The Pitt vs Notre Dame Rivalries First Ever Match-Up Was Over 100 Years Ago
As the son of a former Pitt alumni, it was a tough pill to swallow when Notre Dame became the number two ranked team in our College Football Today poll and they kept boasting about how easy Notre Dame's schedule was for the rest of the season. While Pittsburgh is not the Pitt of the late 70's and early 80's, they do know the meaning of this historic rivalry that has featured the likes of Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Russ Grimm, Mark May and even Joe Montana. The list of NFL players these two programs have produced are some of the best to ever play the game, as the New York Times states below, in the article dubbed "The NFL Finds Gold at Pitt", it was in the way these players were coached that made them so highly desirable at the highest level of football.
"The NFL Finds Gold at Pitt"
Some Legacies Never Die
"Presuming that the National Football League is the proper yardstick then the University of Pittsburgh last year had the best college football team of recent times, if not of all time. From the Panther team that won 11 of 12 games, 12 seniors were drafted by the professionals and seven others signed contracts as free agents. Of those 19, eight won starting positions on NFL teams this summer. Hugh Green took over an outside linebacking position on the first day of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training camp and it is assumed he will hold this job for at least a decade." NY Times - Sept 13, 1981"
The Legend Of Coach Jackie Sherrill
Coach Sherrill played for Coach Paul Bear Bryant, who is considered one of the best football coaches in the history of College Football. The lessons Coach Bryant was able to instill in Coach Sherrill led him to taking over at Pitt, after Johnny Majors retired, where he had been a assistant in prior years. After a 3-8 finish as the Head Coach of Washington State the year before, Sherrill redefined Pitt football and has arguably the most impressive resume of any Pitt football coach in the history of the program. From 1977-1981, Sherrill led Pitt to 50 wins and only suffered 9 losses (1 tie) during his tenure as the Panthers' Head Coach. He is credited for grooming Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino, but also the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wandstedt, Foge Fazio and many other notable successful NFL & College coaches. Coach Sherrill and staff were able to produce an enamoring 23 NFL Draft picks in the 1980 NFL Draft, while 7 of those players went in the first round. Coach Sherrill's teams are considered by far the most talented of All-Time at the University of Pittsburgh, while being revered in history as arguably one of the best 4 year stretches, until Coach Saban arrived at Alabama. As you will notice, 99% of the best coaches in College Football come from this coaching tree and were all taught the same core principles that I teach in my other company Scout Trout. These coaches believed in having no weaknesses across the board, as they knew that they must build and find unique individuals with a particular attitude/skill set to get the job done.
Is Brian Kelly A Modern Day Jackie Sherrill?
While Pitt football prides itself on being tough and has developed that inner city attitude, instead of the Coal Mining attitude that exists in programs like Alabama today, Notre Dame is using intrinsic training methods to simulate adverse situations that will occur in game situations and in life. You may show up to a Notre Dame practice and hear relaxing pop music or even something more soothing to relax the Fighting Irish so that they are not so tense under the immense pressure to win for the Notre Dame faithful. The Notre Dame strength and conditioning program goes above and beyond the standards at other programs, check out the mission statement below.
"The mission of the strength and conditioning staff is to provide a well-designed, collaborative training program based on sound physiological principles. Sport specific focus, experimentally proven methods, safe and productive physical training by means of a periodic plan will be our primary emphasis while maximizing the genetic potential of the student athlete population. Our goal is to provide the student athlete with the best “hands on” strength and conditioning program in the country. In all our endeavors, we are committed to the principles of ethical conduct, integrity and excellence."
Pitt vs Notre Dame October 13th, 2018 at 12:30 EST
Pittsburgh just beat the same team that nearly toppled the nationally revered Clemson Tigers. That being said, Pitt has to travel to Notre Dame and I believe the days of Jackie Sherrill are long gone, as they do not stand a chance up in South Bend, IN this Saturday. I predict Pitt to come in with that same arrogant mentality that we have become accustom to and then we will watch them get smacked square in the mouth by the Brian Kelly led Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As a young man I attended a all Irish catholic school and believe me, when they decide to throw a punch, it stings for a very long time. It has been years since Pitt has had a legitimate contender and maybe one day they will start to instill those Bear Bryant concepts, that were able to produce hardened diamonds that found a way to win. I guess in the end all you can do Pittsburgh Panthers is PROVE ME WRONG!
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