|This matchup just hasn't happened often enough lately. (Getty Images)|
For many years the rivalry between Penn State and Pittsburgh was one of the best in college football. Since 1893, the schools have been battling on the gridiron, with the clashes of the 1970s and 1980s not only putting state supremacy on the line, but often the national title as well.
Unfortunately, of the 96 times the two schools have met in 119 years, there haven't been any games since 2000 and only four meetings since 1992. That was a year before Penn State dropped its independence for the Big Ten. The good news is that after having only four games in the last 20 years, there will be four more in the next seven.
Last year both schools announced that they would play a home-and-home series starting in Pittsburgh in 2016, and on Friday the schools announced they've agreed to two more games that will be played in 2018 and 2019.
"It would be hard to find a college football fan anywhere who is not excited about this announcement," Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a release. "As one of the greatest rivalries in college football history, a further extension of the Pitt-Penn State series is special. I am very appreciative of Dave Joyner's interest in getting this done and I have really enjoyed our conversations on this and other matters. This is a great day for the players, for the fans and for the entire state."
And it's hard to argue with Pederson. This is a rivalry to get excited about. In this day and age of college football, all too often we're seeing traditional rivalries broken up due to conference realignment, so to see this happening in Pennsylvania shortly after seeing Nebraska and Oklahoma announce they were rekindling their old rivalry, is awesome.
College football is just better when these rivalries exist.