Could Syracuse be a trap game?
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Q: I think that Syracuse has the potential to be a trap game for Pitt. Do you think Dave Wannstedt will have his team ready to squeeze the Orange, or will they be looking ahead to that brutal finishing stretch?
ZEISE: I'm not a big believer in trap games, but Dave Wannstedt is, which means we will probably see some mousetraps hanging from the ceiling at Pitt's Southside facility next week. There are lots of reasons teams get up to play and I don't know that most 18 to 21-year olds are looking ahead to next week as most have a very short attention span. Wannstedt knows how close this team is to being really good and to pushing into that next level, so I don't imagine he's going to let up or let these guys start to feel comfortable. He knows this is his best team and his best shot to get to the BCS, so they'll be ready to play.
Q: Why was there such a mass exodus Saturday -- did Moses part the three rivers to avoid the cost of the ferry to Station Square? If nothing else, I figured the tumultuous crowd would stick around to boo Tino Sunseri for the overthrow of Mike Shanahan in the fourth?
ZEISE: The mass exodus? Wait a minute, Pitt fans never leave early??????And it is hard to have a mass exodus when there wasn't an assembled mass to begin with! I mean, I'm not sure what else I can say about it -- the crowd was a major disappointment for all parties involved. It was announced at 50,019 -- does anyone believe there were more than 40,000 in that place on Saturday? But you are right, many of the ones who did come apparently had places to be, and it is hard to understand because Pitt was winning. That's just the nature of the beast and, hopefully, going down the stretch it gets better -- though with a noon kick-off set for Syracuse, I'm not sure that will be a good start given the history of struggling to draw fans at that time.
Q: I know Joe Paterno refuses to play Pitt during the regular season. Do you think or is there any chance that we can see a Pitt versus Penn State bowl game this year if both teams continue on with their success?
ZEISE: The only way that could happen is this -- Iowa wins the Big Ten but doesn't get into the national championship game and thus has to go to the Rose Bowl. If that happens, a 10-2 or 11-1 Penn State team would almost certainly be a BCS at-large selection. And if Pitt were to win the Big East, it would obviously be a BCS selection. If all the stars align (I'm not sure of the exact pecking order of the BCS bowls and all of the rules about which bowls are obligated which conference champions) yes, we could have Pitt versus Penn State in a BCS bowl game. It is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath because a lot would have to happen.
First Published October 26, 2009 6:35 pm