We started off this season preview talking about the Boise St. Broncos. We wanted to set the stage of this preview, which is essentially that we’re not going to write about it ALL, so we’ll try to write about what you aren’t going to hear about consistently.
So, why today is this preview about the West Virginia Mountaineers?
Because you haven’t been hearing about them enough. West Virginia is a contender for the National Championship, but you hear more about teams with no shot than you do about the Mountaineers. The main reason for that is fairly simple, this is a team that legit doesn’t get enough respect. A ton of teams talk about not getting respect. I’m sure if you interviewed all of the Notre Dame football players, at least 25% would talk about respect to the media. The Mountaineers have a legit complaint, though.
However, it makes sense that they are disrespected, or talked about in the manner that they are. The bottom-line is that they are a National Title contender because they smacked Georgia in the mouth in the Sugar Bowl and return a ton of starters from the offense that exploded on the Bulldogs. The disrespect may even be warranted for this simple reason, Georgia was undoubtedly the better team in that game. There is no question about that, despite their loss. The Mountaineers smacked them in the face and Georgia could not recover. Better team that night, sure.
What the Mountaineers have is an offense that put the stamp on Georgia that night and can damn sure do it again. Coupled with confidence, that’s a hell of a combination.
Steve Slaton returns at runningback, Pat White is back at quarterback. They were Freshmen last season. They’re good. They only lose three offensive starters, two linemen, and return a good bit of their defense. The secondary may be a question mark, as they return only one starter from last season. Most of the talk, however, has been that they are athletic and ready to go, just inexperienced. Worked out well for the offense when they had that talk last season, and this secondary will have that offense to cover them while they get adjusted.
The Mountaineers only turned the ball over 17 times in their 12 games last season…and they were young. Usually as you gain experiene on the college level, you’re going to turn the ball over even less. That’s huge for any team.
The Mountaineers need to get National Championship talk because they have that potential. Anything but talking about this team with the best teams in the Nation is mere pointing out the flaws, without talking about the positives.