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ESPN's Andy Katz wants the Backyard Brawl

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Since Pitt and West Virginia left the Big East, there's been plenty of talk about renewing the Backyard Brawl in football and/or basketball. At the moment, basketball seems the more feasible of the two and you can add ESPN's Andy Katz to the list of people who wants to see it happen:

Syracuse has done an exceptional job of handling its departure from the Big East as to not alienate any of the former rivals. The Orange have scheduled Villanova and St. John’s for next season and likely will get a deal done with Georgetown for either 2014 or 2015. Colorado handled its exit from the Big 12 in a similar fashion and plays former rivals Kansas, Oklahoma State and Baylor this season. It’s time for Kansas and Missouri to look at doing something similar. The same is true for Pitt and West Virginia, as well as Texas and Texas A&M.


Pitt’s schedule is soft and could use another power-five school like West Virginia. Playing the game, even at the home of the Penguins, should be a start.

Personally, I get the sentiment that Pitt should move on from West Virginia and not bother to play such a long and storied rival, but to me, it just doesn't make that much sense not to play. In football, I can live with the hiatus simply due to the number of available non-conference games. In basketball, though, there's no real reason the teams can't face each other.

As Katz points out, the omission of the Mountaineers is even more alarming considering the non-conference schedule for Pitt hasn't been all that strong lately. The game would not only give Pitt a nice rivalry game on their schedule, but also another major-conference opponent - something they sorely need.

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