Opinion: Pitt Must Improve Before Penn State Renews Rivalry
This Saturday will mark the final installment of the renewed four game series between Pitt and Penn State. Pitt won the first game in which they were favored. Since then, Penn State has swept the last two games by large margins. You can read the preview of this Saturday’s game here.
This morning I saw Penn State great, Todd Blackledge say this:
And with that I strongly disagree. First of all, let’s address the problematic conference logistics. Penn State only has 3 non-conference games due to the Big Ten’s idiotic 9-game conference schedule. That doesn’t leave much room for an…cough cough…easy opponent or two and one strong non-conference game.
Now before you condemn Penn State for a weak out of conference schedule go check the future schedules. Penn State plays West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Auburn. Also, go check the SEC, who has produced the most CFB Playoff teams, that constantly schedules the most FCS opponents. It might not be right but it’s effective at getting teams in the Playoff, which I thought was the goal of the conference.
Now, let’s talk about the other pitiful reason to renew the rivalry with Pitt. It doesn’t do anything for Penn State. Take this weekend for example. If Penn State blows out Pitt, national writers will say, “that’s what they are supposed to do!” If Penn State struggles they will say, “Oh man did you see how close that game was? Maybe Penn State isn’t what we thought they were.” And if we get upset they will exclaim how overrated the Nittany Lions are.
In any of those situations does Penn State gain anything? The answer is a clear strung, flat-out, no.
And don’t get me started on the great history of the rivalry, this isn’t your dad’s college football landscape, and these schools don’t have the same animosity towards each other. Sure the fanbases don’t like each other but until Pitt becomes relevant nationally, playing the Panthers does nothing for Penn State.