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.
The hope obviously is that long-term it re-establishes the annual game without having to be as much of an issue. Given the constant shifting of conference size and the potential of 9-game schedules in-conference to fill inventory as teams pursue TV dollars and their own cable channels. There are not guarantees. That it is why it is important to extend the series as much as possible now.
The Pitt-Penn State game now going through 2019 guarantees that WVU will not be on the football schedule until at least the next decade. Pitt is still slated to play ND through 2016, there simply won’t be a spot for the Brawl.
Still. Sixteen years between the last game and the next one. The longest gap in the series since it began.
For both Pitt and Penn S