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    Default Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly
    By Adam Bittner - Contributor
    http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/2010/...-pitt-football


    In the wake of Penn State's announcement of a new series with Syracuse, writers and fans are as angry as ever with Joe Paterno for not doing more to schedule Pitt either in place of the Orange or in addition. There's plenty of blame to share, however.

    Jul 8, 2010 - As expected, the announcement that Penn State will be facing Syracuse in a three-game series in 2013 and 2020-2021 has ruffled the feathers of those who want to see Pitt and Penn State renew their old Eastern rivalry as well.

    Tim Hyland of About.com opined on the situation last Thursday.

    My question is simple, folks: Instead of goofing around with short, meaningless series against average-at-best opponents (see: Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse), shouldn't Penn State finally get around to scheduling the one series that every true college football fan actually wants to see?

    ...

    The only place these memories don't live on, apparently, is up in Happy Valley, where the Nittany Lion powers-that-be stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their history--and their greatest rival.

    Sure, they'll throw us college football fans a bone every now and then--give JoePa credit, he is traveling down to 'Bama this year; and yes, Penn State-Syracuse was a great rivalry too--but the one thing they won't give us is the one thing that we really want to see.

    Penn State-Pitt.

    Every year.

    No excuses.

    Bob Smizik added this nugget.

    I think Pitt would have agreed to such a contract, although I’m not suggesting Pitt sought such a deal. It appears as long as Joe Paterno is in power at Penn State, Pitt will not be considered as a future opponent.

    That’s Penn State’s loss, Pitt’s loss and the loss of football fans in the state.

    Let's not overstate the value of the old rivalry to Penn State's fan base at large in relation to some of its other historical Eastern foes. Yes, it is still huge for fans of both schools in western Pennsylvania, where thousands of students attend Pitt, PSU or branch campuses throughout the area. Thus, no matter how much time passes between now and the next matchup, Pitt-Penn State will always be a rivalry of words at the very least.

    That said, Penn State has other regional concerns as well. At one time, as Black Shoe Diaries describes in this two part series (Part I, Part II), Penn State's rivalry with Syracuse may have actually been bigger than that of Pitt. Penn State also has huge alumni bases in the New York City and Baltimore/Washington, which is why scheduled series with Virginia and Rutgers make sense, too.

    Hyland's assertion that games against these schools are "meaningless" is flagrantly off base. They're not. Though some of them may not rise to the level of intensity that Pitt-Penn State might, they mean things to Penn State alumni living in the areas around these schools, and in some cases, they've waited even longer for them than Pitt-Penn State advocates have. It would be ignorant of Penn State to ignore its fans in these areas and focus squarely on Pitt.

    Hyland overstates Pitt's standing in the college football landscape and implies that Penn State is scheduling inferior opponents to avoid the Panthers, labeling the others "average at best" while leaving Pitt out of that group where, despite its recent success, it actually fits quite nicely.

    Since 1981, Pitt has one 10-win season (2009), four bowl wins, and one conference title, while Syracuse has five 10-win seasons, nine bowl wins, and four conference titles (all since Pitt joined the Big East). For a writer who talks about the importance of history in one breath, it's interesting how he conveniently forgets Pitt's very mediocre track record over the last 25 years in the next.

    Most importantly, it's unfair of Smizik and Hyland to lay all the blame on Penn State for the series between the two schools ending indefinitely. Sure, the fact that Pitt was one of the schools that rejected Joe Paterno's all-eastern conference proposal weighs on things, and there's probably still some animosity on Penn State's end over that, but Syracuse rejected Paterno as well, and by 2021, the Nittany Lions will have played the Orange five times in 13 years. Shouldn't writers, rather than accusing Penn State of all the wrongdoing, be asking themselves "What is Syracuse doing that Pitt is not?"

    Probably, though it's more convenient to just blame Paterno.

    Yes, history is very important in college football. Tradition is almost as important to some people as the actual games. But to accuse Penn State of abandoning that simply because it isn't playing Pitt is absurd. Penn State just finished non-conference home-and-homes with Notre Dame and Syracuse. They'll play another traditional rival in Alabama in 2010 and 2011, then meet up with Rutgers, Virginia, and Syracuse again down the road. It's not avoiding anyone. It can't all be Penn State's fault.

    If writers like Smizik and Hyland truly want to see the series resume, it's time they asked why Pitt hasn't secured a series while Syracuse, Rutgers, Alabama, Notre Dame and Virginia have succeeded, and put pressure on Pitt administrators to do more. Yes, Penn State shares the blame, but the key word is shares.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    I think Adam Bittner needs to remove the "coke bottle" glasses from his face and JoePa's wang from his mouth...

    "What is Syracuse doing that Pitt is not?"
    ... What they (Syracuse) are doing is being extremely mediocre, and losing lots of games...

    They'll play another traditional rival in Alabama in 2010 and 2011
    ... And when did PSU schedule this series?... Several years ago when 'Bama was in the "pre-Saban" era and not playing very good.

    meet up with Rutgers, Virginia, and Syracuse again down the road. It's not avoiding anyone
    Yea, keep scheduling those collegiate superpowers... Hell, I understand the need for "cupcake" games, but they are sacrificing something really good... The easy games could still be filled now that the conference is expanding.

    Trying to spread the blame is understandable coming from someone that is obviously a PSU homer... But rationalizing the answer "no" is another in my opinion, and I don't think this guy gets it... Whatever the reason is, we all know what started it... Logic dictates that it is also a continuing prevelent factor.... At least that's the way I'll look at it until given proof otherwise.

    ... It's a shame... It was always a great series/rivalry, and could be again...
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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, but from what I've been told (by PSU and Pitt alum) is that it's not JoePA'a fault. It's PSU's athletic department. When Pitt and PSU were in talks (not sure when), PSU wanted 2 home games to Pitt's 1 home game. It's purely based on economics since PSU can fit 100k people into their stadium and Pitt can only get 70k into their stadium.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Pitt eats ****

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I think Adam Bittner needs to remove the "coke bottle" glasses from his face and JoePa's wang from his mouth...



    ... What they (Syracuse) are doing is being extremely mediocre, and losing lots of games...



    ... And when did PSU schedule this series?... Several years ago when 'Bama was in the "pre-Saban" era and not playing very good.



    Yea, keep scheduling those collegiate superpowers... Hell, I understand the need for "cupcake" games, but they are sacrificing something really good... The easy games could still be filled now that the conference is expanding.

    Trying to spread the blame is understandable coming from someone that is obviously a PSU homer... But rationalizing the answer "no" is another in my opinion, and I don't think this guy gets it... Whatever the reason is, we all know what started it... Logic dictates that it is also a continuing prevelent factor.... At least that's the way I'll look at it until given proof otherwise.

    ... It's a shame... It was always a great series/rivalry, and could be again...

    Your ****ing of the Bama series holds exactly opposite for their scheduling of Cuse (prior), Rutgers, and Virginia.

    Yes, they scheduled the Bama series when Bama was down and look at them now, but they scheduled the Cuse series of games, that just wrapped up last year, back when Cuse was good in the late 90's and early 2000's. Likewise they scheduled the Virginia series when Virginia (in 2007 when they were 9-3) was just after the Matt Schaub days and during the Jake Long years. The Rutgers series, just announced, is scheduled when Rutgers is a decent team, but who knows, they may be garbage in a few years when PSU plays them.

    Bottom line is, I think that every team should play one good out of conference game, and then cupcake the rest (which is a glorified pre-season for them since college doesn't have an official one). These games are typically scheduled years in advance so the end result is who knows how good a team will really be when it's time to actually play them. With Bama and UVA/Cuse/Rutgers we see both ends of the spectrum.
    Last edited by vandelay industries; Jul-12-2010 at 10:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoPittsburghFan View Post
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    I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, but from what I've been told (by PSU and Pitt alum) is that it's not JoePA'a fault. It's PSU's athletic department. [HIGH-LIGHT]When Pitt and PSU were in talks (not sure when), PSU wanted 2 home games to Pitt's 1 home game[/HIGH-LIGHT]. It's purely based on economics since PSU can fit 100k people into their stadium and Pitt can only get 70k into their stadium.

    I believe this is correct.

    Plus also, Pitt stated that they wouldn't allow folks (i.e. PSU fans) to simply purchase individual game tickets for that game at Heinz. They'd have to buy a, if I recall correctly, season package. Thus, smartly, milking the PSU fans, but turning off further the PSU Ath Dept for not wanting to schedule a simple home and home.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    To be fair, everyone had to purchase a package to see a good game. It just wasn't against PSU.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    Pitt eats ****
    And JoePa (anti-christ) is scared..... To play them.

    ... Or maybe too egotistically head-strong after the past events.... Still, no matter to me... I just think it's a shame.
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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay industries View Post
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    Your ****ing of the Bama series holds exactly opposite for their scheduling of Cuse (prior), Rutgers, and Virginia.

    Yes, they scheduled the Bama series when Bama was down and look at them now, but they scheduled the Cuse series of games, that just wrapped up last year, back when Cuse was good in the late 90's and early 2000's. Likewise they scheduled the Virginia series when Virginia (in 2007 when they were 9-3) was just after the Matt Schaub days and during the Jake Long years. The Rutgers series, just announced, is scheduled when Rutgers is a decent team, but who knows, they may be garbage in a few years when PSU plays them.

    Bottom line is, I think that every team should play one good out of conference game, and then cupcake the rest (which is a glorified pre-season for them since college doesn't have an official one). These games are typically scheduled years in advance so the end result is who knows how good a team will really be when it's time to actually play them. With Bama and UVA/Cuse/Rutgers we see both ends of the spectrum.
    Games/schedules are roughly made 3 years in advance... IMO, both 'Cuse and Va were weak then, and weak now... Rutgers had a few good seasons covering that timeframe, but the statistical odds of them continuing were slim.... PSU just won't play Pitt for whatever the reason really is... And it's maddening...
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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    And JoePa (anti-christ) is scared..... To play them.
    Yeah he's scared.



    I hope they schedule WVU next. The reaction from Pitt folks would be priceless.

    Seriously, this whole Pitt/PSU thing goes back to the early 80s when JoePa/ PSU wanted to start the all eastern sports conference and Pitt didn't want any part of it. JoePa's still holding a grudge. That's the biggest reason they aren't playing, IMO. Yes I agree wthey should be playing.
    Last edited by The Sodfather; Jul-13-2010 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Games/schedules are roughly made 3 years in advance... IMO, both 'Cuse and Va were weak then, and weak now... Rutgers had a few good seasons covering that timeframe, but the statistical odds of them continuing were slim.... PSU just won't play Pitt for whatever the reason really is... And it's maddening...
    UVA was scheduled in 2007 (they were 9-3, Pitt was 5-6) and not playing until 2012. 5 years.

    Bama was scheduled before that, before Saban (who took over in 2007, *so I'm guessing 2005 or 2006 was when they were put on the schedule) and are just playing this year. I'm thinking that's about 5 years difference too.

    Again, the Cuse one that just ended was scheduled in the early 2000's, when they were way better. The Cuse one just announced is for 2020 and 2021, 10 years away. Who knows what they'll be that far away.

    The Rutgers series, announced last year, is for 2014 and 2015, that's 4 and 5 years away.

    Point being, it's longer than 3 years that these games are scheduled. And you're right, Cuse and UVA are weak now, but when they were initially scheduled, as seen from their records, they weren't. A lot can happen in 5 years to a program.

    Obviously these teams are weak when they play them, but I just think it's unfair to outright say that they're scheduling all of these weak games because the teams really aren't as terrible when they're initially scheduled.


    Edit * it was 2005: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-...092005aaa.html
    Last edited by vandelay industries; Jul-13-2010 at 10:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay industries View Post
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    Point being, it's longer than 3 years that these games are scheduled. And you're right, Cuse and UVA are weak now, but when they were initially scheduled, as seen from their records, they weren't. A lot can happen in 5 years to a program.

    Obviously these teams are weak when they play them, but I just think it's unfair to outright say that they're scheduling all of these weak games because the teams really aren't as terrible when they're initially scheduled.
    OK... It may very well be longer than 3 years... I also thought it was, but was just using the timeframe that I thought I saw in the above article.

    Yes, there is no way to know how a team will look in the future, but it's also fair to say that history dictates who are traditionally strong teams and who are repetitively weak (with minor exceptions)... They are scheduling Syracuse, Rutgers, and Virginia, who have repetitively been weak powers... It's not the likes of Florida, So Cal, or Fla St, for example... Yea, every team schedules "weaker" opponents, especially when they play in a tough conference... Maybe I was "over sensationalizing" the whole thing for the sake of drama and debate, but I do think that they were looking for "middle of the road" opponents (not real tough, but no creampuff either).

    ... Now, no one, especially me, can say for sure why we don't get another series between these two teams (Pitt/PSU)... It's only speculation and opinion... But I'll say it again... It's a lost opportunity to renew a great rivalry.
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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    Yeah he's scared.



    I hope they schedule WVU next. The reaction from Pitt folks would be priceless.
    ... It was a joke... I don't think there is a coach in div 1-A afraid to play another team...

    ... And actually, I think a PSU/WVU series would be just as entertaining (almost)...

    Wasn't there a short "home & home" series between Pitt and Penn St in the late 90's with the games in the middle of the season?... I could'a sworn there was, but don't feel like looking it up right now...
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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    ... They played a short 4-game series from '97 to 2000 with PSU winning all 4 games....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Penn State Not A Villain For Not Playing Pitt Regularly

    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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