1915 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

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1915 Pittsburgh Panthers football
Pitt Panthers wordmark.svg
Co-national champion (Davis)
Conference Independent
1915 record 8–0
Head coach Pop Warner (1st season)
Offensive scheme Double wing
Captain Guy Williamson
Home stadium Forbes Field
← 1914
1916 →
1915 NCAA independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Cornell         9 0 0
Pittsburgh         8 0 0
Washington         7 0 0
Washington State         7 0 0
Georgia Tech         7 0 1
Notre Dame         7 1 0
Villanova         6 1 0
Dartmouth         7 1 1
Penn State         7 2 0
Oregon         7 2 0
Princeton         6 2 0
Maryland         6 3 0
California         8 5 0
Oregon Agricultural         5 3 0
Army         5 3 1
Montana         2 2 2
USC         3 4 0
Navy         3 5 1
Idaho         1 4 1

The 1915 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1915 college football season. In his first season with the program, head coach Pop Warner led the Panthers to wins in all eight games and they outscored their opponents by a combined total of 247–19. Home games were held at Forbes Field, the ballpark of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.


Cover art from a 1915 Pitt football game program

Pitt athletic booster Joseph Trees and athletic director A. R. Hamilton hired Pop Warner in 1914 as Pitt's head coach. Warner, who had previously led Carlisle, Cornell, and Georgia, had been successful at his previous stops, mentoring the likes of Jim Thorpe, and was known as an innovator of the game who originated the screen pass, single- and double-wing formations, and use of shoulder and thigh pads. His arrival at Pitt gave the program instant national credibility, lifting the perception of the program from a regional power to that of a national one.[1]

Warner's impact was immediate. Led by center Robert Peck, Pitt's first First Team All-American, and All-American end James Pat Herron, the 1915 Pitt team went 8–0, shutting out five opponents and outscoring opponents by a combined 247–19. The team was selected by football historian Parke H. Davis as that season's co-national champion.[2]


Date Opponent Site Result
October 2 Westminster (PA) Forbes FieldPittsburgh, PA W 32–0  
October 9 at Navy Worden FieldAnnapolis, MD W 47–12  
October 16 Carlisle Forbes Field • Pittsburgh, PA W 45–0  
October 23 at Penn Franklin FieldPhiladelphia, PA W 14–7  
October 30 Allegheny Forbes Field • Pittsburgh, PA W 42–0  
November 6 Washington & Jefferson Forbes Field • Pittsburgh, PA W 19–0  
November 13 Carnegie Tech Forbes Field • Pittsburgh, PA W 28–0  
November 25 Penn State Forbes Field • Pittsburgh, PA (Rivalry) W 20–0  


List of national championship selectors[edit]

The 1915 team was selected or recognized as national champions by multiple selectors, of which Parke H. Davis's selection is recognized as "major" (i.e. national in scope) by the official NCAA football records book.[4] College Football Data Warehouse also recognizes Pitt as a national champion in 1915,[5] as did a 1970 Sports Illustrated study that has served as the historical basis of the university's historical national championship claims since its original publication.[6]

The selectors that determined Pitt to be national champions in 1915.[5]

* A "major" selector that was "national scope" according to the official NCAA football records book.[4]

All-American selections[edit]

*Bold - Consensus All-American[7]


  1. ^ Sciullo Jr., Sam (2008). University of Pittsburgh Football Vault: The History of the Panthers. Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing, LLC. p. 25. ISBN 0-7948-2653-9. 
  2. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. p. 108. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Pittsburgh Yearly Results". 
  4. ^ a b 2012 NCAA Football Records (PDF). The National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2012. pp. 69–71. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "1915 National Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ Borghetti, E.J.; Nestor, Mendy; Welsh, Celeste, eds. (2008). 2008 Pitt Football Media Guide (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 156. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  7. ^ a b "Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA. 2012. pp. 2–4. 
  8. ^ a b "Covers Wide Scope In Choosing His All-American Gridironers". The Washington Post. 1915-12-05. 
  9. ^ "Monty Picks All-Star Team: Maulbetsch of Michigan Lands on Second Eleven; He is Only 'Westerner' to Be Honored by the Writer". Fort Wayne News. 1915-12-04. 
  10. ^ "Sporting Notes". Syracuse Herald. 1915-12-03. 
  11. ^ Tommy Clark (1915-12-05). "The All American Eleven for Season of 1915". The Lexington Herald.