A few weeks back, I took a brief look at the Backyard Brawl with Pitt's move to the ACC. I said then, and still believe, that with so few non-conference football games, Pitt's aspirations of playing Notre Dame every year (at least as long as they don't join the ACC themselves) could help decide if the Brawl continues.
I want to think that the game (especially on the football side) is going to continue. That said, some coaches have weighed in on the matter.On the football side, Todd Graham's already said that he wants the game to continue, while Dana Holgorsen has dodged the issue to a degree. Not sure if he's commented on it recently, though.
West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins didn't have much to say about the basketball game at a recent event, but Jamie Dixon did weigh in on it a bit:
While Huggins has no idea what will happen with the series, Dixon said he's open to the idea of trying to continue it in some form or fashion.
''Obviously, there's a history between the two schools that dates beyond I and Coach Huggins and anybody else that's around the athletics departments now.
''We're in a situation where we have a number of rivals (in the Big East). Trying to schedule all of them won't be an easy task.''
There are lots of Big East schools that I'd like to see Pitt continue to play, but UConn and West Virginia are head and shoulders above everyone else, in my opinion. It'd be nice to play occasional games with Villanova, Georgetown, Notre Dame and a few others, but the Backyard Brawl is one game I'd like to see continue. Plus, with so many games, it's much easier to schedule one or two less cupcakes in basketball than it is on the football side due to the sheer number of games.
The coaches that have been the most committed to squaring off? How about the women's basketball coaches:
Pitt is moving to the ACC, but women's basketball coach Agnus Berenato and her counterpart at West Virginia, Mike Carey, say they hope the two teams will continue to play each season despite no longer being Big East rivals.
"Sure, West Virginia is a great rivalry. It's the Backyard Brawl," Berenato said. "I don't know how much I'll have to say about it. Sometimes, those decisions aren't made by coaches. But it's a natural rivalry."
Carey said he doesn't see why the teams couldn't continue to meet, as long as they can work out the scheduling.
"We play Duquesne every year; I don't know why we wouldn't play Pitt," he said. "It's such a close trip. It's a bus trip for both of us. And our fans can go there, and their fans can come here, so I hope we could (continue to play). I'm all for it."
It'd be nice if that attitude carried over to the ADs.