Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions take the field before their 2012 upset of Wisconsin.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In a revelation that’s only a few contract signatures and seven years away, West Virginia and Penn State are on the verge of renewing their football series.

A few details, talking points and observations:

♦ Officials with the two programs are reportedly finalizing a home-and-home contract that wouldn’t begin until 2020. Considering the series has been in hibernation since 1992 (Penn State’s final year as an independent), what’s another 2,555 days.

♦ The schools are approximately 180 miles apart, making Penn State the kind of mid-Atlantic matchup WVU craves to counter all these long-distance opponents from the Big 12. (The Mountaineers have Virginia Tech slated for 2021 and ’22, with Maryland scheduled annually through 2017. There’s also a 2016 game against BYU at Landover, Md.)

♦ Assuming Penn State-West Virginia restarts in 2020, that’s enough time for the Nittany Lions to have rebounded from the sickening child-abuse scandal and the almost-as-sickening university coverup. Penn State’s bowl ban is scheduled to end after the 2015, at which time the program also regains full utilization of its full 85 scholarships. So it’s entirely plausible that Bill O’Brien or his successor could be shepherding a top-10 program by the time these two finally get together.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Major Harris turned a busted play into a 26-yard touchdown run as WVU routed Penn State 51-30 in 1988.

♦ Impatient for the series to renew sooner? Well, Penn State has one nonconference slot to fill in 2015 and 2017, and two openings in 2018 and ’19. WVU has one opening in 2017, two in 2018, and a clean slate of three vacancies in 2019 and ’20. Bear in mind, however that Oliver Luck is angling to return Pitt to the schedule intermittently.

♦ We’ve thus far refrained from labeling it a rivalry, seeing as how Penn State owns a rather noticeable 48-9-2 edge. But rather than getting flummoxed over the .152 winning percentage, West Virginia fans should focus acutely on Oct. 29, 1988, and the 51-30 throttling Major Harris invoked.

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  • Martinsburg Resident

    This would be more of a rivalry game than the WVU - MU series... can you say ZERO wins for our southern little brothers! LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!

    • Ricardo

      Really? All good posts from good fans, until you came along with an irrelevant comment. Good Job!

  • tw eagle

    although in my years following WVU , p st usually had an advantage in talent , especially in depth , it seemed the deciding factor in many games came down to the decisions made by the officiating crews . . .whether at home or away , WVU always got the short end of the calls . . .

  • WVUSigChi95

    ....forgot 2 more NFLers in the '92 WVU-Penn State game: Todd Sauerbrun and Mike Vanderjagt

  • WVUSigChi95

    I was at that last game between WVU and Penn State.A lot of future NFL players played in that game: Penn State had Kerry Collins, Richie Anderson, OJ McDuffie and Zach Thomas. WVU had Adrian Murrell, James Jett, Darren Studstil, John Browning, Rich Braham, Mike Compton, Aaron Beasley. This rivalry would be cool, but it's no Backyard Brawl. In the early 90s, WVU sold t-shirts that read "Penn State sucks..." on the front, and "...but Pitt swallows" on the back. Let's Gooooooooooo Mountaineers!!!!!!!

    • WVUGRAD1995

      The good ol' days!

  • CaptainQ

    Well, playing Penn State Non-Conference would be a whole lot more competitive and fun to watch than all of the 'directional' schools and the 'Roast Beef' Techs and "Whatamatta U's" the Mountaineers have been scheduling in decades past (and present).

    And besides, it'll take Penn State DECADES to recover from their recent past stigma. Means WVU may have a fighting chance of beating them on the gridiron!

  • jake_d

    I like it. Now, we need to get Pitt on a reg basis and rotate w/ VT, MD, PSU, and I wouldn't mind seeing us add UK and a Florida team to the mix.

    • Rick

      I agree, Jake, I think UK would be great to add to the schedule. I would love to see a home-and-home with Tennessee, also.

  • Wemakerain

    Atleast people will quit complaining about scheduling cupcakes now. You schedule the big boys 8 years in advance, cupcakes when you changed conference and need quick holes filled

  • jomomma

    that's good...but VT is way, way better...i'm in greenbrier county...about an hour and half from ground zero hokieland.....and that's one series we are leading....i probably see more 'live' VT games secondary to my least it is big time college football, overated annually, but it's fun to root??? against them whomever they're playing...just gotta watch your can be dangerous....GO MOUNTIANEERS, CLASS OF '95


    Playing closer to home...regional rivalries....not having to travel so far away that only wealthy fans with no jobs can follow the team....what a concept!

  • Rick

    Allan, could you please post a listing of all of WVU's non-conference games scheduled for 2014 through 2018? I have lost track of a few of them. It is fun to look ahead.

    Thank you.

    • Allan Taylor

      Aug. 30 Alabama (at Atlanta)
      at Maryland
      vs. Towson

      vs. East Carolina
      vs. Liberty
      vs. Maryland

      Sept. 24 - BYU (at Landover, Md.)
      at East Carolina
      vs. Maryland

      East Carolina
      at Maryland

      at East Carolina

      • Rick

        Thank you so much!

      • Mac

        Thanks for that Allan!

  • 8thwonder

    what's a nittany

    • Terry Wigfield

      It's an older male lion who is attracted to younger male lions.

    • Damion45

      Mountains in central PA.

  • Big Larry

    PLEASE.........NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!


    • rcb

      Oh, I wouldn't say that. Our program is no patsy, I say play them!!!

  • Daniel

    This never was a rivalry! Pitt is a rivalry! When you have a record of 48-9-2 against an opponent, that simply isn't a rivalry. That's a butt-whipping you can look forward to every year! Yes, I would like to see them back in Morgantown, along with the Pitt series renewing, but the program has a way to go to compete with those guys. It will get there, but until then, stick with the task at hand: OK, TX, OKST, KST, etc. When we compete year in and out with those big-dogs, then we should and will compete with the Big 10. Yes, it was very gratifying seeing Joe Pa throw a fit after the 88 game! That was sweet. However, he said it best: In order for it to be a rivalry, both teams need to win equally in the series. Don't overload us Ollie! Baby steps, then big steps, ok? Anyhow, LOVE THE 'EERS!!! Best of luck in '13. Give 'em hell boys!!!

  • lee arthur

    So you all want to go back to the good old days . I remember growing up in WV and Penn St. kicking our asses every year , it was so frustrating.

    • Habib Haddad

      Yes, it gave us even more reason to drink heavily.

  • Maxxajay

    I remember that game ... I also remember how mad Joe ( Penn State coach ) got ...He was very upset ... It was a very great day to be a MOUNTAINEER...Like to see that happen again.... Believe it or not that is what I remember most about that game ....I love the Mountaineers....

    • Damion45

      As a PSU graduate I always made money on these games...except one. But since I was in a bar in Charleston I was smart enough to cheer for WVU!