The respective athletic directors for both Pittsburgh and Penn State have discussed the potential future of a four-game in-state series that the two teams will begin next year. Speaking to Audrey Snyder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penn State AD Sandy Barbour briefly discussed the rivalry’s plan for the future.
“Scott Barnes, [Pitt’s] new AD, I’ve known for a long time,” Barbour said Friday at Big Ten Conference media days. “We’ve had a brief conversation. I think we’re scheduled here in the next month or so to talk about it. We’ve got a big puzzle in looking at our non-conference schedule, so we’ll see where that fits in.”
It just so happens that at Big Ten Media Days yesterday, it was revealed that there would be new scheduling rules for football programs. Not only is the Big Ten conference schedule for football extending from eight to nine games, but FCS opponents are being eliminated entirely and teams must have one non-conference game against a program from the Power 5.
Seeing as how the Nittany Lions play in the Big Ten and the Panthers are in the ACC, a conference that also requires its football participants to have one game against a power five opponent, this could end up working out perfectly.
But there’s also the fact that college football scheduling has to be done years in advance and given how Penn State is set to play Virginia Tech in 2020 and 2025 and West Virginia in 2023 and 2024, adding ANOTHER power five opponent to the schedule in Pittsburgh just for the sake of an in-state rivalry could end up being a bit much.
Just the same, fans would love it and if Barnes and Barbour can make it happen, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be so.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Penn Live