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Pitt football stretch worst since 2007

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As if you needed any definitive proof that this year's football program is sinking to new lows, you don't have to look any further than recent Pitt seasons.

The Panthers have lost five of their past six games. The stretch is the worst football (at least in terms of wins and losses) last seen since the Dave Wannstedt era when, in 2007, the team went 5-7. Paul Chryst didn't do it in his past two years and even Todd Graham avoided such a mark in his lone season.

Pitt has had its share of near misses, of course. There was the blown 10-point halftime lead against Iowa. The furious rally against Virginia that fell short after sleepwalking through the first half. Last week's fiasco against Duke where a chip shot field goal was missed - that one effectively ended any hopes of winning the Division. If Pitt ends that game they way they should have, we're still talking about winning the Coastal and not having this discussion. Still, a loss is a loss, and the Panthers are in the midst of the worst half-season stretch in some time.

And even in the aforementioned nightmarish 2007 season, there was still the season-ending win against West Virginia, dashing their hopes at a national championship. That win helped turn the program around and gave some optimism for next year. If Pitt fails to win a sixth game and reach bowl eligibility no such optimism will exist and, in fact, a strong case can be made that this will be the worst season in ... a while.

Before we get too far, however, with three games to play, the season isn't yet over. The Panthers still have a chance to reach the postseason and while that would be a modest achievement, it would help salvage a little out of all that's gone wrong this year.

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