Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/25/11

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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Troy Tulowitzki felt 'blindsided' by trade to Blue Jays

Drew Storen not happy about Jonathan Papelbon trade

Kraft apologizes for accepting team Deflategate penalty

RG3 reportedly showing improvement during offseason

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Nick Saban addresses rumors of interest in Longhorns job

Garoppolo back in spotlight after Brady suspension upheld

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong, replaced a broken phone

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

John Calipari may coach Kentucky until he is 73

Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals could look at signing WR Reggie Wayne

Brandon Marshall on marijuana tweets: ‘I was just kidding'

Key & Peele show SportsCenter if it was about teachers

Mets continue to act like a small-market team

What would a Cole Hamels trade look like?

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

All Sports 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker