<
>

Big East's best rivalry of the past decade

What was the best Big East rivalry from 2000 to 2009?

That's a difficult question, given the wildly different incarnations of the league in each half of the decade. There was Miami-Virginia Tech for a while. Louisville-West Virginia burned bright but then faded.

But the one constant has been the oldest and best rivalry in the Big East: the Backyard Brawl.

Fittingly, West Virginia and Pittsburgh split their 10 meetings from 2000-09. The most important from a national perspective happened in 2007, when the Panthers upset the heavily favored Mountaineers 13-9 in Morgantown in the season finale, knocking the then-No. 2 team in the BCS standings out of the national title hunt.

That game changed the fortune of both teams, and the last two games have been settled by a combined seven points. The 2004 game, won 16-13 by Pitt, helped decide the Big East's BCS representative. The Panthers were ranked in the top 10 last year when West Virginia beat them on a last-minute field goal.

This year's game, scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, could have a major impact on the Big East title as well.