Is it time for Pitt and West Virginia to renew the Backyard Brawl?

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With news of Georgetown and Syracuse renewing their rivalry, it is time to open up talks on the renewal of the backyard brawl.

The heated basketball rivalry between Georgetown and Syracuse has been renewed for the 2015-16 season with the first of many games being played at the Verizon Center. The rumor is that the two sides struck a 10-year deal that includes five home games for each university.

This serves as a reminder of the famed Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pitt. The two teams met 104 times in football and Pitt holds the series lead at 60-41 and three ties. Many times, it was the biggest game on the schedule for both teams each season and the rivalry has produced tons of memories for fans.

Who could forget the 2007 match in which Pitt upset then second-ranked West Viriginia 13-9 at Mountaineer Field?

The basketball rivalry peaked in 2010 when Mountaineer fans threw change at Pitt players and coaches following a defeat of the Panthers at home. Those two teams met just a few weeks later and Pitt edged out a 98-95 victory in triple overtime. It was one of the best basketball games ever played at the Petersen Events Center.

Due to conference realignment the two teams left the Big East; Pitt to the ACC and West Virginia to the Big 12. It is possible with the new bowl/playoff format that the two teams could meet in the Russell Athletic Bowl as it pits a Big 12 team against an ACC squad but why leave it up to fate?

It is time for the athletic directors of both universities, Oliver Luck and Steve Pederson to meet and strike a deal to renew this historic rivalry.

Jamie Dixon is often attacked for scheduling weak teams in the non-conference portion of the schedule, why not schedule West Virginia? That is an easy solution to that problem that will not only test the Panthers early on in the season against a major conference opponent but it will also bring more fans to the arena for a non-conference game.

It is a little more difficult to schedule the game in football where non-conference opponents are greatly limited, but the program often comes under attack for rarely selling out Heinz Field for its home games. An easy solution to some of the attendance woes is to renew the Brawl.

The fans from both sides are waiting on you, Pederson and Luck, figure out a way to bring the rivalry back.

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