Pitt came in at #15 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, recently released, meaning they will begin with the exact ranking they ended with last season. The Panthers, preseason Big East favorites, were the highest-ranked Big East team.
Immediately ahead of Pitt was Penn State at #14. WVU came in tied for 24th with Pitt's opening opponent, Utah.
This is right around where I figured Pitt would end up - in the 12 - 15 range. I'm a little surprised PSU was ranked ahead of them based on the other preseason polls that have been out there all summer. But then again, they're preseason polls, so it's hard to complain.
Pitt is in a much better spot than last year. When you start out unranked or near the bottom of the polls, it can be an uphill battle to climb up. Even if Pitt begins its season with a loss, it still may remain in the polls and in the public's consciousness. It's particularly good to see Utah ranked as a loss wouldn't look so bad, being it was to a ranked team.
I know - optimistic, aren't I?