1. Penn State ranked #6, Pitt receives votes in Preseason CFB Poll-College Football is only a few weeks away and the USA Today Coaches released their Preseason Top 25 Poll, and it has Penn State ranked at #6, and the Pitt Panthers receiving votes and officially ranked 32nd.
  2. Is Penn State worth the #6 ranking? They’re coming off an awesome 2016 which saw them beat Ohio State and Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship and almost made the College Football Playoff. They have most of their starters back which includes RB Saquon Barkley who rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns. Yeah, I think they’ve earned it.
  3. Pitt received votes?? Yep, and I’m pretty surprised. They are a good team, but the departures of RB James Conner, QB Nate Peterman, OL Adam Bisnowaty, Dorian Johnson and DE Ejuan Price creates some concerns for this Panthers team, but the national media feels that it’s still talented enough to fight for a Top 25 bid. I can’t imagine them receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll, but it remains to be seen as that poll hasn’t been released yet.
  4. Other Preseason Top 25 notables-Even though they lost the National Championship, I’m not surprised that Alabama is once again ranked #1. They’re still the talented team in the sport and Ohio State is right behind them at #2. The ACC’s Florida State is #3, USC is #4 and reigning National Champion Clemson is #5.
  5. Why is Clemson #5? Because of the departures of QB Deshaun Watson, WR Mike Williams among others, this team will truly be less talented than the team that beat Alabama, but they’re still good enough to contend for another championship, especially in the ACC.
  6. Other ACC Ranked Teams-In addition to Florida State and Clemson, and three other ACC teams were also ranked in the Preseason Poll: Louisville at No. 17, Miami at No. 18 and Virginia Tech at No. 22.
  7. Pitt faces 2 Top 25 teams early-The Panthers won’t have to worry about facing co-called weak non-conference teams as they face 2 of the nation’s best in #6 Penn State and #11 Oklahoma State in Weeks 2 and three respectively. If the Panthers can pull off those upsets, they will have earned a spot in the Top 25.
  8. Pitt’s suspensions-As their Training Camp opened Tuesday, Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi had to discipline several players for their off the field actions: Senior defensive end Rori Blair has been dismissed from the program for “conduct detrimental to the program.” Junior offensive tackle Alex Bookser will be suspended for the season opener for his involvement in an offseason legal situation involving a motor vehicle and Senior linebacker Quintin Wirginis, and junior safety Jordan Whitehead will both be suspended for the opening three games of the season for the violation of team policy.
  9. Were the suspensions justified? Narduzzi did what was best for the integrity of the team. I’m disappointed that Blair was kicked off the team. I wanted to see what he could do this year. And Whitehead certainly needs to be grateful that he hasn’t kicked off the team. He’s the team’s best defensive player right now, and he can’t even suit up to play Penn State. Shame.
  10. Pitt Day 3 Training Camp Recap-Narduzzi had this to say about Camp: Running backs-”I’ve got three veterans that know how to function and can play winning football. It’s just a matter of getting reps and getting better. We don’t have guys listed as one or two”…WR Aaron Mathews-“I expect Aaron. He’s a guy who has some personal obligations to take care of right now, like some other guys I mentioned earlier. He has some things going on that he needs to take care of.
  11. Narduzzi on the status of RB Quadree Ollison: “He was a redshirt freshman, and that was two years ago. I think he can. That’s the bar. We’re trying to raise the bar. He rushed for 1,100 yards, but he’s a little bit wiser. “ I still think the starting RB job’s Ollison’s to lose.
  12. Steelers Training Camp-On July 27th the Pittsburgh Steelers began their training camp, and they’ve done so without All-Pro RB Le’Veon Bell who is unofficially holding out because of his contract. He still hasn’t signed his $12 million Franchise Tag tender, which means he can’t practice because he doesn’t have a contract.
  13. Is Bell Wrong? In my opinion, he’s proving nothing by holding out. He has to play for that $12 million, so why not take it for this season and work out a new contract with the Steelers next season. Makes sense to me.
  14. Bryant isn’t cleared to practice..yet-I believe we missed the fact that the NFL reinstated Steelers WR Martavis Bryant on a conditional basis, and no one realized what those conditions meant, until training camp where Bryant is not able to join the team at practice until the NFL deems him free to do so. Just another lesson for Bryant to learn about getting his life together.
  15. Steelers will have new Hall of Honor-The Pittsburgh Steelers announced their new Hall of Honor which will induct former players, coaches and front office personnel who were important to the franchise that was founded in 1933. I think this is pretty awesome and long overdue.
  16. Why is a Hall of Honor necessary? Because it’s obvious that everyone won’t make the Hall of Fame so this is a way of honoring those who may not have been good enough to be enshrined in Canton but are good enough for their respective teams.
  17. Who should be the Steelers inaugural Hall Class: Here’s my picks: Art Rooney Sr, Chuck Noll, Dan Rooney, Ernie Stautner, Joe Greene, Dan Rooney, Bert Bell and Johnny ‘Blood’ Mcnally. They will officially announce their picks at halftime vs. the Green Bay Packers November 26th.
  18. Pirates-One minute they’re two games put of first place, now they’re almost six games out because they continue to lose to sub .500 teams and it’s a shame that the Pittsburgh Pirates just can’t see to get out of their way in a very weak NL Central Division.
  19. Why didn’t the Pirates make a move at the trade deadline? Because they’re the Pirates and that is what they do. Yes, their losing to teams like the SF Giants and Cincinnati Reds is bad enough, but I feel that they could’ve at least addressed the 3B issues (in the absence of Jung Ho Kang) and OF (with the injuries of Gregory Polanco) Once again I point my finger at the Pirates Front Office, who still doesn’t seem to get it.
  20. NBA Approves Pistons move to downtown- With the NBA’s approval, the Detroit Pistons announced that they would move downtown-after after 29 seasons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. They will play at the new Little Caesar’s arena whom they will share with the NHL’s Red Wings. They both will now join the NFL’s Lions and MLB’s Tigers as all four professional teams that will play in downtown Detroit. 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmedaiRay on twitter


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