I will leave the debate as to exactly where the Notre Dame Fighting Irish belong in the national rankings. Going into the weekend, the wire service polls had them at #8, the Committee with Condoleezza Rice On It had them at #5, and after yesterday's game at Heinz field, who's going to argue?
I suppose that many Pitt fans hearkened back to 2013 when Pitt upset Notre Dame at Heinz Field, It was the only upset win and the only signature victory for the Panthers in the Paul Chryst Era. Could it happen again in 2015? Well, those thoughts were pretty much dispelled when ND gained 19, 9, and 47 yards on their first three plays from scrimmage and took a 7-0 lead. It was pretty much downhill from there for Pitt. The twelve point margin reflected by the 42-30 final score is not indicative of the dominance of Notre Dame over Pitt.
So, what are Pitt fans to make of this? Pat Narduzzi won't be, and, really, he cannot be, totally honest when evaluating his team in public, but when he talks to himself in the shaving mirror each morning, I am sure that he has been saying ever since he took this job, that the level of talent currently at Pitt cannot measure up with the "big boys" of college football, and that was sure evident yesterday, and by arriving at his position late, he was only able to recruit 15 players for this year's team. However, despite all of that, Pitt still is in a position where they are competing and still in the hunt for their division lead in the ACC, which would put them in a position to play Clemson in the ACC title game. Give Narduzzi and his staff a couple full years of recruiting, and it would appear that Pitt will be competitive in the ACC in the years ahead. The fact that Pitt is 6-3 at this point would indicate that Narduzzi knows how to coach 'em up come game day.
Remaining for Pitt is a road game at Duke and home games with Louisville and Miami. I am thinking that Pitt could be competitive in all of those games. I would gladly settle for two of three and an 8-4 record and a trip to between-Christmas-and-New-Year's-Day-bowl game. That would be a major step forward from the three season 19-19 record of mediocrity of the Chryst Era.