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Is an annual Pitt-Penn State deal in the works?

Steve Pederson is "optimistic" that a longterm deal between the two schools can work.

Bill O'Brien is a fan of a longterm deal with Pitt
Bill O'Brien is a fan of a longterm deal with Pitt

Pitt AD Steve Pederson is in Amelia Island, Florida for the ACC spring meetings this week and, like every offseason, he was asked a question regarding a longterm deal with Penn State. Per Brett McMurphy of

"Whether it's every single year or not, we'll have to see how it works out," Pederson told ESPN on Tuesday at the ACC spring meetings. "My hope is to try to make that work on a regular basis. I do feel like both sides would like to have it happen. I'm very optimistic."

Penn State AD Dave Joyner, currently at the Big Ten's spring meetings, shared similar feelings:

"We'd be interested in talking about that. It's a great series," Joyner said. "It's been a great linchpin in Pennsylvania for everyone there. Steve and I will definitely talk about doing that. We've always threatened to meet halfway on the turnpike somewhere at one exit."

Meanwhile, Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien can't wait for the rivalry to resume:

"I wish we could start playing sooner (than 2016)," O'Brien said last week. "Pitt-Penn State, who can forget those games back in the day, usually late in the season, snowing? I think it's great for college football."

Black Shoe Diaries, SB Nation's Penn State blog, also thinks the game should be played regularly.

The rivalry is a great thing for the Commonwealth. Pitt-Penn State has history and tradition, and despite the long gap between games, fans still want to see the game played.

The game can be played every year if both schools can make it work, but on one condition - Pitt must schedule other power conference schools to get some variety. Panther fans have been waiting years for Penn State to schedule the Pitt and the result is the four-game series starting in 2016. But personally, I want to see some kind of variety in the non-conference schedule.

Throw in West Virginia from time to time. Maybe a home-and-home with Ohio State or an SEC/Pac-12/Big 12 team. Power conference schools have shown they're willing to schedule two-game series' with the college football playoff rapidly approaching. As good as a Penn State game would be for the Panthers, I hope Pitt is working on deals with other programs to get some marquee opponents to Heinz Field.

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