Pittsburgh and Penn State will meet in 2018 and 2019 but they may not play again until 2030 at the earliest. That's crap.
“We've had conversations, but I think at this point we both agreed that based on Big Ten and ACC scheduling principles — and you know it's a complicated puzzle nowadays — that we're probably not going to do anything at this point and look at some point after 2030 to maybe do something,” Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour said this week of renewing the series beyond 2019.
The Panthers and Nittany Lions first played in 1893 and have met 98 times, with Penn State holding the series lead, 51-41-4. And though Pittsburgh's athletics director Heather Lyke has been more optimistic about playing before 2030, Barbour's comments are concerning.
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It should be an annual in-state game, as should these games:
Arkansas vs. Arkansas State
Arkansas and Arkansas State have never played.
The schools aren't that close — 290 miles, or four-and-a-half-hour drive — but still, the Red Wolves, who joined the FBS in 1992, have never played the only other FBS program in the state.
It could be fun.
Marshall vs. West Virginia
Marshall and West Virginia have played 12 times. Ever. It feels like they've played 1,000 times and each one was a bloody match resulting in burned bridges and family feuds.
Their first meeting came in 1911 and three more followed between 1914-23. A six-decade-long hiatus ended with a 1997 game and they played each year from 2006-12. West Virginia has won all 12 all-time matchups.
Smack talk has been exchanged recently but there are no future meetings scheduled. It's time to grow up and fire up one of the underrated rivalries in college sports.
Middle Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt
Middle Tennessee and Vandy renewed the century-old series in 2015, the first of four straight meetings in a four-year home-and-home series. But after this year's matchup in Nashville, there are no plans for additional games.
“I don't believe they're opposed to it but we really haven't had those kind of talks yet,” athletics director Chris Massaro said last September. “But I think the time is now to go ahead and begin that dialogue. Just looking at my own schedule, I'd like to start (those discussions) after we play a game or two in football.
Southern Miss vs. Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Southern Miss has only played Ole Miss and Mississippi State a combined 53 times but both series were once a really big deal in the state.
The Golden Eagles and Bulldogs met 25 times between 1964-1990 but not again until a two-game home-and-home series in 2014-15. Meanwhile, they haven't played the Rebels since 1984, the last of 18 meetings in 19 years.
Both games were once an annual tradition in Hattiesburg, Jackson or Oxford. Southern Miss and Mississippi State are scheduled to play in 2019, 2023 and 2024 but a rotating every-other-year series with both teams would be awesome.
Texas A&M vs. Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech
The dream is a rotating home-and-home agreement between Texas and Texas A&M into perpetuity.
The Longhorns and Aggies have met 118 times, the ninth-most of any FBS rivalry despite not playing since 2011, the Aggies' final year in the Big 12. Outside folks — like South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp — have pushed for a renewal of the rivalry but neither side has expressed interest.
Settling for Baylor or Texas Tech would be a nice consolation.
Louisiana vs. Louisiana Tech
Louisiana vs. Louisiana Tech played all but four years from 1924-2004. The schools — separated by just 180 miles on I-49 and Highway 167 through the middle of the state — revived the century-old rivalry with a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014 but it fizzled out again.
Both teams have plenty of open dates on their non-conference schedules over the next decade.
Utah vs. Utah State
Both Utah and Utah State play BYU each year but they don't play each other anymore.
The Utes and Cougars have met 113 times in the Battle of Brothers, more times than Texas and Oklahoma or Michigan and Michigan State. They only missed a few years from 1900-2015. After the 2015 game, no future meetings were scheduled and that hasn't changed.
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