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October 24, 2011

Sticking With Rivalries

Filed under: Opponent(s) — Chas @ 4:03 pm

In all the talk about expansiopocolypse, there is one thing that most people on any side of the issue can agree: it sucks to lose rivalry games. Things change. New rivalries develop. New hate. But there is something special about being able to share that hate. Share the rivalry between generations. Comparing. Looking at the history. Taunting someone else of a long past game.

With Pitt heading to the ACC at some point. It looking increasingly likely that West Virginia will head to the Big 12 once Mizzou makes its decision to try their luck in the SEC.

[Brief tangent here on Missouri. The Missouri slow dance to the SEC is succeeding in pissing more people off than I could have expected. Everyone in the Big 12 seems to just want them to stop pretending and get out already so they get the replacement. Everyone in the SEC is hating them for jerking this around and not showing the proper unbrideled lust and desire to be in the SEC like Texas A&M did. And the rest of the country just wants them to make the move so we can forget about them once more.

Honestly, I can't help but think that the slow move by Mizzou is all orchestrated out of desperation in a fruitless hope that the Big 10 will make an eleventh hour offer. That's where they really want to go. Where they think they belong. The midwest. Rivalry with Illinois and natural rival with Iowa and old Big 8 foe, Nebraska. If they sign on to the SEC, it is going to be a long-term commitment and they may miss their chance when the next cycle of expansiopocolypse strikes the Big 10. It's not going to happen. The Big 10 doesn't need Missouri, and that conference would never do any reacting to what others do (or at least would act like it wouldn't).]

Now, before West Virginia was about to find that “Get out of jail” card, they were at risk. The Big 12 appeared to favor Lousiville over WVU because of geography, market and even academics. But as usual with the Big 12, Texas had a different preference and dictated it.

Asked why the Big 12 would be upgraded, the official said, “West Virginia has better football than Missouri, better basketball than Missouri, a better budget than Missouri and more passion among its fans than Missouri. They’re better, anyway you turn ‘em. The travel’s not good (to Morgantown, W. Va.), but that’s it.”

He added there is support for Louisville, but said a lagging football program hurts its appeal.

The well-placed administrator said Missouri would probably have to remain in the Big 12 next school year because it’s getting so late in the process to find a replacement quickly, and an early Missouri exit could lead to financial liability for that school.

A second Big 12 school official told the Statesman he prefers Louisville because of its closer proximity and said travel to West Virginia would make for too big a burden on athletes.

“The only place where there’s an advantage for West Virginia is better football,” the second official said. “Their academics is not as strong. If there’s any thought about what’s best for the student-athlete, we’ll go with Louisville.”

The thing worth noting is that the Big 12 expects Missouri to be stuck in the Big 12 for 2012, simply because of how late things already are and Mizzou may be less willing to cut a huge check to bail early. That does seem likely, and is probably the best for WVU. It is almost November and most of the football schedules for the following season are finished by December — finalized and announced in January.

Given that anything short of complete implosion of the Big East, any poached Big East member — Pitt, Syracuse and probably WVU — are going to be held in the conference for next year. Not even for spite. It’s survival of the conference. They need at least 8 members to be an AQ conference in the BCS. The other potential new members will probably be stuck in their own conferences for another year since they haven’t even gotten formal invites and been able to provide notice to their conferences.

The one thing that will have to be resolved is the future of the Backyard Brawl. Jerry DiPaola reflected on some other foot-in-mouth comments from WVU AD Ollie Luck back in the beginning of October including the need for the Backyard Brawl for Pitt.

“I have not had any discussions with the Pitt folks. I have kind of let them be, quite honestly, with all the activity,” Luck said. “But my sense is they will be interested in maintaining the football rivalry with us. We bring 25,000 fans to Heinz Field. We fill it up. Pitt is not filling up Heinz Field on their own, so that game from a financial perspective is pretty important to them.”

Considering that WVU didn’t use their allotment at Heinz Field last year and Milan-Puskar hasn’t been filling up this year, Luck has been on a roll. DiPaola wonders if comments like that will hurt the chances to keep the Backyard Brawl. Pitt will likely have only 3 open dates for the non-con in football once in the ACC — and if it became a choice between playing ND every year or WVU — personal affronts along with a wash on the financials could send the Brawl into hiatus on the football side.

I doubt stupid words would (we are talking utterances from a Hoopie), but the money/exposure issues might. Playing ND is a national game. It is guaranteed big coverage. The Backyard Brawl is a regional rivalry. It is intense. It is often entertaining. But it is still regional, and takes on slightly less importance when it will no longer relate to the conference standings for either. It goes back to being like Georgia-GT and Clemson-South Carolina.

So, yeah, the Backyard Brawl could fade more easily than we realize. I hope not, though.

The Backyard Brawl is worth keeping — even over Notre Dame. It is a true rivalry and has real hatred and history.

Yes, I know ND and Pitt have now played 67 times. They are tied with Syracuse as Pitt’s 3d most played opponent, behind WVU and Penn St. And for ND, Pitt is fifth on their list behind USC, Purdue, Michigan State and Navy. And fifth is about where Pitt is on the list of teams ND wants to beat in a given season. Let’s also be realistic. Pitt has historically been dominated by the Domers. To the tune of 20-46-1. I can hate the Irish and want to see them beaten badly, but I can’t declare that it is a rivalry.

The Backyard Brawl is a rivalry. It has doomed seasons. Made seasons. The fans get after it. There’s true hate.

Pitt has been very good about keeping rivalry games when it can. Even when there is little reason to do so, and costs the program money. The City Game with Duquesne is a good example. At this point, the game is high risk, low reward for Pitt. Win and Pitt is supposed to, lose and it is a big blow to an at best, middling A-10 school. Beyond that, Pitt has been willing to treat Duquesne like an equal by letting the contest be a home-and-home series — until the recent move to the Con. Giving up a home game to treat them more than fairly and more respect than would be expected. I expect Pitt will make the right decision to try and continue playing WVU in football and basketball.

The good thing with WVU probably heading to the Big 12, is they have less reason to not keep the Backyard Brawl going. Hard feelings over Pitt going to the ACC would be defused. If there really any were, considering WVU was more active than Pitt in trying to get out of the Big East. I think both sides recognize the importance to the fans and the region, and will make sure it continues.

As Pitt fans, we’ve seen the loss of one great, historic rivalry game. I don’t want to see the loss of another.





i would rather play ND than WVU.

Comment by Omar 10.24.11 @ 4:13 pm

Also remember that the week after the announcement regarding Pitt/ACC, Luck went on the radio and publicly called the Pitt administrators (i.e., Pederson and Nordenberg) liars. I think most folks recognized it for what it was – sour grapes from a guy who had been angling to get out of the Big East only to be upstaged. Still, those are not the kind of statements an AD should be making publicly, and probably did not help as WVU was trying to wedge itself into the SEC and ACC discussions. For as bright as Luck seems to be, he also seems to have a huge ego and be a bit of a loose cannon, things the SEC in particular frowns upon.

With all of that, I wouldn’t be shocked if this game goes away for a few years, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t come back.

Comment by Pantherman13 10.24.11 @ 4:24 pm

I can live without my toothless cousins from the South if the Domers replaced them. ND will always be a national game and the road trip to South Bend is far better than Morganhole since Irish fans are civilized.

Comment by TX Panther 10.24.11 @ 4:27 pm

Where Luck is accurate is that casual Pitt fans come out of the woodwork to attend the Brawl because it is one of the few games that draws casual interest. So whether they are Pitt or WVU fans, it is true that 20,000 more fans come out for the Brawl than Pitt vs UConn for example

Comment by Jamie H 10.24.11 @ 4:39 pm

remember, if ND goes to any conference other than ACC, then any chance of playing Pitt every year is over. They consider USC, Michigan, Mich St, Purdue, BC and Navy bigger rivals than they do Pitt.

I believe we should stay with WVU … also remember that ND disn’t sell out Heinz this year, but in fact returned several tickets.

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 4:43 pm

you also may remember the harsh (and hypocritical) words about Pitt by ND AD Swarbrick

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 4:56 pm

I say drop WVU, I have no affinity for that game. I want to play either ND or PSU, or both. Since ND is the one that wants to maintain that rivalry, that is the one for me.

To me, TV exposure and hype is best for Pitt, and in the end all I care about is the success of my alma mater.

Although I wouldnt mind playing WVU in bball.

Comment by Scott D 10.24.11 @ 5:01 pm

Luck’s comments on that issue are surprisingly arrogant and stupid. I think the fact of the matter is that WVU needs that game more than Pitt does. The reason? They recruit heavily in the Pittsburgh area, whereas we don’t recruit West Virginia, because that state doesn’t produce very many players at all. Dropping that game might help us hang on to more local players who are thinking about going to WVU.

Comment by Lollard 10.24.11 @ 5:33 pm

Wait, what’s this mean for our long awaited home-and-home against PSU?

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.24.11 @ 6:06 pm

As Coach Dixon says with basketball, rivalries even in football have as much to do with success as anything. I’d love to play ND each year but frankly even that’s losing its luster as both teams are mediocre (although the trip to South Bend is cool). Ideally the football program improves to the point where a natural rivalry develops in the ACC. Maybe Va,Tech? Who knows, but while ideally it’d be great to see WVU, PSU and ND all on our schedule as much as possible, I’d trade those games for a football program consistently challenging for a conference championship. (Legitimately challenging for it, not in a “slide through the back door” manner.)

Comment by JW 10.24.11 @ 6:20 pm

Had it with the Hoopies. Too many otherwise enjoyable game days ruined by idiots with apparently zero self-control.

Good riddance, I say.

No, Pitt fans aren’t perfect and blameless. But it’s a whole different level with the ‘billies.

Comment by BATR 10.24.11 @ 6:24 pm

Never thought I would say this, but time to move on. We are going to the ACC. In for a penny, in for a pound. Time to make new rivalries. Got to start somewhere for the upcoming generations. I think the Pitt Syracuse, Pitt BC, Pitt VA Tech, and Pitt Maryland all have potential. Penn State has been trying to move on ever since they left for the Big 10. Their problem is, they don’t belong there and just can’t make it work. Pitt can because the ACC is a good fit. Basketball will have to take the lead initially, but it can work. Time to leave the hoopies and catholics behind.

Comment by wally 10.24.11 @ 6:50 pm

All it will take is a bad call somewhere, some incident on the field, or beating someone like we tossed around Va Tech for a few years. Next thing you know, it’s a big game and people are ticked.

As for hoops, because of Pitt and Syracuse perennially in the top 10, allready going to be rivalries immediately with UNC, DUKE and Maryland.

Couple teams in the top 10 or top 15 play each other, game of the week.

Just throwing away 100 year rivalry?? No, but I’m ready for some new teams, new colors, new logos!!!

I hope we can continue with PSU, ND or WVU, in that order, if not, my train has allready left the station!!!

Comment by Dan 10.24.11 @ 7:04 pm

I will look foward to playing BC i have hate for them and was sad that that game ended. good to have it back .

That game was a rivary also not as mutch as WVU but still it was one.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.11 @ 7:07 pm

So if it Pitt moves on from playing WVU it’s a-ok, but when PSU moves on there are a good number of folks here who decry hate for PSU.

Look I get the moving on but let’s not be hypocritical here.

If it’s ok for us to move on from a 90+ year old rivalry, then why wasn’t it ok for PSU?

Just playing Devil’s advocate here…

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 10.24.11 @ 7:12 pm

You are right abought Mizzou leave or dont leave.
shit or get off the pot. what a pain they are.

And the difference between the psu and the WVU move is that the WVUfans have killed it any way with there crazy gross behaveior iwouldent go to there home games any more who wants to be hit with rocks there is no rivary when you cant go to there games.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.11 @ 7:29 pm

So you don’t think that PSU fans didn’t view us a bags of crap FRANKCAN?

or vice versa?

You are entitled to your opinion but I will miss the rivalry, just like I miss the PSU rivalry.

You don’t think that fights don’t happen up on Mount Nittany?

I just think it’s really easy to justify our actions as being just while its exactly why PSU did it…it’s in their own best interest.

As it will be in ours…

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 10.24.11 @ 7:32 pm

You do realize that all of you above who said it’s time on once we move to the ACC and forget WVU, were probably the same ones who complained about PSU’s arrogance when they did the same to Pitt when they joined the B10

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 7:33 pm

Penn State joining the conference was not what had folks up in arms. It was the fact that they would not schedule Pitt as a non conference game. And they were down right pissy about it, as those of us who were around at that time well remember. They are the ones who opened up this can of worms. Penn State thought they hung the moon when they went to the Big 10. They even made a big deal out of how the Michigan State game was going to take the place of the Pitt rivalry. How did that work out for them? They are an average team 2 hours from New York City who play half their games in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois for crying out loud. They made a mistake but won’t admit it. Bobby Knight said at the time Penn State was not a fit for the Big 10 because, among other things, it was a “camping trip”.

Pitt will have no such problem fitting into the ACC.

Comment by wally 10.24.11 @ 7:46 pm

I live less than an hour from Morgantown and have not attended a game there since Pitt won that tie game under Gottfried. And I travel everywhere to see Pitt play (ie Iowa, Utah , Nebraska, ND, Texas AM, etc). I won’t travel to Morgantown for fear of damage to my car or worse yet a loved one or me. Those people are animals ! End the backyard brawl for tose reasons.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 10.24.11 @ 7:50 pm

My first preference for maintaining an old football rivalry would be Penn State so long it is one for one. West Virginia is my second choice. Notre Dame is someplace after that.

In basketball I would hope we could continue playing West Virginia every year. I see no reason to continue to play Robert Morris every year unless there is some Pittsburgh politics involved.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.24.11 @ 7:57 pm

DaveD read spindlers spirit and you see what i am talking abought.
That stuff did not happen at penn state not that bad .
fights yes but broken car windows pregnant women thrown to the ground a mans eye put out bye thrown quaters please you would go to the game and take a child or your mother with them nut cases they arent fans they are monsters hiting a lady that is with child they have ruined the rivary.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.11 @ 8:16 pm

Actually, I call em’ like I see them wbb, and not afraid to say I was wrong. I knew the whole time it would be a tough fit, conference schedule needs filled out, then you need a couple home games for the bank account.

Disappointed, but, as in business, I understood that would be the end of Pitt-PSU.

The only thing that ever raised my ire’, was when someone up there offered a 2 home for one away in PSU’s favor.

We may not have the football program they do, but, we are also not anyone’s lapdog, and whoever told them to go pound salt, glad they did.

I was more upset and jealous that they got into a good conference, than the fact that the rivalry was pretty much dead, in all honesty.

Now, that we landed in a top conference, ya, I’m a bit gleeful, but I would never ask WVU for a 2 for 1.

Comment by Dan 10.24.11 @ 8:18 pm

Agreed Frank, any rivalry anywhere, can have moments of nastiness, but, for the most part, I have gone to away games at Notre Dame and Penn State many times, and have had some jovial back and forths, and many a beers in the parking lots with both of those folks.

West Virginia is a different animal, very similar to a Steelers-Browns game up at Cleveland, where it can get downright nasty after a game. Or before or during for that matter.

People going around after the game, especially if they have lost, just looking for trouble.

Hey, can happen anywhere, but, they are a step above, or below, depending how you phrase it!!

Comment by Dan 10.24.11 @ 8:23 pm

Oh yes, I have moved on with the times, and know that Baltimore is the Steelers main rival now, always that way, when two rivals are winning.

However, after going to a Cleveland game two years ago, someone forgot to tell the Cleveland fans anything about this.

Buddy and I were never so happy to get to the car. Walking through the lot, several people brushed our elbows and turned around and started mouthing off, “you say something, man?”

We’re both big enough guys, but, in our 40’s we are past that stage of our lives.

Honestly and truly, no exaggeration whatsoever, if you wanted to get into a fight, it was there for you.

My last away Steeler game, and frankly, I’m sure our fans are no better to other teams that come to Heinz. The remote and easy chair do me just fine for pro ball!!

Comment by Dan 10.24.11 @ 8:33 pm

This is a guess; but I’m betting the people that pay the majority of the money to the Pitt Athletic Department would much rather go to an away game at South Bend then Morgantown…so if Pitt has to choose between WVU and ND…ND will prevail.

Comment by milo bloom 10.24.11 @ 8:47 pm

WV has always had the issues….it’s no worse now than it was 20 years ago. I won’t go there for a game and would miss traveling to South Bend. But I sure would miss causing them problems…..which will not happen if the rivalry goes away. I’m with Chas…I don’t want to lose that tradition. We would all miss it over time. Keep the Brawl…it’s too much fun!

Comment by FG 10.24.11 @ 10:29 pm

The only reason to keep ND is they sell the stadium out. They could have kept the Big East from imploding a long time ago by joining for football. They should have been booted out of the basketball conference long ago.

I would much rather see WVU every other year and they sell tickets as well.

Comment by Jimbo 10.24.11 @ 10:32 pm

Keep the WVU game. I want a rival that hates back.

Hey, maybe everything will work out and ND will end up in the ACC.

Comment by Chris 10.24.11 @ 10:37 pm

Agree with several other fellow Panthers here.
I can live without playing a school that beats up pregnant women and throws quarters from the alumni section with intent to injure Pitt coaches.

Let them play others that condone and revel in that kind of garbage. We don’t need them, they need Pitt & Pittsburgh as a news outlet. Last time I checked that whole stinkin state didn’t have a major news outlet and will never have.

We have Syracuse and BC to hate if that’s your thing. And I know several on here already hate Notre Dame, so there you go.

Goodbye Hoopies, don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Comment by EMel 10.24.11 @ 11:30 pm

Do you guys really need to have someone or some school to look down on? I hope we’re bigger than that. We are right….?

Comment by EMel 10.24.11 @ 11:41 pm

Truth be told, I’d like the Pitt vs. Penn State game to get back on each team’s schedule as an annual rivalry just like the GA vs. GA Tech rivalry.

Comment by MariettaMike 10.25.11 @ 7:44 am

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pitt is a 10 point favorite over UCONN. I’ll be happy if Pitt wins by 1 point. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 10.25.11 @ 7:48 am

FWIW, I sometimes listen to College Sports station on XM satellite, which this time of year can be called SEC Football station. Anyway, understandably the BE conference FB is scoffed at. But the one positive thing I have heard a couple of times was when referencing the good football rivalries, the ‘Backyard Brawl’ was cited a couple of times.

BTW, while the BE FB is lowly regarded, BE basketball has been analogized as the “SEC of college football”, which I assure you is a grand compliment on that station. In fact, they compared Pitt and Syracuse leaving BE basketball to Florida and Alabama leaving SEC football.

Comment by wbb 10.25.11 @ 7:49 am

Pitt=WVU saves the athletic dept. alot in transportation costs.

Comment by alcofan 10.25.11 @ 7:49 am

speaking of transport costs … I see no reason to continue the basketball series in the preseason; it is such a natural .. a major program located 90 minutes away which should really help our RPI

Comment by wbb 10.25.11 @ 8:45 am

correction — I see no reason NOT to continue the basketball series in the preseason

Comment by wbb 10.25.11 @ 8:47 am

The PSU-Pitt, WVU-Pitt situation is apples and oranges.

PSU played what, 7 conference games prior to Nebraska joining the B1G. That left 5 OCC games. Pitt could/should have been one of those. PSU chose not to renew the series.

The CFB landscape (superconferences) will now have 8 or 9 conference games which only leaves 3-4 OCC games. It will not be as easy to schedule the traditional rivalry games if the teams are in different conferences.

One possible solution is that Pitt could schedule games with WVU every other year, and ND in the years WVU is not on the schedule. This way you preserve the series with each team while allowing games against teams in lower-tier conferences. Other than this, I don’t see how they can keep both going without 4-6 year gaps.

Comment by pghFred 10.25.11 @ 9:25 am

I personally coulndn’t care less if we ever play those hoopers ever again. And i wouldn’t mind seeing their Big 12 exploits fall thru and see them land in Conference USA or the Colonial. It’s a bigger deal to their fans than it is to us….similar to the way Penn St fans don’t care about us as much as we care about them.

To me…our program benefits more with this priority order of rivals 1)Penn State 2)ND 3)Hoopie Hick Drunks…

It pisses them off when we turn our noses up at them…so lets do that one more time and never play them again….hopefully their rivalries in the future are with Central Florida and Marshall.

Comment by boomer 10.25.11 @ 9:28 am

boomer and others of your ilk, the hatred that you are spewing out against the Hoopies only support the continuance of the Brawl … this passion, just what a rivalry is all about.

Comment by wbb 10.25.11 @ 9:51 am

I think between WVU/PSU/ND you gotta try to play 2 of the three each year. It makes for a tough non conference, but your schedule is going to change a good bit in the ACC. Pitt can’t expect to run the table, so a tough schedule with a lot of exposure should help recruiting.

Playing that PSU game could really help some recruiting battles.

Comment by Nabil 10.25.11 @ 10:22 am

I love the rivalry and I do HATE the Hoopies, BUT I’m too old to put up with all the crap from their fans. WVU deserves their reputation and deserves to be looked down upon. Their behavior and academics are despicable.

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.11 @ 10:27 am

The one game that always counted as THE BIG ONE was Pitt/PSU. Make no mistake about it the games with WVU and NDU were always considered highly important, however, they were not even close to the Irish and Hoopies.
The entire State of Pennsylvania would stop to pay attention to every play.

No excuses, like Auburn/Alabama….Mich/MSU….
Ore/Ore St…Army/Navy and yes, “The Game” Hahvahd/Yale…Pitt/Penn State was and should continue to be the game that must be on the schedule EVERY YEAR!!!

Comment by isnore 10.25.11 @ 10:28 am

Amen….bring back penn state..

wbb…i really dont hate WVU…i dont care about them that much. i think they act like idiots…but they aren’t a team im just dying to see pitt beat. for me…penn state is that team. to see us beat them (ideally with joe fa-fa still ‘coaching’) would really produce some bragging rights around here…and aren’t bragging rights around the water cooler what rivalries are really all about. there’s a crazy amount of penn st grads in pittsburgh (where i’m writing from) and they act like pitt isnt in the same class. i dont run into many WVU fans (probably because i dont hang out around too many trailer parks…and you need to be able to read in the line of work that im in).

i like to joke about WVU because its easy…but im passionate about pitt beating penn state. i bought season tix this year when they announced that we’d be playing those jag-offs in a few years just so I can ensure that ill have a seat when it does happen.

Comment by boomer 10.25.11 @ 10:41 am

PSU basically said ‘The hell with Pitt’ when they did not renew the series. Why hang on to something that is no longer there?

Am I unhappy that this once great rivalry has ended? You bet. But why continue to persue something that no longer has importance to PSU? This is just feeding their arrogance.

WVU is Pitt’s rival now, for better or worse. Additionally, the Pitt-WVU rivalry extends to b-ball. The one with PSU did not.

There have been just as many memorable football games between us and WVU as we had against PSU in the 70s and early 80s. Which by the way was pretty much the only time the Pitt-PSU rivlary was nationally relevant.

Comment by pghFred 10.25.11 @ 11:05 am

93.7 The Fan radio is reporting WVU has joined the Big 12

Comment by Jim 10.25.11 @ 11:32 am

If possible when we leave, I’d like to play WVU one year, PSU the next, then ND…just rotate the three teams every 3 years. That would be nice and would account for our BCS OOC game.

Comment by The Incline 10.25.11 @ 11:35 am

Not for 27 months and a $10M exit penalty.

Comment by TX Panther 10.25.11 @ 11:35 am

If 93.7 is right the BE football may dissolve because nobody else will want to join the conference

Comment by Jim 10.25.11 @ 11:36 am

when a PSU or WVU is posted on the Heinz scoreboard and either are losing, there is a big cheer from the Pitt fans.

When a Pitt score is posted at Puskar stadium, the Eer fans cheer if Pitt is losing.

However, a Pitt score posted on the Beaver Stadium scoreboard goes pretty much unnoticed. This is because the Nits’ fanbase is composed of followers up and down the eastern seaboard and only PSU fans from Western PA show any passion towards Pitt.

Like it or not, both Pitt and WVU are much more regionally based and their rivalry remains meaningful.

Comment by wbb 10.25.11 @ 11:44 am

I think you keep pursuing the PSU rivalry because playing them…and playing ND…makes your program stronger. I hate to say it, but they are monster programs…bigger than ours right now. whether WVU is or not is debatable…but playing monster programs and winning is big what propels us to the next level. and screw basketball…in the ACC we are not going to need any help on that front.

but if we don’t end up playing any of them, i won’t be that concerned either. my view on this changed as soon as we went to the ACC. i luv beating some of these teams, but what pitt needs right now is legitimacy…not rivalry.

and even if we dont end up playing PSU, ND, or WVU…we’ll work up new rivals. i feel like going to the ACC is going to bring match-ups with some great teams that will more than give us our fill. by going to the ACC we’ve made a move that has us moving in the right direction. we need to focus on competing in that conference….when we do that we’ll have arrived as a legit contender. and when that happens, we’ll have new, better teams lined up to be our rivals. lets make it so our biggest game of the year is an ACC championshiop game

Comment by boomer 10.25.11 @ 11:47 am

load up the non-conference with cupcakes…we wont have to prove anything when we’re in the acc…it will shake out in conference play

Comment by boomer 10.25.11 @ 11:49 am

All reports are that WVU is in the Big 12 once Mizzou leaves for SEC. I read that some of the hold up is that if Mizzou leaves then Kansas City will lose the Big 12 basketball tournament which is a pretty big deal to the city.

I personally would get rid of WVU. I go to many road games, but I refuse to go to Morgantown due to all the issues at the game. I don’t think Pitt should play any team in which Pitt fans will fear for their safety. I’d take just about any team over WVU. Heck even a team like Iowa is better. I know we have no history. But my trip to Iowa this year was awesome. The fans were friendly and helpful and it was a great time, minus the final score of the game of course.

Comment by Wardapalooza 10.25.11 @ 11:52 am

I agree completely with pghFred. WVU is Pitt’s rival now. Many a season have been ruined in the Brawl since Penn St. dropped Pitt from the schedule. Let’s not let this rivalry rot chasing PSU and ND.

Its too bad that Joe Pa was willing to let the Pitt-PSU rivalry wither away, but all the venom is gone. They don’t care about us and I think the only reason Pitt fans care about them is because it reminds them of the glory days of Pitt football

Please correct me if I’m wrong. I attended Pitt from out of state and was a freshman during Pitt’s first Heinz season, so my view on this is from a way more recent vantage point. I have zero personal feelings about PSU, only the echos of hate left behind by the people who attended before me. I remember my freshmen year there still being some P-E-N-N-S-T Sucks chants. Those eventually disappeared by the time I graduated.

But goddamn do I like beating WVU. Getting beat at Heinz with thousands of hoopies filling the seats has really ruined my weekend a few times. Also, the best victory I have experienced as a Pitt fan is the 2007 Brawl. I guess as a non-PA resident, who started attending Pitt at the turn of the century, WVU has a hell of a lot more meaning to me than PSU.

Comment by Chris 10.25.11 @ 12:06 pm

WVU all the way. They hate us just as much as we hate them. PSU and ND fans are indifferent. Stick with an opponent that has as much vested in the rivalry as you do.

F**k Penn State! They’ve had their chances to renew the rivalry and don’t want to (2 games in 5 years and no plans to go further is crap)…and ND hasn’t been relevant in 15 years.

Besides, there’s an outside shot ND joins us in the ACC…

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.25.11 @ 12:46 pm

Man Chris, that was a good post. I’m the opposite. Growing up in eastern PA all it was either Penn State or Notre Dame. There was no other option. But Penn State was the one you hated. Maybe it was the arrogance, the fact that you grew up with it. Do you know how many goddamn “Why is the sky blue? (Because God must be a Penn State fan)” bumper stickers I’ve seen? How many times I’ve seen those ridiculous blue and white paw prints stuck onto mini-van doors? How many times I heard “You Pitt fans are so funny, I can’t believe you think we are rivals.”? Nobody from my town ever made it to Notre Dame, but a whole bunch of my friends loved telling me how awesome Penn State was, over and over and over again…

I graduated from Pitt the year after we beat PSU 12-0 at Three Rivers – the last game of the series. And man, let me tell you that was a WIN. 55,000 people never sounded so loud. I also traveled to Happy Vally the year before when we came within a hair’s breadth of beating them at their place, even though we like 17 point dogs. And let me tell you that stadium was off-the-hook loud. Have you ever felt bleachers vibrating beneath your feet, BEFORE the game? I have.

Maybe you’re right though…maybe it’s been to long and all the venom is gone. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I think it runs too deep. I think it runs too local. I respect that you’re from out of state and you’ve never seen us play PSU, but if you ask me, that venom is there, and it always will be.

That being said, I love beating WVU too…

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.25.11 @ 1:00 pm

Freshman Wideout Salath Williams w/ season ending surgery this morning..

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.25.11 @ 1:06 pm

Atl Panther – I was also at Happy Valley for the last Pitt-PSU game there. My brother’s father in law was a prof and we all sat in the faculty seats.

The only ones screaming and cheering for Pitt in that section were myself and mom (sad to say but bro has gone to the dark side). It took a blocked FG by Arrington to secure the win for the lions.

Comment by pghFred 10.25.11 @ 2:02 pm

I was in the PSU student section pghFred. Barely made it out alive…hell of a game.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.25.11 @ 4:06 pm

WVU is an “office hot” rival.

Comment by dcpinpgh 10.25.11 @ 11:09 pm

I’ve gone down to Morgantown to watch Pitt play WVU in football (and basketball) and never experienced what some of you are describing. Sure, some fans may say things like, “Eat Sh!T Pitt”, but for the most part they just watched the game. Maybe I lucked out and sat in a more reserved section, but I jumped up and cheered when Baldwin caught a late touchdown to tie up the game in 2009 and nobody said a thing to me. No objects were hurled at my head. Nothing. My two cents: We should continue the Brawl.

Comment by CBC 10.26.11 @ 12:21 pm

The Pitt/Penn State game was one of the best rivalry games in the country…but over 10 years ago, PSU walked away and has acted like their mediocrity doesn’t stink ever since…any mention of reviving the game has been met with derision on their part (although they have acquiessed to bless us with two meetings beginning five years from now) and they have pretty much told Pitt to get lost anytime the subject of the game comes up…so I say the hell with them…

I was one who once thought that we needed to play the game every year; a great tradition for both schools…something that both schools needed…

But now, I say the Brawl is better…”The Backyard Brawl is a rivalry. It has doomed seasons. Made seasons. The fans get after it. There’s true hate.”…couldn’t agree more!

Comment by Leaseman 10.26.11 @ 2:53 pm

[...] wrote about it last month, and my feelings still hold. The Backyard Brawl is a great rivalry game, and we are lucky to be a [...]


[...] but before the Big 12 needed to get WVU, the WVU AD Oliver Luck spoke a little too quickly about how much Pitt needs the Backyard Brawl. Reality actually suggests otherwise. Pitt has an easier time finding teams willing to do [...]


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