When we talk about successful and unsuccessful ACC athletic programs in the ACC in 2017, we don’t have to make it complicated. It’s football, and men’s basketball, maybe baseball and women’s basketball .
10 ACC football teams made a Bowl game. Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, and Syracuse did not. North Carolina has a top 10 basketball team, and Syracuse is off to a 8-1 start and looks like a NCAA tournament.
Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh will not be making the 2018 NCAA tournament, and they didn’t make a bowl game either. Their baseball teams didn’t make the NCAA baseball tournament, and their women’s basketball teams didn’t make the NCAA tournament.
While we know Director’s Cup standings are relative to how many sports you offer, that doesn’t change the fact that Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh bring up the rear for the ACC. They just happen to be tied for 100th place out of 108 D1 schools, just behind McNeese State and Texas State. This is for the fall 2017 sports. For the 2016-2017 Director’s Cup Standings only Rutgers was a worse Power 5 school than Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh.
The question in the title if Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech have the ACC’s worst athletics in 2017? Without a doubt the answer is yes.
There’s only way to go for both and that is up. What do they have to do?
Let’s start with Georgia Tech.
The previous AD Mike Bobinksi was simply not a good fit for Georgia Tech. When your hometown Atlanta paper calls Bobinski’s tenure at Georgia Tech dysfunction junction that’s all you need to know. Enter in former Georgia Tech football player Todd Stansbury as the new AD. Georgia Tech needs facility upgrades in football in particular and a real investment in the football program from Stansbury. He seems to be moving in that direction and has already made commitment for locker room upgrades. That is something Paul Johnson has wanted for years.
The basketball program under second year head coach Josh Pastner had a solid NIT Finals run earlier this year, but suspensions, injuries, and just bad basketball have done in the basketball team. Even with star Josh Okogie’s return, the Jackets are in too deep a hole in the rugged ACC to make the Big Dance. That said Pastner is recruiting fairly well, and he’ll eventually get things turned around in Atlanta.
For Georgia Tech it’s about investment, for Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is just coming off some facility upgrades, and additional athletic facility upgrades have been in the works for awhile. There was also an extension of football coach Pat Narduzzi’s contract. The Panthers missed a bowl this year, but Narduzzi seems like the real deal. In the past two years he has wins over Clemson, Penn State, and a top 10 ranked Miami team.
Here’s the issues though, the basketball program is a mess. Kevin Stallings was a marginal coach at Vanderbilt, and didn’t have much success in the SEC which was probably the worst power 5 basketball conference while he was there. He doesn’t look better at Pittsburgh. This was a mistake hire from the start. @Hokiesmash_ASD said as much on this blog back in 2016 about the hire, and it’s still not going well. Attendance is dropping as the losses mount. Stallings is only in his second year, and has a large buyout. The Panthers may end up just having to wait this one out, before the basketball program can return to the level we got used to seeing under previous head Jamie Dixon.
Neither school is in such bad shape that they doomed to the bottom of the ACC, but it’s going to take time for both schools.