Pitt could play at Fenway Park come 2020 bowl season
Just what the college football world has been missing all these years: A rematch of the 2011-2012 BBVA Compass Bowl between Pitt and SMU.
Yes, it’s possible by the 2020 postseason now that the ACC and the AAC are creating a bowl game to be played at Fenway Park in Boston.
Writer Jason Vowles offers a name for the still nameless game — the Green Monster Bowl. How could it be named anything else?
Fenway will join Los Angeles and Myrtle Beach, S.C., as new bowl sites and will become the third MLB park to serve as host for a bowl game. Yankee Stadium (Pinstripe) and Chase Field (Cheez-It in Phoenix, Ariz.) are the others.
That will create bowl berths for 84 of 130 FBS teams (65 percent) in 43 games. That should keep ESPN busy over the holidays.
Notre Dame, thanks to its relationship with the ACC, also will be eligible for the Fenway game. The Fighting Irish have played there in the past, having defeated Boston College, 19-16, in 2015.
While Pitt-SMU might stir some best-forgotten memories for Pitt fans — a 28-6 loss and the first game after Todd Graham’s sudden resignation a month earlier – a more interesting matchup might be Pitt vs. former West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, the new coach at Houston, also of the AAC.
But Pitt’s history with Houston isn’t good, either.
The teams most recently met in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2014 with interim coach – Joe Rudolph, who replaced Paul Chryst for that one game. Pitt lost, 35-34, after leading, 31-6, in the fourth quarter.
Another ACC-AAC possibility would be a game between Keystone Staters Pitt and Temple. The teams met every year from 1974-2004, and Pitt holds a 27-8-1 edge in the all-time series. Pitt won the most recent game, 47-17, in 2012.
Thinking about the Compass Bowl brought back memories of a really good guy, former Pitt defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who was the interim coach for the SMU game.
Patterson is on his fifth job since leaving Pitt, having been hired as coordinator at Texas Tech after last season. He’s also coordinated defenses at Arkansas State, West Virginia, Arizona State and Utah State since 2012.
My best recollection of Patterson was a chat we had in which he compared Pitt edge rusher Ejuan Price favorably to former Pittsburgh Steelers sack artist Jason Gildon. Patterson had coached Gildon in high school.
Price, who is entering his third NFL season, is not on Gildon’s level as a pro, but he left Pitt fourth all-time in sacks, tied with Aaron Donald (29 ½).
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .