WVU is continuing to fill its future non-conference schedules and reports indicate the Mountaineers are looking toward a conference they once desired to be a part of. BGS has verified reports from both The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Palm Beach Post that WVU is in talks with both Florida State University and the University of Pittsburgh.
New WVU athletic director Shane Lyons has been quoted as saying renewing the Backyard Brawl is a “top priority” for WVU moving forward. While there was originally push back from Pittsburgh, new Panthers AD Scott Barnes has taken a less aggressive stance against the rivalry stating he was open to talks.
The Brawl was last played in 2011 before both Pitt and WVU left the old Big East for the ACC and Big 12 respectively. While talks of its renewal have been rumored for years it now seems both sides are open to negotiations. BGS has been informed that a single game has initially been discussed and that game could happen “sooner rather than later”. WVU has openings in both 2017 and 2018 while Pitt has multiple openings after the 2016 season.
The Palm Beach Post recently reported that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has expressed his desire to play WVU in the near future as well. WVU was scheduled to play a home-and-home series against FSU in 2012 and again in 2013 before the series had to be cancelled because of the Mountaineers move to the Big 12. WVU had to pay FSU $500,000 for cancelling the 2012 game.
Just like Pitt, FSU has multiple openings in their non-conference slate after the 2016 season.
West Virginia will also be renewing their rivalry with Virginia Tech in 2017 in Landover, MD and again in 2021. The Mountaineers are also scheduled to play NC State in 2018 and 2019 in a home-and-home series.