With the ink still fresh on yesterday's national letters of intent, we're already moving on to the next bit of news: What exactly Pitt's 2013 ACC schedule will look like. We already know who and where the Panthers will be playing, the only question left is when.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Pitt and Florida State are exploring the possibility of opening the 2013 season with a Monday-night Labor Day game in Pittsburgh.
Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher dropped that bit of news at a booster event Wednesday night. Pitt would not officially confirm that those talks were taking place, but the game is definitely a real possibility.
On Pitt's end of things, the only scheduling logisitics would be moving around the game scheduled against Villanova Aug. 31. If the game does happen, there's a good possibility the Panthers would have a bye the next week (to avoid a short Monday-Saturday week), followed by the scheduled game against New Mexico Sept. 14. In that case, the Villanova game would be moved to later in the season.
Villanova has not yet released its 2013 football schedule, which would seem to indicate that moving some things around is at least a possibility.
There are plenty of benefits to starting the season with a game like this. Obviously, bringing in a national brand like Florida State — which won the ACC and Orange Bowl last year, and will likely start 2013 in the AP Top 15 — for a primetime game would garner tremendous exposure to Pitt football in the area. It would be a big-time, nationally relevant game to announce the Panthers' arrival to the ACC.
Of course, the Panthers will be breaking in a new quarterback next year, so it might be safer to start the season a little easier. Paul Chryst, though, is not a guy to shy away from a challenge like this. There are a lot of moving parts involved, but the sense I got from people at Pitt was that they very much wanted to make this game a reality.
An ACC spokesperson said last month that the conference schedule would be released in "early February," though last year the slate wasn't announced until Feb. 27, 2012.
UPDATE: An ACC spokesperson has confirmed that this game is "one of the options being discussed" for the league's Monday night Labor Day spot. Here's a link to my quick P-G story. We'll know more over the next few weeks as the ACC schedule comes out.