There is no question talks have taken place between WVU and Pitt to renew the Backyard Brawl, at least on a short term basis. Both BGS as well as media outlets out of Pittsburgh have verified that WVU AD Shane Lyons and Pitt AD Scott Barnes have been in discussions.
However, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen made a statement just yesterday leading some to believe negotiations have broken down and it is Pitt that has put on the breaks. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy quoted Holgorsen as saying, “We’re begging ’em to play. They chose to play Okla. State instead. It makes no sense why it’s not being played”. Pitt choosing to travel to Stillwater to play the Cowboys instead of playing WVU seemed like a clear indication in the past there was no desire to play the Mountaineers. Could that again be the case despite numerous reports both schools have been open to the idea?
Pitt has scheduled future non-conference games against schools such as Cincinnati, Marshall, and Oklahoma State seemingly doing everything but choosing to travel down I-79 to play WVU.
While both AD’s have appeared to be open to a renewal of this historic rivalry Holgorsen’s statement yesterday is now leaving some doubt as to whether a deal can be made.
The Backyard Brawl has not been played since 2011 after being played almost every year since 1900. Pitt leads the all-time series 61-40-3.
photo courtesy USA Today Sports