Penn State has upcoming series with both Pittsburgh and West Virginia, caught in the middle of the feud
Earlier this offseason we saw new Pittsburgh head coach (and former Michigan State defensive coordinator) Pat Narduzzi openly suggest he would love to rekindle an annual rivalry game with Penn State. We will get a brief four-year resurrection of the in-state series starting next season in western Pennsylvania, but there are no plans at this time to continue the series beyond 2019. James Franklin has not jumped head first into the annual rivalry game idea the way Narduzzi has, but it is good to see representatives from both schools suggest there is mutual interest in getting it going. Narduzzi, while going through the summer ESPN carwash, reiterated it would be Pitt’s preference to revive the series with Penn State rather than with their Backyward Brawl neighbors from West Virginia.
Pat Narduzzi on WVU series: “I’d love to play WVU someday but our instate rivalry (Penn State) is bigger than an out-of-state rivalry”
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 28, 2015
Oh, but if you thought West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen would just shrug that comment aside, think again…
Mountaineers don't back out of a Brawl! #SweetCaroline…
— Dana Holgorsen (@Holgorsendana) July 28, 2015
Penn State abandoned traditional rivalries with both West Virginia and Pittsburgh when it joined the Big Ten, which may have helped ramp up the rivalry between those two long-time battles to a certain extent. While Penn State has upcoming games scheduled against each former Big East member, the backyard brawlers have no such plans to continue their rivalry. This is a shame, of course. As it turns out, Pittsburgh could benefit from reviving either or both series as it would be an easy way to satisfy the ACC’s non-conference scheduling requirement to play one game each season against a power conference opponent. Of course, any hope of getting a Penn State-Pitt series locked down will likely have to wait a while.
Christian Hackenberg getting some slight Heisman pub among Big Ten candidates in this post from Athlon Sports.
Hackenberg comes in at No. 76 on Matt Brown’s Top 100 College Football Players of 2015 list on Sports on Earth. Zettel is much higher, at No. 18.
Know it All Football’s staff put together some preseason All-Big Ten selections. Hackenberg, Daesean Hamilton, Kyle Carter, Anthony Zettel, Jordan Lucas and Austin Johnson all getting some recognition on offense and defense.
Around the Big Ten
Michigan has decided to stop using Legends uniforms. No word on whether or not they will be replaced with Leaders uniforms. Also, Desmond Howard’s number will be retired by the Wolverines… Nebraska a sleeper in the West? Wisconsin feels like a solid pick, but if not the Badgers then it has to be Nebraska right? Minnesota?
Around the Nation
Virginia Tech is on Penn State’s future schedule, but the chances Frank Beamer is still the head coach in 2020 (and 2025) may not be all that great. Beamer says he would like to see his successor come from within the Hokies family. I take that to mean Bud Foster has a promotion waiting for him if he sticks around… San Diego State is a division favorite in the Mountain West Conference. I agree. San Diego State heads to State College on September 26…
Nittany Lions Den Podcast
The latest episode of the Nittany Lions Den Podcast was published yesterday. Joe Dexter from The Buckeye Battle Cry was the guest as we took a look at the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes. things turned out OK for the Buckeyes last season, even if they did have to escape Happy Valley with some luck. Hey, we all move on. This year’s Ohio State team should be particularly strong and is a runaway favorite in the Big Ten for good reason. Listen to our Ohio State preview below, and be sure to catch this episode on demand along with other great Penn State audio commentary on the Nittany Lion Sports Radio Network! The folks at Black Shoe Diaries just got on board with their first episode as well.
You can catch the latest episode right here by clicking the play button, but be sure to also check out the show notes for links and more.
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