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Irish taken off '14 and '16 schedules

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pitt's games against Notre Dame in South Bend in 2014 and 2016 are off, according to releases from the league and Pitt today. The Panthers will still host the Irish in 2015 as part of Notre Dame's new ACC rotation.

We've known for a while now that Notre Dame would likely enter its rotation of playing five ACC teams annually in 2014, the exact matchups were announced by the league today. Here's a link to the announcement.

Pitt had a scheduling contract with the Irish through 2016, which athletic director Steve Pederson said he hoped the sides would be able to honor regardless of the ACC arrangement. He also, though, said he would be willing to work with the ACC and go into the rotation with the other 13 schools, and it sounds like that side won out. It's a double-edged sword for Pitt. It's too bad that they lose a strong annual opponent (though it softens the blow that they don't give up any home games), but Notre Dame's involvement in the ACC, even if its not as a full member, strengthens the league as a whole.

While the 2016 schedule won't be affected too badly since the Panthers have Penn State on the schedule for that year, the 2014 slate will take a bit of a prestige hit. Now, the biggest non-conference opponent the Panthers have coming to Heinz Field in 2014 is Iowa. While the Hawkeyes have been a fine program over the last decade or so, they're certainly not the caliber of opponent (or draw) that Notre Dame would be.

Here's a list of all of Pitt's currently scheduled opponents for 2014 and beyond. ACC games are marked with an asterisk.

2014
Home: Iowa, Akron, Delaware, Duke*, Georgia Tech*, Syracuse*, Virginia Tech*
Away: Florida International, Miami*, North Carolina*, Virginia*, TBA Atlantic Division opponent*

2015
Home: Notre Dame, TBA, Miami*, North Carolina*, Virginia*, TBA Atlantic Division opponent*
Away: Iowa, Akron, Duke*, Georgia Tech*, Syracuse*, Virginia Tech*

2016
Home: Penn State, TBA, TBA, Duke*, Georgia Tech*, Syracuse*, Virginia Tech*
Away: TBA, Miami*, North Carolina*, Virginia*, TBA Atlantic Division opponent*

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