More Big East grudge matches

July, 12, 2010
7/12/10
3:15
PM ET
We've been talking about 2010 games that generate heat today on ESPN.com, and my choice for the Big East, Pitt vs. Cincinnati, checks in as the No. 7 grudge match nationally in colleague Mark Schlabach's countdown.

Of course, that's not the only game that's going to turn up the heat this year in the Big East. Here are a few more:

Cincinnati at West Virginia, Nov. 13: The Mountaineers took the high road and didn't complain much publicly about a questionable replay reversal that hurt their chances in last year's loss at Nippert Stadium. Privately, though, you'd better believe that West Virginia still seethes over that call. And everyone in Morgantown remembers that the Bearcats won at Milan Puskar Stadium two years ago in overtime on the way to the Big East title. That was an affront to WVU's sense of league superiority.

West Virginia at Pitt, Nov. 26: The Backyard Brawl is always heated, but the stakes have been raised thanks to three hotly contested games in a row. The Mountaineers won on a last-second field goal last year to knock Pitt out of the Top 10, which was minor payback for 2007.

Syracuse at Rutgers, Nov. 13: The Orange have all but put a target on the Scarlet Knights since Doug Marrone took over, as one of his chief priorities is to wrest back key New York/New Jersey recruiting turf from Greg Schiano. Marrone's boys ripped Rutgers 31-13 last year at the Carrier Dome in the league's biggest upset. Don't think the Scarlet Knights didn't notice just how much Syracuse enjoyed pouring it on in that game.

Connecticut at Rutgers, Oct. 8: This is a growing rivalry, and fuel was added to the fire when Rutgers came back and won on a miracle touchdown pass from Tom Savage to Tim Brown last year in East Hartford.

Connecticut at Syracuse, Nov. 20: Marrone wasn't too happy when UConn threw a passing touchdown on fourth down with 47 seconds left in last year's 56-31 Huskies win. He and Randy Edsall shared a very brief handshake after the game, and one of the Orange players called the move "classless." I didn't blame Edsall for the decision because of the way the game and his season was going, but I bet Syracuse filed that moment away nonetheless.

Pitt at Notre Dame, Oct. 9: Pitt has beaten the Irish the past two years, so Notre Dame will want some revenge. And Dave Wannstedt would like to get the upper hand on Brian Kelly this time around.

Boston College at Syracuse, Nov. 27: It's the first time that BC has played a Big East team since bolting from the league after the 2004 season. Think the rest of the conference won't be pulling for the Orange on this day?

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