We are now in the final month of the 2010’s and it’s been…an interesting decade for Pitt football. On January 1, 2010, though Pitt was still a member of the Big East Conference, they were led by Dave Wannstedt and coming off of their first 10-win season since 1981. Future Unanimous All-American and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald was only a little over a month away from signing with Pitt as well. Things were certainly looking up, but then the Athletic Department, led by Steve Pedersen at the time, spent a few years bungling things. After the 2010 season Dave Wannstedt was forced out, and the ensuing disastrous coaching decisions left the program rudderless. Meanwhile, the college athletics landscape as a whole was undergoing a seismic shift and there was no guarantee that Pitt wouldn’t be left even worse off than they were when the realignment of the early 2000’s left the Big East decimated. Luckily, the school was able to secure a liferaft in the form of an invitation to the Atlantic Coast Conference. This saved the school from the crumbling Big East and solidified it’s position in the top echelon of college football.
Since then, Pitt has actually been relatively successful, posting 31-25 record in ACC play, scoring an upset over eventual National Champion Clemson in 2016, and winning the Coastal division in 2018. Despite this, it can’t be denied that Pitt has been pretty mediocre, finishing between 5 and 8 wins in every year this decade. This is incredibly disappointing given the way that the previous decade ended and the apparent trajectory that the program was on at the time. The jury is out on if Pat Narduzzi is the guy to lead the team beyond this mediocrity or whether that’s even possible given the current college football landscape. However, just because the team has been middling, doesn’t mean that the players have been. There have been some extremely talented players to wear a Pitt uniform over the past 10 years and we’re using this interregnum between the end of the regular season and the bowl game to recognize and reflect back on them.
While Pitt still has one game remaining in the decade, given the long layoff until they face Eastern Michigan in the QuickLane Bowl,...
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