Pitt fans have suffered for a long time since the school’s last national championship in 1976.
But of course, just how much the Panthers have underachieved compared to their brethren is at times hard to discern. After all, it isn’t like it is in the pros. There are 130 college football teams and only one wins a championship.
ESPN set out to analyze exactly which fanbases have it the hardest, and in a perverse sense, it seems Pitt fans have some bragging rights.
In ESPN’s College Football Fan Happiness Index, which came out on Wednesday, the Panthers’ were ranked No. 166 — the second-lowest in the ACC and the the third-lowest Power Five school. Only North Carolina and Kansas fared worse amongst major-conference competition.
The index used seven factors: team strength and accomplishment, head coach hot seat rating, recruiting trend, rivalry dominance, revenue growth, Twitter sentiment rating and in-game panic rating. The full methodology can be found here.
It should be made clear that winning and happiness don’t necessarily go together. Alabama, defending national champions and winners of two of the first four College Football Playoffs, is ranked fifth.
Finally, this index only reflects football, which is just a part of Pitt fans’ overall level of misery. If you don’t believe me, walk into a South Oakland bar in a Scottie Reynolds jersey.
Unlike Kansas and UNC, Pitt haven’t been getting any offseason joy from their men’s basketball program. Maybe that will change under Jeff Capel. Until then, the Panthers’ faithful will continue to reside in peak misery.