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Monday, August 25, 2008
The 10 must-see games in the Big East


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Here are my 10 must-see games in the Big East this year:

1. South Florida at West Virginia, Dec. 6: The Big East scheduled this game on the final weekend for a reason. Many see it as the de facto league championship game. The Bulls will leave sunny Tampa for some possibly frigid weather in Morgantown, but that didn't bother them two years ago when they beat West Virginia, 24-19, in USF's season finale.

2. Auburn at West Virginia, Oct. 23: It's a rare chance for a Big East power to knock off an SEC top dog at its own place. The Thursday night atmosphere should make this game a can't-miss proposition.

3. West Virginia at Pittsburgh, Nov. 28: Not only could this game have a major impact on the league title race, it will be the Mountaineers' chance for payback from last year's BCS title game-spoiling upset. Even if there were nothing on the line, the Backyard Brawl is the conference's oldest and nastiest rivalry.

4. Pittsburgh at South Florida, Oct. 2: Another Thursday nighter, this one should tell us which of these teams is a legitimate Big East contender.

5. South Florida at Cincinnati, Oct. 30: Yet another Thursday night contest, this one could feature the Bulls putting an 8-0 record on the line. If these two teams can match last year's wild, 38-33 thriller (won by the Bearcats), it will be worth tuning in.

6. Kansas at South Florida, Sept. 12: Last year's Orange Bowl winners return to Florida for an interesting Big 12-Big East clash on a Friday night.

7. Cincinnati at Oklahoma, Sept. 6: Don't know if the Bearcats can hang with the Sooners, but it will sure be interesting to watch them try.

8. West Virginia at Louisville, Nov. 22: The Cardinals might be down, but these two have staged terrifically watchable games the past three years.

9. West Virginia at Connecticut, Nov. 1: For UConn to prove it has arrived, it must compete with the Mountaineers, who have beaten the Huskies by an average of 34.3 points the past three seasons.

10. Fresno State at Rutgers, Sept. 1: A Monday night spotlight will give us an early idea of whether the Scarlet Knights are ready to contend for the conference crown.