Bob Smizik

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With the Big East and the Big 12 both affiliated with the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City, hope existed that the game would match long-time rivals Pitt and West Virginia.

Not quite. West Virginia got the invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium where it will play Syracuse on Dec. 29.

Pitt is going back to the BBVA Compass Bowl for the third straight year. Its opponent on the game to be played Jan. 5 at Legion Field in Birmingham will be Ole Miss (Mississippi). It was be a first-time ever meeting between the two schools.

Pitt is 6-3 and 3-4 in the Big East. Ole Miss is 6-6 and 3-5 in the SEC.

Last year, the Panthers lost to SMU, 28-6, in the Compass Bowl. They beat Kentucky, 27-10, two years ago.

“We've been given a great opportunity to play a quality program like Ole Miss,” Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said. “I know they finished the season strong and looked impressive in winning the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. We are appreciative of the City of Birmingham and the BBVA Compass Bowl for giving us the chance to play one more game this season.”

According to reports, West Virginia was hoping for an invitation to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

Comments (37)Add Comment
written by Rich W, December 02, 2012 - 08:06 pm
Haven't seen an article on the rationale for selecting Cuse other than record, but seems like Pinstripe Bowl officials missed a no-brainer for both attendance and TV ratings.

Syracuse is a big draw in NYC. -- Bob Smizik
written by BayouHoward, December 02, 2012 - 08:14 pm
I am reminded of W.C. Fieldsline that first prize was a week in Philadelphia. And second prize was two weeks.

Three consecutive visits to Birmingham? That sounds like third prize to me, and no reward for Pitt's student-athletes.

The right thing for Pitt to have done to decline the invitation and allow the team a break.

You and I are the only two people on the planet who believe that, Howard. -- Bob Smizik
written by rkspangler, December 02, 2012 - 08:24 pm

With all due respect, the Pitt football program right now is in no position to be turning their nose up at much of anything.

Hopefully a few years into the future they will look back at the Birmingham Trifecta as a low point and the beginning of better days.
written by BayouHoward, December 02, 2012 - 08:33 pm
@rkspangler - I don't think it is about Pitt turing up its nose at the BBVA bowl. They did not earn a better berth.

In my opinion, it's about not repeating the same trip for a third year, and allowing the players to be students only for a while. The trip will be a money loser and no treat.
written by Mikey301NK, December 02, 2012 - 08:35 pm
*t could have been worse--Pitt could have wound up in Shreveport for three consecutive bowl games.
written by BayouHoward, December 02, 2012 - 08:48 pm
Mikey - Shreveport might make a better visit than Birmingham. And yes, I know that is faint praise.

You know, Pitt could get out. and show some leadership. by declining the BBVA "reward".

It should have doen the same thing last spring instead of having the basketball team participate in the CBI post season tournament.
written by csf, December 02, 2012 - 08:54 pm
this can only mean Chryst will leave and an assistant coach will take over for the bowl
written by Steeellva, December 02, 2012 - 09:10 pm
Yaaawn. A Pitt alum no less, I'll skip that game and catch a nap....someone wake me up after that snoozer is over with.
written by Burghman28, December 02, 2012 - 09:22 pm
All I can say is thank god we are not going up against WVU. It would be the Fiesta bowl all over again. Could care less about the out come but will be great opportunity for Christ to continue to implement his system. Curious to see what the guy can do with a months time to prepare. Then again he had all off season to prepare for Youngstown State.
written by Dobreshunka, December 02, 2012 - 09:23 pm
They could"ve been in with the pack of losers who don't get to a bowl game at all. Go Pitt!
written by Hell Unleashed, December 02, 2012 - 09:23 pm
No Compass needed, Pitt knows the way.
written by cornell24, December 02, 2012 - 09:49 pm
I know you think all these low tier bowl games are a joke, and I understand to an extent. If Pitt wants to play this off as some great accomplishment, growing to "a bowl" game, then yeah, it's stupid. This isn't a great achievement at all. The only really bowls are the BCS bowls and a few select others, like the Cotton or Gator bowls.

I also know that this is all about money for ESPN and friends and some connected lobbyists, but in the end the players, I think, do appreciate being able to travel and play in a game against a team they aren't always likely to face. And or the seniors a last time to really play organized ball (for most of them). It isn't all bad. You have to agree on that point, right?

As for the Pinstripe Bowl choosing Syracuse, I understand the Orange naturally draw more in NYC with many alum living in Manhattan, Jersey and Long Island, but I do believe they missed out on a matchup that would have had far more television appeal, national press (ESPN commentary, for what's it's worth), and still sold out the stadium, had they chosen Pitt (which they clearly could have done).

But whatever. A clean break I suppose. I'll just never hope for a Pitt-WVU game to ever happen regularly again. It's just easier that way. And Ole Miss will be interesting, for me at least, knowing the history of their program and admiring the contrasting philosophies.

I know you say you'll have the TV off, Bob. I think I'll watch this game and be happy to see Pitt play one more time.
written by Maine Bucs Fan, December 02, 2012 - 09:54 pm
Pitt is being punished fr its 3d straight impressive to college football detention known as the BBVA Compass Bowl. Well at east there's not much to do to get in trouble in Birmingham in January hough no doubt young creative minds can always find a way
written by Miami, December 02, 2012 - 10:02 pm
The smart thing to do is to add rivarly games at the end of the season and play them on the team's home field. The national championship would be expanded and the teams that qualify wouldn't play a rivarly game. Instead of playing football for a bowl and the bowl game, getting all the money, the schools would be able to split the revenues at their home fields and make more money.

In what other sport do schools volunteerly give away the profits of the game to a middle man.
written by jparse, December 02, 2012 - 10:39 pm

You know, Pitt could get out. and show some leadership. by declining the BBVA "reward".

It should have doen the same thing last spring instead of having the basketball team participate in the CBI post season tournament.

Howard, think like a businessman. Your organization gets rewarded for its efforts & production during the year. No matter how ironic that may sound, turning it down gives your younger players less experience, fewer practices, and slaps your seniors in the face.

How would future recruits view that?

You play the game. You may not like it, but it's better than the dozens of teams already prepping for next year without wearing any pads until April.
written by Burghman28, December 02, 2012 - 10:51 pm
Anyone complaining about being in the compass bowl should look at La. Tech. Go 9-3 and end up not going to a bowl at all because they waited too long to accept an invitation because they had their eyes on a bigger bowl. And everyone thinks our AD is bad.
written by cornell24, December 02, 2012 - 11:03 pm
Burghman28 - you're right, that's crazy! I didn't see that they were out of a bowl, and that just seems so wrong given how they played against some steep competition in their non-con schedule against several SEC teams.

Yet, Georgia Tech gets a bowl bid at 6-7?!?!
That is the worst aspect of these bowls for sure.
written by emoneypitt, December 02, 2012 - 11:18 pm
Speaking of Pitt turning up it's nose, I find it hard to believe that Pitt and West Virginia couldn't arrange to play every September if they really wanted to continue the series.

I've heard, on good authority, that West Virginia badly wants to continue the series and that Pitt is "turning up their nose" at them.

At the same time, Penn State has been "turning up their nose" at Pitt for years but yet, Pitt would come running like a faithful little dog to its master if they wanted to resume the series on a yearly basis. You can't have it both ways Pitt.

And I find it real hard to believe that Pitt and West Virginia can't at least meet on the basketball court once a year. Jamie Dixon's accomplishments are over inflated by the cream puff non-conference schedule that he plays every year.
written by TheReturnOfGreatness, December 02, 2012 - 11:33 pm

WVU is one who doesn't want to schedule the series

Their Non-conf schedule is filled until 2017

BTW BBVA is yet another reason why I am glad Pitt will be leaving the Big LEAST

Pin-Stripe bowl BLEW IT by not picking Pitt, but it is the last year they can get hometown Cuse.

I will laugh when the Pinstripe bowl has to take a team like SMU, Tulane, Houston, etc. and noone from those nice warm southern schools give a rats (behind) about going to cold (behind) over-priced obnoxious NYC in the winter!

BTW I will root for Cuse in the Pinstripe bowl.

written by TheReturnOfGreatness, December 02, 2012 - 11:37 pm
BTW this bowl is useful for the extra practices that 1st year HC Chryst can have and get the underclassmen even more work and ready for next year in the ACC

Pitt Panthers 2013 ACC Champs!
written by D1J1, December 03, 2012 - 04:01 am
Compass bowl.......Zzzzzz! In fact, 95% of the bowls.....Zzzzzz! smilies/angry.gif
written by OneLittleVictory, December 03, 2012 - 06:17 am
...will be great opportunity for Christ to continue to implement his system.

If this is true, I'm going to expect Pitt to win 65-0 and then go 14-0 next season.
written by Knuterock, December 03, 2012 - 06:22 am

Is it fair to Blame Steve Pederson for PItt attending the BBBBBBVA COMPASS BOWL for the third year in a row or am I not thinking correctly?
written by 123, December 03, 2012 - 06:27 am
Growing up under the 24/7 fires of the Second Ave. steel mills, I remember when Birmingham, also a Steel City, was known as "the Pittsburgh of the South."

Football will seem so different next Tino, no Big East (except for all the teams that were there and now in the ACC)...and the same coach, for our and Chryst's sake.

So third year in a row, let's enjoy one more Groundhog Day.

P.S. Love the way the production people do the close and cropped shots at these bowls to hide the fact that no one is in the stands.
written by Curmudgeon, December 03, 2012 - 06:59 am

The BCS Championship game is on January 7th.

Does Notre Dame have an advantage since they have a 43 day rest and Alabama only has 37? This is no way to run a sport.

As far as the other 35 bowl games, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
written by ericSS, December 03, 2012 - 07:00 am
P.S. Love the way the production people do the close and cropped shots at these bowls to hide the fact that no one is in the stands.

They get alot of practice covering Pitt games...smilies/grin.gif
written by jayh63, December 03, 2012 - 07:45 am
I like the game, Pitt vs. Ole Miss. Unless you're planning on going to the game, who cares where it is played? The Pitt game will be the warm-up for the NFL wildcard games on Jan 5. Ole Miss is an excellent opponent who held their own with some of the big boys in the best conference in the land (6 teams in the final BCS top 10).

WVU fans are upset about being snubbed by the Holiday Bowl as they beat Baylor. But Baylor had one of the biggest wins of the year when they knocked Kansas State out of the National Championship game. I've seen Baylor play the past 3 weeks and they are playing better football right now than WVU. Baylor beat Texas Tech (who killed WVU) two weeks ago and they beat Oklahoma State (who killed WVU) last week. They are no a roll and deserved the Holiday Bowl over WVU.
written by luvyablue, December 03, 2012 - 08:40 am
Ole Miss is a quality program? I know the coach has to talk the opponent up, but c'mon.
written by luvyablue, December 03, 2012 - 08:48 am
In fact, 95% of the bowls.....Zzzzzz!

This is true. ND-Alabama and Oregon-KSU are the two bowls worth watching, at least on paper.

The others, even the BCS matchups, are snoozers.
written by Rich W, December 03, 2012 - 09:00 am
Syracuse is a big draw in NYC. -- Bob Smizik

I'm not sold that Syracuse matters as much as the matchup/rivalry.
2010: Syracuse vs. Kansas St. = 38,274
2011: Rutgers vs. Iowa St. = 38,328

Neither came close to selling out.

Pitt fans didn't show up in droves last year in Birmingham (attendance 12,000 less for SMU than KY), so their willingness to travel is a valid question. But I would think a Pitt/WVU matchup could push the Pinstripe well over 40,000 due to interest from casual fans (even UConn fans!) as it's a rivalry with tradition. That's just an opinion, we'll never know.

Anyway, as far as accepting any old bowl, yeah, the point of getting in an additional 15 practices is certainly worth it to the program, although there's likely some financial hit if the tix allocations aren't sold.
written by PiratesFanSince1960, December 03, 2012 - 09:13 am
Congrats, Pitt earned it. Not the best season, lots of ups and downs. Looked fantastic on National TV Saturday. My Cal Bears were 3-8, fired the winningest coach in their history, borrowed $400mm to build a stadium and now Cal Berkeley has massive debt.
You wanna whine, cry, bitch, and moan about your season and the Compass Bowl. Go ahead. Wish Bears were going to a bowl game and had a winning season.
Go Panthers and Dad's Alma Mater...
written by chasbo, December 03, 2012 - 09:25 am
"The right thing for Pitt to have done to decline the invitation and allow the team a break.

You and I are the only two people on the planet who believe that, Howard. -- Bob Smizik

Bob, I would agree that there are too many mediocre bowls involving mediocre teams, and this is one of them.

But do you really believe Pitt should have turned down the invitation? I'm sure that would not have sat well with the players and it would send a bad message to potential recruits. Plus it would eliminate all those extra practices.

I see no upside from turning down the invitation other than saving a few bucks. The travel right at the beginning of the next semester will have little impact on academics. Likewise the extra practices which are already part of the routine.

While I would love to see Pitt take a step in the right direction and reject a bowl bid, that will never happen and I cannot blame them for accepting. The extra practice time and the perception of going to a bowl is too important to the program. -- Bob Smizik
written by mc, December 03, 2012 - 09:42 am

During a player interview last week (don’t remember who), when asked for the fondest memory of his career, the player responded that it was when the team became bowl eligible last year. It meant so much to him because he and the other underclassmen really wanted the seniors to be able to participate in one more game with the team. He said that everyone felt that the seniors deserved it and the returning players appreciated the opportunity to spend at least a few more weeks with the guys that were ending their careers at Pitt.

Apparently a lot of fans don’t care that the team is going to yet another minor bowl game, but I doubt that any of the players share that opinion.
written by Rittersdiner, December 03, 2012 - 10:47 am
The Pirates can do better than Hanrahan and Jones for Smoak. Not a good trade.

A Hanrahan and Jones trade for Smoak was never mentioned. -- Bob Smizik
written by AHab35, December 03, 2012 - 11:13 am
*t's amazing that the "bowl system" that so many people fight tooth and nail to protect produces a match-up of 6-6 teams playing a game in January that even the team's fans are hard pressed to care about. And those reccords are usually inflated by playing a cup-cake schedule.

In the meantime schools are jumping conferences at will in the desperate hope of creating better opportunities for themselves in the joke that is the BCS or even the new 4 team playoff.

I've been a proponent of an 11 game schedule and 8 team playoff for years. I would take 12 or 16 teams as well. It seems to work in every other sport in this country; division 1 football can probably hop on board even if that means no BVA Compass Bowl (oh the horror).

And you can still keep about 20 bowl games for the rest of the teams which would be no more meaningless than they are now. That's still better than 35 mostly useless, watered down bowl games.

The college football system is stupid beyond stupid.
written by cedmond422, December 03, 2012 - 11:33 am
Syracuse is a big draw in NYC. -- Bob Smizik

Sorry Bob, I watched the whole Syracuse-USC game in MetLife stadium and there couldnt have been more than 20,000 people there and USC was the #1 team in the country at the time. They dont draw all that well in NYC either. Im not saying legions of Pitt fans would've been there because Pitt just doesn travel well, but to say Syracuse is a big draw in NYC is false.
written by PittandthePendulum, December 03, 2012 - 05:07 pm
Pinstipe Bowl definetly screwed up with that Syracuse pick...a reduex of the Backyard Brawl this year would have sold out.
Pitt however is definetly involved in some type of Spanish Inquisition as regards the Compass Bowl
(the Bank sponcer is from Spain)...they have definetly been imprisoned there.

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