1934 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

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1934 Pittsburgh Panthers football
Pitt Panthers wordmark.svg
National champion
Eastern champion
Conference Independent
1934 record 8–1
Head coach Jock Sutherland (11th season)
Offensive scheme Single wing
Home stadium Pitt Stadium
← 1933
1935 →
1934 NCAA independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Pittsburgh         8 1 0
Navy         8 1 0
Army         7 3 0
Notre Dame         6 3 0
Penn State         4 4 0
Drexel         4 3 1

The 1934 Pittsburgh Panthers football team, coached by Jock Sutherland, represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1934 college football season. The Panthers finished the regular season with eight wins and a single loss (to Minnesota at home) and were considered the champions of the East.[1] According to a 1967 Sports Illustrated article,[2] Parke H. Davis, whose selections from 1869–1933 are recognized as "major" in the official NCAA football records book,[3] named Pitt as one of that season's national champions, along with Minnesota, six months after his death on June 5, 1934.[4] The article contained a "list of college football's mythical champions as selected by every recognized authority since 1924," which has served as the basis of the university's historical national championship claims, with the legendary Davis having been the only major selector for three of them, including the posthumous 1934 pick.[5]


Date Opponent Site Result
September 29 Washington & Jefferson Pitt StadiumPittsburgh, PA W 26-6  
October 6 at West Virginia Mountaineer Field (1924)Morgantown (Backyard Brawl) W 27-6  
October 13 USC Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA W 20-6  
October 20 Minnesota Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA L 7-13  
October 27 at Westminister New Wilmington, PA W 30-0  
November 3 Notre Dame Pitt StadiumPittsburgh, PA W 19-0  
November 10 at Nebraska Memorial Stadium (Lincoln) • Lincoln, NE W 25-6  
November 17 at Navy Thompson StadiumAnnapolis, MD W 31-7  
November 29 Carnegie Mellon Pitt Stadium • Pittsburgh, PA W 20-0  


List of national championship selectors[edit]

The 1915 team was selected or recognized as national champion by multiple selectors, of which Parke H. Davis' selection is recognized as "major" (i.e. national in scope) by the official NCAA football records book.[3] College Football Data Warehouse also recognized Pitt as 1915's national champion,[7] as did a "list of college football's mythical champions as selected by every recognized authority since 1924," printed in Sports Illustrated in 1967.[2] The article revealed that Parke Davis' selection of Pitt after he was dead was the historical basis of the university's 1934 national championship claim,[5] a selection that is not documented in the official NCAA football records book.[3]

These are the selectors that determined Pitt to be national champion in 1934, according to College Football Data Warehouse:

However, there are 41 selectors who chose Alabama and Minnesota (who defeated Pitt in Pittsburgh) as national champions for 1934,[4] including numerous "major" selectors (i.e., those that were "national in scope").[3]

After the death of Davis in June, 1934, Walter R. Okeson became the editor of the annual Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide, which Davis had previously edited. In the Guide, Davis had compiled a list titled, "Outstanding Nationwide and Sectional Teams," for the seasons from 1869 onward. For several years, Okeson continued to add annual selections to this list, described as "Originally Compiled by the late Parke H. Davis."[8]:233-35 The 1935 Guide stated, in Okeson's review of the 1934 season, "Minnesota — Undefeated and untied, team was generally conceded to be national leader," and "Pittsburgh — Defeated only by Minnesota, team was generally rated as strongest in East."[8]:173-74 Okeson listed both schools as "Outstanding Nationwide Teams" for 1934.[8]:235


  • Charles Hartwig, guard, Pitt's team captain. The following season his picture was put on a Wheaties cereal box for being a football hero. He battled back from an injury that caused him to miss his entire sophomore year. A media guide referred to him as a brilliant defensive player and workmanlike on offense. He was a Panther standout in the 1933 Rose Bowl. Played the 1935 East-West Shrine Game.[9]
  • George Shotwell, center became an All-American for his offensive line play in 1934. He was highly regarded for his all-around skills. Shotwell was an intelligent football player known as a keen diagnostician of plays. "I have never seen his superior in this respect, and only a coach knows how valuable this quality is," Coach Jock Sutherland said.[9]
  • Isadore Weinstock, fullback, a smart and aggressive fullback who became an All-American in 1934. He was known as a crack ball-handler, especially on trick plays such as double passes and fake reverses. Weinstock was a fine blocker and also played defensive back, kicked extra points and handled kickoff duties. After suffering a broken nose he became one of the first players to wear a face mask. He led the Panthers in scoring in 1934 with 63 points. After Pitt he went on to the NFL, where he played three seasons at quarterback for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.[9]

*Bold - Consensus All-American[10]


  1. ^ University of Pittsburgh 1975 football media guide. University of Pittsburgh. 1975. p. 54. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (September 11, 1967). "This Year The Fight Will Be In The Open". Sports Illustrated. Chicago, IL: Time, Inc. 27 (11): 30–33. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d 2012 NCAA Football Records (PDF). The National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2012. pp. 69–73. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "1934 National Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b 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. 
  6. ^ "University of Pittsburgh - 1934". College Football Reference. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "1915 National Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Okeson, Walter R., ed. (1935). Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide 1935. New York: American Sports Publishing Co. 
  9. ^ a b c http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/052306aaa.html
  10. ^ Consensus All-American designations based on the NCAA guide to football award winners Archived 2009-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.