The Backyard Brawl is arguably one of the best rivalries on all of college sports. Fans of the WVU football team know this and it’s about time some Pitt diehards feel the same way.
Much of the talk around the Pitt football team this season has been about the contract with Penn State. Pitt and Penn State renewed their rivalry and have two more years to play.
However, after 2019, it appears Penn State is going in a different direction with its scheduling. West Virginia will actually play Penn State in 2023 and 2024. The WVU football team renews its own rivalry with Pitt in 2022.
The discussion on what games should or should not be played will rage on for quite some time. The talk continued on Pittsburgh radio station 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday when Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke joined The Fan Morning Show.
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Lyke told The Fan Morning Show that even though the series with Penn State may appear to be dead, Pitt is still reaching out to Penn State in hopes of working out another series. Lyke is also on the heels of adding to the WVU football rivalry it appears. She told the show’s hosts that WVU AD Shane Lyons is a “dear friend.”
Looking through the biographies of both Lyke and Lyons, it doesn’t look like their paths have crossed that often. But, being lifelong workers in the world of college sports, it’s probably not hard to come across people from other schools on a monthly or yearly basis.
Judging by Lyke’s comments on the radio, she seems to have a better relationship with Lyons than Penn State AD Sandy Barbour. No matter what happens, what is obvious is that the world of college sports is evolving. Some think that’s a good thing, others who believe in tradition are opposed to these changes.
West Virginia should focus on its role in the Big 12, Pitt should focus on its role in the ACC and Penn State should focus on its role in the Big 10. In a perfect world, these schools linked by overlapping fanbases and a sports-crazed region should be playing in the same conference. These days, that’s just not how it works and it is unfortunate.
Even though there are bigger fish fry, it’s refreshing that Lyke sees the important of rivalries and the Backyard Brawl will remain the most important match up pertaining to college rivalries in this part of the country.
The game may not be played as much as it should, but it will never truly go away as fond memories stay with fans of Pitt and the WVU football team forever.