The Panthers' non-conference schedule is brutal.
Pittsburgh's football program has a tough non-conference schedule for the 2017 season - the toughest in the country, according to ESPN.
Here's the Panthers' non-conference slate:
Sept. 2: Youngstown State
Sept. 9: at Penn State
Sept. 16: Oklahoma State
Sept. 30: Rice
ESPN named it the toughest non-conference schedule in the country.
The Panthers get the nod for the No. 1 spot because they're the only Power 5 school that has to play two top-10 teams in Mark Schlabach's updated Way-Too-Early Top 25. Not only that, but good luck in finding a more challenging nonconference swing in back-to-back weeks than on the road at No. 5 Penn State and then coming back home and tangling with No. 10 Oklahoma State.
You can view ESPN's full rankings here.