When Pitt first put its 2013 schedule together, it was with the expectation of being in the Big East with 8 teams. It featured Villanova, ND, at Navy, at VT and NC State. Obviously, once Pitt got its invite to the ACC last year things changed. The NC St. was tossed and VT became a conference game. Not to worry. The ACC was going to a 9-game schedule so Pitt was set. Three non-cons, two at home. That’s a 6-game slate — perhaps 7 if Pitt got 5 home conference games — and all was well.
Now it’s trickier.
The good news for Pitt is they have flexibility. With 6 home games, they don’t need a home non-con. They can do a quality home-and-home where they go on the road next year, if need be. This is a big change from the 2012 scramble, when they lost a scheduled conference home game with the moves of TCU and WVU (they got one back with the addition of Temple). That means no need — and no way — they add a second 1-AA team.
There is another possibility. Pitt is overbooked for 2014.
The non-con has Delaware, at FIU, Iowa, Akron and at ND. Even if Notre Dame joins the ACC in 2014, ACC Commissioner Swofford indicated that most of the present deals with ND and ACC teams would be honored for the first few years. So, that game probably wouldn’t be lost.
The assumption was that Pitt might have to buy out its game at FIU. Instead, maybe Pitt sees if FIU will move up the game to 2013. Right now they have an open date at the end of September. As does Pitt.
That might be the way to try and swing things. Pitt doesn’t have to pay to get out of a game. They rectify their gap for 2013 without having to scramble so much. FIU still gets the marquee home game. Just a year earlier. Something they might need with their move to Conference USA.
The only other headache will be the fact that the 2014 schedule will have a 2-week gap to fill right at the beginning of September. While the ACC does schedule at least one early conference game for teams, that doesn’t completely solve the issue. Well, maybe Akron will move their game up a couple weeks.