Originally written November 25, 2011 on Crystal Ball Run:
If that is truly the final Backyard Brawl, then West Virginia gave its fans a performance to remember. Tino Sunseri, well, gave Pittsburgh fans a shot to the gut. After leading 17-7 at halftime, West Virginia's defense played like the 2010 version and held the Panthers to just a field goal and sacked Sunseri 10 times. Sunseri has had his issues in the past, but Friday's performance was just more proof why the Panthers need to find a better option. He held onto the ball too long and was a big reason why West Virginia was able to pull out a 21-20 victory. Even with the clock running down in the final minute of the game, Sunseri kept taking sacks and was flagged for illegal grounding. And this was happening against a WVU defense that has been average at best in 2011.   The underlying theme of the night, though, was this may have been the final Backyard Brawl. After playing this game 104 times, the Mountaineers (8-3) and Panthers (5-6) are heading to different conferences in the future. WVU hopes to be in the Big 12 next year, while Pitt plans to join the ACC with Syracuse in 2014. At this point, there are no plans to continue this rivalry. That would be a shame for both programs, as this game is as heated as any in the country. The atmosphere in Morgantown was electric. WVU's fans went quiet early when Pitt built a 14-0 lead, but they quickly got back into the mood with a score. West Virginia's win cleared up the Big East race a little as well. If Cincinnati loses to either Syracuse on Saturday or to Connecticut next week then Louisville at 7-5 will represent the conference in a BCS Bowl. The Cardinals would also go if WVU loses to South Florida. If Cincinnati, WVU and Louisville all finish at 5-2 in the league, it will more than likely be the Mountaineers who represent the league. We may have an answer Saturday. If not, we'll wait a week. For now, the Mountaineers just want to enjoy a sloppy, but important win over their biggest rival. WVU has now won three Backyard Brawls in a row, but whether they get a chance to improve on that run is in the hands of the respective athletic directors. Hey guys, get something done because these types of games should not come to an end because of realignment.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Panthers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.