The Big East announced its football schedule on Tuesday, which allowed Pitt and the remaining schools to fill out their respective 2012 schedules.
After opening at home with Youngstown State on September 1, the Panthers will travel to Cincinnati for a Thursday night matchup with the Bearcats. Cincinnati has won three of the last four meetings with Pitt. The two teams played on a Friday night in 2006, as Pitt came out on top with a 33-15 win. The Bearcats won the last meeting on November 5 of last year, 26-23. Cincinnati finished 10-3 last season, including a Liberty Bowl win over Vanderbilt.
The Panthers return home to take on Virginia Tech on September 15, followed by its first-ever meeting with FCS opponent Gardner-Webb. Following a bye on September 29, the Panthers hit the road for another Friday night game, this time at Syracuse. After Syracuse won 16 of 18 meetings between 1984 and 2001, the Panthers have won nine of the last ten meetings in the series, holding a 34-30-3 edge in the series. In their last meeting in Syracuse, Pitt prevailed with a 37-10 win in their 2010 Big East opener.
The Panthers then return home to host Louisville on October 13. After losing six in a row to the Cardinals, Pitt has won the last four meetings in the series, including last year's 21-14 win in Louisville. Pitt leads the all-time series 8-7. After a non-conference game at Buffalo on October 20, Pitt hosts Temple on October 27—the first meeting between the two in-state schools since 2004, a 27-22 Pitt win. Pitt leads that all-time series 26-8-1. The Owls finished with nine wins last season, including a 37-15 win over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
Pitt resumes its annual meeting with Notre Dame in South Bend on November 3, before hitting the road for another Friday night game—this time at Connecticut on November 9. These two schools have met eight times since the Huskies joined the Big East as a football member in 2004. Of those eight meetings, the two schools have met on a Wednesday night (last year), twice on a Thursday night (2004, 2010) and now a Friday night. Pitt defeated the Huskies last year 35-20 to even the series at 4-4. UConn's 30-28 win in 2010 in Pitt's last trip to Hartford, eventually decided the Big East BCS berth.
Following another bye on November 17, Pitt hosts Rutgers on November 24. The Scarlet Knights blew out the Panthers 34-10 in Piscataway last year, while Pitt holds a 21-8 edge in the all-time series. Rutgers won nine games last season, capped by a 27-13 win over Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Pitt closes out the 2012 regular season with a trip to Tampa to take on South Florida. The two teams met in the 2004 regular season finale—a 43-14 Pitt win. Pitt has won the last four meetings in the series, which they lead 6-3. Pitt is 3-1 in games played in Tampa.