I've been waiting to see how Ashton Gibbs' potential departure would affect their position in preseason polls. Obviously, without Gibbs, Pitt is going to slip a bit and CBS Sports' Gary Parrish is the first to drop them in his newest, revised preseason rankings (yes, I just said newest revised preseason rankings...that's a good indicator of how much this actually matters).
Of the Panthers, Parrish acknowledges what all of us know - that Gibbs leaving would be a big blow. Still, he keeps them in his top 25, putting them at No. 19:
Coach: Jamie Dixon
Top veterans on projected roster: Nasir Robinson, Travon Woodall, Dante Taylor, Talib Zanna, J.J. Moore, Lamar Patterson
Top newcomers on projected roster: Khem Birch, Malcolm Gilbert, Durand Johnson, Jaylen Bond, John Johnson
Comment: All indications are that Gibbs is remaining in the draft, and that's not good for the Panthers.
I wouldn't have been surprised to see Pitt fall out of his top 25 and I'm sure that others won't hesitate to remove them from their rankings. Gibbs, Brad Wanamaker, Gary McGhee, Gilbert Brown - it looks bleak, I'll admit. But if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's not to bet against Jamie Dixon.
You could tell me that Pitt was starting their four incoming freshman (Parrish apparently hasn't gotten the memo yet about Jaylen Bond) and myself, and I still might find a way to get them into a top 25 poll.