By Matt Popchock
Coming off a disappointing regular season, the Pitt football team is currently in Alabama getting ready for Saturday afternoon’s BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, led by a lame-duck coach.
Talk about deja vu…
Furthermore, if you’re an avid reality TV fan, the field where the team has been practicing should be giving you deja vu as well.
The Panthers have been working out at Buccaneer Field on the campus of Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama, where the MTV series “Two-A-Days” was filmed. The show, which aired during the 2006-07 television season, followed the daily exploits of Hoover’s football team, a longtime national power. Among its notable alumni are former Miami Dolphins linebacker Mike Kolen and another Auburn standout, all-time passing leader Stan White.
It originally aired in two installments, focusing on the 2005 and 2006 high school football seasons. The Bucs ended the ’05 campaign by capturing their fourth AHSAA Class 6A state championship in a row, and they began ’06 ranked number one nationally by both USA Today and Sports Illustrated, but ultimately lost the state title game to Prattville.
The pilot episode chronicled Hoover’s 2005 season-opening victory over Nease High School (Ponte Vedra, Florida), a team led at the time by some kid named Tebow.
A number of the players depicted in the show went on to accept Division I and lower division scholarships for various sports. However, MTV chose not to shoot a third season in 2007, when the program became the center of an academic fraud investigation. Head coach Rush Propst resigned after an admission of adultery and allegations of grade-tampering that were later proven true.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem like much has changed for Hoover since MTV ceased production. The Bucs went on to get revenge on Prattville in the 2009 state final, and although Prattville beat them again in the 2011 state title game, Hoover still finished this past season with an impressive 13-2 mark and No. 2 state ranking by MaxPreps.
That team, which received a No. 81 national ranking, featured defensive back Marion Humphrey, a U.S. Air Force Sophomore All-American who recorded six INT’s in 2011.
Our coverage of the BBVA Compass Bowl, which kicks off at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, begins at 10:00 A.M. with “Panther Preview with Jon Burton” on 93.7 The Fan.
(Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mpopchock)