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Pitt AD Scott Barnes affirms desire to play Penn State and ... West Virginia

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We know how head football coach Pat Narduzzi feels about Penn State. He's stated a desire to play the Nittany Lions beyond the current four-game commitment. New athletic director Scott Barnes backed that up as well during a meeting with local media:

"Penn State, for us, we want to play that game as long as we can, home-and-home," Barnes said. "We’re working hard to try to move that forward."

Those words aren't surprising from Barnes and you knew Narduzzi wouldn't come out and say that without the support of the administration since he's so new to the job. It's no secret that Pitt has wanted to square off against Penn State on the football field for some time.

The new athletic director didn't stop there, however. He also added that he has spoken to West Virginia about playing the Backyard Brawl again. On that front, though, I wouldn't hold your breath because, well, this:

He emphasized, though, that Penn State is "a priority" in future scheduling, while West Virginia is "an important factor."

As we've known, Pitt has placed a priority on Penn State and, really, that's my personal preference, too (though, I realize others feel differently). There have been some nebulous statements in the past about Penn State/West Virginia, but Barnes seems to indicate that the Nittany Lions are the first priority.

I can certainly see Pitt and West Virginia playing again some day, but I wouldn't hold your breath for any kind of imminent decision. Barnes says he's spoken to West Virginia about restarting the series, but so did Steve Pederson. These could be nothing more than very casual talks.

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