As we all know it’s that time of year again Tourney time. What seems as common as the Tournament is the Pitt Panthers being in it. Then again as common as that they seem to disappoint. That brings us to the big question how far will they go this year? I think this could be the year they show they are a real deal team and really do something in the tournament. I will use my final Bracket to explain why I believe they make it to the Final Four. First of all I think Pitt may have gotten the easiest region to succeed in and that helps them a lot. I think the southeast is just full of upset potential, and that gives Pitt an even easier road.
I usually don’t like saying something is a sure thing but if you pick Pitt to lose in the first round then you’re wrong its plain and simple it has never happened won’t happen this year, and may never happen. Out of the two possible teams they’ll play in the second round I see it being Old Dominion. Don’t ask why I did my research, and Pitt’s second opponent will be Old Dominion. However after pulling the tiny upset of a 9 over an 8 they most certainly won’t pull out the big upset by beating number 1 Pitt. Either way though if I end up being wrong, and there is a chance, They will beat Butler too they will make it to the Sweet 16. Now let me explain why in the Sweet 16 they will play 13 Belmont. In the first round I’m calling two big upsets in the southeast region 13 Belmont over 4 Wisconsin and 12 Utah State over 5 Kansas State. Those are Pretty bold predictions, but like I said before I’ve done some homework and I really feel like these can and will happen. If I’m right here this makes the road for Pitt a lot easier, I mean would you rather play the winner of a 12 & 13 match up or a 4 & 5 game. However if I am wrong the only team out of these four that I don’t want to see Pitt play is Kansas State, because even though I think they are overrated and will lose in the first round I think they play a type of basketball that can beat Pitt. The other game I see happening in the southeast Sweet 16 is a 6 St. Johns Vs. 2 Florida, and out of that number 2 Florida wins it.
In the Elite 8 of the southeast region Pitt will Play number 2 Florida. This will be the toughest game so far and this could be were their journey, or should I say tourney, ends. Being a Pitt fan though comes into effect here and I pick them to win it, however you can question this decision no evidence just guesses/hope/gut feeling. What a magical idea Pitt in the Final Four, well if you are as crazy as me you can see it happening. Who do I have coming out of the southwest region to play Pitt you ask, I have 1 Kansas. I just don’t see another team out of that region being able to oust Kansas. This However I believe will be the end of a Fantastic Tournament for the Pitt Panthers. My heart says pick Pitt but my mind and money says don’t. I just can’t envision a scenario where they can beat Kansas. Hopefully both for my money and heart all my predictions are right. A Final Four appearance would be great, So Good Luck Pitt.
There is so much uncertainty going into free agency in the NFL , and with the Steelers there can never be much expected as they like to build from within and worry about their own free agents. However as a fan my job is to speculate, hope, and dream. Here ya go then the free agents I’d Love to see in a Steelers jersey, but probably won’t.
Reasons Why I want Him
Santonio Holmes is a guy I’d love to see Back is a Steelers Jersey. I think we all know that the Steelers receiving corp is ok, but adding Santonio who had a great career as a Steeler, would give us a Great offense. He is an explosive playmaker, and would be a great addition
Reasons Why it Won’t Happen
Well We all know how the Santonio as a Steeler era ended, with him throwing drinks at people and tweeting about his “Waken & Baken” . Plus I can see him wanting more $$$ than the Steelers would offer. One other thing would be him not resigning with the Jets, and I don’t see why he wouldn’t
Reasons Why I want Him
Well here’s yet another former Black and Gold wearing WR that I’d love to see wear the Jersey again. One reason here is that ever since he has been gone the Steelers have lacked a big receiver , a threat in the red zone. Looking at their 2010 season they scored only 24 TD’s in 49 red zone trips. Plus if you look at his stats Plaxico was a great WR over his career with 505 Receptions 7845 Yards and 55 TD’s.
Reasons Why it Won’t Happen
Well with him just getting out of Prison it is questionable what th NFL will even do with Him. Then you have to imagine that even though he was never much of a problem as a Steeler he did have problems afterwords, and we all Know the Steelers are unlikely to sign someone like that.
Reasons Why I Want Him
When I think of Santana Moss I see a less talented version of Santonio Holmes and a much more talented version of Antwaan Randle El. He’d be a great addition to a Group WR that are pretty good. He’s had a great career so far and being 31 could close up his playing years with the Steelers.
Reasons Why it Won’t Happen
Out of my three suggestions so far I see this as the most likely. He might command a high pay-day, but nothing too big and as far as I can see he is a model citizen exactly Steelers material. The only thing I see that would make this not happen is the Steelers Simply don’t sign a lot of FA’s
Reasons Why I Want Him
Well its simple in my eyes Nnamdi Asomugha is the best CB in the league and the defensive back field may be the weakest part of the Steelers defense. Also think of this would it be smarter to keep Ike Taylor for big bucks or add Asomugha for big bucks. Either way I really think the Steelers DB’s will still be the weak point because the depth is horrid
Reasons Why it Won’t Happen
Also a pretty simple explanation he will be one of the most sought after FA’s and he’ll command huge bucks. How often have the Steelers went out and snagged one of the biggest names on the market, off the top of my head never, and that won’t change even though Nnamdi is perfect Steelers material.
Others I’d Like to See
Alan Faneca – Isn’t it always cool to see a familiar old face again.
Antonio Cromartie- A great CB and like I stated above that’s the Steelers weakness.
Haloti Ngata- Not going to happen but it’d be sweet.
Paul Posluszny– I’ve always liked Paul, plus Farrior is a little old.
David Akers- Although Suisham did alright this year I’d love to see someone better.
Adam Vinatieri- Knows how to kick in weather and Hienz Field surely has it.
Oh Boy I can’t wait to see this game GOOOOOO STEELERS!
So here we go our top five Steelers of the regular season. I knew these were the five that deserved to be up here but putting them in a particular order was tough for me, and well here it is
5. Rashard Mendenhall
I think a spot in the top 5 is well deserved just due to his stats, however it was hard for me to decide where in the top 5 to put him. Finally though I decided he belonged at number 5. As I just said his stats were great, He carried 324 times for 1,273 for an average of 3.9 and 13 rushing TDs. He was also a small help in the passing game catching 23 pass for 167 yards. I think his touchdowns alone are a spectacular stat 13 is tied for second most in Steelers history by a running back. I think that he was robbed of a spot in the Pro bowl.
4. Maurkice Pouncey
WOW! Would be the first thing I have to say about Pouncey. Who thought after pick 18 of the 2010 NFL draft that we would have a star rookie center. He is a Pro Bowl center as a rookie that is amazing . He is the first rookie O lineman to do so since tackle Frank Varrichione for the 1955 season.Now that is quite an accomplishment. Plus he has done well with a crew of misfits beside him on the line
3. Mike Wallace
Faster than the speed of light, Mike “The Flash” Wallace, takes the third spot in our top ten. Everyone thought with Santonio Holmes gone we would have big problems in the WR position but we didn’t miss a beat with Wallace. One reason I put him on here is because with the stats he has, he should be a Pro Bowl wide receiver. His stats include: 60 catches for 1,257 yards and 10 TDs. Also amazingly 26 20+ yard catches and 10 40+ yard catches. We can’t forget his 7 100+ yard games either.
2. Ben Roethlisberger
A QB is the leader of a football team. That is exactly what Ben has been this year a leader even through good and bad situations. I mean we all now how the year started with him in a little trouble with the league, but once his suspension was over he stepped in lead the team to 9 wins. His stats weren’t to shabby either he thew for 3,200 yards and 17 touchdowns. The best thing I liked out of Ben was seeing sort of a maturing on the field he threw only 5 interceptions and was only sacked 32 times. The thing I like the most about Ben is he just knows how to win, and that’s what he’s done this year.
1. Troy Polamalu
Who knows who the best player is better than the team? Well no one, they voted Troy Polamalu as their team MVP so in my eyes that automatically gives him this spot. That however is not alone why I gave him this spot, another reason would be that he is a game changer at any point of the game (Like in the Ravens Game) he can make a play that wins the game. The third reason would be his stats, he didn’t get into the Pro Bowl for no reason. His stats were 63 tackles 1 sack 1 forced fumble and 7 interceptions, which was tied best career year.
Looking back at this regular season it was a success, I mean this year would be an ultimate success with a Super Bowl win. Really though a 12-4 season, an AFC north title, and a 2nd seed in the playoffs can be viewed as a successful regular season. Who contributed to this season the most is what I want to know, who were the top 10 players this season.
10. Ziggy Hood
You can’t underestimate what he has meant to this team everyone panicked when we lost our star defensive end Aaron Smith. Ziggy has stepped in quietly and been solid helping one of the best run defenses we have ever seen. His stats were 15 tackles 5 assists and 3 sacks, like I said nothing spectacular but he has stepped up when we needed it.
This is again the case of someone stepping into a spot that is sort of an unsung hero. After the debacle that we as saw go down with Jeff Reed we really needed someone to step in and just do a solid job, and Suisham has done just that. He finished off the regular season completing 14 of 15 field goals, and more importantly some of those were clutch kicks that helped the Steelers get to this juncture.
Who says age is a bad thing. Farrior who is 35 and in his 14th season in the NFL showed this year that he ain’t done yet. He had an excellent year and in my opinion was one of the Steelers who was snubbed from the Pro Bowl. His final stats on the season were 109 tackles 6 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Farrior was one on the players that needed to show that he could still do his job and he sure did and that is another reason why the Steelers are where they are.
7. Hines Ward
One of the reasons I chose Ward for this spot is because he is Hines Ward, and I just wouldn’t be able to leave him off this list. Another reason why is because I believe when they really needed someone to step up at some points the relied on him. He had 4 100 yard games this season 3 of which were in close games this shows me that in the clutch we can rely on Hines even if we can’t rely on him 100% of the time. I also believe that he has probably helped in the development of the young guys Wallace, Sanders, and Brown. His stats 59 catches 755 yards and 5 touchdowns not the most spectacular but when combined with all the intangibles that puts him on this list.
6. James Harrison
After another solid year Harrison had to be on this list. His stats alone put him on the list 100 tackles 10.5 sacks 6 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. Plus I think that shelling out $100,000 in fines warrants a spot on my list oh and another Pro Bowl appearance helps him out too. I almost forgot He does all this while getting held on nearly every play.
I’m just curious about which team you all love to see the most of. If I had to choose and it’s like choosing between your children I’d have to say the Steelers. I just love football so much more than any other sport, and I just love Steeler football. Anyways take the poll and vote for your favorite and we’ll see who wins.
Well the Dave Wannstedt era is now over, the thing I think I’ll miss the most is of course the mustache. In all seriousness though I don’t know about you, but I know I will miss him. I think the greatest thing he did during his tenure at Pitt was his wonderful recruiting. His coaching could come into question though as it seemed like the Panthers always found a way to let us down in some capacity during Wannstedt’s years. That’s all over now and the new Mike Haywood era begins. Right off the bat I notice one huge problem with him no beautiful mustache. I can let that go I guess, but I still make the request Mike please grow a mustache. Lets get into the seriousness business though will Coach Haywood be a good coach or more importantly in my eyes a good recruiter. One thing that makes me think he is going to be a good recruiter is that he once held the position of recruiting coordinator so he must know a little bit about that. Another thing I like about him is the time he has spent with all these major programs, it makes it seem as though he’ll know what winning is all about.
He spent 95-02 with LSU during his time there they went to six bowl games. The best part is he spent time under Coach Nick Saban who I think is an excellent coach. Then from 03-04 he was in Texas, and in both years the went to bowl games plus he coached under Mack Brown who is another superb coach. From 05-08 he was with Notre Dame as their O coordinator during his time there he coached under Charlie Weis and went to 3 bowl games. All the factors put together make me believe he has a chance to be a great coach, and I haven’t even mentioned what he did as a head coach. He was the head coach of Miami Ohio from 09-10. In 09 he led his team to only a 1-11 record, but he had really nothing to work with. Then in 2010 he did what I think he is really capable of and took his team to the Godaddy.com Bowl with a 9-4 record. If you look at just his 2 seasons at Miami O then it is clear he did something right to take the team from a 1-11 record to a 9-4 record is a big accomplishment. Now he comes and takes over a talented yet under achieving team in the Pittsburgh Panthers. They of course finished the season with an ok yet disappointing record of 7-5 and an appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl. I can’t see this team having a record worse than 7-5 next year I see equaling or improving on that record under a better coach, and hopefully equally as good recruiter. As you know the last guy Pittsburgh took from Miami Ohio has won the city two Super Bowls, hopefully we can strike gold twice and get another hero from Miami O and bring us some National Championships. All we can do is give him a chance.