Tag:Dave Wannstedt
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 12:40 pm
 

The Wannstache doesn't shave off that easily

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you saw Dave Wannstedt's press conference to announce his resignation at Pitt earlier this week, the impression you got was likely that he couldn't wait to get out of that school fast enough.  It was either that or he was afraid he'd break down in tears if he talked too long, and nobody wants to see a mustache that glorious stained by tears.

Well, it's starting to look like it may have been the latter, as Wannstedt has reportedly made a decision about what he's going to do for Pitt's bowl game. Job or no job, that mustache will be leading his team into Birmingham.
In the days since the announcement that Wannstedt would no longer be the Panthers' head coach, multiple sources told PantherLair.com that Wannstedt planned to lead the Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on January 8. 
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said as much during a press conference in Birmingham to promote Pitt's bowl matchup against Kentucky. Wannstedt did not make the trip to Birmingham. 

Not really a surprising decision since Wannstedt will be staying on at Pitt as a special assistant to athletic director Steve Pederson.  What exactly that entails, I have no idea.  Maybe Wanny will drive Pederson around in his Camaro or give him grooming tips.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Holgorsen and Rhoads mentioned for Pitt job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been a few days since Dave Wannstedt "resigned" from his position as head coach at Pitt before giving one of the shortest press conferences in history, and it seems that the school has already gotten started searching for its next head coach.  A couple of names that have popped up early are Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads (pictured).

Holgorsen's name came up as a candidate in a few reports, but if Pitt is planning on interviewing him, he doesn't know it yet.  Holgorsen told NewsOk.com that he hasn't been contacted by Pitt about the job, and when he was asked about whether he'd have any interest in the gig, he told the site that he is "pretty happy where I am at."

Still, just because he hasn't been contacted yet doesn't mean that Pitt has no plans on getting in touch with him.

There's also Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, who served as defensive coordinator at Pitt from 2000-2007 before leaving to take his current job in Ames.  It's only natural that his name would come up given his history with the school.  While it's likely that Pitt will reach out to Rhoads at some point, as of now, it's unknown whether or they have as of this time.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 6:21 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 6:29 pm
 

Dave Wannstedt holds world's shortest presser

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In what's clearly the biggest coaching shake-up of the year, Pittsburgh saw six-year head coach Dave Wannstedt resign from his head coaching post yesterday. After the news was announced, Wannstedt took to the podium, flanked by his players, for one last press conference to clear the air. Doubtless, he took as much time as it needed to answer every qu -- wait, I'm told he took things in a slightly different direction:

What? Like 12 seconds isn't enough? Jeez, Captain Needy, lighten up.

Obviously, Wannstedt's solemn demeanor indicates that his resignation isn't exactly voluntary. It's good to see, then, that his players stood by him one last time. But the clapping? At a resignation news conference? He's not doing this for applause! Some dignity, please.

[Terrorist fist jab: Slow States ]


Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:41 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 5:03 pm
 

Jonathan Baldwin is going pro

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that head coach isn't the only position that Pitt is going to have to replace next season.  Now that Dave Wannstedt has resigned, it seems Jonathan Baldwin's decision about what to do next year has become a lot easier.  Word was that the wide receiver had been leaning towards leaving Pitt for the NFL following his junior season, but now that he's faced with the prospect of having to play under a new head coach, that decision has been made a lot easier.
In fact, if you read what Baldwin told CBSSports' Chris Steuber, it sounds like he can't get out of Pitt fast enough.
Reached through text message Tuesday evening and asked if it was safe to say he would forego his senior year with Wannstedt stepping down, Baldwin responded, "No, it's not safe to say that. It doesn't change my quarterback!"
At first, it sounded as if Baldwin was non-committal on his future, but when asked, "Why would you stay [for your senior season] when you have no chemistry with QB Tino Sunseri, a new coach/system taking over next season and possibly hurt your draft stock for the 2012 draft, Baldwin clarified, "Oh, I misunderstood you ... Heck yeah I'm leaving. It can only get worse. They had me running a lot of deep routes [this year] and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they were purposely trying to disrupt my draft stock."

So to be clear, Baldwin has no problem throwing Tino Sunseri under the bus, and he believes there was a conspiracy theory amongst his own coaching staff to hurt his draft stock and get him to stay for his senior season.  He should fit in perfectly with NFL wide receivers.

Baldwin has 52 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 4:09 pm
 

Report: Wannstedt out at Pittsburgh

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Dave Wannstedt took over as head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers before the 2005 season, his charge was to "bring Pitt to the next level."  At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Panthers announced their bid to a bowl in January.  But it was not the January bowl that Panthers fans had hoped for out of Wannstedt's tenure.

Fanhouse's Brett McMurphy reported on Tuesday that Dave Wannstedt's time at Pittsburgh has come to a close.  After six seasons only added up to a 42-31 record, three bowl appearances, and no Big East titles; the Pittsburgh program clearly feels it is time to look elsewhere.

Frank Cignetti will fill in as the interim coach for that thrilling BBVA Compass Bowl against Kentucky on January 8 in Birmingham.  The bowl will have an odd feeling for Panthers fans, after watching Connecticut take the field against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a week earlier.  A month ago, the Panthers controlled their own destiny in the Big East, and looked ready to finally get that conference title Wannstedt was hoping for.  But after losing to the Huskies, and getting blown out by rival West Virginia, the Panthers found themselves jumbled at the top of the standings holding no tie-breakers.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:27 pm
 

Despite downfalls, Wannstedt confident for future

Posted by Chip Patterson

A week ago, many believed that both coaches in the 103rd Backyard Brawl were entering the game with their jobs on the line.  West Virginia stunned Pittsburgh at home, holding them to just one touchdown in the 35-10 victory.  While coaching rumors may have swirled with Bill Stewart retirement rumors, things appear to be fine in Morgantown as the Mountaineers still have a chance to win the Big East and earn a bid to a BCS bowl game.

The Panthers, on the other hand, will have to deal with a second (or worse) place finish in the conference despite controlling their own destiny at the beginning of November.  By dropping crucial late-season tilts against Connecticut and West Virginia, Pittsburgh stepped aside and allowed both teams to break through at the forefront of the Big East.  It was suggested that head coach Dave Wannstedt, hired to bring Pitt "to the next level," might have a closing window of opportunity in Pittsburgh.  His 41-28 record with the Panthers includes no conference titles, and only two bowl games in five seasons.  But Wannstedt seems confident his job is safe for now.

"We're trying to win Saturday," Wannstedt said at his weekly news conference. "I'm not concerned with [job security], we're just trying to beat Cincinnati. Trust me. We aren't going to graduate many players, we have a great future and a lot of recruits committed and a good young team coming back, really."

Wannstedt proceeded to list the key injuries and provide further explanation for the Panthers troubles.  But injury reports do not always work as appropriate excuses for unhappy fan bases.  When Pittsburgh was sitting in first place, I circled this date with Cincinnati as a trap game for a team with BCS hopes.  Now, it may have become a must-win for their head coach.  Even if Wannstedt has the support of the administration and his staff, the fans will be calling for answers if the Panthers drop three of their last four conference games in a season that started with a No. 15 ranking in the polls.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 3:47 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 11:41 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Nov. 27)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) With Win, South Florida Joins The State Elite - While Miami's loss to South Florida certainly jump-started some major program changes in Coral Gables, the Bulls' upset victory marked a significant moment in the USF program, and the career of first-year head coach Skip Holtz. South Florida has only been playing football since 1997, and only in Division I since 2001. The Bulls' victory over Miami gives a good portion of 2010's squad an in-state ACC sweep. A season ago, it was B.J. Daniels who stepped in for injured QB Matt Grothe to lead the Bulls to victory over Florida State in Tallahassee. This year, it was freshman quarterback Bobby Eveld who stepped in for the injured Daniels and led the team to a victory at Miami. Eveld completed only 8 of 15 passes for 120 yards, but managed the game well to help South Florida withstand a furious charge by Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes offense. For Skip Holtz, the win helped bring a good landmark for an otherwise rollercoaster first season as head coach for a BCS program. The struggling passing game did not spoken well for the offensive minded head coach, but Holtz has been able to coach up this squad from a 3-3 start to staring down a potential fifth straight 8+ win season. Accomplishing that will be more difficult than it sounds, with Jordan Todman and Connecticut coming to town playing for the conference title.

2.) Jordan Todman Leading Connecticut Title Surge - At the end of this definitive weekend in college football, South Florida was not the only new addition to make a statement in the Big East. Added to Division I officially in 2002 and the Big East in 2004, Connecticut stands one win from the first BCS bowl berth in program history. The Huskies have caught fire in the second half of the season, conveniently during the backlogged conference schedule. Wins over West Virginia and PIttsburgh has given Connecticut the tie-breaker edge against all the contenders, and now they control their own destiny. Much of the credit on the offensive end has to be credited to running back Jordan Todman. Todman has broken the 100 mark in 9 of his 10 games this season, and averaging 175.6 yards/game in his last three outings. Todman even left Saturday's showdown with Cincinnati and returned to finish with 31 carries on the day. So far there has been no stopping Todman, and if the Huskies can carry this win streak to the Fiesta Bowl Todman will start getting a lot more (deserved) attention from the league.

3.) Home Struggles Stain Otherwise Successful Season for Syracuse - The Orange have had one of their best seasons in nearly half a decade, but still something seems sour as Syracuse closed 2010 against Boston College on Saturday. After all, a team that hadn't seen a bowl game since 2004 should be excited about a seven win season. Right? Unfortunately, Syracuse fans will be asking the "What If's" for a long time after watching their team finish the season losing three home games in the last month of the season. At the end of October, Syracuse was 6-2 with a 3-1 conference record that had them in the early conference title talks. But the late season collapse that has been characterized by a stagnant offense has demoted the Orange to the middle of the pack in the Big East, simply playing for a bowl with better swag. As a former offensive assistant coach, those questions will have to be answered by Doug Marrone. However, it should be stated that Syracuse has done a great job turning the program around from their recent struggles. But when it comes time for season ticket renewals, don't be surprised if a 2-4 home record (0-4 against FBS teams) keeps ticket sales down in the Carrier Dome.

4.) The Backyard Brawl Could Have Two New Faces In 2011 - Heading into Friday's 103rd meeting of Pittsburgh and West Virginia, Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that the losing coach might find themselves in danger of becoming unemployed. After all the dust cleared in West Virginia's 35-10 manhandling of the Panthers, there is a chance that both schools could be looking for new head coaches for 2011. Predictably, the late-season struggles of the Panthers have Dave Wannstedt on the hot seat in Pittsburgh, but recent reports suggest that West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart may be considering retirement. Both teams have been perennially competitive for the better part of five years, but neither squad has been able to capitalize on their fast starts in 2010. Stewart fell into his position after Rodriguez departed for Michigan, and Wannstedt was brought in to bring the Panthers to the "next level." Trips to the Meineke Car Care Bowl do not exactly count as "next level," and Wannstedt might want to think about taking some pens home from work.

Posted on: November 26, 2010 8:35 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Backyard Brawl sets up wild finish in Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

So far in 2010, the Big East conference has lacked many defining or memorable moments in conference play.  Those moments that every team in the conference will remember that game that changed the landscape across the entire league.  It feels fitting then, that one of those performances came in the 103rd Backyard Brawl between Pittsburgh and West Virginia.  The Panthers entered the game sitting in the driver's seat on the way to a BCS bowl game.  A win over their rivals on Senior Day in Pittsburgh could put the Panthers just one Connecticut loss away from that coveted automatic bid.

Unfortunately, the Panthers have failed to shake the late-season struggles that crashed their conference championship hopes a season ago.  Pittsburgh entered this same weekend in 2009 undefeated in conference play, only to lose back-to-back games to West Virginia and Cincinnati to finish the season.  On Friday, Pittsburgh started this home stretch just like last year with a 35-10 loss to the Mountaineers in the Backyard Brawl.  With the win, West Virginia has turned around a disappointing middle of the season and set themselves up with a chance to win the conference.  

But the biggest winner in the Big East on Friday was Connecticut.  If the Huskies can pull out a win against Cincinnati at home on Saturday they will be one win away from their first BCS Bowl appearance in program history.  Connecticut just joined the conference in 2004, and nothing would be a higher compliment to Randy Edsall and his staff than to finish 2010 as the Big East Champions.  The best advantage the Huskies have in the race is owning the tie-breaker against both Pittsburgh and West Virginia thanks to their current three-game winnning streak.  

But with Pittsburgh's loss on Friday, it sets up a fantastic finish for the Big East title.  The Huskies control their own destiny, but with one loss could open the door for West Virginia.  West Virginia just needs a win next week and one Connecticut loss to clinch the conference, and Pittsburgh can still finally grasp that conference title with a win over Cincinnati and one loss from both West Virginia and Connecticut.  

Regardless of who your dog is in the fight, all eyes will be turned towards Storrs on Saturday.  The Huskies, the one team who controls their own destiny, will take the field against a Bearcats squad that has the chance to spoil title hopes for two teams.  Critics will argue that this finish is a result of season-long mediocrity, but the football fan in all of us is happy with the added significance to these late-season conference battles.      




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com