MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The curse of No. 2 claimed another victim.
West Virginia is out of the national title race.
In a season defined by upsets, Pittsburgh came up with an enormous one, beating the second-ranked Mountaineers 13-9 Saturday night to throw another curveball at the BCS.
A win away from playing for the national championship, the Mountaineers were expected to roll over rival Pittsburgh (5-7) on their way to New Orleans for the Bowl Championship Series title game.
No way. Not in this unpredictable season, when nothing has gone according to plan and upsets have become so frequent the word itself has almost lost its meaning.
"I thought we were ready," said West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez, speaking slowly and struggling to get through his postgame news conference. "We picked an awful time to have our worst offensive game in years."
No. 2 had already lost six times this season, five times to unranked teams. In a year when Appalachian State beat Michigan and 41-point underdog Stanford beat Southern California, West Virginia (10-2) losing the 100th Backyard Brawl as a four-touchdown favorite shouldn't be all that shocking.
Especially after the Mountaineers lost Heisman Trophy contender Pat White to a dislocated thumb in the second quarter. White tried to play in the fourth quarter, but he couldn't conjure a comeback.
When Pitt punter Dave Brytus ran out of the end zone for a safety on the final clock-killing play, West Virginia, a program that has won more games then any other in major college football without winning a national title, was done.
Fans sat stone faced. The Panthers did some dancing on the WV log at midfield. Some West Virginia players took offense and there was a push or two. Most of the Mountaineers just trudged off slowly.
The Mountaineers will have to be content with their second BCS bid in the last three seasons and a trip to the Orange or Sugar bowls.
Their high-powered offense struggled even before White went out. They squandered two scoring opportunities in the first quarter, missing short field goals and finished with a season-low 183 yards and only nine first downs. That's usually a good quarter for West Virginia, which came in averaging 310 yards rushing and 42 points.