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It’s (back) on! Pitt-Penn State set to renew rivalry

Joe Paterno Foge Fazio

Almost exactly a month ago today, first-year Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham stated very publicly that he would not be averse to renewing the school’s in-state rivalry with Penn State, going so far as to say that “[i]t would be something that we’d be very much in favor of.”

Today we learn that both schools are very much in favor of it as well.

In a press release issued by the school, the Panthers announced that the series will resume as an agreement on a home-and-home series has been reached.  Pitt will host the initial game at Heinz Field on September 10, 2016. The Panthers will play at Penn State on September 16, 2017.

“This is an exciting day for college football fans,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a statement. “The tremendous history of this rivalry is well documented and the passion that fans have for this game is enormous. We are very pleased that this two-game series is now in place and a new generation of fans can experience the excitement of a Pitt-Penn State football game beginning in 2016.”

“As a young football fan in Texas, I used to love watching Pitt and Penn State play every November,” Graham said. “The games were intense and featured some of the greatest players in the history of college football. The resumption of this series is great for the two schools and football fans everywhere.”

The series, first played in 1893, has been on hiatus since 2000, a 12-0 win for Pitt at Three Rivers Stadium.  Penn State, however, leads the all-time series 50-42-4.

With all of that said, major, major kudos to the two schools for this renewal.  These types of rivalries are what makes college football the great sport that it is on the field, and those responsible for getting Pitt-PSU back on the schedule — even if it’s only for a couple of years right now — should be applauded and given a back-slap or two.

UPDATED 5:56 p.m. ET: Interestingly, Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg, and not yet head coach Joe Paternohmmm, wonder why that is? — has also issued a statement on the renewal of the rivalry.

“Pitt and Penn State not only are longtime competitors in athletics but also are longtime partners in a broad range of academic and civic initiatives. The renewal of our football rivalry is consistent with that broader relationship, is good for both universities, will be welcomed by college football fans around the country, and presents another important opportunity to showcase Pennsylvania, the home state that we proudly share.”

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18 Responses to “It’s (back) on! Pitt-Penn State set to renew rivalry”
  1. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 14, 2011 3:55 PM

    This is a clear sign that JoePa is planning on retiring/dying after the 2015 season.

    Personally, I feel he should be buried under the Beaver Stadium turf.

  2. John Taylor says: Jun 14, 2011 4:01 PM

    @tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle: the whole “over my dead body” thing?

  3. stairwayto7 says: Jun 14, 2011 5:13 PM

    Joe Pa will be 90 and whip Pitt’s a$$ twice! I bet Pitt wanted both games played at Pitt also..

  4. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jun 14, 2011 6:17 PM

    Yes and no.

    Joe Paterno is Penn State and Penn State is Joe Paterno. I’m not sure how long he will last once he steps aside, it is all he knows.

    The legacy he has created, I would almost rather see him go on the sideline than see him step away and have his life be empty. He has earned, in my mind, the right to stay as long as he wants. I know there is a large share of fans that want him to bow out and let new blood come in, I attribute some of that to the instant gratification society we have become.

  5. 78lion says: Jun 14, 2011 7:42 PM

    All this means is sPitt AD caved. PSU has been offering sPitt a home and home for years. They keep turning PSU down demanding a longer series.

    Their AD is a genius. Demand, demand and settle for what PSU originally offered.

    Loved PSU AD Curley’s comments:

    Said the only reason this happened is that they have some open dates in ’16 and ’17 and wanted to add another “Eastern team”
    – Said they had no interest in renewing the deal long term. Wants to move around the country more and play different teams
    -Didn’t really seem to think of this as a rivalry at all and really never referred to it that way. To him this is just another game to fill a spot on his schedule.

  6. 78lion says: Jun 14, 2011 7:59 PM

    Check you update Nordy is sPitts not PSUs

  7. halo81 says: Jun 14, 2011 8:22 PM

    The true sign of objectivity, “sPitt” throughout posts.

    And Penn State fans wonder why they are voted most classless in the country…

    A bunch of mouth-breathing idiots, spare only a few that are sane.

    As for the deal, automatic wins for Penn State every year as Graham can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag and can’t seem to recruit either.

  8. harsh22 says: Jun 14, 2011 10:03 PM

    Waited way to long, this was great rivalry, but can’t happen again. Some of the greatest players in history from both schools played in this game. I am just sorry it ever ended.

  9. gershonpsu says: Jun 14, 2011 10:42 PM

    Let’s see — Joe should be going for win #450 in Pittsburgh!

  10. lbijake says: Jun 14, 2011 10:42 PM

    It’s on like Donkey Kong!!!

  11. lavarleap1 says: Jun 14, 2011 10:50 PM

    @halo81

    Penn State fans voted the most classless in the country? Who voted in this poll, the homeless people on Pitt’s campus?

  12. mdnittlion says: Jun 15, 2011 1:03 AM

    @halo81

    Penn State fans voted the most classless in the country?

    This poll which I’ve seen the results of are completely fixed. And anyone with half a brain knows why, a huge percentage of PSU fans that go to games are actually Philadelphia Eagle fans. Walk around campus and you know half the fans follow the Steelers and the other for the Eagles. And Eagle fans will set a car on fire if the owner is a fan of the opposing team even at an away game.

    As for the rivalry which I wouldn’t call especially when the game hasn’t been played in more than a decade.

    For the old man bowing out already. After the cluster that was the 03 & 04 seasons and the 05 season proving he should have started Robinson the whole time. Or that he couldn’t go undefeated and play for a National Championship in 05 or 08. Let’s not forget he choose to be loyal to Morelli when Clark was a much better choose. He couldn’t keep Pat Devlin on the team or bring Tyrod Taylor to Happy Valley. And let’s not forget the disaster that was the Rose & Outback Bowl. Plus all the in-state talent he couldn’t bring in over the years which I won’t go into. I’d still want him leading the team on the field till the day he dies, because he brings integrate to the game at a time when so many coaches don’t. Also at this point like many others I believe he’s just a figure head, that being one of the many reasons why he makes so little compared to other D-1 coaches.

  13. halo81 says: Jun 15, 2011 6:20 AM

    Yeah, I’ve spent plenty of time at Penn State games and your fans are classless tools. Absolute trash.

    Hell, I’m an Eagles fan and I think Penn State fans are brutal.

    You guys make Ohio State fans look good and that’s saying a lot.

    Two members of our family even played at Penn State and the fans were completely horrible to the youngest, which was recently.

    You people eat your own.

    It’s a shame Coach Paterno, Scrap and Larry have to put up with all the idiots calling for their heads.

  14. chefklm says: Jun 15, 2011 9:43 AM

    I love how these Nitwits have such a revisionist history. They fail to mention how in the past Paterno demanded that PSUcks get 2 home games for every 1 at Pitt to revive the series.

    And as far as the comment about Eagles fans being the brutal ones. Total BS. Though I’d rather have that than the typical bandwagon jumpers like a lot of Shitsburgh fans are.

    God I can’t wait for November 12th.

  15. fatguystrangler says: Jun 15, 2011 10:23 AM

    About damn time!!

  16. blastfurnaceknows says: Jun 17, 2011 9:51 AM

    PSU fans are routinely voted among the worst in the country. Classless, inbred, nothing-happening-but-the-football-game turds. If any of you had any semblance of a life, the games would be much more enjoyable to attend (& I have attended many and have never been disappointed by your classlessness). As to the “rivalry,” the truth is PSU needs this game MORE than Pitt. It has NO rival – OSU shrugs at PSU, Michigan sucks & ending against Michigan St. – are you kidding me? Pitt-WVU is a national game every year & the Brawl is a true rivalry. Sorry guys, but both Pitt & WVU are over you. Thank JoePa for that.

  17. corvusrex96 says: Jun 26, 2011 9:21 AM

    The truth is PITT needs this game much MORE than PSU.
    Supported the fact that there is a half empty stadium during Pitt games not involving WVU

    PSU attendance is >100K per game regardless of the opponent

    That is why Pitt coach Walt Harris begged for this game

    That is why the Pittsburg representives went to Harrisburg to pressure PSU to add this game

    That is why the new Pitt coach is pushing for this game.

    Pitt obsesses over PSU , not the other way around

  18. psudarling says: Jul 22, 2011 5:11 PM

    Wow! A lot of negativity here. I for one am excited that we will once again have this great rivalry!

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