When West Virginia moved to the Big 12 Conference in 2012, the Mountaineers left behind perhaps their fiercest rivalry game – the “Backyard Brawl” with Pittsburgh. But the two schools have been in discussions to revive the series and are trying to settle on dates.
“We’ve talked to Pitt, but they’ve got a lot going on, because they’re trying to get Penn State back on their schedule,” WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “I think they have, so they’re trying to figure out when they can squeeze us in. Their AD and I just talked last week, so we’re trying to get that set up. It’s all about dates.
“I think it will get done, but it’s all a matter of when.”
Pitt has already finalized future games against Penn State each year from 2016 through 2019. Looking at their future non-conference schedule, the Panthers have openings for games in 2015 (1), 2016 (2), 2017 (3), 2018 (3), and 2019 (2).
West Virginia has openings in each of those years except 2016. Both schools are wide open from 2020 into the future, although WVU announced a series earlier this week against Virginia Tech for 2020 and 2021.
The return of the Backyard Brawl is certainly something that Pitt and WVU fans and most college football fans would like to see. The Mountaineers won the last meeting in 2011, but still trail 61-40-3 in the series that began in 1895.
Back in May, Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson told ESPN that he was talking to WVU about renewing the series, but that they would not be able to play annually.
“We’re both trying to figure out when we can do it,” Pederson said. “We’re both in favor if it’s in the best interest of both schools.”
Oliver Luck followed that up with a discussion on tougher non-conference schedules with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
“I would love to get Pitt back on the schedule, I would love to get (Virginia) Tech back on the schedule, I would to get UVa back on the schedule, another school that we used to play a lot, and even Penn State,” Luck said. “Is that possible? Well, it takes two to tango, but I think the good news is we will see some stronger non-conference schedules as we go forward.”
As previously mentioned, West Virginia has already finalized a two-game contract with Virginia Tech. They also appear to be closer to scheduling future games against Penn State.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 4, 2013