Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Pitt has one opening on their 2013 non-conference schedule thanks to the ACC going back to 8 conference games.
With the ACC staying at 8 conference games rather than the 9 they initially planned to once Pitt and Syracuse join next season, Pitt is left in a bit of a bind. Most power conference schools schedule their non-conference opponents years in advance, so many of their non-conference schedules are already filled. Pitt is unlikely to call up a second FCS school after this past season as well.
Currently, Pitt is scheduled to host Villanova and Notre Dame and travel to Navy. Because of that, Pitt already has 6 guaranteed home games for next season, so Pitt could potentially set up a home and home with another power conference opponent. Here is a list of Big 6 opponents that currently have openings in their 2013 non-conference schedules.
Temple, Memphis, Arizona, Cal, Oregon State, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M
There are a couple teams we can go ahead and cross off. They would be Alabama and LSU. Why are we crossing them off the list? Because I don't think these schools would be interested in setting up a 2 game series with Pitt and, let's be real, they would completely dominate the Panthers. But there are still several quality non-conference opponents that Pitt could schedule.
Who would I want to see Pitt play? Temple would provide a nice local "rivalry" and Pitt already played Texas A&M in the past decade. A matchup against Rich Rod and Arizona I think would be the most intriguing. Games at Auburn and Tennessee would be great road venues to travel to.
That being said, don't be surprised if Pitt goes the MAC route. Pitt already has a marquee home game in Notre Dame and is playing a tougher conference slate so it's possible that Steve Pederson goes that direction.