Blog Entry

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

Posted on: May 14, 2011 1:59 pm

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Some rivalries in college football are born from the competition on the field between two schools over time, while others stem simply from geographical roots. For over a century there was a rivalry that featured both between Pitt and Penn State. The schools competed against each other 96 times over a 107-year span, but have not met on a football field since the turn of the century in 2000. Some say it's because both schools shed their independent status as Pitt became a member of the Big East (via the Eastern 8 and Atlantic 10) while Penn State entered the Big Ten, and there just wasn't the room to fit each other into their schedules. Others will say Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is just angry that Pitt wasn't interested in Paterno's idea of creating a conference with eastern teams in the early 1980s.

Whatever the reason for it, the fact is that the schools just don't play anymore, which is a shame since the rivalry made so much sense. Well, at least one of the school's head coaches would like to see that change. New Pitt head coach Todd Graham joined Joe Paterno -- along with new Temple head coach Steve Addazio -- to talk to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association on Friday, and after the meeting said he'd love to see the rivalry renewed.

"I can remember watching that game growing up and the tremendous tradition that that game was, and we would actually love to play that game in the future," Graham told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It would be something that we'd be very much in favor of." 

Now, while Paterno was in attendance, Graham made it very clear that he had yet to speak to Paterno about the idea, so he wasn't sure what Paterno's feelings on the idea were. The media in attendance never had a chance to ask Paterno either, as he left without speaking to reporters.

Personally I don't see this happening while Joe Paterno is still at Penn State. The fact is that if Paterno wanted to play Pitt, Penn State would be playing Pitt. The fact that the two schools haven't met in over a decade should tell you everything you need to know about Paterno's level of desire to renew the rivalry. 

Hat Tip: CFT


Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2011 11:27 am

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

You do not know what you are talking about LSUSMC. Penn State (as do most Big Ten teams) has consistently outscheduled just about every SEC team.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

This would make sense if t was still a rivalry; Pitt has a rival....WVU & the game counts in the standings... no need to play PSU; Graham only said this to placate the Pitt old timers; he could probably care less about PSU.

Since: Nov 3, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2011 3:03 pm

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

Pitt sux!

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: May 16, 2011 2:30 pm

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

Pitt may need to understand their place, but PSU ought to improve their OOC, period.  I love JoPa, but he has the record now, so it is time to improve their schedule.  People crack on SEC teams all the time for their OOC, but just about all SEC teams schedule better than Penn State. 

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2011 1:48 pm

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

Pitt needs to a a few things before Penn State should even think of restarting the rivalry.

1. Get a football stadium to call their own.

2. Get real fans of their own.

3. Realize their place and accept a 2 for 1 offer.

Fact, the last three times Penn State played at Pitt, Pitt did not sell single game tickets and chose to sell three game bundles instead. They chose to devalue their football team to the point where it is not worth it to play them. The rivalry is dead, Pitt killed it all by themselves. Unless Pitt learns their place, no continuation of the series should happen.

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:43 pm

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

Pitt will have to agree to the same 2 for 1 and 3 for 2 deal Temple has and I don't see that happening.
Temple has said it will sign a 1-1 with anyone but Penn State and Notre Dame, so Temple is available as Pitt's in-state rival if Pitt wants to do that.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2011 10:27 am

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

I think the fact is that Penn State simply has no interest in playing Pitt, and this will be the case as long as JoePa remains the boss at Penn State.  The Big 10+2 has nothing to do with Penn State's non-con schedule.  Penn State loves to schedule rather easy non-con opponents to 2 and 1 schedules, playing two games at home and only one on the road.  Pitt would never go for that.  Timing is also another problem.  When these two teams met, it was always at the end of the season.  Now Penn State has scheduled division rival Wisconsin for their last regular season game thru 2014.  Penn State seems to favor playing Temple, who they have played three times in the past three years, (all at home), and who they play three times in the next four seasons, over Pitt.  Teams like Temple and Rutgers are more to Penn State's liking.

Since: May 15, 2011
Posted on: May 15, 2011 8:26 am

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

I'm all for restarting the series, but only if it is at the expense of the FCS or MAC school on Pitt's schedule.  Pitt already plays better teams OOC than PSU and in many cases in better locations than State College in terms of travel.  Also in terms of being in the Big East, does Pitt really need to add another regional opponent instead of playing a more nationally appealing team like Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, etc?

Personally, I would rather see the series with Utah extended an additional two games (SLC was a great trip last year) and also looking more to the South, Southwest, and West coast for games in the future for OOC games rather than just playing a regional team in PSU.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2011 7:44 am

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

"The Big ten with Nebraska is flipping loaded especially when Michigan and Minnesota get back on track."

I'm sorry, when exactly has Minnesota been on track? When was the last time they were in a New Year's Day Bowl? I remember my Illini in a Rose Bowl. I remember Northwestern in the Outback Bowl recently. Minnesota is just another school too far west that I could do without in the Big Ten. I wish Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota would just leave the Big Ten. And Northwestern is basically dead weight too.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:06 am

Todd Graham all for renewing Pitt-PSU rivalry

It has to be all then about state bragging rights, because you have to be somewhat competitive
to make it interesting.  Out here in CO, its almost the same thing,  colorado state thinks the game
with colorado is the biggest game on the schedule, while colorado just looks at it as another game.
They really don't take them seriously, and will always treat them like second class citizens.    

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