Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: East Carolina is best giant killer of them all

Throughout its 20 years, Conference USA has shown it can take down the big boys.

No football team played that role better in C-USA than East Carolina. The Pirates make this list three times with victories over traditional powerhouse programs such as Miami, West Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Southern Miss has had its fair share of impressive non-conference wins, but it doesn't quite make this list due to Alabama (2000) and Nebraska (2004) both ending their seasons with losing records.

Houston had a big win at No. 5 Oklahoma State in 2009, but the Cowboys fell short of the final AP rankings.

Here you have it, the five biggest regular season victories in Conference USA history:

1. East Carolina 27, Miami 23 (1999): The Hurricanes entered the game ranked ninth in the nation and ended up 9-4 and ranked 15th overall. The game was moved to Raleigh, N.C., because of damage in Greenville, N.C., from Hurricane Floyd. ECU, which finished 9-3, rallied from 20 points down to win.

2. UAB 13, LSU 10 (2000): Possibly the most stunning non-conference upset by a C-USA team, UAB picked up the biggest win in the program's history in Baton Rouge, La. Rhett Gallego kicked a field goal on the final play of the game to upset LSU, which ended up 8-4 and ranked 22nd by the AP. The Blazers went 7-4 in 2000.

3. Memphis 44, Ole Miss 34 (2003): Eli Manning's final season at Ole Miss got off to a bumpy start with a surprising loss at Memphis in game two. Memphis quarterback Danny Wimprine threw for three scores and running back DeAngelo Williams ran for 135 yards. The Rebels ended up 10-3 and ranked 13th by the AP. Memphis had a 9-4 season.

4. East Carolina 27, Virginia Tech 22 (2008): Virginia Tech entered this game ranked 15th, but strong special teams play helped the Pirates earn the upset. T.J. Lee blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards for the score for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:52 left. Hokies ended up 10-4 and ranked 14th. ECU had a 9-5 campaign.

5. East Carolina 24, West Virginia 3 (2008): The week after topping the Hokies, East Carolina pulled a huge upset again in impressive fashion. ECU dominated No. 8 West Virginia, 24-3, with a strong defensive performance. West Virginia still managed a good season, going 9-4 with a No. 23 ranking.

Just missing out: Southern Miss over Nebraska in 2004 and Houston over Oklahoma State in 2009.

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