May 29, 2009
PITTSBURGH— In its recently released annual college football yearbook, Sporting News has picked Pitt to win the Big East Conference and go BCS bowling in 2009.
“Dave Wannstedt has the personnel in place,” writes Sporting News, which predicts the Panthers will earn a visit to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
Four Pitt players were named to its All-Big East team, including junior offensive tackle Jason Pinkston, senior tight end Nate Byham, junior defensive end Greg Romeus and senior cornerback Aaron Berry. Additionally, tailback Dion Lewis was rated the Big East’s “Top Impact Freshman.”
In breaking down Pitt’s 2009 schedule, Sporting News highlighted the annual November clash with West Virginia as the “Game to Watch.”
“The conference title could be decided under a national spotlight the day after Thanksgiving,” wrote SN. “The Panthers have won two straight low-scoring affairs.”
Also out on the newsstands is Athlon Sports Big East 2009 Preview, which picks Pitt to finish fourth in the conference. In its unit rankings, the Panthers’ defensive line and secondary were ranked No. 1 in the Big East.
Athlon’s first-team All-Big East selections include Byham, Pinkston, Romeus and Berry. Additionally, senior defensive tackle Mick Williams is a second-team pick. Named third-team All-Big East are Lewis, sophomore receiver Jonathan Baldwin, senior offensive guard John Malecki, junior defensive end Jabaal Sheard and junior safety Dom DeCicco.
Athlon additionally named a “Big East All-Decade Team.” Pitt tied for the most selections with five, including current NFL Pro Bowlers in receiver Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Darrelle Revis. Pitt’s other All-Decade picks were linebackers H.B. Blades and Scott McKillop and offensive lineman Rob Petitti.
The Panthers will play a 12-game regular-season schedule this year, including seven contests at Heinz Field. Pitt’s home slate includes games with Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Navy, Syracuse, USF and Youngstown State.
Season-ticket packages are currently on sale for as low as $82 and can be purchased online (PittsburghPanthers.com), by phone (800/643-PITT) or in person at the Petersen Events Center ticket office.
Pitt held off by No. 25 Virginia Tech, 39-36
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