West Virginia won a BCS Bowl following what is likely the worst loss in school history. Fans of the Pitt Panthers feel their win and WVU’s loss was like the Super Bowl.
On Dec. 1, 2007, the eyes of the nation were on Milan Puskar Stadium as West Virginia was playing Pitt in the 100th edition of the Backyard Brawl. With a win, which was seen as a sure-thing in the pregame talks, West Virginia would be heading to the national championship game.
A loss, which is what ultimately happened, allowed the Mountaineers to play Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia beat Oklahoma, 48-28, to cap off a successful season with a record of 11-2.
West Virginia lost its chance to play for a national title, but still managed to have one of the best seasons in school history. Conversely, Pitt didn’t even go to a bowl game that year. Still, 13-9 is considered one of the best wins in program history for the Panthers. Ten years later, it is still seen as the premier accomplishment in the modern era of Pitt football.
More from Hail WV
- Every West Virginia potential March Madness venue in 2023 NCAA Tournament
- West Virginia March Madness Schedule: When do the Mountaineers play next? (Updated March 12)
- West Virginia vs. Kansas prediction and odds for Saturday, February 25 (Take Mountaineers as underdogs)
- WVU Football Recruiting: Mountaineers make Malik Hartford’s short list
- Previewing WVU basketball against Oklahoma State
According to a recent story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, former Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt still talks about the moment almost any chance he gets. Wannstedt, a Pittsburgh native and former Pitt football player, coached the Panthers from 2005-2010. Many West Virginia fans still see Wanstedt on television quite often as he is an analyst for FOX. The Mountaineers have played on the FOX family of networks many times since joining the Big 12 Conference.
Wannstedt isn’t the only person associated with Pitt who still gleams about this game. Prior to Pitt’s game against Miami on Nov. 24, another huge upset for the Panthers, fans were asked about their memories of the game. Many talked about it being a great game and one fan mentioned it it was the best day of his life, in a video recorded by Matt Freed of the Post-Gazette.
So one win in a season of just five wins can cause that much joy to a fanbase? West Virginia fans really don’t know that feeling. West Virginia was three for three in BCS bowls. In the past 20 seasons, West Virginia has only failed to make a bowl game twice — 1999 and 2013.
Really, all Pitt has to hang its hat on in the past decade is one win against West Virginia. Even though the Backyard Brawl is on a temporary hiatus, West Virginia still emerged victorious in the final three games of the series.
The effort of Pitt in that 2007 contest can’t be discredited. It was a major upset that really altered the course of college football. But, it was just a regular season win. It shouldn’t be considered a program-defining win considering Pitt is averaging just seven wins per season since 2007.
West Virginia hasn’t been among the nation’s elite programs, but it still has accomplished more than Pitt in the 10 years since the 13-9 game.