The Sporting News recently released its rankings of all 120 Division I teams. West Virginia came in at No. 22 and Penn State was No. 24. Pitt was slotted at No. 36 to round out the local field.â†µ
There probably shouldn't be too much argument about these rankings, since all three teams have major question marks heading into the season. Pitt and West Virginia both lost an incredible amount of talent and at 7-6, Penn State had its worst year since going 4-7 in 2004. All in all, this is about where I'd place the three teams as well. The Panthers have too many question marks right now and should rank a bit behind the other two teams.
Pitt isn't likely to crack any significant top 25 lists this preseason, but they could find themselves in some as the season moves along. The losses of key players such as Jon Baldwin, Dion Lewis, Jabaal Sheard, Greg Romeus, Jason Pinkston, and Aaron Berry are going to hurt. But the opportunity to put together a good season could exist because Pitt is in an enviable situation with eight of its twelve games at home.â†µ
The top five teams were LSU, Oklahoma, Alabama, Stanford, and Oregon.