Pitt vs Penn State

Pitt vs Penn State

Andrew Feltz, Opinions Editor

Peanut Butter or jelly, vanilla or chocolate, Pitt or Penn State. This last one has been heating up as of late. As both jostled for top-notch recruits, they each tried to prove to high school athletes that they are the best.

As the competition began to spark; a battle began to form on social media. In late January, Pitt offensive line coach tweeted, “DOMINATED CINCINNATI and getting ready to DOMINATE CLEVELAND.” Then he tweeted a picture of Pennsylvania covered by the Pitt logo with the message “THE PREMIER PROGRAM IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA”.

Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand then countered and tweeted out the Nittany Lions’ record, home attendance, and academic rating; which all rank above Pitt’s according to Hand.

The “Commonwealth Cold War” as some have named it, really has been taken by the horns by both head coaches of the schools. Penn State’s James Franklin has brought life back into the school, after the Sandusky scandal and all the penalties that were put on the university subsequently. He has boldly stated that he wants to dominate Pennsylvania, and he has kept to his word, even if that means stealing recruits from Pitt. Tight end Nick Bowers and linebacker Kevin Givens were both originally committed to Pitt but decommitted and left for Penn State around National Signing Day. Both were WPIAL players and both committed to Penn State shortly after they had received scholarship offers from the Nittany Lions.

Others have noticed Penn State’s supremacy as well, “In the hierarchy, Penn State is the alpha dog in-state,” Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. “Pitt fans can yell and scream about that all they want, but that’s the way it is. So Pitt has to protect their kids, more so than Penn State needs to worry about Pitt.”
However, Pitt and head coach Pat Narduzzi are not backing down anytime soon. Narduzzi was a guest on Hines Ward’s WPXI-TV show and when asked about Franklin pursuit for recruiting rule he stated confidently, “I’ve been at a state where they thought they owned it. They thought.”

No matter how many jibes that they throw back at each other, there are some who don’t consider it a rivalry. Both sides need to be good, where they are competing for trophies; and Pitt isn’t there yet, yet. Still, fans can say that their side is the best.

Both sides present a convincing argument to high school students. A survey of North Hills School District students was conducted, and 72% said they like Pitt better.   One student said, “Pittsburgh is my city, and Pitt is the premier University in my city. Great academics, enthusiastic fans, and excellent tradition makes Pitt easy to root for.” Although the 28%, which are for Penn State, stand proudly. A student stated, “Penn State is for me because of their tradition and their consistency. You can always count on them to be good.”

Which school is better? Time will tell. But the anticipation is growing, and September 10th, 2016 cannot come here sooner.