Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WVU is the Big East Favorite

So much for easing into the job. It will be a trial by fire for Dana Holgorsen after WVU was piked to win the conference. Honestly, it would be a trial by fire even if WVU wasn't. There's always pressure in Morgantown to win, especially with the way things went down for Holgorsen to be in the position he is in at this time. The drama-filled offseason ends with the start of camp this month, and there's no doubt the first-year head coach is looking to put the Summer behind him.

The enthusiasm surrounding this Mountaineer team is very high. The offense will be led by one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country, Geno Smith. The junior is also a darkhorse pick for the Heisman. The defense is anchored by a strong line, but will have some questions in the linebacking unit. However, the trust in Defensive Coordinator, Jeff Casteel gives Mountaineer fans faith that it won't be an issue.

The schedule is interesting. LSU and Pittsburgh are at home, but road games at Maryland, Syracuse, and South Florida will make things difficult for WVU to run the table. This is a team that has been 9-4 for three straight years. That number should increase this season if the Holgorsen offense catches on quickly. However, there is no lock of winning the league, especially having to play in Tampa, possibly for the BCS bid. WVU doesn't exactly have the best track record at South Florida.

Regardless of the media prediction, WVU is a perennial favorite in the conference. Consistent play has given the school that reputation. However, the Mountaineers haven't been to a BCS game since 2008, and the natives are getting restless. Will this be the season? Or are there just too many questions surrounding the new head coach and system? One things for sure...WVU will beat Marshall.

2011 BIG EAST FOOTBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL (first place votes in parentheses)

1. West Virginia 188(21)

2. Pittsburgh 162(2)

3. USF 151(1)

4. Syracuse 98

5. Cincinnati 96

6. Connecticut 76

7. Louisville 60

8. Rutgers 33

-courtesy of

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