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The Backyard Brawl: A Rivalry That Always Delivers

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Nothing on this planet is more intense than two rivals battling it out to claim supremacy in the sporting world.

In college sports, rivalries are plentiful and have lots of history behind them. One rivalry in particular though features brutal contests like no other between two very prestigious schools. The “Backyard Brawl” goes back more than a century, and is the 14th oldest rivalry in the United States. Pittsburgh and West Virginia, the two teams taking part in the contests, have had great success over a long period of time.

These two schools don’t have a hatred for each other, but rather a deep respect. Every time these two meet, both teams know that they are going to be in the fight of their lives, regardless of current records and rankings. All of those things can be thrown out the window, and virtually anything is possible when it is time for the opening tip or kickoff.

The Pitt Panthers hold the edge in the football side of things with an overall 61-38-3 record. Meanwhile, the West Virginia Mountaineers have the better record in basketball going 95-85 over the history of the game.

Over the years we have seen many instant classics come out of the Brawl. One of the most recent shockers includes a 13-9 win for the Panthers on the road against the Mountaineers in 2007, who were ranked #2 and were potentially headed to the BCS National Championship Game. This past season, Pitt was ranked ninth in the country in football when WVU knocked them off and gave the Panthers their first conference loss. And just last Friday, Pitt and WVU took it to triple overtime in basketball, with the Panthers coming out on top 98-95. That game is already being referred to as the game of the year in college basketball.

With both schools churning out multiple college and professional Hall of Famers over time in both sports, the talent was and has been there to make these games memorable. The next time you want to see fans in the stands getting rowdy and loud, and players laying out everything they have on the court and on the football field, tune in to witness one of the most prolific sports rivalries of all time.

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About Matt Presto

  • Mark

    Great article.

  • Matt


  • Disagree

    “deep respect for each other” is 100% not accurate. this rivalry is not depicted truthfully in this article. WVU throws trash at Pitt’s coach and on the basketball court…how is that respect?