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.

bubble graphic

34

bubble graphic

Comments

  • MountainMover

    We should absolutely play Penn State. It's a whole new world now, we are easily competitive with them and have been arguably better for several years. Beating them would help us get more top recruits out of Pennsylvania as kids would know they'd be coming to a better team that's still close to their family.

  • wvtd

    do it now. I hate psu and would love to see wvu kick their butts. they need punished weekly after what paterno and Sandusky did.

  • wvrefugee

    If our AD and HC are still here to see this game I will do a back flip off the Westover bridge!!

  • DonaldH

    I would rather see a yearly game between WVU VS. UT or UK and VT and all them being away games.. Anything to end the exposure to Morgantown..

    • cutty77

      @ DonaldH,
      Then its a good Bet we wont your sourpuss behind in Morgantown. LOL

  • Magic Mike

    I remember when I was first stationed at the Naval Radio Station Sugar. Now Naval Information Operations Command. How much West Virginians hated Penn. Maybe not a rival but the hillbillies sure did not like Penn. Would love to see this happen. I loved this state so much I retired here and I am huge WVU fan.

    From a Maine native.

    • Magic Mike

      Naval Radio Station Sugar Grove. They need a edit button.

  • cutty77

    I could care less about playing VT,Pitt.an Penn State. Now they need WVU,because all 3 of these progams are has been's. VT needs a New Coach, Penn State just got one,and Pitt gets a New Coach every year.

  • 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 location....at 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 back...it can be dangerous....GO MOUNTIANEERS, CLASS OF '95

  • STEVE DAVIS

    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!