With news that Temple is rejoining the Big East for 2012 (no hard feelings, right?), Pitt was finally able to release its football schedule ... well, the non-conference portion of it, anyways. We're still waiting on the final dates for conference games, but Pitt now has six home games, including two against FCS schools. If you thought attendance jokes were bad before, just you wait.
Without further ado, here's Pitt's full non-conference schedule.
Sept 1st: Youngstown State
Sept 15th: Virginia Tech
Sept 22nd: Gardner-Webb
Oct 6th: at Buffalo
Nov 3rd: at Notre Dame
Big East schedule:
Home: Louisville, Rutgers, Temple
Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, Syracuse
I'm assuming what will happen is that the first of Pitt's byes will come prior to the Virginia Tech game, which will definitely help with preparation for the game. We've seen, though, in previous eras how Pitt has fared in nationally televised games coming off a bye (Miami 2010, anyone?). No one will expect Pitt to beat the Hokies, but if they're at least competitive with a national title contender, I'll consider that a win.
But other than that, as we figured, the schedule is terrible. The Panthers traded UCF, TCU, and West Virginia for Youngstown State, Gardner-Webb, and Temple? Ugh. Attendance will be, in a word, terrible. We'll look at the schedule more in detail once the conference games are released by the Big East, which should come in the next few days.