The University of Pittsburgh football season is set to kickoff at noon Saturday, Aug. 30 when the Panthers host FCS perennial contender Delaware. It will be broadcast on ESPN3 TV.
Now, let’s fast forward with the help of the folks at the Phil Steele College Football Preview as they have posted their Bowl Projections for 2014-2015. Phil Steele predicts that Pitt will take on Maryland in the inaugural Detroit Bowl.
Elsewhere around the internet – Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com likes Pitt for the Bitcoin Bowl in St Petersburg, Fla., on Dec 26 against UCF, while Mark Schlabach, also of ESPN.com sees the Panthers in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md., on Dec 27 against East Carolina.
Finally, Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com foresees the Panthers in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec 27 at Yankee Stadium against Kent State while Bill Bender of the Sporting News projects Pitt to take on Mississippi State in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec 27.
Meanwhile, the prognosticators at the Bovada Sports Book in Las Vegas project the Panthers at seven wins again this season. Back in the middle of July, Pitt was selected by members of the media to finish sixth in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference during the 2014 ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C.
Getting back to the bowl game in Detroit, the Lions have entered into a six-year partnership with both the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference for a bowl game that will be played at Ford Field beginning this year.
Playing in Detroit is not something new for head coach Paul Chryst and the Panthers as they defeated Bowling Green 30-27 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26, 2013 at Ford Field. Pitt went 5-2 at Heinz Field and 2-3 on the road for a regular-season record of 7-5 last year.
The new contest will be officially named once sponsorship agreements are in place. As of now, the date is Friday, Dec 26th at 4:30 p.m. ET, to be broadcast on ESPN.
The Lions are the second NFL team, the other being the Houston Texans in 2006, to officially host and operate a college football bowl game. The team’s entertainment division, DLI Entertainment, has promoted multiple large shows and events at Ford Field.
From The Clipboard: Pitt sophomore running back James Conner has been named a pre-season candidate for three different awards. He is on the watch list for the 2014 Doak Walker Award annually presented to the nation’s top college running back; the Maxwell Award, given to college football’s player of the year; and the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the country’s most versatile player.
Last season, the 6-foot-2 freshman from Erie, PA led the Panthers in rushing yards with 799 and eight touchdowns on 146 carries.
Pittsburgh Panthers 2014 Schedule:
Saturday, Aug 30 – Vs Delaware – 12 Noon ET
Friday, Sept 5 – AT Boston College – 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept 13 – AT FIU – 12 Noon ET
Saturday, Sept 20 – Vs Iowa – TBA
Saturday, Sept 27 – Vs Akron – TBA
Saturday, Oct 4 – AT Virginia – TBA
Thursday, Oct 16 – Vs Virginia Tech – 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Oct 25 – Vs Georgia Tech – TBA
Saturday, Nov 1 – Vs Duke – TBA
Saturday, Nov 15 – AT North Carolina – TBA
Saturday, Nov 22 – Vs Syracuse – TBA
Saturday, Nov 29 – AT Miami – TBA