The Pitt football team is in the rankings for at least another week. After the team’s 21-10 win over Syracuse, the Panthers rose four spots in this week’s AP Top 25 to No. 21.
It is important to point out that, unlike the Coaches Poll, the AP poll still is not including Big Ten teams, despite that conference announcing they will be playing football this fall after all. In moving up, the Panthers jumped Louisville, who lost to Miami on Saturday. The Cardinals are the final ACC team ranked at No. 24 this week. Ahead of Pitt from the ACC is No. 1 Clemson, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 12 Miami, and No. 20 Virginia Tech.
The Coaches Poll does include Big Ten teams and the Panthers were left out of that one. But even still, the Panthers are close to cracking that poll, too. The Panthers received the second most votes in that poll last week in the ‘Others Receiving Votes’ category, essentially making them No. 27. This week, they held that same position, checking in only behind Kentucky as they sit just outside of the Top 25.
I’m a bit undecided at the moment if Pitt is really a Top 25 team. I think they were a team that had an argument for that coming into the season, though it’s still too early to tell.
Thus far, the team has weathered the losses of All-American defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman and cornerback Damarri Mathis just fine. But I can understand why voters may have been hesitant to consider them for the Top 25 coming into the season for those reasons — especially when you couple them with the loss of Maurice Ffrench on offense, even though Ffrench’s loss has been minimalized as well.
Is this a Top 25 team? I think we’ll have a better idea in a few weeks. But for now, they remain in the AP Top 25 and that’s great publicity for a program that could use some time in the rankings to stay in the national spotlight.