Great win last night boys, you already know all the numbers and records. 70 point club, broke or tied 9 bowl records( probably missing one or two), 3-0 in BCS bowls, and all that fancy jazz. But I am immediately curious of where both West Virginia and Clemson go from here. I think both have a lot to look forward too.
After taking the day to survey the devastation and destruction that took place last night, its time to put this game behind and look ahead to the future of West Virginia athletics. As it stands right now, the Mountaineers are headed to the Big 12 Conference. WVU put a stamp on their time in the Big East in the last 10 years winning multiple titles in football including a 3-0 record in BCS games. In basketball, numerous runs in the NCAA tournament has cemented its place among one of the top programs in the country. The Big 12 will bring challenges and legitimacy. Yes thats right, WVU will FINALLY get noticed for their efforts on the football field. How many fans have downgraded the efforts of a Big East team making it to a BCS game? I, myself am tired of the constant questioning and badgering on whether WVU can hang in a “legit” conference. So the Mountaineers will play powerhouses like Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma St, also including up and coming teams like Kansas St and Baylor. Im excited about the opportunity and I know this athletic department is as well. This offense fits perfect into the high flying air assaults that you see each week during Big 12 conference play. As for the makeup of this team, lets look at recruiting. The best part about BCS bowls, in my opinion, is that its ALL about being the ONLY game on TV and gets national coverage to every news outlet. Recruits see that and can be swayed one way or the other. More on that about Clemson later on. But Dana Holgorsen showed me and WVU nation a lot last night. He made adjustments, prepared his team for a big game on an even bigger stage. I will admit however, that yours truly questioned the head man this year, but the Orange Bowl gave me a lot to look forward too. On the field, WV does not have a lack of playmakers, thats for sure. Geno Smith will be a sure fire Heisman candidate and the defense just got one year better with some experienced playmakers coming back.
Im excited about where this team can go
As for Clemson, the Tigers need to reflect big time. And I dont mean Dr.Phil to a fatwoman reflect. They need to look in the mirror, shrug off the loss and get back to work. Use this as motivation. This team has the potential to be great. Just like their Orange Bowl opponent, Clemson has a ton of playmakers returning. Most notably reciever Sammy Watkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd. The defense was already young and inexperienced(you saw that last night) and that game only made them better. Recruiting may take a hit however. Any future Tiger recruits watching last night was just as disgusted and confused as the fans. Dabo and his staff will need to do a lot traveling and ‘selling’ to a lot of young men on keeping the commitment to Tigertown. The coaching staff will lose their playcaller on defense Kevin Steele(surprised?). Rumors are that the Tigers are unhappy with him being one of the top 5 paid assistants in college football. Reports are that Steele has already been contacted by a few teams, with Tennessee ahead of the pack. Dabo will need to be more careful of how he prepares. His “all in” mentality may have worked for the first 8 games this season, but the Tigers now have bigger expectations. Those include shaking off this loss, dominating an already bad ACC conference, defeat rival USC(Gamecocks have won 3 straight) and getting back to a BCS bowl. Ive already heard the backlash on Dabo and this team on sportstalk today and its not good. So, Dabo has a lot of work ahead of him but with some good coaches and playmakers in place, they are primed for another solid year looking to improve even more in 2012