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Athlon ranks 2017 Pitt football schedule opponents

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With Penn State, Oklahoma State, and more on the 2017 Pitt football schedule, the Panthers will have their hands full. Athlon recently took a shot at ranking all 12 opponents.

Leading the way? That game with Penn State:

1. Sept. 9 at Penn State

Pittsburgh knocked off the Nittany Lions at home early last year, before PSU really got rolling. This time the Panthers will have to go to Happy Valley and face an explosive offense led by quarterback Trace McSorley, running back Saquon Barkley, and a deep receiving corps.

That's a pretty easy pick, in my opinion, for any number of reasons. Of the three most difficult games by most measures, it's the only road contest for Pitt. It's a rivalry game. Penn State will also be looking for some measure of payback while trying not to let a chance to get into the College Football Playoff slip through their fingers. Oh, and the Nittany Lions are a pretty good team, too.

The list is pretty by the book to me. There are a few things that will likely stand out. First, Georgia Tech is ahead of Virginia Tech on the list. North Carolina State is also ahead of North Carolina. Those are two teams that have been decent but the Hokies and Tar Heels would typically be ahead of them in terms of difficulty.

Anything stand out to you as being right/wrong?

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