Morgantown, West Virginia – The stars appear to be aligned for the West Virginia Mountaineers to play two of their most despised opponents this season.
The Marshall Thundering Herd and the Pitt Panthers were scheduled to meet on September 12th. However, the ACC announced a scheduling model that includes 10 conference games with one non-conference game. The non-conference game will be selected by each individual school and must be played in the home state of the ACC institution. In other words, Pitt is now unable to travel to Marshall to play that game and it has been canceled.
Marshall, who already had a bye in the second week of the season on September 5th, could now potentially travel to Morgantown to play the Mountaineers. West Virginia’s season opener against the Florida State Seminoles in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta has not been officially canceled, but the ACC’s ruling would also prevent that game from taking place. Both Marshall and West Virginia have open dates and it just makes too much sense to not happen.
Although many call Marshall a lose-lose game, it is important to many West Virginians and would certainly be a great way to start the season. Marshall is a far better, more attractive option than any of the other teams that West Virginia could replace Florida State with on such short notice.
In addition, West Virginia’s game against Maryland on September 19th has also been canceled following the Big Ten’s decision to go to a conference-only schedule. Pitt’s game against Richmond was originally scheduled for September 19th, but the Colonial Athletic Association canceled all of its fall sports and so that game will not take place either.
Pitt and West Virginia both have open dates on September 19th and an spontaneous Backyard Brawl would be just what the doctor ordered for an otherwise messy, ugly football season. The Mountaineers, of course, would be required to go to Pittsburgh to play the game following the ACC’s ruling that all games would have to be played in the state of the ACC team, but the crowd in a game between Pitt and West Virginia at Heinz Field would be so heavily in favor of the Mountaineers, that it would essentially be a home game.
Regardless of the teams’ records or the money involved, nothing is better for a Mountaineer fan than beating Marshall or Pitt. This season, there’s a very real opportunity to beat both.