Pitt may have caught the attention of ESPN.com as a potential sleeper in the ACC Coastal, but in Tuesday's Media Days preseason poll, the Panthers were considered anything but a contender.
The team was picked to finish in sixth place of the seven-team ACC Coastal. Pitt was expected to top only last-place Virginia in the division and received only three first-place votes (also good for sixth in the division).
While I find the results somewhat surprising considering what Pitt returns on offense, it's pretty clear that media members attending don't expect too much from the team. Specifically, it's the defense that has everyone concerned. And with the news about Rori Blair today, the defensive line continues to be a major question mark in coach Pat Narduzzi's first season.
In other news, star running back James Conner, who conducted a Twitter Q&A with fans on Monday, also fell short in the vote for the preseason conference Player of the Year. Conner, of course, won the award last year, but was still picked to finish second behind Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
I can't argue too much with the Watson pick. It's always difficult to go against a returning award winner, but at the same time, that can go against Conner, too, since voters may want to spread the honor around. And when you consider that Clemson was the pick to win the entire conference, going with Watson makes some sense as well.