Penn State official says Nittany Lions 'receptive' to resuming Pitt series in 2026


Penn State's nonconference schedule in the first six years of the next decade will include three Power 5 schools - none of them Pitt - but Nittany Lions officials are willing to discuss resuming that series again in 2026, a Penn State spokesman said Sunday.

Jeff Nelson, Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications, said Penn State has home-and-home series with Virginia Tech and West Virginia scheduled from 2020-2025. He said another Power 5 school that he declined to identify also will be scheduled in that time frame.

Plus, the Big Ten will go to a nine-game conference schedule, starting next year, further complicating the scheduling of nonconference opponents. Pitt plays eight conference games in the ACC with periodic commitments to Notre Dame.

Pitt and Penn State will meet in football for the first time in 16 years next season at Heinz Field for the first of four games through 2019. Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes said Saturday that his efforts to continue the Penn State series beyond 2019 have been met with resistance by Nittany Lions officials. He did agree with Nelson that the series could be resumed in 2026.

"(Penn State athletic director) Sandy Barbour and Scott Barnes have talked over last several months," Nelson said, "and we are receptive to further discussions about playing Pitt again after the 2025 season."