Big Lead Sports Bar

2/04/2010

PITT UNVEILS 2010 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE



The news just keeps coming from Panther land, as the school's 2010 football non-conference schedule was announced.

The Panthers did themselves no favors with their opener, a Thursday, Sept. 2 game at Utah. The Utes were 10-3 in 2009, with losses coming to Oregon, TCU and BYU (in OT) - no pushovers among that group. They will be returning QB Jordan Wynn and RB Eddie Wide, who had seven 100-yard rushing games in 2009. Keep in mind that Pitt will be starting a new quarterback, some new linemen, and will be traveling almost 1,900 miles by my calculations. So this will certainly be a challenge to start the season. But a win would be a minor bit of redemption for Utah blowing Pitt's doors off in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, the only previous meeting between the teams.

The home opener will come on September 11 against New Hampshire, which went 10-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2009. The Wildcats have been in the FCS playoffs for six straight seasons and have defeated their past five FBS (formerly D-I) opponents. Sounds like they may put up a bit of a fight.

The highlight of the home non-conference schedule comes on Thursday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m against celebrated QB Jacory Harris and the Miami Hurricanes. The Canes finished the 2009 campaign with a 9-3 record and will likely be a top-25 team. This one will be televised on ESPN, and certainly conjure up memories of the epic 1997 Canes-Panthers Thursday nighter which Pitt won, 21-17.

On October 7, Pitt plays host to Florida International, the same Florida International that was part of a 2006 melee with Miami. Oh yeah, and the same Florida International that employs Isiah Thomas as their basketball coach. Whatever. It should be a Pitt win, considering that FIU was a mere 3-9 out of the Sun Belt conference in 2009.


Pitt's final non-conference game will be an October 9 road game at Notre Dame, with new coach Brian Kelly roaming the sidelines. Pitt won 27-22 last year and 36-33 in four overtimes in 2008, so recent history dictates that this might be a close game.

The conference games have not yet been scheduled, but Pitt will host Louisville, Rutgers and West Virginia at Heinz Field, while playing Connecticut, Cincinnati, Syracuse and USF on the road.

At least on paper, this looks like a pretty challenging schedule. The Panthers have three legitimate non-conference games on the slate, with two of those coming on the road. Throw in the Backyard Brawl, a rematch with Cincy, and the traditional "could go either way" games (Rutgers, UConn, USF), and this sked borders on "difficult". Of course, we said the similar things about the 2008 Steelers "Murderer's Row" slate, and that certainly ended well from a Steeler fan's perspective. All things being equal, this isn't like Pitt's facing Texas, Alabama, USC and Florida in consecutive weeks, but it won't be a walk in the park, either.

Pitt releases 2010 non-conference football schedule [Trib]

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11 comments:

Dallas Mike said...

Sorry Mondesi, but as a TCU alum, I have to point out that the Frogs beat Utah 55-28 this season. The game was not close. TCU lost to Utah 13-10 in 2008, but neither game was decided in OT.

JW said...

Which team will we have to drop to fit the Big 10 conference schedule?

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Countdown til Adam wakes up to the smell of a grill and maneur and comes on to tell us how much harder PSU's schedule is this season.

Adam said...

Wow.

Not often you see an OOC tougher than the actual conference schedule.

Adam said...

O and Burress, if your remark was a preemptive strike on our schedule, we'll have 3 preseason top 5 teams in Iowa, Ohio State, and Alabama all on the road, so um, just give this one up because you can't win.

JW said...

I like that we're playing Utah on the road, great game. I don't like that it's our opener, and a Thursday night no less. Not optimistic. Great challenge, though.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

My comments had nothing to do with PSU's SOS, I am well aware they are playing 'Bama this year, you have only brought that up 200x in the past.

It was nothing more than a shot at you for being predictable.

Clint Pitts said...

But it wasn't predictable that he would bring it up because YOU brought it up. I would say it was more predictable some Pitt fan was going to bring up Penn State.

The Miami game should be a great one, and if Miami can beat Ohio State before that it should be a really hyped up match up. For Dion Lewis to jump into the Heisman picture that is a great chance to make an impression.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Clint,

He would have done it had I said it or not.

Is there really any doubt.

Utah is going to be a tough open.

Adam said...

I don't frankly care about Pitt's schedule. I get sick of hearing about ours, and that's when I start throwing stones.

Pitt has a pretty good OOC this coming year, but remember, as of now they only play 5 conference games so they're more capable of flexible scheduling than Penn State. If we had 5 OOC games like Pitt, the beef over the rivarly would be more legitimate.

Adam said...

*only 7 conference games.