Top 10 games of 2009: No. 7

Continuing the countdown of the best Big East games of 2009:

No. 7

Cincinnati 24, West Virginia 21, Nov. 13 at Nippert Stadium

Why this one: The Big East title always goes through West Virginia, but this time the Mountaineers had to win on the road against the defending league champs to stay alive in the race. They put up a good fight, too, taking a 14-7 lead early. But Cincinnati got a favorable and controversial replay reversal on an Isaiah Pead fumble at the goal line near the end of the first half. Instead of West Virginia ball, it was ruled a Bearcats' score, tying the game. West Virginia missed on a fourth-and-8 try in the fourth quarter while down 21-14. Cincinnati tacked on a field goal before Jarrett Brown led another Mountaineers touchdown drive. But Cincinnati secured the onsides kick attempt in the final minute to hold on.

What it meant: Cincinnati beat West Virginia for the second straight year and established itself as the new big dog in the Big East.

Player of the game: Pead rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Play of the game: West Virginia fans will point to the replay call. But it was still just 21-14 after the missed fourth-down conversion gave the ball back to Cincinnati with more than five minutes left. That's when Pead ripped off a 43-yard run off a cutback, helping set up the deciding field goal.

Memorable quote: "I don't know if anybody's ever done that before. That was kind of crazy." -- Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, on bringing injured quarterback Tony Pike in for four red zone throws, which resulted in two touchdowns.


No. 8: West Virginia 19, Pitt 16

No. 9: South Florida 17, Florida State 7

No. 10: Syracuse 37, Northwestern 34