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Bulls, Bears & Panthers: The Debut

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Bringing the excitement of the Street to our beloved Pitt Panthers. (Photo by John Gichigi/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bringing the excitement of the Street to our beloved Pitt Panthers. (Photo by John Gichigi/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

Welcome to the first edition of Bulls, Bears & Panthers, a weekly Tuesday post that will bring the buzz of Wall Street to Fifth and Forbes. Well ... we'll do what we can.

I've been wanting to start a weekly column for some time now that would have a fun, unique twist to it, while also offering informative and worthwhile content. After some brainstorming, the aspiring CFO in me emerged, and this beautiful concept was born. The premise is simple: each week, we'll take a look back at the week's news, all things Pitt-related, and, playing off of the investor terms for anticipated stock performance, select a "bull" and a "bear". So we're all on the same page, a bull is upward trending - something associated with optimism, confidence, or positive expectations. A bear, on the other hand, is downward trending - something associated with pessimism, negativity, or uncertainty.

Now that the groundwork is laid, let's jump in. I hope you all will enjoy this regularly as much as I'll enjoy writing it.

Bull: Pitt Kicker Commit Chris Blewitt

Until last week, Chris Blewitt was just a high school kicker from Virginia with a great leg and a funny last name. Then, on July 3rd, his commitment to the Panthers vaulted his name into the national headlines and a parade of jokes was unleashed around the sports world. Yeah sure, all of the puns about Pitt and this kicker with the hilariously ironic last name are out there, but the positives to this whole story far outweigh the negatives. First off, Blewitt is now a minor celebrity across the country thanks to the amount of nationwide publicity he's received. That alone is pretty cool. Secondly, Pitt netted an excellent kicker for the future.

Blewitt went to Pitt’s kicking camp two weeks ago and "just wowed them," he said. After winning the kickoff competition, Blewitt said he nailed a 55-yard field goal after running onto the field from the sideline during a game-winning kick exercise.

Not long after that while still in the practice facilities, Blewitt picked up his first offer.

He was also drawing interest from Navy, Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Virginia, according to the Post article. Clearly, Blewitt has some serious talent. As Pitt fans, we know firsthand how critical a field goal can be in triumph or defeat. Lastly, the best part of this all, the name games don't bother him one bit.

Bear: Pitt's 2012 Bowl Hopes

With the season approaching slowly but surely (only seven weeks to go for those counting), bowl projections are starting to roll out. Granted, you have to take these with a grain of salt, but something glaring stands out about where Pitt is getting slotted. Ladies and gentlemen, the BBVA Compass Bowl. Again. That's at least two sources right now predicting Pitt to make a three-peat appearance in Birmingham. [Throws up].

As somebody who has been at the past two Compass Bowls, I can say, emphatically, that I never want to go back. Legion Field looks like it's made of tin foil and wire, the location stinks (Birmingham's nickname is 'Pittsburgh of the South'), and most obviously, Pitt has already been there two years in a row. Let's try someplace new, please. Maybe even more disheartening than the bowl speculation itself is the fact that the people making these projections believe Pitt will be bad enough to end up back there. The BBVA is the Big East's 5th bowl tie-in so, at least these two outlets aren't predicting Pitt to be all that good in 2012.

For what it's worth, I think Pitt would decline an invitation before going to play in Alabama again, but I don't see this happening, anyway. Pitt may not be stellar during its third season under a third head coach, but they'll be worthy of something more than a date with the SEC cellar dweller.

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