PITTSBURGH (AP) The Backyard Brawl is back on. Pittsburgh and West Virginia agreed to renew one of the oldest rivalries in college football on Thursday, signing a four-game series beginning in 2022.
Pitt will host West Virginia in 2022 and 2024, with the Panthers traveling south in 2023 and 2025.
The former Big East schools met 104 times between 1895 and 2011 before Pitt's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia's switch to the Big 12. The Panthers lead the all-time series 61-40-3, including a 13-9 upset in 2007 that ruined the Mountaineers' shot at playing in the BCS title game. West Virginia edged Pitt 21-20 in the last edition of the Brawl in 2011.
''Pitt and West Virginia have a long and storied rivalry that dates back to the 19th century,'' said new Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes. ''I've learned there is a lot of passion surrounding this game and we're pleased to be able to rekindle that history.''
West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons called scheduling the series ''a priority.''
''We all know how conference realignment ended some long-standing rivalries, which have made the sport so special,'' Lyons said.
The announcement marked the return of a second longtime foe to Pitt's football schedule. The Panthers begin a four-game series with Penn State in 2016 when the Nittany Lions visit Pittsburgh.
Barnes said the Panthers have had ''productive'' conversations about extending the series with Penn State but pointed to a crowded nonconference schedule for the Nittany Lions in the early 2020s as a stumbling block, though Barnes added he is ''hopeful'' a solution will be found.
AP College Football Website: www.collegefootball.ap.org