The 1980 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1980 college football season. Despite losing one game, the Panthers were named National Champions by several selectors of national championships including the College Football Researchers Association, the New York Times computer poll, and the Sagarin Ratings, among others. The university does not claim a national championships for this season, nor are the Panthers popularly recognized for winning that year's national championship. Pitt was awarded the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy as the champion of the East.
In the Backyard Brawl, Pittsburgh beat West Virginia by a 42-14 score. Starting free safety Rick Trocano moved over to offense in the second quarter to replace the injured Dan Marino. Previously the starter at QB in 1978, Trocano led Pitt to four second-quarter touchdowns during the Panthers’ win at Pitt Stadium.