The Pittsburgh-Penn State football rivalry began in 1893 and was actually televised on ESPN-BC (Before Corso). OK, so maybe the inaugural game wasn’t televised, but the schools played every season from 1900-31 and 1935-92.
In the 1970s and 1980s it was one of the nation’s top games and frequently had national title implications.
There was a four-year break before the series resumed for four games from 1997-2000.
Then the series went into the deep freeze because Penn State didn’t exactly want the series to continue.
However, on Tuesday, the schools announced the series would continue – at least for two years – in 2016 and 2017. After nearly a 20-year hiatus the rivals will meet Sept. 10, 2016 at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field and then Sept. 16, 2017 at Penn State's Beaver Stadium.
So how many years/decades were negotiations ongoing to revive the Penn State-Pitt series? Well actually it took a little more than a week for the series to get revived.
That’s right. According to Pittsburgh senior associate AD E.J. Borghetti, Penn State had an opening on its future schedule and approached Pittsburgh. Discussions between Pitt AD Steve Pederson and Penn State AD Tim Curley started the beginning of last week and voila’ an agreement was reached less than a week-and-a-half later.
Very, very impressive. Major kudos to Pederson and Curley - and Penn State for not seeking out, say, Utah State to fill out its future schedule.
Pittsburgh and Penn State playing again is terrific news for college football fans.
Now if we can just get figure out a way to revive the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry.