Best individual seasons in Big East history

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
9:30
AM ET
"College Football Live" is looking at the top individual seasons of the past 50 years this week. So we thought it would be fun to take a look at the top individual seasons in each conference.

The Big East gets its share of grief these days, but boy, have there been some outstanding players who have come through this league since its inception in 1991. Given the current configuration of the league, it is easy to forget guys such as Warren Sapp, Michael Vick and Ray Lewis all played under the Big East umbrella.

This assignment was a difficult one. You can probably make a case for about 20 players to be included in the top five. I looked at stats, team impact and national impact when evaluating how I would rank my five best players. But like anything, lists are made to be debated. I encourage you to let your voices be heard and discuss these choices. From where I sit, there isn't a wrong way to answer this question.

[+] EnlargeGino Torretta
James D. Smith/Getty ImagesMiami's Gino Torretta is the latest Big East player to win the Heisman Trophy.
1. Gino Torretta, QB, Miami, 1992. Torretta threw for 3,060 yards in his senior season and won the Heisman, Maxwell, Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp awards. He's the latest Big East player to win the Heisman.

2. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pitt, 2003. Fitzgerald holds the Big East single-season records for receiving yards (1,672), 100-yard games (10) and receiving touchdowns (22), all set in that terrific 2003 season. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Jason White of Oklahoma.

3. Donovan McNabb, QB, Syracuse, 1998. In his senior season, McNabb set a school record with 22 touchdown passes and ran for eight more while leading the Orange to a berth in the Orange Bowl. He finished fifth in the Heisman voting and ended up being named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

4. Elvis Dumervil, DE, Louisville, 2005. I went back and forth between him and USF's George Selvie, who had a monster year in 2007. But Dumervil still holds league single-season records for sacks (20) and forced fumbles (10), an NCAA record. He also set an NCAA single-game record with six sacks against Kentucky.

5. Pat White, QB, West Virginia, 2007. It was tough singling out one year, and keeping in mind that White did have a terrific backfield partner in Steve Slaton. But it goes without saying that teams had a difficult time stopping White throughout his career. He still holds the single-season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,335 yards -- he surpassed 150 rushing yards in three games in 2007. He also threw for 1,724 yards and was sixth in the Heisman voting.

Other top individual seasons:

  • Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville, 2007
  • Donald Brown, RB, UConn, 2008
  • Ken Dorsey, QB, Miami, 2001
  • Dwight Freeney, DE, Syracuse, 2001
  • Dan Morgan, LB, Miami 2000
  • Ed Reed, S, Miami, 2001
  • Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers, 2007
  • Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers, 2011
  • Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia, 2011
  • Warren Sapp, DT, Miami, 1994
  • George Selvie, DE, USF, 2007
  • Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, 2006
  • Michael Vick, QB, Virginia Tech, 1999

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