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Is Pitt a pretender or contender in their first ACC season?

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US PRESSWIRE

We've been over the question already and it will surely be discussed later - but, can Pitt contend in the ACC?

ESPN.com is looking at all of the conference's unranked members in trying to decide who is a contender and who is a pretender. Somewhat surprisingly, at least to me, is that Andrea Adelson declares the Panthers as contenders. For the record, voters in the online poll went the other way, declaring Pitt to be pretenders by a significant margin.

Don't get me wrong - if everything breaks right, can Pitt contend? Almost surely. But if I had to lean one way or the other, it'd be the opposite viewpoint. Just too many questions. The passing game is a big one in my mind, breaking in a new quarterback. The defensive line and linebackers have something to prove. Pitt is breaking in a new kicker. And if all that weren't enough, there's the Rushel Shell mess to deal with.

I'd like to think Pitt can contend, but too many questions remain to expect it.

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