Pitt's football season isn't officially over yet, but there's a sense that we've moved on to basketball season. That's probably true in a sense.
The year hasn't been a good one - don't let anyone fool you. Some may say that a 6-6 season would be a reasonable one for Paul Chryst's first season at the helm, but in reality, 6-6 in the Big East is pretty abysmal. This may change with the Rutgers game, but Pitt has no signature wins this season - and no, a home win over a 5-6 Virginia Tech team certainly doesn't count. What's worse is that the team has let winnable games against Syracuse and UConn slip through their fingers. They also lost to an FCS team at home to boot and there's really little to like about what they did on the field this season.
So taking that into consideration, I won't blame you if you've turned the page on football season. For me, though, to get to a bowl game would still be a good thing. Not only could the team use the extra practice time, but just as importantly, Chryst can use the extra practice and game to grow himself. I've made this point throughout the season, but Chryst is still learning how to be a head coach. The more practice he gets at it, the better.
Plus, there's nothing more annoying that watching bowl games for a straight month and knowing your team wasn't even good enough to play in one.
The crowd this weekend will probably be a light one. After the Panthers gave the Notre Dame game away, interest waned. And after a deflating loss to UConn, things got even worse. I can't imagine fans will be showing up for Tino Sunseri's home finale when they can instead by getting a head start on Christmas shopping or entertaining out of town guests. Pitt's seniors surely deserve better, but I'm not sure they'll get it.
If the Panthers can't find a way to win on Saturday, the South Florida game becomes all about padding year-end stats. But for now, the season isn't over, so I'm still paying attention. Barely.