The last time was the '05 trip by the Cardinals' program that will visit Saturday. U of L was a seven-point favorite in what became a Big East-memorable 46-44 WVU victory in triple overtime ... sort of the coming-out party for a quarterback named Pat White.
West Virginia's football reputation helped the Mountaineers mightily in the Big 12 membership bid. But among the 10 teams expected to play in the Dallas-based conference next season, eight have been ranked at one time or another this season.
The degree of difficulty will increase with the travel miles, so Mountaineer fans would do well to appreciate averaging 10 wins per season before it negotiates its way out of the Big East.
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AS WEST VIRGINIA primes itself for a move to the Big 12 Conference next season, it's a good time to consider the Mountaineers' football performance in the Big East.
Going back to 1993, when the Big East began playing a full, round-robins conference schedule, WVU owns the third-best record in league history - and tops among the current members.
With this Saturday featuring four conference games for the eight members - the only Saturday with a full league schedule in 2011 - let's look at the conference standings in several ways:
(See graphic above.)
What's the point? Well, in each of the above, only four teams have winning records. Sustaining success in the Big East has been difficult for most programs, and the Mountaineers have pretty much enjoyed their time in the league.
Among current members, WVU is 10 games better than Pitt since the Mountaineers went on their current run of winning seasons in 2002, and eight games ahead of the Panthers since the new threesome joined in 2005.
The Mountaineers seem headed for a 10th straight winning season in conference play. If that occurs, WVU will be the only team in Big East history to do that (Miami was 3-4 in 1997).
West Virginia should appreciate what it's accomplished in the Big East. Life in the Big 12 - while WVU should be competitive there - isn't likely to be as perennially successful.