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Pat Narduzzi On The Big Ten’s Depth: ‘Who Else Is There Right Now’ Other Than Ohio State

The fact that James Franklin lives rent-free in Pitt football head coach Pat Narduzzi’s head has been well-documented over the past few years, but Narduzzi further confirmed this on Thursday.

The man in charge of Pitt’s program was asked about his conference’s big picture prior to the Panthers’ game against Virginia Tech. Because everything Narduzzi does makes perfect sense, he used the opportunity to fire a shot at the Big Ten.

“The people at ESPN need to wake up,” Narduzzi said, according to John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You look at all the conferences and you can pick on [the ACC] because Clemson’s been so dominant. But Ohio State’s been pretty dominant in the Big Ten — who else is there right now?”

For those of you keeping track at home, six Big Ten teams are ranked in the College Football Playoff’s current top 25 rankings. No. 2 Ohio State leads the way, and among the others are No. 10 Minnesota, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan, and No. 17 Iowa. The sixth team, of course, is No. 8 Penn State — the squad that’s beaten Narduzzi’s Panthers in each of the past three seasons by a combined score of 106-30.

Meanwhile, only one squad — No. 3 Clemson — represents the ACC in this week’s top 25. Virginia, Pitt, and Virginia Tech are tied for the conference’s coastal division lead with 7-3 records, but Dabo Swinney’s Tigers would likely be projected to wipe the floor with any of those sides in this year’s ACC championship game.

Pat Narduzzi definitely didn’t hide his feelings about Penn State during its four-game series with Pitt from 2016-2019. Narduzzi accused James Franklin of stealing his team’s signals prior to the 100th-ever Penn State-Pitt game, and he restricted media access to his program prior to three of the four games in the teams’ most recent series.

James Franklin living rent-free in Narduzzi’s mind didn’t stop Pitt’s head coach from cracking a joke about vacationing with his in-state foe.

“We vacation together. We do,” Narduzzi said prior to his team’s 17-10 defeat at Beaver Stadium. “James is a great guy. We go to the Nike [coaches’] trips every year. We socialize, but when it’s gameday, it’s gameday.”

Some Panther fans wanted Narduzzi fired after he elected to kick a field goal from Penn State’s 1-yard line in the fourth quarter of the teams’ last meeting. That didn’t stop the head coach from vehemently defending the decision after the game.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]


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