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Pitt Football Schedule: Panthers Schedule Home-And-Home With ... Akron?

Earlier this week, Akron released some information regarding future football opponents through 2016. One moderate surprise was that Pitt has apparently agreed to a home and home arrangement with the Zips. Akron will come to Heinz Field in 2014 while the Panthers will go there in 2015.

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While Pitt has done this in the past (to the dismay of most), this comes as a surprise. Pitt really has nothing to gain by traveling to Akron to play there. Akron, meanwhile, should get a nice payout for going on the road to play the Panthers.

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A look at Akron's home opponents from 2012 through 2016 (the ones scheduled thus far, anyway) shows that Pitt clearly stands out. Other than Pitt, the Zips' home foes include Central Florida, Morgan State, James Madison, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Marshall. The thing that immediately jumps out is that the Panthers are the only team from a BCS automatic qualifier league. BCS AQ schools rarely make these types of arrangements and it looks like Pitt is the only one to play the Zips in Akron in the immediate future.

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Some programs will go on the road to gain a recruiting advantage and Pitt definitely recruits in Ohio. But it's still difficult to see the justification in traveling to Akron. Sure, Pitt could conceivably work out an arrangement if they need to get out of the game (a similar deal fell through with Kentucky), but it's a somewhat curious decision to be sure.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.