West Virginia would like to get Pitt, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Penn State on their future football schedules, WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
“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.”
The comment came as Luck was discussing the need to strengthen their non-conference schedules in preparation for the College Football Playoff.
“My sense is that all the so-called power top-5 conferences will be upgrading their out-of-conference schedules. Luck said. “I think there is a trend toward upgrading that out-of-conference schedule and I am starting to see that and hear that from talking to other AD’s.”
When West Virginia moved to the Big 12 Conference in 2012, the Mountaineers left behind perhaps their fiercest rivalry – the “Backyard Brawl” with Pittsburgh. Now that the two schools are in different conferences, they will have to find a way to get the series started again.
Other hindrances to the game for West Virginia are that they play a tougher conference schedule now and they only have three non-conference games each season.
The return of the “Backyard Brawl” is certainly something that Pitt and WVU fans and most college football fans would like to see. The Mountaineers won the last meeting in 2011, but still trail 61-40-3 in the series that began in 1895.
West Virginia and Virginia Tech used to play for the Black Diamond Trophy, but haven’t faced off since 2005. WVU leads the series 28-22-1. Both schools used to be in the Big East, but the rivalry game fizzled out after Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2003.
If the two schools do meet sometime soon, it will likely be at a neutral site rather than a home-and-home series. Luck made that suggestion in 2012 just prior to WVU facing James Madison at FedEx Field.
“In my discussions with (Athletic Director) Jim Weaver, our only opportunity to play a Virginia Tech might be this kind of game because they are not really interested in a home-and-home,” Luck said.
As far as West Virginia’s history with the Virginia Cavaliers, the two have only played 23 times. In their last meeting at the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, the Cavaliers trounced the Mountaineers 48-22. Prior to that game, the two hadn’t met on the football field since 1985.
The final school that Luck mentioned he wants to add to their future schedules is Penn State. The two schools have met 59 times, but not since 1992 when the Mountaineers fell to the Nittany Lions 40-26 at home.
Right now, West Virginia has full non-conference schedules through 2016. And those schedules feature defending national champion Alabama, BYU, and yearly foes Maryland and East Carolina.
If the Mountaineers are going to add Pitt, Virginia Tech, Virginia or Penn State, it will most likely be after the 2016 season.