<
>

More butane on the Backyard Brawl?

A little more fuel may have been injected into the Big East's biggest rivalry.

A couple of comments from Mountaineers players have surely made their way to Pitt's locker room by now. As I wrote on Tuesday, West Virginia receiver Jock Sanders said he thought his team should have been favored over Pittsburgh. Sanders went even farther with his comments when talking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise. Check it out:

"The crazy thing about it to me is, Pitt got everybody back and we got everybody back and we beat Pitt -- so those polls to me don't really mean anything," Sanders said.

"Hands down [we're the best team in the Big East], and we'll show that this year. It is all about politics. For Pitt to get all those [first-place] votes and we got just as much back as them, it is crazy, but, like I said before, at the end of the year after we play them, they'll regret [being the favorites]. They'll regret it all."

Then there was this classic quote that linebacker J.T. Thomas gave me when I asked him about which players the Mountaineers hung out with in Newport.

"The Pitt guys, we don't like," Thomas said. "There's a nasty rivalry going on between us, and once you wear the blue and gold for so long, you develop a hate you can't get rid of. I don't like even walking next to the Pitt guys."

One thing to remember: Both Sanders and Thomas are seniors, and they remember all too well Pitt's 13-9 win that cost West Virginia a spot in the 2008 BCS title game. So you can see why they may see this as an especially bitter rivalry. [That game, by the way, is sure to show up soon in our "House of Pain" countdown.]

You can also bet those quotes will be brought up again when the Backyard Brawl rolls around. Who else can't wait for Nov. 26?