With a mid-week game, everything is sped up. It’s not a traditional week anymore.
In an ideal world, Pitt would only play mid-week games coming off a bye week. But at the very least, Pat Narduzzi feels like it’s only fair if both teams participating in the mid-week game have the same level of rest. In other words, if both teams played the Saturday before, it’s a level playing field.
There’s certainly been talk about only playing mid-week games coming off a bye week.
“We’ve talked a lot about that,” Narduzzi said Monday at his weekly news conference. “That happens sometimes — I think one time in my years here at Pitt, we had a team that had a bye week, and we didn’t have a bye week. That should never happen.
“But as long as we both had to play on Saturday — it’s not good for a banged-up team. It’s not good for — again, it’s the same thing in the NFL. They’re doing it, trying to put it on TV as much as they can, I get it. But it’s important to get our guys back healthy.”
Pitt played just one Thursday game last season, and technically, Pitt had about nine months off before the season opener against West Virginia. And while the mid-week game in 2021 was on a short week, the Thursday games in 2017, 2019 and 2020 were all off bye weeks. The Panthers played a Friday night game on a short week in 2018.
The NFL first debuted Thursday Night Football back in 2006, which came way after first coming up with Monday Night Football back in 1970, and it’s even more diverse at the college level. There are games played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays — and even Mondays early in the season — and Narduzzi understands why. Even if it isn’t what’s best for the players.
“Yeah, I don’t think so,” Narduzzi said. “You’d like to see more — that’s why we’re going to take care of our guys this week. That’s what I’ve got to take care of. If they’re not going to take care of them, I’ll take care of them as much as I can.”
The Thursday Night Football schedule in the NFL is often discussed, with the quality of the product and player safety often rising to the top of all conversations, and it’s no different at the college level. Except for the fact that there is no collective bargaining agreement at the college level after all.
Pitt and Boston College will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Acrisure Stadium, and it will come with both the Panthers and the Eagles coming off losses over the weekend.