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WVU AD Wren Baker Wants to Play Pitt as Much as Possible in Every Sport



WVU defense celebrates at Pitt in Backyard Brawl

From the West Virginia side of things, WVU is all in on playing the Backyard Brawl as much as possible across all sports.

While speaking with the media on Wednesday, WVU director of athletics Wren Baker said there is a “willingness” from West Virginia to extend the series with Pitt. This was initially asked concerning the football series since, but Baker then made it clear he supports the rivalry in every sport.

“I’ve told her (Pitt AD Heather Lyke) we want to play, we want to play as much and as long as they want to play,” said Baker about what he has conveyed to his counterpart Heather Lyke at Pitt. 

This is far from the first time Baker has expressed an interest in playing Pitt since he arrived in Morgantown in November. His most recent comments also come not long after WVU head coach Neal Brown talked about what the Backyard Brawl means to him and that it’s a game that should be on the schedule no matter what.

Neal Brown All in on Brawl, Out on Playing Multiple P5 Rivals in Same Season

With the landscape of college sports constantly changing, the topic of schedules often comes up. Despite a desire to make the Pitt game a constant, Baker did specify that his ideal non conference football schedule would only include one “Power 5” program. That obviously also speaks to West Virginia prioritizing its rivalry with Pitt above any others that have been rejuvenated in recent years.

When possible, Baker hopes to fill out the rest of WVU’s future schedules with one “Power 5” school, one “Group of 5” and then an FCS. This is a similar strategy that most programs have already been employing across the country and the exact path that got TCU into the College Football Playoff last season.

Baker’s thinking is that if the Big 12 offers several games against ranked teams on its own, that stacking the schedule with multiple “Power 5” programs is not necessary and not in the best interest of the Mountaineers, especially if it’s in contrast to the rest of the country.

Baker even detailed his mentality while appearing on a show with WVSN’s Mike Asti soon after being hired.

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