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Panthers lose in Notre Dame-ACC schedule

When the ACC announced Notre Dame was to play 5 ACC teams per season, Pitt was expected to lose some games with the Irish. Now we know they lose 2 scheduled games.

Jonathan Daniel

PIttsburgh has played Notre Dame more than any other ACC school, with both sides meeting often since the end of World War II. Don't expect to see the Irish come to Heinz Field very often in the future.

When the ACC announced that Notre Dame would have to play five conference teams each season, it seemed like a great deal for the conference. We can argue all day whether the Irish are truly relevant in college football anymore, last season aside. But the fact of the matter is that even if the Irish hadn't gotten the opportunity to get destroyed by Alabama in the title game, people would still watch them and games against them would still result in a large turnout wherever they play.

Of course, the scheduling deal means someone on Notre Dame's schedule has to come off it. Pitt had a series that was supposed to last until 2016. Some of those games would likely get dropped, despite Steve Pederson hoping to at least finish up the scheduled series before joining the rotation. Now we know that they have lost two road games at South Bend (2014, 2016). The Panthers do still keep their home game against the Irish in 2015, so there's some good news. But now the 2014 non-conference schedule is decidedly meh, or bad depending how good you think Iowa is.

More importantly, though, is that Pitt misses out on a marquee game that they can sell recruits on. Again, we can argue on this topic all day, but saying you play Notre Dame each season still carries some weight. Whether it's at Heinz Field or in South Bend, recruits want to play in big games and a game against the Irish will always be that. Pitt now loses out on that. The move to the ACC certainly helps and the Panthers will meet Penn State for four straight years starting in 2016. But it does seem that Pitt got the short end of the stick on this one.

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