MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It took a month of discussions and sorting through logistics to bring back a longtime, nationally recognized college football rivalry.
WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons began his post in February. The Backyard Brawl was the most-asked-about topic he entertained on caravans around the state.
“That was the common question is ‘Welcome back to the state and when are we going to get Pitt back on the schedule. So that question is answered now,” Lyons told Hoppy Kercheval on MetroNews “Talkline” less than 24 hours after announcing a 4 game series between the West Virginia University Mountaineers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers.
In June, Scott Barnes was named Pitt’s athletic director.
Lyons said it didn’t take long for the two men to work out the logistics to renew the rivalry that dates back to 1895.
“We had some initial conversations then about starting the rivalry again. By mid July we came up with some dates that fit our schedule and their schedule and worked through the contract details,” Lyons explained.
The Mountaineers and Panthers will face off 4 times between 2022 and 2025. Two games will be played at each location.
The first is September 17, 2022 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
“It all kind of fell into place once we started looking at schedules. It was just a matter of, we’re 7 years out before we can get anything to work on both of our ends,” Lyons commented.
The Backyard Brawl was played for 104 years until it ended in 2011 after a 21-20 WVU victory in Morgantown.
Pitt leads the long time series with 61 wins but the Mountaineers won last of the 16 contests against the Panthers.
“It was too long of a rivalry to let it not regain some steam again,” according to Lyons.
Lyons hinted to Kercheval there may be plans for the rivalry to also resume on the hardwood.
West Virginia -Pitt series renewal:
September 17, 2022 at Pittsburgh
September 16, 2023 at West Virginia
September 14, 2024 at Pittsburgh
September 13, 2025 at West Virginia