You leave one job for another - and take a $350,000 pay cut - people are going to surmise that you were pretty miserable at the first place. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr., who took that plunge from Cal this past offseason. "It was a dream opportunity for me, and it's never been about money," said Cignetti Jr., a Pittsburgh native. "Besides, the cost of living difference makes it close. But I love Pittsburgh - it is the greatest city for football in America. The greatest players to ever play college football played here - Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Larry Fitzgerald."
And it has been a dream season for Cignetti Jr., as the Panthers are 9-1 and ranked eighth in the country going into today's 102nd Backyard Brawl at West Virginia (4 p.m., ESPN2). While Pittsburgh's defense leads the nation with 40 sacks, its offense has held its own. With powerful fullback Henry Hynoski leading the way, freshman Dion Lewis is fifth in the country in rushing (129.1 yards per game). Quarterback Bill Stull is fourth in efficiency (159.4 rating). Frank Cignetti Sr., who coached West Virginia from 1976 to 1979, will be making the trek to Morgantown to see the game. Besides Frank Jr., his two daughters live in Pittsburgh and there are 11 grandkids to see. "The whole family is rooting for Pitt, except for him," Cignetti Jr. said.