The WVU football program is coming off a ten-win season and with WIll Grier at the helm this year, expectations remain high. Can he live up to the hype?
I’ve heard of Mountaineer die-hards already changing the name of their children to “Will,” seen projections of him competing for the Heisman, and then there’s the coincidence of Grier being deemed eligible on West Virginia Day; I believe some are even calling it “Will Grier Day.”
While I continue to exude the same optimism of any true Mountaineer fan on the great tidings the upcoming season will bring, I’m starting to get a little concerned that we may be putting too much pressure on the Florida transfer. After all, he hasn’t even taken his first snap yet in a game.
While I don’t like to make comparisons to past quarterbacks, I remember the same hype preceded Geno Smith prior to his senior year in 2012. We all remember how that season ended or maybe we prefer not to.
Smith was a great quarterback for WVU, but I think the bar was set so high for him that after he suffered his first loss, fans had declared the season a loss and he never regained his swagger. Mountaineer fans are passionate, dedicated, steadfast, and loyal, but not always realistic with expectations.
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This raises a few questions for the upcoming season: What sort of realistic expectations should we put on our new quarterback? And what should be considered a successful season?
Let’s take a look at what a successful season might look like. If we’re looking at it from a wins and losses standpoint, I like to silence the critics and they seem to be located in Las Vegas at the moment.
According to South Point Sportsbook in Las Vegas, the Mountaineers are only slated to win six games. Should we consider anything over 6 wins a successful season? I am setting the bar a little higher and will take the over bet. I’m not quite ready to book my tickets to the National Championship game, but I expect to stay in the Top 25.
A successful season for WVU would be a nine-win campaign, staying competitive in every game. Oh…and finally getting over that damn hurdle of beating an Oklahoma team that’s had our number since joining the Big 12.
As for Grier, we shouldn’t expect him to leap tall buildings in a single bound and don a cape under his uniform (after all, it might interfere with his throwing arm). A quarterback who demonstrates leadership in the huddle and poise in the pocket, and motivates his teammates through the ups and downs of a long season is what Grier should strive for. The eye-popping stats and celebrations will surely flow if the team shows chemistry like that.