When the football teams representing West Virginia and Pittsburgh meet at Mountaineer Field on Friday night, it will be the 104th time the Mountaineers and Panthers have met on the gridiron.
While no one at either school is saying this will be the last WVU-Pitt game, there's a possibility it will be a casualty in the conference realignment taking place with West Virginia moving to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh joining the Atlantic Coast Conference.
That's a shame. The last year WVU and Pitt didn't played each other was in 1942.
Ask any long-time Mountaineer fan to name WVU's biggest rival and they don't hesitate to say Pitt, a four-letter word in the Mountain State.
The game has become an annual tradition.
Few regular season games have their own name, but there's not a serious sports fan in America that can't name the two participating schools in the annual Backyard Brawl.
Even if the series is continued, there's a good possibility it may have to be moved from its traditional spot at the end of the season, usually reserved for conference games.
That also would be a shame, but such is college football life in 2011.
Moving from one conference to another means the end to old rivalries and the beginning of new ones. I'm sure it won't be long before West Virginia develops a red-hot rivalry with Kansas or Oklahoma or Texas, just as did with Louisville in the Big East.
Still, it won't be the same if WVU doesn't play Pitt.
The two schools are 75 miles apart.
There's little travel involved, but there certainly is a lot of emotion.
What Mountaineer fan doesn't remember the legendary Jack Fleming proclaiming for West Virginia to beat the heck out of Pitt? (Yeah, I know, but this is a family newspaper).
Who doesn't have a favorite memory from a West Virginia-Pitt game?
I remember being a student in Morgantown and watching the Mountaineers upset the Panthers, 17-14, at old Mountaineer Field in 1975.
I remember the 1988 game at Pitt Stadium when WVU's line made a hole big enough for two Mack trucks and Pitt transfer A.B. Brown scored a game-breaking TD in what eventually became a 31-10 win.
By the time that game was over, there wasn't a Pitt fan left in the stadium. The only words being shouted were the familiar "Let's Go Mountaineers.''
Of course, not every game has gone WVU's way.
If that were the case, this wouldn't be a rivalry.
No Mountaineer fan ever will forget the painful memory of the 2007 game when Pitt kept WVU from playing for the national title by stunning West Virginia at Mountaineer Field, 13-9, a score that will live in infamy.
I can go on and on and I hope this series does just that.
The Backyard Brawl is worth saving.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org