SMU slaps Pitt in BBVA Compass Bowl

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With our efforts concentrated on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl today, the BBVA Compass Bowl between Pitt and SMU kind of took a back seat.

Somehow, I get the feeling that’s not going to offend too many people.

If there was anything offensive, it was the way Pitt showed up — or, didn’t — in a 28-6 loss to the Mustangs. The Panthers mustered just 207 yards of offense — that’s high octane right there, Todd Graham — and managed just seven on the ground.

Pitt falls to 6-7 at the end of a year they’d like to forget. Graham was supposed to bring a high-scoring spread offense to the Panthers, but Pitt rarely got that going and watched their coach leave for Arizona State after just one season. For their sake, here’s hoping brighter days are ahead under new coach and former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst.

Chryst’s hire feels right and more like Pitt’s identity. Time will tell if that turns out to be true.

Speaking of coaches, SMU had another successful season (8-5) under June Jones. The coincidence of today’s game is that Jones was rumored to be on the verge of taking the Arizona State job before the deal apparently fell through. Incidentally, the Mustangs will be coming in to the Big East in 2013 as Pitt departs for the ACC.

Small world, but today, it was a bad game.

Conference USA, however, has been anything but bad this bowl season, going 4-1 (only loss was Tulsa to BYU in the final seconds) and bringing home the best bowl win percentage this year.