10 ‘epic matchups’ Penn State fans will want to see in an alliance with ACC and Pac-12
Though nothing has officially been mapped out yet, the commissioners of the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 have jointly announced their commitment to working together on providing a path for the future of collegiate athletics in a groundbreaking moment. While the alliance has multiple goals in mind, there is much speculation about the future scheduling between the three conferences, leading Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren suggesting he hopes this leads to what he called “epic matchups to look forward to.
So let’s let our imaginations run a little wild, shall we? If Penn State is about to get a bunch of “epic matchups,” as Warren seems to suggest could be a possibility, what schools from the ACC and Pac-12 would make for the most interesting or hyped games for Penn State?
Before we jump into it, a reminder of what Penn State’s all-time records against the current memberships of the ACC and Pac-12 look like.
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Penn State and Oregon have not faced each other since the 1995 Rose Bowl, in which Penn State put the finishing touches on an undefeated 1994 season that went unrewarded in the national championship picture (unless you give much validity to the New York Times poll). A clash of Penn State's old-school look against the ultimate trendsetter for today's generation of uniforms is something that has had fans dreaming of an eventual matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Ducks.
AP Photo/Pat Little
Penn State and Miami have a solid history with 13 all-time games played. None have been more notable than the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, when Penn State won its second national championship in an upset of the No. 1 Hurricanes. Penn Stae and Miami last faced each other in 2001 in a season-opening romp in Beaver Stadium but the juggernaut that was early-21st century Miami.
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USC leads the all-time series with Penn State, including a three-game winning streak in the series that includes a pair of Rose Bowl matchups. But a home-and-home series that sends Penn State out to Los Angeles is always something to dream about.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Clemson is one of the small handful of teams to own a 100% winning percentage against Penn State, with an all-time record of 1-0. Clemson is at the top of the college football world now, and getting a chance to go head-to-head with a program of that caliber is a worthy challenge (not that Penn State doesn't get one of those types of matchups every year against Ohio State.)
AP Photo/Paul Vathis
Penn State has made a few trips to Rose Bowl Stadium since joining the Big Ten, but it has been decades since Penn State played a regular-season game in the historic venue against UCLA. In fact, the last time Penn State played UCLA was in 1968. It's time to get these two back together.
Virgina Tech Hokies
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Penn State and Virginia Tech were scheduled to play for the first time last fall, but a worldwide pandemic had other plans. As the college football schedule was ripped to shreds, fans of the Nittany Lions will continue to wait to see Penn State play the Hokies for the first time. Perhaps this scheduling alliance could help make this series a reality.
Florida State Seminoles
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Penn State and Florida State are the home programs of two of college football's all-time winningest coaches with Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, which was the main theme for the epic Orange Bowl at the end of the 2005 season. Penn State and Florida State have played just three times, but this would be a fun matchup to see pop up on the schedule.
North Carolina Tar Heels
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Like Clemson, North Carolina has won the only all-time meeting with Penn State, and that was all the way back in 1943. It's long overdue for Penn State to get a chance for revenge. Plus, the uniform matchup alone would be terrific to see with Penn State's classic look and UNC's Carolina blue.
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Penn State is 3-0 all-time against the Washington Huskies, including a victory over the Pac-12 program in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl. Washington has a history of playing some Big Ten teams in the regular season, so maybe it's time to get the Huskies on the Penn State schedule.
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Penn State and Pitt recently went their separate ways after a brief four-game revival of their historic in-state rivalry, and there is no indication the two will be lining up to face each other any time soon. But perhaps an alliance with the ACC will help force this rivalry to continue more often. And what list of 10 opponents would be complete without Penn State's most storied rival? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwq4rqJYH8o Follow Nittany Lions Wire on Twitter and like us on Facebook for continuing Penn State coverage and discussion.