Let the speculation begin.
Now that the college sports year is winding down, you know what is coming next.
Get ready for three months of every so-called expert telling you how good or how bad your favorite team -and every other team, for that matter -is going to be come the fall football season.
In fact, it's already started. And it won't stop until the football goes into the air.
There's nothing wrong with that. It beats spending the summer watching the Olympics equestrian competition (oh, no, my inbox will fill up with e-mails from enraged equestrian fans.)
Just remember not to get too worked up over what somebody else says about your team.
Most of those making predictions don't follow your team as closely as do you. Their job is to follow every team, which is virtually impossible to do.
If you're a fan of West Virginia University's football team, you really don't need anybody else to tell you the Mountaineers are expected to be good this fall.
I've seen WVU rated as high as No. 8. The good news is that West Virginia will begin the season with a ranking high enough to move into national title contention as long as they keep winning.
That's hard to do when you begin the season unranked or in the bottom rung of the top 25.
Start out the season in the top 10 and you will keep moving up as long as you win, because many of those above you eventually will get beat. Plus, by being in the Big 12, WVU's strength of schedule no longer will be an issue.
ESPN recently listed West Virginia as one of its 20 teams that can win the national title. It reviewed the Mountaineers strengths and weaknesses and then concluded WVU's most likely record is 8-4.
I haven't taken a survey, but I would be willing to bet most Mountaineer fans are anticipating a better record than that. But they shouldn't hate on the writer of the article. He's simply stating his opinion, which is about all we have this time of year.
We do know that Las Vegas has established WVU's odds of winning the BCS National Championship game at 30-to-1. Considering the Mountaineers never have qualified to play in that game and will be facing perhaps the toughest schedule in school history, that's a tough bet to make.
The only other odds posted thus far are some way-too-early lines on the first week of the college football season. West Virginia has been installed as a 21.5-point favorite over Marshall in the final game of the Friends of Coal Bowl Series.
West Virginia is getting a great deal of preseason attention due its 70-point performance in the Orange Bowl and its entry into the Big 12 Conference. The Mountaineers will enter the season as one of the most-hyped and written about teams, and that's a good thing.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org