Big East games of the decade

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
11:00
AM ET
There are some college football games that stick with you until Monday and some that you talk about for years. Here are the best Big East games of the past decade:

1. Ohio State 31, Miami 24, 2003 Fiesta Bowl: This was high drama on the biggest stage. A national title was on the line in a game that went to overtime. Miami celebrated when it thought it made a fourth-down stop in OT, only to see a late flag come in and keep the Buckeyes alive.

2. West Virginia 38, Georgia 35, 2006 Sugar Bowl: It was a great game -- West Virginia led 21-0 after the first quarter and had to stave off a furious Georgia comeback, sealing the win with a fake punt on fourth-and-6 with less than two minutes remaining. But even more than that, the victory helped restore the entire league's reputation.

3. Cincinnati 45, Pittsburgh 44, Dec. 5, 2009: Another climactic finish -- Tony Pike's touchdown pass to Armon Binns with 33 seconds left capped the Bearcats' comeback from 21 points down. And the Big East title was on the line.

4. Pittsburgh 13, West Virginia 9, Dec. 1, 2007: It was a defensive slugfest with many questionable calls that might not have been pretty to watch. But the stunning upset kept West Virginia out of the national title game and reversed the course of Pitt's program.

5. Rutgers 28, Louisville 25, Nov. 9, 2006: Louisville came in ranked No. 3 and undefeated after toppling West Virginia a week earlier. But this Thursday night was the Scarlet Knights' spotlight, as they blitzed Brian Brohm into utter confusion while storming back from a 25-7 first half deficit. After Jeremy Ito drilled the game-winning field goal, Rutgers fans spilled onto the field to celebrate the biggest win in school history -- and this from a program that played the very first college football game.

6. West Virginia 46, Louisville 44, October 15, 2005: The Cardinals had a seemingly cushy 24-7 lead going into the fourth quarter at Morgantown. But the Mountaineers -- behind a newly inserted freshman quarterback named Pat White -- roared back to force overtime. Brohm was stopped trying to run for a two-point conversion in the third overtime, and a new rivalry and a new star was born.

7. West Virginia 41, Rutgers 39, Dec. 2, 2006: Rutgers had to beat West Virginia to win its first Big East title and make a BCS game. White didn't play because of injury. But his backup, Jarrett Brown, filled in admirably, while the Mountaineers batted down a two-point conversion try in the third overtime. The West Virginia win sent Louisville to the Orange Bowl and dropped Rutgers all the way down to the Texas Bowl.

8. Miami 27, Florida State 24, Oct. 7 2000: Also known as Wide Right III. Miami withstood a late field goal try to snap FSU's 17-game winning streak, though the Seminoles would somehow advance to the national title game ahead of the one-loss Hurricanes that season.

9. Cincinnati 38, South Florida 33, Nov. 3, 2007: One of the wildest, weirdest games you'll ever see. Cincinnati improbably led 31-14 after the first quarter. South Florida had eight turnovers, yet still had a chance to win on the final play, but Matt Grothe's pass to the end zone was incomplete.

10. Connecticut 33, Notre Dame 30, Nov. 21, 2009: Andre Dixon's 4-yard touchdown run in the second overtime finally gave UConn its first win after a string of heartbreakers following Jasper Howard's death. Emotions poured out of Randy Edsall and the Huskies as the victory lifted a weight from their shoulders.

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