The Pitt vs. Penn State rivalry has been wildly known among Pennsylvanians for years. With Penn State mostly dominating over Pitt in football, the main selling point of the intrastate rivalry, PSU fans argued that Pitt wasn't a good enough rival for them, and that the school should move on to a rival that was more worth their time. An article from Onward State, a PSU based news site, said, "...any rivalry with Pitt feels one-sided. Let’s face it, despite success last year, Pitt is not a formidable football program." Little did they expect then, that when the teams met for the first time in 16 years on September 10, 2016, in which Heinz Field drew the largest crowd of any sporting event in Pittsburgh, that Pitt would end up getting the best of PSU, beating them with a final score of 42-39. Pitt fans were, of course, ecstatic, claiming to run the state.
So you can only imagine that when The Wall Street Journal released their list of the top 10 public schools in the northeast, that there would again be a hint of rivalry between the two Pennsylvania greats. Both schools are known to have very competitive academic programs and are generally similar in their admission rates, however, in a ranking, there's always got to be someone ahead of someone else.
Fortunately for Pitt students and fans, the University of Pittsburgh came out on the top of the list, scoring the highest in (the first) three out of the four categories: student outcomes, academic resources, student engagement and environment. The school that came in second? Penn State, of course. Obviously this is still a tremendous ranking, and being included in the top 10 at all is an honor and a testament to the great academics of the schools included.
Obviously upset that PSU has now lost to Pitt in not only football, but also in overall ranking, they had to include a little disclaimer quip in their Onward State article that covered The Wall Street Journal's ranking. The last paragraph reads:
"Unfortunately we must note that Penn State came in second only to Pitt. We don’t want to say that they bested three out of the four categories on the list for the Northeast. We are literally gritting our teeth writing this. Please don’t tell your Pitt friends. We are putting this part in the bottom down here so no Pitt fans see it because haven’t we already given them enough this year?"
Will the rivalry continue, even though (two-time 2016 loser) Penn State thinks they deserve better? Honestly, it's too entertaining not to! The two teams are set to square off in football again in 2017, this time at Beaver Stadium in State College, so stay tuned on this classic rivalry!
Lead Image Credit: @newark_sg_psych via Twitter