Friday, October 31, 2008

Stull to play?

A large questionmark going into the game Saturday surrounds the Pitt quarterback situation. It is reported that Stull's status for the game is unknown. However, based on reports from Kevin Gorman two days ago it seems as if the Panthers are doing everything possible to prepare Stull for the game:

"Pitt quarterback Bill Stull, who was taken
from the field on a strectcher after suffering a concussion and stinger in the 54-34 loss to Rutgers last Saturday atHeinz Field, returned to practice today and worked out with the Panthers in full pads."

Based on Gorman's report I would put my money on seeing Stull in the game. This is just my speculation at this point but here are my reasons (having spent a summer working at UPMC concussion research center and having suffered some concussions as a player I have some insight to the issue):
Following a concussion, this is what typically happens. The medical staff has the player wait until his symptoms have subsided. If the symptoms have subdued then the player will proceed to taking a concussion test. Many college/pro programs use the Impact test (a computer program). This test is taken by all players at the beginning of the season to get a baseline level. The player takes the concussion test and if their scores are back to baseline/normal levels, the player is permitted to attempt physical exertion. The player would not be permitted to do anything until passing the computerized test.

Once the computerized test is passed the player must pass a physical exertion test. This could be a bike test or some sort of running test. If symptoms resume following exertion the player must rest more and is monitored. If they do not the player may be cleared to return to practice on a limited basis with no contact.

It appears based on Gorman's post that Stull has passed the first stages, the computerized and physical exertion test. I say this because to be in full pads and work out with the team you usually must complete these steps first. This would be good news and mean that Stull is progressing rather symptom free.
Typically there is not set time limit for how long a player must sit following a concussion. It is a case to case basis and the player is managed based on his mental status and symptoms.

Some people may be worried that Stull had a more serious concussion because he was unconscious for a little. This is actually false. Blacking out is not a marker for serious concussion. The most reliable markers are retrograde and anterograde amnesia. We can't determine if Billy had these or not, but based upon his quick return to practice I would doubt it.

That being said I wouldn't be too surprised if Billy wasn't in their Saturday. It may be in limited action because of the uncertainty of the offensive line, but I would expect some time.

This much is clear however, the Panthers need Billy running the show this year. If that means he sits this game to be healthy the rest of the year then so be it.

Headed to South Bend

I'm headed out to South Bend this afternoon for tomorrow's game to see if Wanny and the boys can bring home a "W"against Man Tits and the Irish. Hopefully I'll be able to give some new perspective as I'll be on the sidelines for pre and post-game.
Kickoff is at 2:30ET and the game will be televised on NBC as well as broadcast on Sirius channel 125.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dumping Notre Dame

Maybe the Big East needs to convert to Buddhism. Hey, it worked for Tina Turner. According to wikipedia:
"Born as a Baptist, Turner converted to Buddhism in 1974 to help conquer her troubling marriage to Ike Turner. Turner has credited Buddhism with giving her the courage to leave Ike and has said the religion has helped her to find peace."

If the Big East is Tina Turner then consider Notre Dame Ike. The BE is abused and used by ND for its own benefit and gets next to nothing in return. I know some of you may say that Notre Dame is ranked in the Top 10 this year in preseason basketball polls and are an important team in the league. But I pose this question: Who has more to gain from the relationship ND or the BE? Yes, ND is an elite team this year in hoops but I hardly believe they would be able to maintain the program at its current level without being in the BE. The league is recognized as the best in the country and ND benefits by being able to recruit players who want to play with the best of the best. Think about this: in some pre-season polls as many as 10 of the 25 hail the Big East. 40% of the pre-season top 25 come from this conference. Unheard of! Not only that, but geographically the school has to compete with very few BE schools for recruits. If the league were to cut ND off, I believe their basketball program would fade. And would the Big East notice? I hardly think so. The league is loaded with the likes of Pitt, Louisville, UCONN, NOVA, Marquette, WVU, and the list goes on. Not only that, but SJU and Seton Hall appear to be landing some strong talent and I expect them to rise up in the coming years.

On the subject of football, the league would only gain from ND joining. This is fairly obvious. They can even let the golden domer's keep their precious NBC contract as long as adding them brings some much needed respect to the league. Not only that, but Notre Dame already screws the BE with its bowl tie ins. Read Brian Bennet's article on ESPN:

Just as the BE legitimizes ND hoops, the Irish' football program could help legitimize the Big East as a football conference. I realize that ND may be among the elite in the league in sports such as baseball, or soccer. But the Big East is not known for these sports and these certainly are not the money makers.

The Big East needs to stop acting like the insecure girl that won't dump her cheating boyfriend because she doesn't think she'll find anyone else. Message to the Big East: losing the Irish is not that big of a deal. Issue an ultimatum to the Irish: join us in football or risk losing legitimacy in basketball. This would put ND in a tough spot. They would have to join some league to maintain their other sports programs. If they choose the Big East, great. If they choose the Big 10 or elsewhere, who cares, at least they will stop leaching lucrative bowl games from the football conference.

Why Start a Pitt Blog?

We here at Hail To Pitt have been dedicated followers of the Panthers for years. We have scoured the internet following the many dedicated blogs of Pitt fans throughout the country. All contributors have played four years of college football and understand the intricacies of the game. We understand what it takes to win and what leads to losses. Having been a player, one of the most frustrating things we have noticed is that many of the blogs suffer from "Chicken Little Syndrome"; after any loss the coach should be fired and the sky is falling. Instead of getting our heads inflated after a big win or big recruit commits to us or calling for the coaches or quarterbacks head after a loss; we choose to provide insightful analysis and discussions of what is really going on in the wins/losses and what the state of the program really is. If you're an angry fan who is calling for Wanny's head after every blown conversion, TD given up, and loss then this isn't the blog for you. That's not to say that coaches don't deserve some blame, they most certainly do, but let's be fair. Victories are the result of outstanding execution and game plan as a team and losses come from many not doing there jobs. We here at Hail to Pitt are passionate fans who live and die with the program. That being said, we encourage you to challenge our views and analysis and engage in an intelligent debate over the state of our beloved team. We hope you enjoy the blog.

Hail to PITT,
TJ and Yinzer

Pitt v. Notre Dame

This Saturday the Panthers travel to South Bend, IN to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2). Kickoff is at 2:30ET and the game will be televised on NBC as well as broadcast on Sirius channel 125.