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Pitt Football Needs More Than Improved Recruiting To Regain Past Success

Pitt's early struggles in the 2012 season have many people questioning various aspects of the program. Some are calling for Tino Sunseri to be benched. Some are already questioning the hire of Paul Chryst. And some, like Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review, see the need for an influx of talent and improved recruiting as the golden ticket for Pitt football. While I can't disagree that Pitt seems to lack depth and talent at key positions, the solution isn't as simple as he would have you believe.

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While recruiting certainly needs to be better, we should wonder just how feasible that is for Pitt's new coaches. What do they have to pitch young players besides tradition, and a shared parking lot with the Steelers? Pitt hasn't been a powerhouse in college football for decades, and the recent coaching changes have made it even more difficult to attract the highest-caliber recruits. If Pitt struggles and has a terrible year, it will be a huge missed opportunity to impress recruits, especially with the recent troubles at Penn State.

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DiPaola glosses over this, but Pitt must win if it wants to land the best local prospects. If Pitt can't win and impress these kids now, it will have to go out on the recruiting trail and find some sleepers who might be overlooked by other schools. DiPaola is correct that the turnaround will take time, but recruiting isn't the first step. It's winning. Winning fixes everything. Pitt will catch up eventually and Paul Chryst should be given time, but a decent first season would help to ease the pain. If the coaches can find a way to make this season respectable, the recruits will fall in place. A win against Virginia Tech would be a nice start.

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For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.