- Brian Bennett, College Football
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With no more regular-season games to preview, we're simply living in the past this week (insert Notre Dame joke here). Let's review the final week of the 2009 Big East season:
Team of the week: Cincinnati. All hail the two-time defending Big East champions. Simply a remarkable 12-0 season for the Bearcats, topped by an amazing comeback at Pitt.
Best game: All three league games this weekend were terrific, and they were decided by a total of six points. But when there's a title on the line, and a huge comeback and 89 total points, well it's got to be Cincinnati 45, Pitt 44.
Biggest play: Mardy Gilyard's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Pitt. Cincinnati was trailing 31-10 at the time, late in the first half, and looked ready to get run out of the building. Gilyard changed momentum and gave his team a chance to get back in it.
Best call: Up 24-21 with 1:51 to go, West Virginia had a third and six. It needed a first down so it could drain the clock. The Mountaineers chose to fake a handoff and let quarterback Jarrett Brown run a bootleg. Brown did the rest, stiff-arming George Johnson to get past the sticks.
Big Man on Campus (Offense): It's rare that a player on a losing team wins this award, but Dion Lewis's Herculean effort must be recognized. The Pitt tailback did everything he could to lift the Panthers to the Big East title, running an incredible 47 times for 194 yards and three touchdowns. I'm guessing he's a little sore this morning.
Big Man on Campus (Defense): West Virginia safety Sidney Glover had perhaps the biggest defensive play of the weekend, picking off Tom Savage and running it back 24 yards for a touchdown.
Big Man on Campus (Special teams): Gilyard. In addition to his touchdown, Gilyard set up another Cincinnati score by returning a kick to the Pitt 23. In all, he had 256 return yards.
Worst hangover: Pitt. From 9-1 and in the top-10, to 9-3 and in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Panthers fans will mourn Saturday's loss for a long, long time.
Strangest moment: After Dave Teggart hit a last-second field goal to send UConn to a thrilling win over South Florida, Huskies players and coaches rushed onto the field. One guy did not have a good trip: Randy Edsall. The head coach got knocked to the snowy ground on his rear end by backup linebacker Alex Folsom. Edsall looked steamed about it while players celebrated around him.
"I didn't play a lot but that's the hardest hit I've ever taken," said Edsall, who was a backup at Syracuse back in the day said. "I was upset when it happened, but now I'm getting over it."