PITT-Penn State Could Be Top 5 Rivalry

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42-39…..You say that around any group of PITT fans and you will most likely get a loud “LETS GO PITT!” chant going.  Say that score around a group of Penn State fans and anger will soon follow.  And yet, when you hear the leadership of the Penn State Athletics Department speak, it sounds like they don’t view PITT as a rival.

Barbour told reporters back in May that “the Power 5 slot” in PSU schedule is filled thru 2025, which would apparently be the next time the PITT-Penn State rivalry would be played after 2019.  And that just isn’t right in my opinion.  PITT-Penn State could be a Top 5 Rivalry across the country and be played every year just like Florida-Florida State, Auburn-Alabama, North Carolina-South Carolina and Texas-Oklahoma.  I would not hesitate mentioning this rivalry with those four because it means just as much to college football fans in Pennsylvania, as well as Nationally, as any of them.

But, every time Barbour speaks you get less optimistic that it will continue beyond 2019 without a break.  Looking at the Power 5 teams Penn State has scheduled, Does Virginia Tech and Auburn bring out the passion like PITT does among their fan base? No, probably not, other than they are big schools that will get a little national coverage.  Now, Penn State plays West Virginia and that will for sure get a lot of National coverage because it’s the same situation as PITT.  West Virginia, PITT and Penn State fans obviously dominate this region and the fan bases want to have bragging rights over the other two, but when they don’t all play each other it’s kind of hard to do that.

I understand why you have the smaller schools on Power 5 School’s schedules, but does a game against a Sun Belt Conference team for example get the Power 5 School’s fan base going?  No offense to the Sun Belt Conference, but no probably not.  Power 5 school’s should be allowed to schedule 1, maybe 2, but lets stick with 1 smaller school, cupcake as fan bases like to call it, on their schedule.  If Power 5 school’s played each other outside of conference more often, the team that wins those games would put themselves in great position for the college football playoff and the team that loses has a lot of work to do to make up for that loss and stay in the conversation.  And that would make college football even better for the fan bases and more profitable for the school’s.