Penn State Football Should Not Play Pitt Annually

Sep 9, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Pitt 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Football does not need to renew its football rivalry with the cross-state Pittsburgh Panthers.

Woah, hold up… this is our all-time rival, located just 113 miles apart. There’s certainly no love lost between these two teams.

They first played back in 1893, a game Penn State Football won 32-0. Penn State leads the all-time series 53-43-4, and particularly thrived under Joe Paterno who went 23-7-1 in his career versus the Panthers.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are coming off one of their best years in decades, after winning the coastal division and defeating Wake Forest in the 2021 ACC Conference Championship. Their starting quarterback Kenny Pickett was a Heisman Trophy finalist and the first quarterback drafted in the 2022 NFL draft. Pitt fans will tell you they’re trending up.

With teams like Ohio (not State) and Central Michigan (not the Wolverines) on the non-conference slate this year and teams like Ball State and Villanova from a year ago, why shouldn’t Penn State look to try to get this game on the calendar each year?

It’ll create buzz among the fans, with a guaranteed huge bump in the University of Pittsburgh athletic budget with Penn State Football fans buying all of Pitt’s season tickets when the Nittany Lions play at Heinz Field. But there’s no upside for PSU to make this an annual rivalry. And here’s why:

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