Every year come high school playoff time we have the discussion about the schools with the most enrollment having an advantage.
Let's see how that played out in the Mountain State in 2012:
Of the 37 schools in Class AAA, the state football championship game will be between the biggest school, Cabell Midland, and the third biggest, Martinsburg,
Of the 40 schools in Class AA, it will be Keyser, 13th in enrollment, meeting Wayne, which is 20th, Friday night in the Super Six at Wheeling.
Of the 40 schools in Class A that field football teams, the title game will pit Wahama, 24th in enrollment, against Madonna, a private school that ranks No. 32.
So the results are inconclusive. Obviously as the school population increases, so does the potential number of athletes walking the halls.
But there are many factors that go into having a successful athletic program and/or football team, including the quality of the school's leadership, coaching staff, and facilities.
I'm sure come next November we'll have the same debate. And, in all likelihood, we'll have the same inconclusive results.
* Going Bowling: Of the four major college teams we follow on a regular basis, two will participate in bowl games and two will not.
Ironically, the one with the best record -12-0 Ohio State -will be home for the holidays due to its one-year bowl ban.
But make no mistake, Urban Meyer sent a message to the rest of the nation that the Buckeyes have returned to the status of perennial power.
The other team that won't get to extend its practice sessions or participate in a bowl game is Marshall, which finished 5-7, one less win than last year. The Herd seems to be spinning its wheels. I still maintain the move from 1-AA to the Mid American Conference was a great one but when Marshall then moved up another notch to Conference USA, it did so too quickly and is paying the price.
With its win over Iowa State on Saturday, West Virginia University ensured it will receive a bowl invitation, although from a bowl far less prestigious than WVU fans and staff expected when the season began. West Virginia should handle Kansas in its regular season finale and finish 7-5, which might well net the Mountaineers a berth in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, perhaps opposite UCLA. The bowl picture will become crystal clear after this week's games.
Also going bowling, after winning a bowl game for the first time in school history last year, will be Ohio. The Bobcats likely are disappointed with their 8-4 finish but the MAC was a much improved league this year over last season.
Teams like Northern Illinois, Kent State, Bowling Green, Toledo and Ohio are capable of competing against programs from bigger leagues that generate far greater resources.
Contact Dave Poe at dpoenewsandsentinel.com