The ACC released its 2014 football schedule this afternoon, which means we now know Pitt's full slate for the upcoming season. Here's the schedule and a few thoughts...
Aug. 30 - vs. Delaware
Sept. 5 (Friday) - at Boston College
Sept. 13 - at Florida International
Sept. 20 - vs. Iowa
Sept. 27 - vs. Akron
Oct. 4 - at Virginia
Oct. 16 (Thursday) - vs. Virginia Tech
Oct. 25 - vs. Georgia Tech
Nov. 1 - vs. Duke
Nov. 15 - at North Carolina
Nov. 22 - vs. Syracuse
Nov. 29 - at Miami
- Two non-Saturday games on the schedule: Friday night in Boston and Thursday at home against Virginia Tech. Friday night game's aren't ideal, and are a haunting reminder of Pitt's time in the Big East. But if you're going to do a Friday night game, Boston is a better place to be than East Hartford. The Red Sox are at home that weekend, so any fans making the road trip will have all day Saturday to see the city and catch a 7 p.m. Sox game at Fenway.
As for the Thursday night game, those are just a part of college football in 2014. With a team like Virginia Tech coming in, that should create a pretty good atmosphere at Heinz Field. It's also early enough in the season that the weather shouldn't be too bad at night.
- As a lot of people have noted on Twitter, Aug. 30 is shaping up to be a disaster on the North Shore. The Pirates play the Reds at 4:05 at PNC Park. With a 4:05 start time, there's really no time Pitt could play that's going to be convenient. A noon kickoff would mean the football game is ending right when the Pirates are starting, and a night game would cause the opposite problem. We talked to Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson this afternoon, and he said the original plan was to play at 1 p.m. with the Pirates going at 7. With the Pirates switching to 4 for TV, they're still trying to figure out the logistics. Pederson didn't offer any specifics as to what the ultimate solution will be.
- The bye weeks set up a lot nicer for Pitt this year. Last season, because of the Labor Day game, Pitt had a bye week in the second week of the season, and then another in early October. That meant that Pitt played games in eight consecutive weeks to end the season. This year, they have one bye week in early October and another in early November (plus, the Thursday night game gives them a long week of preparation for Georgia Tech).
- The big stretch for Pitt will be that late October/early November run of Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Duke and North Carolina. If the Panthers can go 3-1 in that stretch, you'd have to feel pretty good about their chances in the division. There's a bye week in there after the Duke game.
- Pederson said he is "hopeful" that Thanksgiving weekend against Miami will become an annual fixture on Pitt's schedule. Interesting note that this year's game is on Saturday instead of Friday, like last year.