Prediction - Loss (0-1)
Sept. 11 Ohio - The Panthers return home this week for their traditional night opener against a MAC bottom feeder. The Bobcats were 2-10 last season and appear to be a welcome sight after the Panthers' hard opener.
Prediction - Win (1-1)
Sept. 18 Nebraska - The schedule gets even tougher as new Nebraska coach Bill Callahan and the Cornhusker faithful invade Heinz Field. For the first time in the stadium's existence, most of the red will be in the stands instead of the ketchup bottles. It will be the first time in 46 years that the two teams have met. Nebraska was 10-3 last season and figure to be in the Top 25 when they arrive. Again the Panthers will be the underdog.
Prediction - Loss (1-2)
Sept. 25 Furman - A third straight home game, but this time, much to the chagrin of Panther fans; it's against a 1-AA opponent. The Paladins were 6-5 last season.
Prediction - Win (2-2)
Sept. 30 at Connecticut - In the first of three nationally televised games, the Panthers will travel to Storrs for a Thursday Night game that will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2. The Huskies will return nine starters from the nation's eighth best offense and feature star QB Dan Orlovsky and running back Willie Cauley. On defense, the Huskies return seven starters from their 9-3 team. Like USF, UConn will be out to prove they belong in the Big East.
Prediction - Loss (2-3)
Oct. 9 at Temple - The Panthers will play the Owls as a Big East opponent for the last time. Temple was 1-10 last season.
Prediction - Win (3-3)
Oct. 16 Boston College - The last ever Big East meeting between the two schools will no doubt have a lot of emotion. The two schools have never liked each other, but Boston College's conference departure could make this one nasty - at least from the perspective of the Pitt fans. Pitt has won 3 of the last 4 meetings and will want to send the Eagles off as losers.
Prediction - Win (4-3)
Oct. 23 Rutgers - The Scarlet Knights are a much improved program, and they are getting better every year. This could be a struggle.
Prediction - Win (5-3)
Nov. 6 at Syracuse - The Orangemen have been mediocre for a few years and this year should be no different. It's usually hard to win at the Carrier Dome but it's not the place it used to be.
Prediction - Win (6-3)
Nov. 13 Notre Dame - In a nationally broadcast NBC game, the Panthers will try to win at South Bend for the first time since 1986, a span of six games. The Irish have beaten the Panthers three straight and seem to have Pitt's number.
Prediction - Loss (6-4)
Nov. 25 West Virginia - The Backyard Brawl will be on Thanksgiving Night this season and will be televised by ESPN. The Mountaineers are the better team on paper and have killed the Panthers for two straight years. But in such a hard fought rivalry, one team doesn't dominate the series for long. Plus, Pitt will need the win for a decent bowl.
Prediction - Win (7-4)