West Virginia wants Pitt, Penn State, Virginia Tech, others in football

Jared Wickerham

The Mountaineers have some ambitious scheduling ideas, including matchups against a few familiar opponents.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the school would like to add a few marquee non-conference contests to future football schedules. Included in the list of desired opponents are Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech, via fbschedules.com:

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"I would love to get Pitt back on the schedule, I would love to get (Virginia) Tech back on the schedule, I would to get UVa back on the schedule, another school that we used to play a lot, and even Penn State," Luck said. "Is that possible? Well, it takes two to tango, but I think the good news is we will see some stronger non-conference schedules as we go forward."

Each of those schools has a history with the Mountaineers. West Virginia and Pittsburgh played 104 times between 1895 and 2011 in the Backyard Brawl, one of the best rivalries in college football. But like so many other great things, the dreaded scourge of conference realignment killed it when the 'Eers moved from the Big East to the Big 12.

Though not nearly as big of a rivalry as the Backyard Brawl, West Virginia and Virginia Tech met 51 times between 1912 and 2005, including every year since 1973. In 1997, the schools began playing for the Black Diamond Trophy, which apparently symbolized Appalachia's coal heritage. The Mountaineers and Hokies have played only twice since Virginia Tech left the Big East for the ACC.

Another historical rival, Penn State, played West Virginia in each season from 1947 to 1992 and a total of 59 times. The series ended when the Nittany Lions gave up their independent status for Big Ten membership, and the Mountaineers probably would like another shot at the blue and white. Between '56 and '92, West Virginia defeated Penn State just twice.

While Virginia doesn't have as much familiarity with the Mountaineers, the schools have played 23 times.

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