MORGANTOWN - Even 40 years later, it's hard to believe anything could trump the 1970 Backyard Brawl in terms of disappointment on the West Virginia side of the equation.
To this day, you can mention 36-35 to Bobby Bowden and he cringes. He knows exactly what you're talking about.
"Nothing will ever erase that,'' Bowden said. "In 56 years of coaching, that's the blackest moment in my career. I should be shot.''
And a lot of people wanted to. Bowden was the coach at West Virginia back then and his Mountaineers led Pitt 35-8 at halftime. Even Pitt had given up. Second-year coach Carl DePasqua took his receivers out in the second half, went to a power formation and tried to run off as much clock as he could.
Oh, and along the way the Panthers scored four touchdowns and won 36-35.
It was without question the darkest moment in WVU football history. Nothing else even came close.
But ask a handful of current Mountaineers about disappointment and that 1970 game doesn't even register. Shoot, a handful of their parents weren't even born yet.
No, they were a part of the game that trumps even 36-35. And there's not likely a single West Virginia follower or fan who would argue the point, even those who vividly recall 1970.
That's because 36-35 has been replaced by 13-9.
"I really don't like to bring up the '07 game, but I remember sitting in the lockerroom for at least two hours after the game,'' West Virginia defensive tackle Scooter Berry said this week. "My dad had to come get me.''
As bitter as the 1970 loss was, the 2007 defeat was much, much worse. That 1970 team, Bowden's first, had lost a week earlier to Duke. It would go on to lose 42-8 at Penn State. The Mountaineers would finish 8-3, but Pitt was just 5-5. The game was an afterthought in the national consciousness.
In 2007, West Virginia needed to beat a 4-7 Pitt team in order to play for the national championship. The Panthers were a 28-point underdog. The game was in Morgantown.
And it all disintegrated in a matter of hours.
"I still think about '07,'' Scooter Berry said. "It just enhanced my hunger and want for this game.''