-level ACC squad by most national analysts. The ESPN Football Power Index, which evaluates college football teams through a variety of criteria, the Panthers are below average.

Pitt received a 2.2 Football Power Index score, which is 53rd-best in college football and 11th-best in the ACC. It’s not ideal. It’s the projection of a below-average Power Four squad.

The index predicts Pitt will finish around 6-6 this season (with a 66% chance to hit the 6-win mark, considering the weakness of the Panthers’ schedule), and if that mark isn’t hit, the season will be considered a failure.

Pitt has a 1.5% chance to win the ACC outright, a 3.1% chance to make the College Football Playoff and a 0.1% chance to make the national championship game — 0% chance to win it.

There are no ACC schools in the top-10 of the FPI, or any expected to win double-digit games, but the usual suspects lead the way.

Florida State (15.1 FPI, 11th-ranked), Clemson (12.2, 15th), Louisville (10.0, 21st), Miami (9.6, 23) and newcomer SMU (9.0, 25th) round out the top-5. North Carolina State, North Carolina, Cal, Virginia Tech and Duke comprise the top-10.

According to the post-spring college football SP+ rankings, which factor in returning production, recent recruiting and recent history, Pitt suffered a fall. Prior to the spring, the Panthers were 70th. They’re 81st now.

Pitt has a -4.8 SP+, which is just below Boston College, Virginia and Wake Forest, and it’s because of a poor offensive score (21.5, 97th), average defensive score (26.4, 53rd) and poor special teams score (-0.2, 88th).

Pitt did lose a lot of production from last season, whether it was through the transfer portal, the NFL Draft or graduation, but if a 3-9 squad loses a ton of production, it likely isn’t the end of the world — if the young, rising talent can step up.

Pitt will kick off the 2024 season against Kent State on Aug. 31 at Acrisure Stadium. The noon kickoff will be the start of a potential bounceback for the Panthers.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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12 days ago

Get used to it when you do not have💰💰💰💰 to compete in college football now this is what you have to look forward to losing quality players and replacing them with less quality players

12 days ago

Sounds about right.

12 days ago

I’m not surprised. 3 and 9. But I’ll be surprised if they’re not 6 and 6 or better. Go Nate

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