Okay, let's be honest, here. Power rankings for football at this point are pretty useless, considering the season is about four months away. But ESPN.com ranked all of the ACC teams following spring practices and Pitt found their way near the bottom. More specifically, the Panthers came in at No. 11 out of 14 teams:
11. Pitt: It was a rough spring for the Panthers, who saw leading returning rusher Rushel Shell transfer and also had to dismiss three backups from the team. Tom Savage is leading the quarterback battle, but he's not a lock after Chad Voytik had an impressive spring game. Pitt also needs a second dependable receiver to emerge to help free up Devin Street.
The point of needing a second receiver is duly noted, but the tight end stable of JP Holtz, Manasseh Garner, and Scott Orndoff should be good enough that they will attract quite a bit of attention. There's no Drew Carswell after, well, you know, but this group will be a good one, anyway.
I've said it before, but the more I think about it, the more I think Pitt will be hard-pressed to compete for even the division title next season. I'm hoping I'm wrong because a dud in their first year of the ACC wouldn't be all that fun. But with a difficult schedule and so many personnel changes, I just don't see it.
I do, however, think they'll have a better season than Syracuse and teams like Maryland, Virginia, and Wake Forest (all teams ESPN ranks ahead of Pitt) are all mid-carders at best. Pitt finishing ahead of any or all wouldn't surprise me. Or anybody.