The Pittsburgh football program appears to be on the rise.
Despite the loss of star quarterback Kenny Pickett to the NFL draft this year, college football expert Phil Steele believes the Panthers have what it takes to compete for a National Championship this coming season.
"I think they have a shot to run the table and make the playoff this year," Steele said during a recent appearance on The Fan Morning Show.
Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers are coming of a magical season in 2021. Notching the most single-season victories by the program in more than 40 years, Pittsburgh rolled its way to an ACC Championship title with an 11-3 overall record.
Though Pickett will now suit up for Pittsburgh's NFL team, USC transfer Kedon Slovis is poised to serve as a more-than-competent replacement at the quarterback position in 2022. Longtime backup Nick Patti is also a possible QB option for the Panthers.
Reigning Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison elected to transfer to USC earlier this offseason, but 6-foot-3 senior wide receiver Jared Wayne should give the Panthers some excellent production this coming season.
Six All-ACC selections from the Panthers' 2021 defensive unit are also returning for the 2022 season.
Pittsburgh will not face off against its ACC rival Clemson this coming season.