When the Mountaineers of West Virginia have needed it most, they didn’t get it.
However, whether it decides a berth in the National Championship game, a Big East title, or simply bragging rights, the Backyard Brawl is one of the most important football games for the Mountaineers and the Panthers of Pittsburgh.
The Backyard Brawl is the term that has been pinned to the annual football game between the two schools, due to the close proximity of the campuses—WVU is located about 70 miles south of the University of Pittsburgh.
It is one of the oldest rivaly games in college football history.
In recent years the term has been used to refer to the annual basketball games between the rivals.
While the Brawl is probably more important to the locals and perhaps fans of the Big East than others, it draws a national audience each time it is played.
One can expect to find the Backyard Brawl on at least one major television network, late in the season.
WVU and Pitt have met 101 times in football and 178 times in basketball. While WVU holds the series lead and the largest margin of victory on the basketball side of the Brawl, Pitt holds those records in the football series.
Interestingly, since the football series began, the Mountaineers have won more games in Pittsburgh than in Morgantown.
In the 2007 edition of the Backyard Brawl, West Virginia had everything to lose and Pitt had nothing to gain, as far as the 2007-08 season was concerned.
Hailed as the most important Brawl in history, the 2007 showdown saw the Panthers blatantly ruin a trip to the National Championship and an outright Big East title for WVU, by winning the game 13-9.
Pitt won again in 2008 at Heinz field in Pittsburgh.
The 2009 Backyard Brawl will be played in Morgantown, WV on Nov. 27, which happens to also be the biggest shopping day of the year.
Apparently the fans of the Panthers would rather go shopping.
Pitt was unable to sell all of the tickets that were allotted to the school for Panthers fans. This strikes me as odd.
Pitt comes into the game with a 9-1 record, a top 10 national ranking, and a Big East title on the line. Why would the fans not want to be part of this year’s Backyard Brawl?
Does this show the degree of acceptance that Dave Wannstedt has gained since becoming head coach?
Does this indicate the amount of respect the team has?
Does this, in fact, display how important this rivalry really is?
Though Brawl history shows that WVU has more wins on the road vs. Pitt, will the Mountaineers pull out a blatant defeat of their own?
Will the old gold and blue clad faithful have their revenge for the 2007 game?
The 2009 Backyard Brawl, Nov. 27, 2009 on ESPN2.
Be there!!!! (Or if you’re a Pitt fan, don’t be there.)