Can we officially say that the offense is not going to revert to midseason 2011 form? We may not have rolled up amazing stats Saturday, but it is all coming with ease. Geno is drawing comparisons from every outlet calling him the next RG-III and at the moment it looks dead on. Of course mister Griffin didn’t make a BCS bowl, so here’s hoping the rest of team can out perform Baylor. Ironically it won’t be until we play Baylor that I feel we are going to have a honest look at this team as the Terps are hardly scary. Really there is not a heck of a lot of prediction needed for this week’s game. The only reason why I am really excited about this game is that they are the last rival we have left, so we get to direct all of our hatred at them; which isn’t hard when you think about how they are preppy Ivy League wannabes. I do like alumnus Scott Van Pelt though.
Last year we blew the game open against the Terps in the first half, only to allow them to creep back in the second half. Add in this year’s offense, the fact that Maryland is looking like one of the worst BCS squads, and move the game to Morgantown and it appears we have beatdown in order. I have no problem with embarrassing Maryland or any Edsall coached team, so hopefully we don’t pull off the accelerator this weekend. I am looking for our next 70 sighting. On a side note, while I will participate, I am not a huge fan of this Stripe thing. It seems very contrived and copy cat of all the other crap that other teams are doing.
I realized that I have failed to give my Big XII season prediction yet; a major oversight on my part and I apologize. I have commented to my feelings on the offense and defense, but have not thrown out my annual wins/losses projection. Going into the season I was thinking 10-2 and I am still there. At 10-2, the Mountaineers would enjoy their best record since 2007 when we finished ranked #6 in the country, while taking a significant upgrade in opposition. My gut tells me that we go 1-1 versus Oklahoma and Texas and somewhere in the mix of @TT, Kstate, TCU, @Ok State, @Iowa state we drop a game. Those seven games are book-ended by Baylor and Kansas to create one hell of a stretch that currently features four ranked teams, and all teams are receiving votes. Let yourself compare that stretch for a moment to our recent Big East schedules.
I am trying to not look past Baylor as I see that as our first true competition, and yes, I am looking past the Terps, but I do fully expect to win against Baylor. With the hype of our first year in the Big XII Milan Puskar will be a hostile place to play for our conference opener, but the Bears should give us a better benchmark as to how good we actually are, especially on Defense. After that, the back to back Texas games are huge. Can we win on the turf of the powerhouse Texas, who seems to have found some offense this year? If we win, do we avoid the quintessential trap game in Lubbock? If we remain unscathed through those games, it will be hard for me to write this column without being as giddy as most women were when Pintrest came out. The two games following, Kansas State and TCU, in Morgantown will absolutely electric. The tough part of predicting this season is that we have the best offense we may have ever seen in Morgantown, but arguably the best week in, week out competition that we have ever faced as well. Can we avoid the perennial snoozer versus Syracuse and Louisville? We’ll see. The good part is that after we get past Maryland, it will be easy to take the proverbial one game at a time approach, because each has its own intrigue and excitement factor.
My advise, enjoy this season for all that it is. Even if we suffer a loss or two, this should be a fantastic and memorable season.
We are up to 8th and 7th respectively in the AP and Coaches poll, with considerable opportunities to move up this week (see below). It’s nice to see us getting this type of love considering we haven’t played elite talent yet.
What a monster week we have coming up. The action kicks off Wednesday for the first time this season with the always great MAC lineup of Kent St and Buffalo and then Thursday night with BYU vs Boise, for arguably the best Thursday night game of the young season. On Friday night, we get a sneak peak of our next opponent, Baylor, against UL-Monroe who has been the Cinderella so far this year with upsetting Arkansas and losing to Auburn in OT this weekend. How amazing would it have been to say they were 2-0 against the SEC West? Watch out here as Baylor was only up by 1 going into the fourth against Sam Houston State last weekend.
Saturday brings an unreal lineup of top ranked teams going up against other ranked squads. I am trying not to get giddy as it always seems that these types of weekends turn out to be busts, but one would have to think that we should see a few upsets this week. In the SEC west we awarded with a so-so game of LSU vs Auburn, that doesn’t look like an upset game, but who knows. A decent Vandy team goes to Athens to take on the Dawgs, Mizzou takes on #8 Gamecocks, Rich Rod’s resurgent #22 Wildcats travel to Eugene for a game that should eclipse 100 points, #10 Clemson goes to #4 FSU, #18 Michigan takes on #11 ND, and #15 K State goes to Norman to meet the #6 Sooners. Inevitably there will be a couple match-ups that don’t pan out, but it sure looks juicy.
-The WVU defense has had some haters so far this year with myself included. I was particularly disappointing
with the secondary versus Marshall, but after three games, Rakeem Cato is #1 in the country in passing yards per game. Impressive.
-The Big 10 is really bad, or at least compared to what I thought they would be. I was a big Michigan State believer, but for the second year in a row they were beaten pretty badly by ND. Wisconsin followed up their loss to Oregon State with a two point win at home over Utah State? Geez. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Badgers, then this happened. Tragic. That team in Columbus clearly is the best team in the league, but I was surprised to see Cal hang with them. I think they are about where they will/should end up at 16th in the country, which is pretty good considering their success last year (I am inflicting self pain as type these words, and feeling sick), which leads me to think there may not be a legitimate top 15 team in the Big 10. They are certainly a ways away from having a top ten team.
-I can’t imagine how satisfying it must be for Uconn fans to beat Randy Edsall as he left Storrs for his “Dream Job” at College Park.
-Each year we see fans rush the field that violate the basic principles of rushing the field. There may not be any agreed up rules for what makes a field rush appropriate, but beating the #2 team in the country definitely seems like a good time. However; when you are ranked yourself and have beaten your opponent the previous three years, you should not rush the field. Ahem, Stanford.
-Chris Peterson would be proud of Buff State.
–This is pretty much awesome. My Gma turns 80 this weekend and I hope she does the same.