I promise, there won't be much rehashing of the 2010 football season in the offseason. But Brian Bennett's Big East coaching grades for last year got me thinking a bit.
Just how bad was Dave Wannstedt?
Even Dave Wannstedt's most ardent supporters (and while I wouldn't consider myself his biggest fan, I did believe he deserved another season) couldn't argue that Pitt underachieved and that Wannstedt didn't do a great job.
It's always a fine line when determining just how much blame players deserve and how much a coach deserves. I'm generally of the opinion that players are responsible for individual plays while a coach is responsible for the gameplan and overall picture.
So when deciding who was the culprit for Pitt's mediocre 8-5 season, I probably go a little bit in each direction.
Still, Bennett of ESPN.com thinks Wannstedt was bad. Real bad:
D-minusDave Wannstedt, PittsburghWhether you agree or disagree with Wannstedt's removal as coach, he definitely provided some justification for it with a lousy season that included not only embarrassing losses but troubling off-the-field transgressions by several players. A team almost universally picked to win the league finished 7-5 in the regular season, though it did clinch a hollow co-championship in the Big East.
A D-? Really? That, for the record, was the worst grade Bennett dished out. That's right - worse than that of Greg Schiano at Rutgers or Butch Jones at Cincinnati.
I don't know - Pitt certainly didn't hold up its end of the bargain by failing to win the conference, but going 8-5 with several things working against him (Greg Romeus' injury, Dion Lewis' slow start, rookie quarterback, bad offensive line), that seems a bit harsh to me.
What would I give him? I don't know. Below average - maybe around a C-.