November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions fans cheer during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Adds Two Games to Pitt Series

Nearly 18 months ago, Penn State and Pitt announced a deal to renew one of college football’s greatest rivalries starting in 2016 with a brief home and home series.  Today, the two schools added another home date for each, extending the series through 2019.  The 2016 and 2018 games will be played at Beaver Stadium West Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with the Lions at home in 2017 and 2019.  By the time the first game of this new series kicks off, it will have been 16 years since the Lions and Panthers last met, a game Pitt won 12-0 in 2000 in the old Three Rivers Stadium.

October 27, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Paul Chryst on the field before playing the Temple Owls at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Panthers won 47-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard not to believe that Bill O’Brien played a role in adding the additional games, as he has been a proponent of playing Pitt since being hired in January. BOB has obviously made recruiting Pennsylvania a top priority, and playing another game in state, against the other major program in the state (sorry Temple, if you lose your coach to BC, not a major program) should be a selling point, especially in Western PA.

From a personal standpoint, and a unabashed lover of college football tradition, it’s great to see one of the great rivalries in college football coming back.  I may have grown up in Ohio, but Penn State-Pitt was always one of those games you made sure to watch.  In a period with so much conference upheaval, and disappearing rivalries (I’m looking at you Texas-Texas A&M, Pitt-WVU), it’s good to see some of them coming back (notably Nebraska-Oklahoma).  And besides, adding another home date in 2016 and 2018 isn’t so bad either.

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