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Pitt announces nonconference schedules through 2013

11/23/2009

Pittsburgh has announced its nonconference schedules for the next four seasons. Here's the list, with dates subject to change:

2010

Sept. 4: New Hampshire

Sept. 11: at Utah

Sept. 25: Miami

Oct. 2: Florida International

Oct. 9: at Notre Dame

2011

Sept. 3: Buffalo

Sept. 10: Maine

Sept. 17: at Iowa

Sept. 24: Notre Dame

Oct. 15: Utah

2012

Sept. 1: TBA

Sept. 8: Central Florida

Sept. 15: Virginia Tech

Oct. 6: at Buffalo

Nov. 3 at Notre Dame

2013

Aug. 31: Villanova

Sept. 14: at Virginia Tech

Sept. 21: NC State

Oct. 26: Navy

Nov. 9: Notre Dame

One thing that's held Pitt back a little bit this year has been its schedule; the Panthers haven't played any Top 25 teams out of conference and lost to NC State on the road. But clearly they have upgraded their schedules for the future. Next year's slate with Utah, Notre Dame and Miami is top notch and is the kind of nonconference schedule that could get Pitt into the BCS title mix if it could produce results like this year. The game at Iowa in 2011 will be difficult, and the home-and-home with Virginia Tech starting in 2012 is another test/opportunity.

I think the best way to build a Big East schedule with the five nonconference games is to have one FCS opponent, one lower-level FBS team, one strong non-BCS school and two BCS opponents with high name recognition. Pitt seems to be following this approach.