Heading into the Panthers' game against Virginia Tech, the team's bowl game hopes were fading. Pitt had only won three of their first six games and considering the second half of the schedule is significantly harder than the first, missing out on a bowl game was a real possibility.
That possibility still exists, of course, but Pitt's win on Thursday against Virginia Tech gives the team a much better chance of reaching a bowl.
I've said this before, but merely reaching a bowl game isn't that great of an accomplishment - particularly since the schedule was relatively light. But with a loss against Akron and a collapse against Iowa, expecting much more than a bowl game prior to the Virginia Tech win didn't look all that realistic.
Pitt now stands at 4-3 and needs two more wins of their last five to get to the postseason. Games remain against Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, and Miami. Of those games, Syracuse looks the most winnable. But at 2-4, it's worth pointing out that they've had an extremely difficult schedule facing Notre Dame, Florida State, Louisville, and Maryland, who's 4-2, already. In addition, there aren't any guarantees with the rest of the teams in that bunch, too. Even North Carolina, who has been down, is scoring a bunch.
That said, the way Pitt has played in the past six quarters is enough to give some hope here. The Panthers put together a dominant second half against Virginia and played well against Virginia Tech. It's a big 'if', but if Pitt plays as well as they did over the past six quarters they are capable of beating every team left on their schedule.
Regardless of how many additional wins they come up with, the team's bowl hopes look a lot brighter after a win against Virginia Tech. A loss against the Hokies would have been four straight, and needing to win three out of their last five may have been too much to ask.