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December 7, 2012

It’s still more than three years away until Pitt and Penn State play for the first time since Pitt shut out Penn State 12-0 in 2000 — wow. It will be a 16-year gap. Amazing. Hard to believe it will be that long. But I digress.

The renewal was only to be a single home-and-home. But that was before all the, um, changes that have taken place in Happy Valley over the last year or so. A new coach. An interim AD. The passing of a certain obstinate figure. And the continual badgering by Pitt’s AD have led to an extension of the series to four years rather than two.

Last year, the two universities signed a home-and-home agreement for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Today, Pitt and Penn State announced a two-year extension of the original pact for 2018 and 2019.

Pitt will host the initial game at Heinz Field on September 10, 2016. The Panthers will play at Penn State on September 16, 2017. The new agreement will have the series returning to Pittsburgh on September 8, 2018, with a return trip to State College on September 14, 2019.

It’s welcome news for a rivalry game that should have never ended.

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Chryst Staying: Do We Care Why?

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 12:14 am

I’m only now home and with some time to sit down and post on what is old news: Pitt will have the same coach from the regular season coach the team in Birmingham. Something that is actually unique for the program.

The buzz last night and at the start of the morning was that it looked like Chryst wasn’t leaving Pitt. The message he and his assistants were getting out to the 2013 recruits was much more forceful than it would be if he was even torn on the idea. By comparison, Louisville Coach Charlie Strong told his players that he was deciding about what was best for his family before deciding to stay with the Cards.

Still, it was his alma mater. It was his home state. There are a lot of reasons he could change his mind. And, frankly, until there was something more tangible, the possibility he could decide to go back to Madison would be hanging over everything.

Enter Wisconsin AD and interim HC Barry Alvarez in a press conference today.

Question: Barry, you know how popular Paul Chryst is around here, and his name is going to be out there until proven otherwise. Is he a viable option to be the next head coach here?

Alvarez: I asked some very good friends of mine to help Paul get that job. I think Paul has already come out and said that he’s committed to Pitt. I think he should be committed to Pitt. I wouldn’t think it would be right for him to leave after one year. I wouldn’t feel right, and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to hire him back after I asked someone to do me a favor and help him get that job.

So Paul’s going to stay at Pitt.

And there was much rejoicing.

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