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Report: Pitt Among Schools Big Ten Looked at for Potential Expansion

PSU coach James Franklin talks with Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi before last year's game at Beaver Stadium.

Nobody knows when Penn State (Big Ten) and Pitt (ACC) will play football again

It feels like the next meeting between the in-state rivals will be a long time from now, and most would probably bet that if and when that day comes, it won’t be because Pitt joined Penn State in the Big Ten.

But according to a report, the Big Ten was looking into Pitt as an expansion option in the summer of 2022.

The ACC expanded over the summer, likely putting to bed the idea of the conference splitting up any time soon, but conference realignment will continue to be a topic of contention for the foreseeable future.

Pitt appears to be locked into the ACC for quite a while now, especially with additional money coming into the conference from the additions of Cal, Stanford and SMU and a very expensive cost of breaking the Grant-of-Rights agreement, but the Panthers were reportedly considered for expansion.

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Ross Dellenger, Pitt was included on a list of “attainable” programs that the Big Ten considered for potential expansion in the summer of 2022, alongside Arizona, Cal, Clemson, Florida State, Kansas, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, Virginia and Washington.

“We had this list of schools and went through it with the chancellors and presidents,” a conference official who wished to remain anonymous told Dellenger. “Kevin (Warren) wanted them [Oregon and Washington] to come in with USC and UCLA, but for whatever reason, the L.A. schools didn’t want to create a West Coast pod. He wasn’t able to convince them.”

Dellenger further reported that many of the candidates on the shortlist reached out to the Big Ten, but he did not clarify explicitly which schools did.

USC and UCLA kicked off the Big Ten expansion last summer, and it took another year, but eventually, Oregon and Washington followed. It followed with the Pac-12 imploding — Cal and Stanford heading to the ACC and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah going to the Big 12.

With the ACC locked in now, it doesn’t appear as though any members will be going anywhere in the near future. And new members will be joining next summer.

Cal, Stanford and SMU will begin ACC play in the 2024 season, in all sports, and all three have agreed to unequal revenue sharing. According to The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, Cal and Stanford will receive 30% in the first seven years, 70% in the eighth year, 75% in the ninth year and 100% in the last three years.

SMU will receive no revenue shares over the first nine years, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported.

That revenue will be circulated back into the ACC, with all 14 previous full-time members and Notre Dame receiving a reported $50-60 million — and additional revenue able to be earned through winning.

Pitt and Penn State have played just four times since 2000, with consecutive meetings taking place from 2016-19. Penn State won three of those meetings, the most recent being a 17-10 win in Beaver Stadium in September 2019.

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