Penn State's renewal of their series with Syracuse means that they likely won't be playing Pitt anytime soon. By now, we all know the reasons for Penn State scheduling Syracuse. Joe Pa's bitterness is probably at the top followed closely by a cupcake opponent. A new stadium also supposedly has a hand in it:
"We are thrilled about the opportunity to play Syracuse at the New Meadowlands Stadium to open the 2013 season," Penn State director of athletics Tim Curley said. "I was very impressed when I visited the complex earlier this year and it will quickly be recognized as one of the nation's premier sports facilities. We have had a long relationship with Syracuse and the Meadowlands and are excited about playing the Orange and returning to the site of many memorable Penn State games."
Sorry, Timmy - not buying it. When Penn State canceled the Pitt series after the 12-0 shutout, Pitt was moving into Heinz Field, a new stadium in 2001. No, Pittsburgh is not New York. But you'd think the chance to play in a brand new pro stadium would mean something - at least if Penn State claims that playing in the new Meadowlands is a factor.
Look, I've long since gotten over Penn State's refusal to man up and play a one-for-one series with Pitt. It's alomst like the old WCW Hulk Hogan / Sting rivalry where Hogan had beaten down Sting so many times he said he was moving on. It's like beating a dead horse. Penn State clearly doesn't want to play Pitt and while it would be nice, it really isn't all that big of a deal. Pitt needs to focus on winning the Big East conference on at least a semi-regular basis and getting to BCS games. A game against Penn State is secondary at this point. The truth is, Penn State is a fine football team that would rather have the security of games against Syracuse and Temple. If they would rather not play Pitt, that's okay.
And if Pitt really wanted to force Penn State's hand, they'd drop the thoughts of selling tickets to customers only willing to buy full season tickets. Season tickets don't sell out now, so what's a better option - not selling out and not playing Penn State or not selling out and playing Penn State?
One thing I find consistently annoying is Joe Pa's insistence that there just isn't room on Penn State's schedule for Pitt. Right. After all, there's no way they can give up those games against Youngstown State and Akron. Don't hold your breath, kiddos - likely not happening anytime soon.