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Pitt has an appealing schedule, starting with FSU

What a difference a year makes.

And a new league.

The Pitt football schedule was released and the Panthers will open the season in prime time, facing Florida State on Labor Day at Heinz Field.

It's a great way to start off play in the ACC.

The game will receive plenty of hype and attention between now and then, and it's likely the Panthers will get routed much like they did in Dave Wannstedt's highly touted debut against Notre Dame.

But that's not the point.

This schedule looks much better than the Big East days.

After Florida State, Pitt gets New Mexico, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, Navy, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse and Miami.

Can't wait for the season to start.


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So much for Byron the great backup

I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…