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September 18, 2012

With the announcement last week of ND coming to the ACC, lead to the discussion of schedules. On the football side, there was the acknowledgment that Pitt-ND games will change from a yearly game to a once-every-three (or two)-years action. That would open the door to putting Penn State on the schedule with more frequency. And indeed, following AD Steve Pederson’s comments suggesting it, the acting PSU AD echoed the growing possibility.

[David] Joyner, Penn State’s acting athletic director, told the Tribune-Review on Friday he hopes to visit Pederson in Pittsburgh during the football season. Any face-to-face discussions wouldn’t be just about resuming the once-great rivalry, but Joyner acknowledged it would be a significant part of his visit.

“There certainly is a philosophical meeting of the minds,” Joyner said. “It would be very interesting to look to see if we can make it happen, to have more games in the future.”

The Big 10 just had their planned annual games with the Pac-12 fall apart because of the Pac-12 playing 9 conference games annually, and teams like Stanford and USC that regularly play ND. The Big 10 still plays 8 conference games, but Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney has been publicly saying that the Big 10 schools need to do a better job on non-con scheduling.

Almost certainly Pitt will be playing PSU in basketball soon. If not in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge, then as a scheduled non-con.

So there’s that, but what about WVU?

After Pitt got the invite to the ACC, 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 home-and-homes in football. More so than WVU.

Yes, WVU travels well. Yes, there is excitement over WVU in the Big 12 by their fans. But there is still a question of how long that enthusiasm lasts for the games against Kansas, K-State, Iowa St. and Texas Tech. The Brawl is probably a bigger deal to WVU fans than Pitt fans.

Plus, there are the travel costs. The Brawl takes on greater importance, given what the Hoopies have to spend on conference travel. A road trip to Pitt becomes a very affordable bus trip. No hotel costs. So, Luck has been a lot more conciliatory sounding regarding resuming the Backyard Brawl as soon as possible. It has become clear, though, that Pitt is not going to rush back to scheduling the Hoopies in football.

But what about basketball?

That should be different for Pitt. As we saw with this off-season scheduling headaches, Pitt is struggling to put a decent non-con schedule that provides any reward to season ticket-holders. Pitt is not a place like Kentucky where the fanbase will mutter but ultimately bend-over and take a laughably bad home non-con slate.

It seems, though, that the Backyard Brawl in basketball is not looking promising right now.

[Bob] Huggins said Monday he has told Jamie Dixon he’d like to restart the rivalry as soon as possible, but the Pittsburgh coach has been non-committal. Next season will be the first year since 1918 that the two longtime regional rivals have not faced one-another during the basketball season.

“I’ve said we’re willing to play,” Huggins said. “It’s a great rivalry. Why wouldn’t we play Pitt? You want to talk about the betterment of the student-athlete and doing what’s right by the student-athlete? We’re talking about an hour and a half drive. We’re not talking about flying across the country. It just makes sense. There’s not a downside.

“It’s great for the fans. The players really enjoy it. You can play the game and be home. There’s no problem waking up and going to class the next day. You’re not missing class time. All the reasons anyone could give for starting a series or maintaining a series, they’re all there. They’re all positive.”

Huggins, however, is better at the politics than his AD. Coach Dixon has been quite vague about the whole issue of the Brawl — and scheduling in general. But Huggins isn’t going to be accused of trying to put the blame on Dixon since the basketball coach has a lot of the responsibility for setting the schedule.

“When I’ve talked to Jamie about it, it was kind of like, ‘We’ll have to see,'” Huggins said. “I don’t know how much of it is Jamie’s call or not. That’s what I think. I don’t know either way, but I wouldn’t put it all on Jamie. Or even any of it on Jamie.”

Maybe it is the AD and/or Chancellor at Pitt is ordering a break from the Hoopies after last year. Maybe it is simply Dixon waiting to get a feel for how things go in the ACC first. Maybe it is part of linked negotiations between Pitt and WVU where the Hoopies want to make sure the football side resumes as well, but Pitt won’t do that.

I’ve made no secret that I want to keep playing the Hoopies. In both sports. The games are too good. The hate is real. And true, time-tested rivalries are one of the great things in sport.

Reality says that WVU becomes more rotational in football, given a 9-game conference schedule. Along with rotating ND and hopefully PSU regularly for Pitt. There is, however, no reason not to play in basketball annually. FSU does it with Florida, Clemson and South Carolina as well as Georgia Tech and Georgia all do so.

Let the hiatus be brief.

I’d play them Home and Home OOC in hoops; the same with PSU every year as part of the OOC schedule. I rotate ND, PSU & WVU in football–play each every 3rd year.

Comment by pitt1972 09.18.12 @ 7:48 pm

Iam of a different mind if you play WVU then you help them in recruting with the kids in our back yard . no way i would help them plus like hugge bear says it is just a bus trip for them
no way huggie bear get on a jet i dont want to make any thing easy for them.
and with more game with penn state who needs WVU
i would rather play marshel or wisconsin or navy.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.12 @ 7:51 pm

there is not much top D1 basketball talent in Western PA.

I.m afraid I’m with Huggy Bear on this one.

Comment by wbb 09.18.12 @ 7:57 pm

I agree with FRANKAN playing WVU just helps them recruiting our local kids. Their fans are horrible and you can’t trust Oliver Luck. I would like to play ND and psu yearly if possible.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.18.12 @ 8:01 pm

i’m with frankcan. my dislike of the hoopies runs deep. i don’t want to go there for any game. (a damaged car in the 80’s speaks for that.) and given their distance from conference foes, let them pick some other team(s). i don’t want to help their recruiting in any way.

Comment by pittkeith 09.18.12 @ 8:02 pm

or financial interests either.

keep calm

hail to pitt

Comment by pittkeith 09.18.12 @ 8:03 pm

With Garner-Webb as football fill, I say “Let the couch burners stay now and forever.” What a way to kick off both seasons. It would ramp up training camp intensity.

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 09.18.12 @ 8:08 pm

no reason in this world to not be playing wvu in basketball with how many out of conference games they play and some of the joke schools they schedule. and why schedule psu for football unless we give them the offer they always gave us. 2 for 1. but this time 2 at heinz and 1 at beaver stadium. psu needs pitt more right now then we need them.

Comment by druc 09.18.12 @ 8:11 pm

I think Bob Huggins is right and there are a lot of good reasons that the teams should play. However WVU athletic director, Oliver Luck, was pretty arrogant early on and there is no doubt that he pissed off the people at Pitt with his comments. I don’t see anything happening, unless Luck makes the phone call and smooths the ruffled feathers. He has the most to gain with his fan base and his travel costs.

Comment by Justinian 09.18.12 @ 8:31 pm

I used to long for the day that Joe Pa would be gone and Pitt/PSU would continue to play, I just don’t feel that way anymore, they always put Pitt down demanded 2 for 1 blasted the big east(kinda can’t blame them for that) but I have to wonder if things had not gone the way they did would PSU becoming to Pitt with hat in hand. I think they wouldn’t, and the Big 10 is really starting to take some hits over the way they have played in recent years. Playing PSU would have only helped Pitt and they wouldn’t budge, well they got what was coming and I for one don’t want to play them in anything.

As for WVU, 13-9 is our best win in years, now that they play in the Big 12 and us in the ACC it seams that it could be a huge rivalry game, if both were good it would bring alot of hype and attention to both schools and it could still be played in late november, I know nobody wants to go to Morgantown, but I would rather see ND or WVU played one 2 years and one 1 year than see PSU at all I just can’t forget how we have been treated

Comment by steve h 09.18.12 @ 8:48 pm

Maybe Huggins should have considered how great and convenient the rivalry is before he pulled his players out of Greentree for two years. Thuggins is a tough bird who must always get his way. Screw ’em.

Comment by shakeyjakey 09.18.12 @ 9:00 pm

I’ve been to Morgantown about 10 times with zero problems and a great time. It’s too good of a rivalry and has too many families with dual degrees not to play this game. Penn St. and WVU should be priorities. Plus those two games out of conference make them even more fun. Since they have minimal impact on BCS games because the conference title takes the cake the games can be played more freely and less close to the vest. I saw Pitt fans acting like A-holes this weekend…my point being it happens EVERYWHERE. True rivals are good for the fan base and the teams…it creates passion. Play the damn games.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 09.18.12 @ 9:09 pm

****Just look at that preseason hoop schedule and tell me we don’t need WVU in there.

Comment by alcofan 09.18.12 @ 9:15 pm

FWIW, I was referring to playing them in BB every year which I consder a no-brainer since they are so close and usually a Top 25 team.

I have mixed emotions about football but would not be against it unless we can schedule PSU every year … I can see the backyard brawl a Labor Day tradition

Comment by wbb 09.18.12 @ 9:17 pm

I’m of the opinion that if it’s possible, I’d like to see Pitt rotate Penn St., WVU and Notre Dame into its schedule every 3 seasons. I realize the probability of that happening when you’re talking about 4 schools, all in different conferences, all playing different teams may be remote though.

As for basketball there is absolutely no reason Pitt and WVU shouldn’t be playing each other annually. No questions asked. I realize Pitt needs to schedule its share of non-con cupcakes, but would anyone honestly be upset if they replaced Binghamton, Wofford, Rider or VMI with WVU? I personally hate going to a half-full Pete with absolutely no atmosphere when one of those teams comes to town.

Comment by Double33threes 09.18.12 @ 9:39 pm

There are a lot of families that have 1 kid who went to Pitt and 1 who went to psu or ND because of similar academics. That is the basis of a true rivalry. Brother against brother. The hoopies-not so much in common with us.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.18.12 @ 9:51 pm

During a fraternity -sorority banner contest at the WVU game in 84 or 85 students paraded their banners in front of the student section of Pitt Stadium. All of the banners (except one) poked fun at the hoopies. The last banner, black spray paint on a white bed sheet stated: PENN ST S&$S

When they got in front of the student section they pulled down the sheet showing a second banner: BUT WVU SWALLOWS
That has summed up my emotions on the two since that day!

Hail To Pitt!

Comment by Mill 09.18.12 @ 9:54 pm

I hate WVU i dont think we need them we will have new rivals VT and it looks as if penn state will be back on.
and BC will be back and ND every 2 or 3 years
i hate thoes red necks dont want to ever go there
would like it if we played maryland.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.12 @ 9:58 pm

Let’s not forget the remarks made but Mr. Oliver Luck in regard to PITT. If I were PITT (and I guess I am as an Alum) I would tell the hoopies that “we just have to see”. We don’t need the hoopies for anything at this point. Let them fly across the country. The ACC will be just fine for us. Add to this the fact that I would tell PSU that if they want B-ball scheduling then they need to bring football along with it. PITT is just fine without WVU (who clearly prefers to play a local ACC basketball school) and we will be just fine in football with the rotation of ND and PSU. Either one on the schedule allow for us to add a national Non-ACC BCS team (say Michigan St, Michigan, Iowa, BYU, or former Big East foe) along with 1 D1AA and ND or PSU. That makes up your three non-con games. WVU is a little to high on themselves this past year. They are the version of the hillbillies going to Beverly Hills after hitting the lottery. They might have more money but they are still the same old WVU to everyone else. Can take WVU out of the country but you can’t take country out of WVU (fans). Time to ignore them (scheduling) and bring them back to earth again.

Comment by PITT fan in Atlanta 09.18.12 @ 10:03 pm

When I hear all the great things and it’s a no brainer from huggy bear, I say………..

the hell with them, in both sports.

Enjoy Isolation Island!!!

Comment by Dan 09.18.12 @ 10:08 pm

I say we should play WVU and PSU in rotating years, plus ND every 3rd year. As was said above, the WVU rivalry is just too good to lose, and the PSU rivalry can be reborn. I never considered ND to be a true rival.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.18.12 @ 10:19 pm

In addition to psu and ND(in rotation if necessary) play teams from good recruiting areas like FL, GA and TX to help with our recruiting.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.18.12 @ 10:19 pm

When(If) Pitt fans travel to the away stadiums of the ACC (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina), they’ll never want to be spit upon at WVU or hit with Gatorade bottles at Butgers again. Moving to the ACC is like a brand new day with a much better looking trophy wife. Better fans, better food, beautiful campuses and better football. Time to bid the old basketball league goodbye. We’re like the Jeffersons.

Comment by Pittstadiumshuffle 09.18.12 @ 10:21 pm

I think, and maybe someone said this already, that Nordy/Pederson wanted to separate Pitt from WVU. Maybe they don’t like playing them, I don’t know. But I can totally see them pulling a Penn State

“We have a lot of alumni who want us to play WVU. We also have a lot of alumni elsewhere who want us to play against teams near them.”

Comment by Greg 09.18.12 @ 10:27 pm

Events of the past year make it very distasteful to consider resuming competition with PSU. I don’t even like the idea of the games we do have scheduled. 99.999999% Nits support Paterno/Sandusky completely and have no remorse for some of the most hideous crimes in recent history. I repeat … hideous crimes against children. People watch so much TV and movies they are desensitized, but should stop and think (as grotesque as it is) what that man really did … the physical reality … how awful it had to be for those children … and how the entire university, it’s Branch-Davidian coach and fanbase enabled it with their cultish devotion. Which, I repeat, 99.999999% still have to this very minute. I’d prefer my university not associate with them in any fashion.

WVU, meh. Whatever.

Comment by geeman2001 09.18.12 @ 10:27 pm

This is a business decision. I would freeze out the competition and not play WVU in any sport. Their closest in conference opponent is over 700 miles away. Good luck creating rivalry games where none can exist. The BIG12 will tout rivalries in their division because they have to market their teams. Pitt needs to go into the four corners on this one and just freeze them out. WVU is on an island, leave them there. Actually, that is what Penn State did to Pitt. Now, Penn State wants Pitt back because it can help…..Penn State.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.18.12 @ 10:27 pm

@Pittstadiumshuffle!!!! LMAO

“better looking wife, better fans, better food”

Like going to the shore for vacation, the eggs, bacon, toast and coffee are the same as they are at home……….

but, somehow, it tastes better!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.18.12 @ 10:40 pm

@Pttstadumshuffle, wow, was mine a bad analogy!!!!!!!!

After I re-read it, didn’t come off as I thought!!!


Sounds like I meant, stuff looks better, but is the same!!!!!!!! LOL

Not at all, the wife, food, fans, campuses will in fact be MUCH BETTER!!!

I agree totally with you!!!!!

That’s why I shouldn’t type so fast with my thoughts.

Perhaps something on, if my job ever got transferred to a shore area permamently?????

I don’t know what the eff I’m talking about, I don’t even have any booze in me!!!

Anyhow, your points are excelletn, sounds like something from Seinfeld, I can hear Jerry saying that, “the food tasted better, the people are better lookin'”.

I’m done, I’ll try again tomorrow!!!!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 09.18.12 @ 10:48 pm

I like my old wife and she is a great cook.
but i get your point.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.18.12 @ 10:53 pm

We’re movin on up to the ACC to a deluxe conference in the sky.

Comment by Houston Panther 09.18.12 @ 10:53 pm

The Backyard Brawl in basketball has been intense the last few years, moreso than I ever remember it being in the past.

Scheduling OOC games in hoops is way easier than in football. No reason for that not to happen.

As for football, I’ve never been in favor of scheduling 1aa schools, and I don’t even think the NCAA should allow it. One tuneup against a MAC/CUSA/Sunbelt/etc opponent, two non-con games against real teams, then your 9 conference games.

That would give Pitt plenty of leeway for OOC rivalry games, and even occasionally schedule other non-conference foes.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 09.18.12 @ 11:31 pm

Forget wv, let them scramble for non con fball. Pitt needs to establish playing rotation of nd/psu, a team from local 1-aa to get butts in seats (villanova or Youngstown), and a semi-local team that should be a w (navy, buffalo, temple, Marshall, etc) the acc will bs tough enough no need to make non con ridiculous keep it local without the hillbillies and make sure you will at least be 2-1 when league play starts.

Comment by John 09.18.12 @ 11:32 pm

Pitt is making a business decision and clearly views PSU and ND as preferred business partners to WVU. That is the wise thing.
In the West, you don’t see Stanford or USC or even Cal lowering themselves to play Fresno State…not lowering in terms of level of competition…Fresno could have kicked many as ass over the years and to be honest WVU has kicked ours with decent regularity in football as we have in hoops o er recent years.
But in Cali, Fresno has the same well earned reputation as the place you get your degree when no one else will take you and where vulgarity is encouraged and admired. Just like the university of West Virginia (as Smiley called them in a video some years back).
Fresno is isolated and the same needs to be done to WVUlgar. Pitt does not “need” WVU, Pitt just purposely distanced themselves from them. Luck was pissed that he did not get asked to the ACC and was pissed that Pitt turned it’s back on WVU.
I would have been pissed off as well. So Luck mitigates his damages and gets into the Big 12. Best move possible with the hand he is dealt. Then, Luck fans the flames of potential FSU, Clemson ACC departure and Big 12 expansion. But the ACC grabs enough of ND to put that matter to rest and now the winter is about to arrive and Ames Iowa isn’t as close as it seemed in June.
WVU needs Pitt. That is why you hear Huggins (who I like by the way—whatever he is, hippocrite is not among them) speak as he does.
But in return for what? Coins in the eye, “Shit on Pitt”, urine in a bottle poured on your head as you walk beneath them?
The list goes on.
PSU and ND offer bigger paydays, fewer headaches and more national prestige.
Three goals that Pitt is better served reaching than a pissing contest with the neighbor to the near south.

Comment by SFPitt 09.19.12 @ 12:28 am

Keeping the rivalry with WVU is a no-brainer in my book. The series is way too dynamic to let go. It’s civilized urban yinzers vs the hicks. It’s a first class medical school vs WVs governor paying for his daughter’s fraudulent MBA like f’ing Boss Hogg. It’s good vs evil! C’mon, are you kidding me? I hate the hoopies just as much as the next guy, but I would hope that more people agree with me than not that if this series were to die so would a very important part of our identity. As for helping WVU with recruiting in our backyard? Easy solution…win the games! Plus, with Pitt’s play over recent years and the pressure from Big 10 schools on recruiting (Urban Meyer is licking his lips) WVU is the least of our worries. If anything, the exposure of a good rivalry will ALWAYS outweigh a recruit being scooped here or there.

I really think this VT win has gone to some fans’ heads. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Pitt football is in some seriously sad and piss-poor shape. We need all the exposure we can possibly get to get us out of the slump we’re in. And dare I say, aside from 13-9 (which was a top 10 sports moment of my life) WVU has lapped our football program. WVU has done nothing but win and win big, including on the biggest stages. Pitt has made a habit of perpetually s@#$ing the bed on midweek national coverage and Saturday deep cable.

Let’s think with our heads. We’re Panthers after all, not hoopies.

Hail To Pitt

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 09.19.12 @ 2:56 am

Playing WVU and / or Pedophile U is okay but doesn’t get my blood boiling. I’d rather see Pitt BB play Georgetown regularly and play Ohio State in FB and BB. The distance to Columbus is short and their teams are good to great, not to mention the recruiting implications each year.

Comment by mtoolmn 09.19.12 @ 6:05 am

1 combination of joining ACC while sustaining local rivalries
Gives Pitt the best of all worlds.
2 Lets schedule WVU and PSU in FB and BB

Comment by Jr 09.19.12 @ 7:58 am

I think having a rival is important. When you’re having a crap season, a win against a rival (13-9), can make it a lot more bearable.

Will VT become a rival? Who knows. Maryland? meh.

PSU has NO rival in the B1G. They tried to make up one with Mich St, but Mich St will tell you that Michigan is their rival. There’s no rivalry with OSU either. OSU also views Michigan as their top rival. PSU is/was a tough game for these teams, but the animosity never reaches the level that Pitt-PSU or Pitt-WVU maintains.

PSU snubbed Pitt since they moved to the B1G. They were too good for us. They didn’t need us. How did that make us feel?

I don’t want Pitt to turn into PSU in this regard. Keep WVU in both sports.

Comment by pghFred 09.19.12 @ 8:12 am

Isn’t it a shame that one bitter old man that wielded way too much power caused one of the best rivalries in college football to be cast to the side of the road? And on top of it, he hid a child molester. Awesome.

But it would be good for both Pitt and WVU to somehow keep their ties on the gridiron and on the basketball court, as pghFred just said. Don’t be a PSU type bitter snob.

Comment by Panther Pride 09.19.12 @ 8:29 am

“WVU is a little to high on themselves this past year. They are the version of the hillbillies going to Beverly Hills after hitting the lottery.”

Excellent. HTP

Comment by pittbluegold 09.19.12 @ 8:31 am

Screw WVU. I would rather not ever play them again in anything, at least as long as Luck is there. Luck has been more arrogant with Pitt than anybody at Penn State, WVU fans are classless, and the school is an academic joke. Penn State has certainly been arrogant too, but at least we share a recuiting base with them. If we don’t play Penn State and beat them, PA recruits will continue to assume that they are the better program. WVU mostly recruits the south now.

Comment by Lee in Altoona 09.19.12 @ 9:17 am

I’m gonna go off the board here for basketball, haven’t seen many or any post this, as I think, most of us assume, “everyone is mad at each other”, so it doesn’t come up.

Perhaps they are mad at each other, but, I would suspect, it would be more of the fans mad at Pitt and Syracuse.

A lot of ath. admin people can get over things easily when a game is needed or money is needed.

My proposal for more non-conferece hoop games that would be big non-con games, and rivalry games would be ……………………..

Villanova, Georgetown and UCONN. Why not???

Would be awesome!!!!

Villanova and G-town are hoops schools anyhow, they would probably be fine with all the football teams leaving, expand with the Atl 10 Catholic schools and have a mega conf.

Is there really any animosity there??

UCONN??? They’d be all for it. They will be wanting to keep on Pitt and Syracuse’s good side, in case anything ever develops with ND joining the ACC for football. As long as that’s out there, they’ll place nice.

I Jamie wanted to get really crazy, schedule Villanova and UCONN (if willing of course) alternating. One year have UCONN coming here, go to Nova. Next year Nova home, go to UCONN.

Get to keep our fingers in the NYC, Philly recruiting areas.

Maybe the BE will put out an ultimatum to schools not to schedule Pitt and Syracuse, for any sports, who knows.

I’d look into it though.

And, I still say, leave WVU on ISOLATION ISLAND in all sports!!!!!

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 9:17 am

I would eventually like to continue playing WVU in hoops each year, and football when we can fit them into the schedule. But for now, I like the stance Pitt is taking. Let WVU stew in their own juices for a bit and come back to reality. They want to have their athletic director take potshots at us? Fine. No problem. Just don’t expect us to be in a rush to deal with you…

Comment by JCE 09.19.12 @ 9:32 am

I think in basketball it is a no brainer. Both programs are good with high profile coaches, BB scheduling is always evergreen and easy to insert games/dates.

Football is much more complicated. Plus, as others have said, I would let Mr. Luck stew in his comments a few years. Let’s see where WVU is as a program in 4-5 years.

Comment by owtahear 09.19.12 @ 9:40 am

The Pitt – PSU rivalry should never have ended. And now that the sole impediment to that is gone for good, it should resume. I don’t have any real friends who went to WVU, but have a bunch from PSU. The smack talk leading up to the game is what makes that rivalry great. As for the Hoopies, got no use for them at all.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.19.12 @ 10:05 am

The arrogance of WVU fans in the past years has left me really not giving a sh!t about them or the game anymore. Let them have fun in Manhattan Kansas.

I’m looking forward to the ACC match ups and continued ND games. I would like to see PSU became a regular game again.

Comment by JoeP 09.19.12 @ 10:17 am

There was a rumor that all Big East teams are forbidden from playing WVU in basketball this year. Not sure how much that is true. Here is the thing in basketball, schools play maybe a max of 3 power basketball schools in the nonconference schedule. So with ACC-Big 12 Challenge that is 1 game already determined. Dixon is always going to schedule Nova, Georgetown or one of the NYC schools before he schedules WVU. So of course he is going to be very noncomittal about WVU. Pitt doesn’t need WVU for basketball. I’m not sure how much they care about appealing to the fans in regards to the nonconference schedule. Dixon was content with the current junky non-conference plus the late cancelled SEC home game. Even with a game home against Arkansas I would have said the home schedule sucks. I’ve given up on the hopes of having actual good nonconference home games. It just sucks that as a season ticket holder I have to pay for all these early games that are horrible and barely worth going to.

Football wise, who cares about WVU. Morgantown is a dangerous place for Pitt fans. It doesn’t matter if you have personally experienced it or not. I went to Iowa last year and it was an awesome experience. All the fans were super friendly and invited us to random tailgates even though we were the “enemy.” I’d pick going to another game at Iowa over playing at WVU 100% of the time. And if you are talking about rivalry between familes with degrees from both schools, no one from Western PA actually goes to WVU because we know of the substandard education there. Of all the people that I went to school with and of all the people I know that went to Pitt, I can think of 0 who have a family member who went to WVU. PSU on the other hand I know quite a few families.

Comment by Wardapalooza 09.19.12 @ 10:18 am

Well said pghfred

How do you compare Fresno St to WVU, USC/UCLA are crosstown rivals and Cal and Stanford arn’t far off they all play each other that is there good business. A highly ranked WVU/Pitt game sells out and maybe brings gameday to town that is our good business playing a delapitated PSU team does nothing for Pitt it will sell out but will only have regional interest. The Backyard Brawl is a national brand and puts Pitt in the national spotlight lets not be petty like PSU and get WVU back on the schedule

Comment by steve h 09.19.12 @ 10:20 am

Once Pitt establishes itself in the coastal division of the ACC, we will naturally develop in-conference rivalries. VT is going to be one of those, simply because of Saturday’s game result and our previous BE history that we have together.

The total conference schedule obligation is nine games in conference, so that only leaves us three out of conference games a season. One of those games should always be with a lesser conference cupcake team that can be scheduled early season when we need a cakewalk, tune up game.

So what do we do with the other two? I’d much prefer to reignite the Pitt-Penn State game than keep the WVU game. Then there is ND that we should continue at all costs even if it is not played on an annual basis.

That means that there is really only one game available on our schedule if the above occurs.

Now just to rub the Hoopies nose in it, I personally would like to see us schedule any other teams in the Big 12, that we have a history with, like Oklahoma, and play them instead of WVU. I say let WVU twist in the wind!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.19.12 @ 10:24 am

@steve h.

How do I compare WVU to Fresno? Easy, close proximity to other schools in different conferences.
USC/UCLA & Pitt/PSU are national rivals…WVU is the brawl and comes nowhere near national brand like Pitt/PSU…hell, even Brad Nessler thought West Virginia was the western portion of Virginia and not its own state.
You don’t rescue your nearest competitor, you vanquish him.

Comment by sfpitt 09.19.12 @ 11:04 am

I may be in the minority, but I’d consider donation a major organ if it would help to resume the Pitt-Penn State rivalry game.

Some of you might be too young to remember, but in its day that rivalry was as hot and as much fun as Michigan-OSU, Texas-Oklahoma, ed River Shootout, Bedlam, The Holy War, The Civil War, or any other.

In fact, the only reason the Backyard Brawl even became a rivalry to Pitt was because the PSU game went away. Back when we played both, WVU cared a lot more about playing Pitt than we did about playing them.

In fact, if the PSU game renews, I couldn’t care less if we ever again play those couch-burning knuckleheads from Morgantown.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.19.12 @ 11:20 am

WVU is Pitt’s only real rival. Just get them on the schedule annually.

Comment by Chris 09.19.12 @ 11:47 am

@Imma Man, you are right on. I’m 47 yrs old. Growing up, in the 70’s and 80’s, the rivalry was one of the top 3 or 4 rivalry games in the country.

Not just because I’m a Pitt guy.

Just facts, allthough it may be hard for some younger fans to believe.

OSU-Mich, Texas-Ok, Neb-Ok, Pitt-PSU not only said in the same breath, some years it was the most anticpated game.

To point. Not sure what year, but, on the Friday after T-giving it was played, the Today Show had one of their segments on the game, that would be played that afternoon.

Interviewed J. Sherrill and J. Paterno live during the segment!!!

Not together mind you, they hated each other too.

If they played every year, it would get back a lot of that.

Mind you, not playing twice every 8-10 years, I realize that.

I’m saying, if it was EVERY YEAR.

Many, many more families and friends know people, many times in their immediate family, that go to PSU. Very few WVU.

We also have gone by them as far as having the upper hand (which they always felt they had).

Top 5 research school, ACC conference, top hoops school and the scandal will permanently put them behind Pitt. (no pun intended) LMAO!!!!!!!!

I actually fear some of the up coming games, as I hope Pitt fans can stay classy, because it would be real easy, with a few beers in ya, to get real nasty with PSU people for the considerable future.

I would think the onus, would be on the PSU fans though. If some PSU fan would start the “Shit on Pitt” stuff, then, I’m afraid, all’s fair in love and war.

I always found WVU a rivalry, but in the sense of, “bunch a hicks”, even at times, if lost, “so what, you have to go back and live in W.V.”

The PSU game, was the one, that when you were winning near the end of the game, you quietly said to yourself, “please, please, please, let this game end and let us win”.

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 11:50 am

Clearly Pitt needs a major upgrade in its non-con basketball schedule and the old Big East seems like a natural place for Jamie to go to find opponents. Pitt still should figure out how to play WVU in hoops. But, continuing rivalries with Nova, UConn, Georgetown and St. Johns should be the higher priority.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 09.19.12 @ 12:02 pm

Forget WVU in football completely. In basketball, schedule the Hoopies only as a last resort. This year’s basketball schedule OFC is lacking.

Comment by TonyinHouston 09.19.12 @ 12:02 pm

sfpitt, Pac 12 schools don’t play Fresno St because they are a non AQ school and they have regional rivalrys already in place it is a lose lose game for them, WVU is ranked #9 and has a front runner in the heisman race. For those of you who want WVU to stew, if they run the table and win the Big12 they will be playing Alabama in the NC game, also playing OKLA,OKLA STATE,TCU, and Texas will not hurt their recruiting stop fooling yourselves, playing and beating them will only help our recruiting.

I am old enough to remember the great Pitt/PSU rivalry but we have only played them 4 times in the last 20 years and the last game that was big time was longer than that, 30 year old people don’t remember it, PSU will win 4 to 5 games this year and this will be the best team they will have in the next 8-10 years maybe longer, T-shirts were pulled from Ohio State shelves that read I would rather shower at PSU than root for Michigan, PSU is a punchline they arn’t competitive anymore its time to stop beating a dead horse

Comment by steve h 09.19.12 @ 12:50 pm

Dr. Tom, its not going to work that way…Ask PSU fans who is their main rival in the Big 10. You will get several answers. Then go ask a fan of that team who their main rival is in the Big 10 and none of them will say PSU. We may think we have a rivalry with VT, but they will never see it as the same. You can’t create the level of hate, discontent, and yes, respect for a true rival with anything other than decades of games played every year. If we lose a FB or BB game to ND or VT, I am pissed. If we lose a FB or BB game to WVU, my wife and daughter know to vacate the premises! Forget ND and PSU, put WVU on the FB and BB schedules.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.19.12 @ 12:57 pm

Play in state Temple and PSU, play wvu, play cincy. Quality programs for the most part and very local. Enough of this North Florida win by 50 shit

Comment by Timmeh 09.19.12 @ 1:24 pm

That’s a pretty big “if” steve h.

Yes, playing Oklahoma and Texas will help with WVU recruiting.

However, Pitt playing and beating WVU will do next to nothing for Pitt recruiting.

Miniscule at best. Perhaps a WPIAL player or two.

WVU just doesn’t have any national cache. If Pitt were to beat them, “no one across the nation is going to sit up and say, ‘wow, Pitt beat WV’.

I mean, they just don’t. They are not in with Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, and the Michigans and Ohio States of the world. They just aren’t.

They could win the NC, they still wouldn’t have any national cache.

Example, they could beat Texas, and Texas would still be known as a football powerhouse, WV, would be known as a team that had a good year.

So, I wouldn’t make too much out of recruiting for the benefit of Pitt, as a reason to play them.

Whose to say, they won’t tank this year or the next few anyhow??

Always rumors of Holgersen wanting to go to one of the Okies or Texas school to be head coach, so I wouldn’t worry too much about WVU.

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 4:30 pm

Good example, WVU whipped Clemson, what 66 to 10 or something in the bowl game.

Ask most college football fans, who has a better program, who is more of a hot bead of college football, who would you rather watch on t.v.,

9 out of 10 are still going to say Clemson, even after the smackdown.

Low, low profile.

Now, if you start talking about the movie “Wrong Turn”, well then………..

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 4:33 pm

Dan, Clemson you gotta do better than that, they are in a resurgence they won a title in the 80’s then fell off the map until recently, no one really cared about the Orange bowl cause it was a big east team that won. WVU has put the BE on their backs since Miami and VT left beating Georgia and Oklahoma in BCS bowls and Clemson, yes those are big if’s but winning or finishing at the top of the Big 12 will carry alot of weight they are also ranked every year, so having a rivalry game and beating a top tier Big 12 team probably ranked is good for recruiting, and a hell of alot better than playing a down PSU team or Iowa or any other midwest team where we don’t recruit anyway, the only exception would be Ohio State

Comment by steve h 09.19.12 @ 5:48 pm

I hate West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Penn State. So as far as I’m concerned, as long as we play at one each year, I’m ok. I realize that now that Notre Dame is semi-joining the ACC, they won’t be playing Pitt every year. The way Notre Dame-ACC agreement reads, it looks like most Pitt will play Notre Dame is once every 3 years. If that the case, I would want to get similar deals with Penn State and WVU to fill the gaps. Luck was quick to ink a yearly deal with Maryland, as their local game. So at the time he clearly didn’t want to continue the series with Pitt. Now after the realities of all the travel involved in the Big 12 have begun to sink in, he will want to schedule some games with Pitt. The situation with Pitt playing Penn State looks even better. Joiner their AD seems open to the possibility.

Comment by Justinian 09.19.12 @ 5:57 pm

@steveh, I think you have an over blown sense of where West Virginia stands nationally.

Quite easy actually.

They finished 17th last year.

Not even ranked in final top 25 at end of 2010. Lost to NC State in Champs Bowl

09′ finished 25th, lost to Florida St. in Gator Bowl.

I’m not talking about how good they may be.

I’m talking about the perception nationally of WVU.

There almost is no perception of them nationally.

Ya, actually, Clemson is way out in front of WVU.

That’s gotta be killing their fans. They woop on a team, and they still have no value.

Oh well, good for them , they deserve it, right???

Someday, if they win the Big 12 several times, are consistently in the top 10, 4 or 5 years in a row, then it might be worth re-considering.

For now,

Let them play with Iowa State, Kansas and Baylor.

Not that they get much press in Pittsburgh in the newspaper, radio or on the tv news sports to begin with, but, I’ve almost heard nothing about them this year. I mean at all, hardly a mention.

It’s like they’ve fallen off the map.

I say, keep isolating them. Don’t need em’!!!

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 7:01 pm

Well Dan I don’t live in the burgh anymore I live in ACC country and here WVU comes up alot also CFB live hosts have Geno Smith as their #1 on the heisman list they haven’t had a losing season in 10 years and finished outside the top 30 only once in that span #38,powerhouse Clemson has finished in the top 25 only 3 times in the last twenty years and had a losing season as recently as 2010, also the 2009 Pitt/WVU game is the highest rated game in espn2 history somebody is watching. So since you have your thumb on the pulse of the nation who should we play other than our longest rival

Comment by steve h 09.19.12 @ 8:05 pm

@steve h

You do have to admit, Morganhole is one the worst places to go to a football game.

The state of West Virginia is about as backwards as they come.

And with everyone at WVU being related because of the in-breeding problem…

we should take our time with who we dance with.

At least we can agree that WVU is crap!!!

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 8:29 pm

Why do West Virginia grads keep their diploma on their dashboard???

So they can park in handicap spaces!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 8:33 pm

What do West Virginia and Marshall students have in common???

They both got into West Virginia!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 8:36 pm

Yes dan I’m not going anywhere near Morgantown and I hate WVU but I do love the Brawl, also looking forward to playing Clemson and all other ACC foes, goodbye to the big east, and I just don’t see the value in playing PSU, anyway no matter who we play we have to take care of our own business hopefully we build off the big VT win and have a great season, cheers to that.


Comment by steve h 09.19.12 @ 8:43 pm

Steve, I apologize. I have to admit, after reading your one post, I thought perhaps a WVU troll was among us, and I was trying to sniff it out.

I’m sure you posted before, but there are a couple Steve’s.

And sometimes, people hijack names to troll.

I now realize, you just really love that game.

I hope you’ll accept my apology, I really thought we may have had a Mountie among us, and I apologize for badgering.

Your points are valid.

Maybe I should have read some of the above posts that you were countering.

Of course, playing Tx and Ok will help their recruiting.

I should have seen your text in context. My fault.

Still, personally, I would rather play PSU, but, all of us are different, and have different reasons. Some to help Pitt, some for nostalgia, recruiting, etc. etc.

Again, sorry for the badgering, I really thought someone had stolen your tag, should have read more above.

I apologize, Dan.

Comment by Dan 09.19.12 @ 10:27 pm


its all good we can always agree to disagree as long as its not about our love for Pitt. WOW you thought I was a hoopie, OUCH. Sorry if I come on to strong with my posts it is that I haven’t lived in western Pa in over 25 years and have been arguing with arrogant midwest and mid-atlantic CFB fans for a long time.

This thanksgiving wknd we play Rutgers, UGH! It is my belief that playing in the big east has drug Pitt down. Back when Pitt/PSU were playing for NC games and big time bowls Rutgers and Temple were tune up games and Cincy was OSU warm up bitch, now this is who we compete with for a conf. title, but the Brawl has been the one constant game that has brought national attention, it is promoted during feast week and has replaced Pitt/PSU and Ok/Neb and it is a national brand anyone who does not know who is in the Brawl does not know college football! Now its gone and we play Rutgers and don’t know who is next, I’m sorry to see it go and not having the national attention I think hurts Pitt

Comment by steve h 09.20.12 @ 5:12 am

Oh and losing to a PSU team with only 15 scollys I could never go home again, what a nightmare that would be

Comment by steve h 09.20.12 @ 5:37 am


Glad I missed the back and forth yesterday.

Fresno state wanted desperately to get into the PAC10 for decades. Well, we see they failed.
But when their push was trongest, it came with Sweeney as head coach. Much like the guy in Morgantown who bathes once a week whether ne needs it or not.
Those fresno teams were damn good and were itching to get into the PAC10. But the PAC10 WASN’T STUPID.
USC was suffering too as it hired some reject from Pitt by the name of Hackett after suffering since Robinson left.
USC eventually rebounded (LA’s pro team) and Fresno was squeezed out.
Saying that Fresno is not played because of their conference proves the point. Lots of PAC10 teams play non powers–New Mexico, etc…
But the point is that you don’t do it because this is a BUSINESS! Playing WVU is an emotional game, I understand that. But, it means nothing to the world outside. ND, PSU, OSU now that brings national attention…WVU has a wonderful program and I don’t begrudge them that, but Pitt needs to think bigger and PSU and ND on an annual basis clearly does that.
A final note…I lived in WV for many years….the myth that that team and school provides sell outs is a great con job…sure, when they have very good teams, they sell out some games, but even last year Holgerson was bitching about attendance…it is a very small market.
Most years, they will average in the 50’s for attednance…PSU, ND, OSU…well, not so constrained.

Comment by sfpitt 09.20.12 @ 7:48 am

All good Steve. You said nothing wrong nor did anything wrong.

All on me, guess I’m looking for Mountie Ghosts that aren’t there.

Good day to you.

I will also suggest, this is a huge game for Pitt this weekend fellas.

Will they come out and keep the pressure on, hopefully a 42-10, 35-14, 45-3 win, or,

a nail biter 24-21 coming down to the last minute.

The team, Gardner-Webb isn’t exciting, but, we’ll learn a lot about this team this weekend.


Comment by Dan 09.20.12 @ 9:38 am

Good day to all

This is a big game, 55-0, lets see the 2nd and 3rd string play alot.

sfpitt, I get that FSU students can’t spell Fresno and WVU students can’t spell Morgantown and Duke and USC don’t want to deal with their antics but on the field WVU is miles ahead.

The reason for this discussion is that ND is joining the ACC, we have a long term contract with them but that will change once the big east gets done extorting them and we don’t know when all this will go into affect. I contend that WVU is the best business plan for Pitt here is why, as I noted before espn2 highest rated game is Pitt/WVU these are small markets so it had to have had a large national audiance also the brawl according to Athlon sports 2011 is the 11th best rivalry in the country ahead of USC/UCLA you don’t make that list without a national following( PSU was not on that list), the 13-9 game was on all national media outlets for long after the game was over so people did stand up and notice that we beat them, it is horrible but you want the teams you play especially your rival to have a good season other wise nobody watches, a Big 12 vs ACC game will stir up intrest nation wide, more if they are both ranked.

OSU would be great and i’m all for it but they don’t need us to play them hopefully beat them and give recruits someone else close by to think about, and they can already come to PA and get big recruits (Terrell “the coach killer” Pryor) as an example, their rep is good enough to play cupcakes and still play for a title, so I just don’t see that happening.

PSU right now is a car wreck people are watching to see what bad thing is going to happen next, they are going to be a 3 win team for some time and people will stop going, at the Navy game quite a few upper tier seats were empty and after the Big 10 gets through beating the crap out of them there won’t be much left to see, they also showed the country how whacky they really are in their defence of Joe Pa and how the freeh report was wrong, you said we should bury the competition and we all complain about how we are out recruited by them so why play them and give them a chance to get that advantage back, they turned thier back on both Pitt and WVU so why not let the Brawl continue and freeze PSU out

Comment by steve h 09.20.12 @ 12:41 pm

Marshall needs WVU. Pitt doesn’t.

Comment by SFPitt 09.20.12 @ 7:48 pm

If Pitt had some local B-Ball talent, I could see scheduling the Hooples in basketball every year. But Pitt needs to recruit Philly, New Jersey, and possibly metro New York and DC. I would try to play in those locations as much as reasonably possible. Games against Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Georgetown, St. Johns, UConn shoule be pursued. As someone mentioned, a game against WVU should be done as an absolute last resort.

Comment by George 09.21.12 @ 5:21 pm

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