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Best Big East games of 2010: Nos. 5 and 4

Continuing our look at the best Big East games of 2010, and doing it in two-a-day style:

No. 5

Oklahoma 31, Cincinnati 29, Sept. 25 at Paul Brown Stadium

Why this one: Lots of big plays, a thrilling near-comeback and a great atmosphere in a pro stadium as Cincinnati came close to upsetting the nation's No. 8-ranked team.

What it meant: Unfortunately, not much for the Bearcats, who went on to finish 4-8. But it showed what they are capable of under Butch Jones. And given that the Sooners finished sixth in the final two major polls, this might have been the Big East's best nonconference showing even in defeat.

Player of the game: Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead ran 21 times for 169 yards, averaging eight yards per carry.

Play of the game: D.J. Woods fumbled a punt return after Cincinnati had sliced the lead to 24-22 and forced a defensive stop. Oklahoma's Landry Jones threw a touchdown pass moments later to salt the victory away.

Quotable: "As a team, we left everything out there. We gave them our best punch. I think we took their will early. I think we were the better team today. Instead of beating them, we beat ourselves." -- Pead

No. 4

Connecticut 19, South Florida 16, Dec. 4 at Raymond James Stadium

Why this one: All this game did was clinch the first-ever BCS bid for UConn, and in wildly dramatic fashion as Dave Teggart kicked the winning 52-yard field goal with 17 seconds left. The only reason it's not higher is because this was a defensive-filled snoozefest for three quarters before an exciting finish.

What it meant: See above. The Huskies celebrated, while West Virginia was devastated.

Player of the game: Teggart. Not only did he drill the game-winner, he added three other field goals, including a 50-yarder early in the fourth quarter.

Play of the game: Lawrence Wilson's interception and 55-yard touchdown return with 1:11 left in the first half that gave UConn a 10-3 lead. That would be the Huskies only touchdown of the game.

Quotable: "The bottom line is we won the game and nobody can take anything away from us. We played by the rules and we won the Big East, so we get the BCS. That's what the rules are, and we're going." -- UConn coach Randy Edsall.