The Pitt football season is just around the corner. Recently, CBS Sports’ experts looked at the ACC and the Panthers.
Their staff broke down all sorts of things, including the conference’s more underrated and overrated teams. Ben Kercheval puts Pitt in the underrated camp:
Pittsburgh: The Panthers have been consistently OK under coach Pat Narduzzi. I don’t necessarily expect them to punch too far above their weight in 2020, but they are a catalyst team that could make life difficult for some of the ACC’s top teams. For one, Narduzzi finally has the type of defense on campus that he needs to keep this program competitive with the league’s top dogs. And while not having star defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman, who has opted out, hurts, this is still one of the ACC’s better D-lines. Find a big time playmaker on offense to succeed the departed Maurice Ffrench, and you’ll be cooking with oil.
The staff also made some bold predictions for games. Kercheval, in particular, also likes Pitt to beat Notre Dame this year.
None of CBS’ seven experts, however, were prepared to rank Pitt all that highly within the conference. All of them expect Pitt to finish between No. 6 and No. 8 in the ACC.
Part of that is no doubt on the tougher slate the Panthers received after the conference modified schedules. Part of it is on losing arguably their best player Jaylen Twyman, who has opted to sit out the season. And part of it is because Notre Dame has been added to the mix for a conference title. Add it all up, and the early expectations for a once-promising year have since diminished.