Tag:Pittsburgh
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:18 am
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Report: Former Wisconsin QB to join Pitt staff

Posted by Chip Patterson

Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst has been busy filling out his first coaching staff, as the Panthers near the opening of spring practice. Over the weekend Chryst announced a realignment on the offensive side, but still needs to fill the positions of quarterbacks coach and running backs coach. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, former Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger will likely be named the Panthers' quarterbacks coach for 2012.

Bollinger started four years at Wisconsin, finishing his career in 2003 with a 30-12 record and three bowl victories. As a redshirt freshman, Bollinger was in the backfield with Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne when the Badgers won the 2001 Rose Bowl. Bollinger still holds the Badgers' school rushing record for a quarterback, collecting 1,767 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Chryst was never Bollinger's offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, but served as tight ends coach in 2002 when he was the starter. Bollinger is currently serving as head coach at Hill Murray High School in St. Paul, Minn..

According to the Post-Gazette, Bollinger is expected to be named quarterbacks coach in the next few days "barring any last minute snags or changes."

Pittsburgh starts Spring Practice on March 15, check out the full schedule of Spring Practice Dates

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 1:45 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Pitt HC Paul Chryst realigns offensive staff

Posted by Chip Patterson

Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst announced a realignment of his offensive staff on Saturday, naming former Wisconsin tight end's coach Joe Rudolph offensive coordinator.

Chryst announced that former offensive coordinator Bob Bostad has accepted a job with Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bostad also was set to coach the offensive line for the Panthers in 2012, a job that will be filled by tight ends coach Jim Hueber.

“Joe Rudolph and Jim Hueber will be tremendous assets in their new assignments,” Chryst said in a prepared statement. “Joe and I worked closely on the offensive side of the ball at Wisconsin. He has a thorough knowledge of our systems and what we want to achieve offensively.

“Jim has coached some of the finest linemen in the game, pro and college. He is tremendously accomplished as a teacher of offensive line play, and his overall experience as a coach benefits our entire staff and program.”

In addition to serving as offensive coordinator, Rudolph will once again coach the tight ends for Chryst - sliding in after Hueber's move to the offensive line. Chryst still has two positions left to fill on his staff: quarterbacks coach and running backs coach. Former Wisconsin linebackers coach Dave Huxtable will coach the Panthers' defense in the upcoming season.

Pittsburgh is set to open Spring Practice on March 15. Catch up on your favorite team by checking out all the Spring Practice Dates.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:48 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Spring Practice Dates

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Hard to believe but it is indeed time for Spring Practice to begin. It was not too long ago that Alabama hoisted up the crystal ball in New Orleans but as of now, all 120 FBS teams are equal with a 0-0 record and only themselves to face. Here's a list of notable dates for every school this spring and, as they become available on the blog, links to Spring Practice Primers (click here to see them all). Be sure and check out Dennis Dodd's preseason top 25 as well.

Spring Practice Dates
ACC First Practice Spring Game
Boston College February 18
Spring Primer 
March 31
Clemson March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Duke February 22
Spring Primer 
March 31
Florida State March 19
Spring Primer 
April 14
Georgia Tech March 26 April 20
Maryland March 10
Spring Primer 
April 21
Miami March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
North Carolina March 14
Spring Primer 
April 14
N.C. State March 23 April 21
Virginia March 19
Spring Primer 
April 14
Virginia Tech March 28 April 21
Wake Forest March 1
Spring Primer 
April 14
Big East First Practice Spring Game
Cincinnati March 1
Spring Primer 
April 14
Louisville March 21 April 14
Pittsburgh March 15
Spring Primer 
April 14
Rutgers March 27 April 28
Syracuse March 20
Spring Primer 
April 21
Connecticut March 20
Spring Primer 
April 21
South Florida March 21 April 2, April 9
Big Ten First Practice Spring Game
Illinois March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Indiana March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
Iowa March 24 April 14
Michigan March 17 April 14
Michigan State March 27 April 28
Minnesota March 24 April 21
Nebraska March 10
Spring Primer 
April 14
Northwestern March 3
Spring Primer 
April 14
Ohio State March 28 April 21
Penn State March 26 April 21
Purdue March 7
Spring Primer 
April 14
Wisconsin March 22 April 28
Big 12 First Practice Spring Game
Baylor March 19 April 14
Iowa State March 20 April 14
Kansas March 27 April 28
Kansas State April 4 April 28
Oklahoma March 5
Spring Primer 
April 14
Oklahoma State March 12 April 21
TCU February 25
Spring Primer 
April 5
Texas February 23
Spring Primer
April 1
Texas Tech February 17
Spring Primer
March 24
West Virginia March 11 April 21
Pac-12 First Practice Spring Game
Arizona March 5
Spring Primer 
April 14
Arizona State March 13 April 21
California March 13 None
Colorado March 10
Spring Primer 
April 14
Oregon April 3 April 28
Oregon State April 3 April 28
Stanford March 27
Spring Primer
April 14
UCLA April 3 May 5
USC March 6 April 14
Utah March 21 April 21
Washington April 2 April 28
Washington State March 22 April 21
SEC First Practice Spring Game
Alabama March 9
Spring Primer 
April 14
Arkansas March 14 April 21
Auburn March 21 April 14
Florida
March 14 April 7
Georgia March 20 April 14
Kentucky March 21 April 21
LSU March 1
Spring Primer 
March 31
Mississippi State March 21 April 20
Ole Miss March 23 April 21
Missouri March 6
Spring Primer 
April 14
South Carolina March 12 April 14
Tennessee March 26 April 21
Texas A&M March 31 April 28
Vanderbilt March 16 April 14
Others First Practice Spring Game
Notre Dame March 21 April 21
Boise State March 12
Spring Primer 
April 14
BYU March 5 March 30
Air Force February 24 None
Army February 13 March 9
Navy March 19 April 14

Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
 

NCAA grants Pitt guard Chris Jacobson sixth year

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's a rare occurrence for a player to be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The association, however, seems to be in a giving mood.

Pittsburgh guard Chris Jacobson was the latest beneficiary as athletic director Steve Pederson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the senior will return next season after the NCAA awarded him a sixth year of eligibility.

Jacobson had started 17 straight games for the Panthers before suffering a season-ending injury to his left knee against Iowa last season. The lineman missed his entire freshman year in 2007 as a result of another season-ending injury.

Pitt is returning 15 starters from last season's 6-7 squad and will surely enjoy the boost from having Jacobson back with first year head coach Paul Chyrst taking over.

The Panthers open the 2012 season at home on September 1 against Youngstown State.

Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

Posted by Chip Patterson

With very little warning, the ACC made one of the most prominent moves in conference realignment in the middle of the 2011 regular season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. The bylaw-mandated 27-month exit period was thought to be negotiable, but all signs from Big East commissioner John Marinatto indicate that the league will hold all departing members to full withdrawal process.

Following the process outlined in the bylaws would hold off the conference move until the 2014-2015 academic year. While the ACC has made it clear they are prepared to work with the Big East to get Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league sooner, they have not made any legal efforts to expedite the process. With the release of the ACC regular season schedule coming in early February, it is beginning to look unlikely that either school will be in the ACC for the 2012 season.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once [the schedule] is set," Mike Finn, ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications, told The Charlotte Observer.

The SEC and Pac-12 have both released their conference schedules for 2012, and the rest of the major conferences will likely follow suit in the next several weeks. The ACC released the 2011 league schedule on Feb. 14.

While the ACC seems comfortable waiting out the exit period, West Virginia is having a much more difficult time leaving the Big East. Both the school and the conference have filed competing lawsuits regarding West Virginia's plans to join the Big 12, and a Rhode Island judge has ordered both parties to enter non-binding mediation. West Virginia hopes to reach a settlement allowing the school to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season, while the league has no plans of making exception to the bylaws. A status conference has been scheduled for Feb. 9, as both parties hope to reach a resolution before the Big East and Big 12 release their conference schedules.

When the Big East releases their schedule for 2012, I would expect to see West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on the slate. If the Big 12 includes West Virginia as well, it could lead to potentially massive headaches for both conferences. It seems as though the ACC is content avoiding the legalities and welcoming their new additions at a later date.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 2:07 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:10 pm
 

ASU president on Todd Graham: "It was not normal"

Posted by Bryan Fischer

INDIANAPOLIS -- To say the departure of head coach Todd Graham from Pittsburgh was messy might be understating things a little. Not only was it a surprising hire by Arizona State, but the reaction from Panthers players elevated to the point of vitriol.

Nearly a month after Graham was formally introduced in Tempe, Arizona State president Michael Crow, speaking on a panel at the NCAA convention, said that the reason there was such a fuss about him leaving was due in large part because of the Pitt administration.

"We made one offer and had one answer. It was a simple process," Crow said. "He caught a lot of flak because he was unable to talk to his team. We requested permission to speak to him and (Pitt) said no. For him to speak to us, he had to resign and then he could no longer speak to his players. We don't set those rules, we asked for an opportunity and didn't get it."

Graham is one of several new hires in the Pac-12 known primarily for fast-paced offense, which is interesting when you consider he was defensive coordinator at West Virginia and Tulsa. Still, outside of last season at Pitt, where the Panthers ranked 88th in the country in total offense and struggled with turnovers, Graham had the background that fit with exactly what Arizona State was looking for.

"What we set out to do was hire a head coach who had experience in playing football the way we wanted to - no huddle offense," Crow said. "We wanted the environment of a teach as opposed to the model of a professional coach. It's just a different model. We happen to think that in our environment, that's the model that we need. When we looked around the country, there were a few individuals on the list and Coach Graham was one of them."

The school was aware that Graham's father-in-law lives in Arizona and that he and his wife were already looking at houses in the Phoenix area before the ASU job even opened up. Because of a long interview process, Crow was one of several administrators who didn't seem to have a problem with the fact that their new head coach would have two "one-and-done" coaching stops on his resume and was firmly committed to building the program into a conference title contender.

"When you sit and spend hours with someone and talk to references about them, you get a better sense of the character of the person," he said. "You go from Tulsa to Rice and then back to Tulsa in one year, what's the reason? You talk to the people at Rice and you find out yes, there was a reason. You go to Pittsburgh and ask why you go to Pittsburgh, why don't you like Pittsburgh, what's going on? There's an explanation, coaches can have explanations like 'My family doesn't like it here, we'd really like to be somewhere else.'

"I'm not worried about that as an element of his character. His body of work as an assistant coach, as a high school coach, at Rice, why he moved from Rice back to Tulsa where he'd been an assistant (is good). The Pittsburgh thing I saw as an aberration. It was not his normal behavior."

We're guessing a few people in the Northeast disagree however.


Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:18 pm
 

Bielema staying busy at coaches convention

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Normally the coaches convention is a time where head coaches can let lose the top button, smooze a little bit and pick up a new wrinkle or two in terms of X's and O's. Legendary former Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews told several younger assistant coaches that the one thing you had to do every convention is just learn one thing.

For Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, he would love to be able to relax a little bit and pick up just one thing from the nearly 1,000 coaches in town. Instead of going to clinics or chatting up others however, he's one of the busiest around. With the departure of Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst to become head coach at Pittsburgh, Bielema has a rather big hire to make in the next week or two and with Signing Day approaching, things have been even more hectic than usual for the seventh year head coach.

"This is a fun time," Bielema said. "We got done with the bowl the game on Monday, flew back on Tuesday. I interviewed an OC on Tuesday and Wednesday, had a recruiting visit Wednesday night, went to San Francisco Thursday, Seattle on Friday then took a red-eye back to Madison. I got in at 9 a.m. and flew here at 4:30."

In addition to finding a replacement for Chryst, Bielema also is looking to replace run game coordinator Bob Bostad and tight ends coach Joe Rudolph and linebackers coach Dave Huxtable. While it may seem like a lot, it's nothing for Bielema.

"My first year, I came out here and interviewed almost 25 guys, he said. "In three days, I talked to 22. I just held up in my room and talked and talked and basically ended up making three of my nine hires from down here."

Staff continuity has been something few coaches have had but generally Wisconsin has been about average when it comes to losing coaches. The opening this year are just part of the process that top programs have to go through after the season is over.

"Last year I hired three new guys," Bielema said. "When I hire these guys out, it will be my 21st hire in six years. We have had continuity and the ability to keep some guys there but mainly it's being able to get the right kind of guys because we've been so successful."

When hiring an offensive coordinator at some point in the next week or two, the fiery Badgers head coach also has a pretty good bargaining chip that others hiring do not with running back and Heisman finalist Montee Ball returning for another year and another run for the roses.

"That's huge," Bielema said. "A, he's a great kid. B, I think it's the right thing for him. He clearly made a big jump this year and has a chance to grow and continue to move forward. I know he's got a great relationship with coach (Tom) Hammock so that's something that is going to be working moving forward."

Just as Bielema has to do this week with his staff.

Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:55 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:57 am
 

BBVA Compass Bowl Key Matchup



Posted by Bryan Fischer


A look at the key matchup that could determine the BBVA Compass Bowl.

SMU quarterback J.J. McDermott vs. Pittsburgh's secondary

Live by the quarterback, die by the quarterback. That seems to be SMU's M.O. this season with difficulties winning games when McDermott turns the ball over. Obviously you don't want your signal-caller giving the ball away to the other team and putting more pressure on your defense but it seems as though the Mustangs have a particularly hard time rebounding.

Now, the Pitt secondary isn't littered with NFL talent but they've done a solid job this season. They held explosive West Virginia to just 244 yards through the air and allowed only 12 touchdowns through the air against FBS competition. They're helped out by a pretty good pass rush and generally force teams to make it a point to run the ball. Jarred Holley is the leader of the group and should roam around to cover SMU receivers and help support against the run, making him a busy man.

Behind McDermott, SMU has had over 300 yards passing just once in the second half of the season and he had a 6-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio during the stretch run. Against a solid Pitt defense, he's going to have to step his game up to say the least. The running game has found some success but June Jones playcalling obviously calls for a successful short and intermediate passing game and that will mean McDermott has to play within the offense and not take too many chances because the Panthers can give him fits.

Both teams are better than their record suggests but the BBVA Compass Bowl should come down to McDermott taking advantage of the time off to come out sharp and well prepared. If he's on, SMU should be able to beat their BCS AQ opponent and allow Jones to win another bowl game in a place where those wins are few and far between.


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