3-point stance: Pitt has work to do

1. If a team improves the most between its first game and its second, then Pittsburgh must have played even more poorly against FCS Youngstown State than the 31-17 loss indicated. In the 34-3 loss at Cincinnati on Thursday night, the Panther offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback Tino Sunseri, the defense struggled with the Bearcats in space and the Panthers made some big mental errors. New head coach Paul Chryst, the fourth Pitt head coach in three seasons, has a lot of work to do.

2. The Tennessee athletic department reported last week that it ran a deficit of $3.98 million dollars in the 2011-12 academic year. What’s more alarming is that the department’s reserve fund has dwindled to $2 million. The Volunteers can’t afford another rainy day. All of which makes me think that Derek Dooley’s hot seat just may be a media fiction. If Tennessee fires him, it would owe him $5 million that it doesn’t have. Would the boosters pony up? Would Tennessee ask?

3. At Texas A&M's practice Thursday, John David Crow, the 77-year-old Aggie icon who won the Heisman Trophy 55 years ago, said he has tried to compare the game he played with college football today and he just can't do it. "The skill of the players today is so much better," Crow said, "that it's hard for me to get a feel for what they should be doing. The game has changed tremendously in the past 20 years. You don’t have to go back 50 years."