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New Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes comments on Backyard Brawl

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Not that I'm necessarily in favor of beating things into the ground or anything...

So, last week, I mentioned that West Virginia (specifically, their AD) was in favor of restarting the Backyard Brawl football game between Pitt and the Mountaineers. Football coach Pat Narduzzi chimed in after that and pretty much took the stance the university has since the series was canceled - maybe.

Scott Barnes was hired as Pitt's new athletic director last week and was asked about the game. His answer was along the lines of what Narduzzi said:

One topic that has been in the news a lot recently is the potential revival of the Backyard Brawl between Pitt and West Virginia. Barnes was restrained in his comments on the subject, saying only "I support looking at it," and said the same applies to a long-term series with Penn State.

When it comes to football scheduling as a whole, Barnes said the key is "balance." There's a balance to strike between appeasing fans (i.e. big name opponents) and building program momentum (i.e. FCS and mid-major games).

As much as fans might want to see it, Pitt isn't likely to load up against West Virginia, Penn State, and Notre Dame all in the same year. That second part is important, and that's especially true for a program like Pitt. The Panthers have been stuck in 6-6 mode the past four years and really aren't in a position to give up playing a couple of cupcake non-conference games. Even the heavyweights don't do that.

With Notre Dame games still out of conference and the desire to play Penn State, the days for an annual West Virginia game are probably past. But it would be interesting to know if there's any chance of bringing back the game on a sporadic basis and if Pitt's claims of 'we'll look at it' are actually true or just lip service.

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