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June 27, 2013

Countdown to Labor Day: 67

The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 67 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.

Today's number is 67, so we're looking at the one-win seasons in Pitt history.

The "honor" for worst Pitt football season ever probably goes to 1903, when the Arthur St. L. Mosse-led Panthers went 0-8-1 and scored a grand total of 20 points. That was the fewest total of points scored in a season of at least six games and the only time Pitt has gone undefeated in the 124-year history of the program.

So 1903 stands alone as the worst, but there have also been six one-win seasons in Pitt history as well:

1947, 1950, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1972.

There aren't many hairs to split when it comes to one-win seasons; since the futility of only generating one victory is inglorious enough as it is. But there are a few distinguishing factors among the one-win seasons:

- 1947 and 1950 were nine-game seasons.

- 1966-68 were ten-game seasons.

- 1972 was an 11-game season.

- Of the six one-win seasons, 1947 was remarkably unproductive, as Pitt scored just 26 points over nine games, with five shutouts, two six-point performances, a 12-0 win over Ohio State, and a 17-2 loss to West Virginia.

- 1966-68 were the infamous David R. Hart years, when Hart led Pitt to three consecutive 1-9 seasons in his three years as head coach.

- Of the Hart era, 1967 was arguably the worst. Pitt scored more than 12 just twice that season - a 13-11 win at Wisconsin and a 22-21 loss to Navy - while suffering losses like 40-8 (the opener vs. UCLA), 58-0 (a mid-October game against Miami), 38-0 (to Notre Dame), and 42-6 (the finale at Penn State).

Less than ten years after the middle season of Hart's tenure, Pitt won a national championship, so there was reason for hope on the horizon. But in 1967, the Panthers weren't inspiring much hope for anyone.

Previous entries in the Countdown

Countdown: 68 - The most prolific receiving game
Countdown: 69 - One of the biggest plays in Pitt history
Countodwn: 70 - The origin of Pitt's nine championships
Countdown: 71 - A good player in a bad era
Countdown: 72 - An All-American who became a dentist
Countdown: 73 - May Day
Countdown: 74 - A "groundwork" season
Countdown: 75 - A successful DL-to-OL move
Countdown: 76 - The 1976 national championship
Countdown: 77 - The last three-sport athletes
Countdown: 78 - An underrated pro
Countdown: 79 - One of the best
Countdown: 80 - The greatest non-championship team in Pitt history
Countdown: 81 - A crushing end to a great season
Countdown: 82 - The dawn of the Foge Era
Countdown: 83 - The most accurate kicker in Pitt history
Countdown: 84 - Pitt in the Pro Bowl
Countdown: 85 - A play that will never be matched
Countdown: 86 - A long but unfulfilled play
Countdown: 87 - The final year of Ironhead
Countdown: 88 - Pitt's All-American tradition
Countdown: 89 - Iron Mike
Countdown: 90 - The four 9-0's
Countdown: 91 - The two longest plays in Pitt history
Countdown: 92 - The senior year of the most productive QB in Pitt history
Countdown: 93 - The only 9-3 season in Pitt history
Countdown: 94 - The statistical oddity of 1994
Countdown: 95 - A relentless player and his dominant season
Countdown: 96 - The biggest win in Pitt history
Countdown: 97 - A dominant current Panther
Countdown: 98 - A transition year
Countdown: 99 - Hugh Green
Countdown: 100 - A look at Pitt in 1913

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