47 days until the ACC: Pitt and Notre Dame
Of the teams Pitt has faced multiple times, perhaps no one team has given Pitt as much trouble as Notre Dame. The Panthers and the Fighting Irish have met 68 times - Pitt has come away with a loss in 47 of those contests, including last season's painful triple overtime contest in South Bend.
Let's be clear, Pitt got hosed on two blown calls by the officials in that game. First, there was the phantom pass interference call against K'Waun Williams. The Irish then capitalized and scored on their next play. The second came on the field goal attempt in the second overtime where Notre Dame had two players wearing the same number.
But there's nothing Pitt can do about it now - except get revenge this season. And you better believe these guys won't forget how close the Panthers were to knocking the Irish out of the national championship game.
With Notre Dame joining the ACC as a partial member, Pitt can continue their long-time series with the Irish to a degree. Make no mistake - the Panthers were going to emerge as a loser when the ACC announced Notre Dame would play five games annually against ACC teams. Both teams have met almost annually since World War II, with no more than three years in between meetings. Now, that three-year gap is virtually guaranteed and Pitt is deprived of selling recruits on being able to face the Irish every year. Pitt also loses a home game sellout every other year. They're still going to play, it just won't be as often as some would like.
This can, however, help Pitt change up their non-conference schedules to get some different teams on there. With the College Football Playoff emphasizing strength of schedule, more and more schools are scheduling home-and-homes against other power conference teams. The Panthers will meet Penn State in 2016 and the Irish will appear on the schedule once every three years or so. There are also two more games against Iowa. Maybe we'll see a different name appear on the non-conference schedule in the future seasons to take the place of the Irish
At the very least, Pitt and Notre Dame will continue to meet on the hardwood with both sides joining the ACC this season, although if recent years suggest anything, it will likely be low-scoring and extremely painful and frustrating to watch. Oh yeah, and Pitt will probably lose.
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