Penn State and Pittsburgh played a football game almost every single year from 1900 to 1992.
Well Pitt went to the Big East, Penn State went to the Big 10, and then the next 20 years saw conference realignment that resulted in other historic rivalries going right into the toilet. Now we’ve got Syracuse in the “Atlantic Coast” Conference and Missouri in the “Southeastern” conference, among other such geographical head scratchers.
PSU and Pitt renewed their rivalry with a four-game series that began in 2016 and ends on Saturday, when the two sides meet in Happy Valley. Beyond that, there’s nothing, as the Nittany Lions move on to play the likes of Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Villanova, while the Yinzers add Notre Dame and Tennessee in the non-conference slate.
Today head ball coach James Franklin was asked about the future of the series, and had this to say:
Asked whether he sees the Penn State-Pitt rivalry renewing, James Franklin sounds a hopeful tone: "I could see us possibly doing a neutral-site game with them. We could have discussions but we've got to be creative about it. … We're open to having discussions."
— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) September 10, 2019
Not a bad idea, but I don’t know where you’d do a neutral site game that makes sense. Philly? The schools are only a few hours apart and if you drop a pin halfway between them, you land pretty close to Indiana. Perhaps Pitt and PSU could play a game at IUP’s 11,000 capacity Miller Stadium, which would feature 10,000 Penn State fans and 1,000 Pitt fans.
I have a better idea, which I wrote about two years ago. How about eastern football teams play other eastern football teams every single year? I know Penn State fans shit all over the idea of leaving the Big 10, because you guys think you’re too big or too important or whatever, but you belong in a conference that looks like this:
- Penn State
- West Virginia
- Boston College
- Virginia Tech
- some other team
Think about it. Wouldn’t it be in your best interest to win this conference with frequency instead of losing eight of your last 10 games to Ohio State?
I’m just joking. Penn State is fine in my book, especially if you’re playing Pitt this weekend.
James Franklin on whether he thinks the series with Pitt can continue ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dy9qNPR13v
— Dylan Jacobs (@DylJacobs) September 10, 2019