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Pittsburgh Steelers March Madness: The Best of the Rest featuring No. 4 seed 1972 vs. No. 13 seed 1992

Bracketing the best teams in the past 50 years of Pittsburgh Steelers history never to win a title. Who do you consider the “Best of the Rest” between the 1972 Steelers and the 1992 version?

Hardy Nickerson

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted the 2017 team of dysfunction over the rootable 2002 Steelers with Tommy Maddox at the helm. It was a closer margin than most.

No. 3 - 2017: Team Turmoil- 57%

No. 14 - 2002: Tommy’s got a gun - 43%

This time around we pit the team that started it all against the team that got the ball rolling again a lot quicker than most expected. Be sure to vote for the team that remains the most memorable to you or the one you feel is simply the “best of the rest”. Your choice. Be sure to wax poetically in the comment section below.

No. 4 Seed: 1972 (11-3) Immaculately sewing the seeds of a dynasty

The fourth season of Chuck Noll’s rebuilding of the once-moribund franchise was the edition that showed that his blueprint was starting to take shape. The Steelers improved from a 6-8 record (second in the AFC Central) in 1971 to division title and a mark of 11-3. The Steelers got a boost from their first-round pick out of Penn State, Franco Harris. No. 32 rushed for 1,055 yards and totaled 11 TDs (ten rushing/one receiving). Franco was also a phenomenon for the fans in Three Rivers. Frenchy Fuqua chipped in with four TDs. Terry Bradshaw went 11-3 as a starter and started to make strides, but still struggled at times with only 12 TDs vs. 12 INTs. The Blonde Bomber’s top receivers were Ron Shanklin and Roy Jefferson. On defense, Joe Greene was becoming an absolute force. Johnstown’s Jack Ham was as well with seven picks and four fumble recoveries. Mike Wagner tallied six interceptions, while Andy Russell added four fumble recoveries as well. After starting the season 2-2, Noll’s team won nine of ten to close out the regular season. In the playoffs, their first appearance in 35 years, the team achieved the greatest play of all-time. All I have to write is “Immaculate Reception” and nothing more. In their first AFC Championship, the team succumbed to undefeated Miami. But the seeds had been sewn for greatness that fateful year.

Pro Bowlers: Henry Davis, Roy Gerela, Joe Greene, Franco Harris, Andy Russell, Dwight White

First-Team All Pros: Joe Greene

Second-Team All Pros: Roy Gerela, Franco Harris, Andy Russell

Team MVP: Franco Harris

First Round Selection: Franco Harris

No. 13 Seed: 1992 (11-5) Cowher Power is Born

Bill Cowher’s inaugural season was supposed to be a painful rebuild, but nobody told the likes of Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd, Neil O’Donnell, Barry Foster and company. Most media outlets figured them for a 4-12 team, but the Steelers played in the image of the gutsy Cowher and improved their record from 7-9 in ‘91 to a robust 11-5. Leading the way that year on offense was O’Donnell, Jeff Graham (711 receiving yards and Foster with his (still) single-season record of 1,690 yards rushing. No. 29 also had 11 TDs that campaign. On defense, Woodson was dominant with four interceptions and six sacks. Other defensive leaders included Lloyd (6 1/2 sacks), rookie Darren Perry (six picks) and DJ Johnson (five picks).1992 started against a possible Super Bowl team, the Houston Oilers, in their aptly-nicknamed stadium...the House of Pain. Down 14-0 early, the Steelers roared back to win 29-24. The game featured a fake punt that rattled the Astrodome crowd, five interceptions of Warren Moon (one from Woodson) and 107 yards on the ground by Foster. The season’s first loss came in Green Bay during the debut of Brett Favre in Week 4. The Steelers started out 10-3, but an O’Donnell leg fracture against Seattle in Week 14 stymied offensive production as Bubby Brister struggled to a 1-2 record in their final three contests. O’Donnell returned for the No. 1 seeds in the AFC Divisional playoffs at Three Rivers, but the Buffalo Bills were way too much for the Steelers in a 24-3 loss. Despite the quick exit, Steeler Nation felt a rebirth instead of a rebuild.

Pro Bowlers: Dermontti Dawson, Barry Foster, Carlton Haselrig, Greg Lloyd, Neil O’Dinnell, Rod Woodson

First-Team All Pros: Barry Foster, Rod Woodson

Team MVP: Barry Foster

First Round Selection: Leon Searcy

Rookie of the Year: Darren Perry


Which Steeler team not to win the Super Bowl do you consider the best or most memorable? Your choice.

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    No. 4 Seed: 1972 (11-3) Immaculately sewing the seeds of a dynasty
    (152 votes)
  • 23%
    No. 13 Seed: 1992 (11-5) Cowher Power is Born
    (46 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

Check back Monday for the results.