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Is Pitt Refusing To Renew The Backyard Brawl?


There is no question talks have taken place between West Virginia and Pitt to renew the Backyard Brawl, at least on a short-term basis. Both as well as media outlets out of Pittsburgh have verified that WVU athletics director Shane Lyons and Pitt AD Scott Barnes have been in discussions.

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However, Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen made a statement just yesterday leading some to believe negotiations have broken down and that Pitt has put on the brakes. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy quoted Holgorsen as saying, “We’re begging ’em to play. They chose to play Oklahoma 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 ADs 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.

West Virginia, on the other hand, has made it a point to renew old rivalries. The Mountaineers have future games scheduled against Virginia Tech, Maryland and Penn State.

The Backyard Brawl has not been played since 2011 after being played almost every year going back to 1900. Pitt leads the all-time series 61-40-3.

— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.