Pat Narduzzi may get his wish to play Penn State Football.
Most recently in August, when asked if Penn State vs. Pitt would return, Narduzzi commented “You’d have to ask James Franklin that. My call is ‘Let’s go.’ We’ve called, we’ve asked.”
Well, barely one month later, Narduzzi may be closer to getting his wish than previously thought, although not with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
According to Brett McMurphy of Action Network HQ, Pat Narduzzi’s name has been mentioned on a list of top candidates for Michigan State’s head coaching vacancy.
Michigan State candidates, source told @ActionNetworkHQ.
Mike Elko, Duke
Dan Enos, Arkansas OC
Matt House, LSU DC
Charles Huff, Marshall
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
Mike Tressel, Wisconsin DC
All of them played or coached at MSU, except Elko & Huff
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 28, 2023
A Pat Narduzzi Homecoming?
Before being named the head coach at Pittsburgh, Narduzzi spent 8 seasons as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator so the coach is very familiar with the program and the Big Ten conference.
While Narduzzi did win the ACC Conference in 2021, his time at Pittsburgh has been underwhelming, losing at least three games in every season as the Panthers’ head coach.
Narduzzi holds a 63-44 record, with a 2-4 record in bowl games. Although Narduzzi ranks second in all-time wins at Pitt, the 9 year veteran coach may want to move on to greener pastures as NIL limitations, a lack of a stadium on campus, and an underwhelming gameday fanbase suggest that Narduzzi may have hit his ceiling with the Panthers’ program.
With realignment looming and Pittsburgh potentially losing power conference status as well, Narduzzi may find this to be the perfect opportunity to take a job in one of the top two conferences in the country.
One benefit for Narduzzi in taking the Michigan State job, other than the obvious situation of having a program with a bigger revenue and support system, would be that he can finally renew the rivalry that he has tried to make happen with Penn State since his hiring at Pittsburgh.
Instead of trying to renew a rivalry that was incredibly one sided in favor of Penn State, the Michigan State, Penn State rivalry is much more relevant. The two teams play for an annual trophy, one of the “most beautiful” rivalry trophies in all of college football the Land Grant Trophy, and have a history of a much closer matchup, as the two teams have split the all-time series 18-18-1.
Time will tell if Narduzzi is a serious candidate for the Michigan State or if the terrible 1-3 start for Pittsburgh will even keep him in the running, but Penn State may be closer to seeing more of Pat Narduzzi on a yearly basis.