The WVU football has another reason to feel slighted entering the 2016 season. However, this time it has nothing to do with this year’s team. Rather, all of West Virginia’s historic players and coaches should disagree with their recent notoriety.
This week, the Associated Press came out with a tactic to pump up fans and writers for the upcoming college football season. By releasing a list of the top 100 all-time college football programs, the AP officially praised some programs, while putting others down.
The WVU football team, unfortunately, was one of the down teams. However, the Mountaineers have earned the right to be praised.
The Mountaineers are the 14th most winning program in history. Now, it should not have been expected for the WVU football team to be thrust into the top 25 in this ranking system. In fact, the Mountaineers more than likely will not begin the 2016 season in the AP Top 25, either.
But everybody associated with program, who came before this season, performed their darnedest to make the Mountaineers relevant for future generations. Their work was not fully, and rightfully, respected by the Associated Press writers and voters.
West Virginia checks in one spot ahead of BYU, a team the Mountaineers will play this September at FedEx Field. BYU also happens to be a potential member of a revamped Big 12 Conference, if the league does indeed expand to 12 or 14 teams.
Back on the list, the Mountaineers find themselves one spot behind Pac-12 member Stanford. The first 10 teams missing out on the Top 25 are Georgia Tech, Colorado, Oregon, Mississippi, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Stanford, West Virginia, BYU and Missouri.
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The WVU football team should have been grouped with team such as Wisconsin, Clemson, Arkansas and Michigan State. Those storied programs were able to clip the Top 25.
Also, the rival Pitt Panthers checked in at No. 23. If Pitt can get in the Top 25, West Virginia should be able to, as well. In the past decade, the Mountaineers have spent much more time in the AP poll than the Panthers have. The WVU football program has also experienced sustained and consistent success, while Pitt has not.
Pittsburgh does have national championships, that West Virginia does not. However, the Mountaineers have played for a title, back in 1989, and shot to the top of the Associated Press rankings in 2007.
What the WVU football program has done with limited resources, over the 125 years of the team, in a small, economically downtrodden state is truly remarkable. The people of West Virginia and graduates of WVU have showed so much pride and passion in their football, and in the lifeblood of the entire university.
A ranking system like this is not a true barometer for the end-all status of a program. Ohio State came in at No. 1, rightfully so. There is no program that is as consistent as the Buckeyes.
Also in the top five are Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama and USC. The WVU football team is not in shouting distances of those programs. However, the Mountaineers were knocking on the door of the Top 25 and should have been allowed in.