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August 17, 2013

Countdown to Labor Day: 16



The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 16 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 16, so we're looking at the second national championship.

Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner set the bar high for his coaching tenure at Pitt when he won a national championship in his first season. So what did Warner do for a follow-up in second season?

He won it again.

After posting a perfect 8-0 record in 1915, Warner's Panthers had no intention of losing in 1916. With All-Americans Robert Peck, James Herron, Andy Hastings and Claude Thornhill leading the way - not to mention future coaches Jock Sutherland and Doc Carlson - Pitt came out in 1916 with high expectations.

To say the Panthers lived up to those expectations is an understatement. Pitt opened the season with a 57-0 win over Westminster and never looked back, posting shutouts in six of eight games and only suffering one close game. That game was the second of the season, when the Panthers beat Navy 20-19 on the road.

Otherwise, Pitt rolled. The Panthers shut out Syracuse (30-0), Penn (20-0), Allegheny (46-0), W&J (37-0) and Penn State (31-0), while also beating Carnegie Tech 14-6.

Pitt was declared national champion by virtually every selector, although college football historian Parke Davis named Pitt and Army as co-champions.

Nevertheless, the Panthers were dominant in 1916. They allowed just 25 points in eight games, and the season served as part of Warner's school-record 32-game winning streak, which had begun a year earlier and would last until the finale of the 1918 season.

Warner claimed one more championship at Pitt (1918) before moving on to be the head coach at Stanford, where he won his fourth title in 1926.

Previous entries in the Countdown

Countdown: 17 - The last Pitt-FSU game
Countdown: 18 - The third national title
Countdown: 19 - The career of Pat Bostick
Countdown: 20 - A variety of 20's
Countdown: 21 - A win that signaled a turnaround
Countdown: 22 - Academic achievement
Countdown: 23 - A big game against Florida State
Countdown: 24 - The first-round draft picks
Countdown: 25 - A number with a strong recent history
Countdown: 26 - One of the earliest stars
Countdown: 27 - A 1920's star
Countdown: 28 - History in the making
Countdown: 29 - The fourth national title
Countdown: 30 - A team loaded with NFL players
Countdown: 31 - The fifth national title
Countdown: 32 - The longest winning streak
Countdown: 33 - The best to wear the uniform
Countdown: 34 - The backup to a legend
Countdown: 35 - A brief but superlative career
Countdown: 36 - National championship No. 7
Countdown: 37 - A shared passing record
Countdown: 38 - Sutherland's last year
Countdown: 39 - "Dandy Dick" Cassiano
Countdown: 40 - The unheralded tackling machine
Countdown: 41 - Another versatile mid-century athlete
Countdown: 42 - One of the greatest
Countdown: 43 - Pitt vs. the 2013 opponents
Countdown: 44 - An unfortunate score
Countdown: 45 - The Rhino
Countdown: 46 - The great Bimbo
Countdown: 47 - A huge effort in a tough loss
Countdown: 48 - The highest-scoring game
Countdown: 49 - The sack master
Countdown: 50 - The winningest coach in Pitt history
Countdown: 51 - A kicking record
Countdown: 52 - The link between Goldberg and Dorsett
Countdown: 53 - The legacy of Henry Ford
Countdown: 54 - A "Corny" mid-century quarterback
Countdown: 55 - Pitt makes history
Countdown: 56 - Panthers in the Super Bowl
Countdown: 57 - A unique scoring title
Countdown: 58 - Another Dorsett record
Countdown: 59 - The rare 59-point game
Countdown: 60 - A record that won't be broken
Countdown: 61 - Pitt's longest-running rivalry
Countdown: 62 - The last touchdown against Penn State
Countdown: 63 - The No Bowl Panthers
Countdown: 64 - The most passes in a game
Countdown: 65 - The other 13-9
Countdown: 66 - A local star
Countdown: 67 - One-win seasons
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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