While the Backyard Brawl may appear to be a professional wrestling pay per view event, it is actually the name given to the annual football game held each season between the West Virginia University (WVU) Mountaineers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers (Pitt ). The historic rivalry between these two neighboring college football programs has its roots in the first meeting that occurred on October 26, 1895. The inaugural game was played in Wheeling, West Virginia, a neutral site, and the final score on that day left the West Virginia Mountaineers beat the Pittsburgh Panthers 8-0 in what would prove to be the first of more than 100 meetings between these two college football programs.
The phrase Backyard Brawl is a hyperbole derived from the close physical proximity the two campuses are to each other. The University of Pittsburgh is unsurprisingly located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia University is based in Morgantown, West Virginia. The two schools are separated by approximately 75 miles. The relatively short distance between the two Big East Conference schools makes the approximately 1.5-hour commute along Interstate 79 from college to college a breeze for students and alumni making the commute to college games. away football.
The popularity of the Backyard Brawl name has gotten so great in the area that it has more recently extended from iron grate to hardwood as basketball programs have adopted the moniker for their Big East Conference semiannual meetups. After 102 football games with each other and 180 basketball games it’s fair to say the two schools know each other intimately. The regional rivalry that began as simply a football-centric affair has evolved to involve every aspect in which the two respected higher education institutions can compete.
In regards to football specifically, the University of Pittsburgh leads the series overall by a fairly sizable margin. Through 2009 the tally is 68 H2H wins for Pitt and just 38 wins for WVU (there were also 3 ties along the way in 1909, 1985 and 1989). Although the University of Pittsburgh enjoys its current leadership in part due to a dominant 15-game hitting streak from 1929 to 1946, the competition has been very even over the past decade. In fact, over the past decade, the series has split with five wins for each of the story programs.