Negative review of WVU
In last Sunday’s column, I predicted West Virginia University’s 2013 football season would finish with a record of 5-7 and thus would end its streak of having appeared in a bowl game each of the last 11 years.
Considering the over-under in Las Vegas on WVU wins this season is six, it’s not an unreasonable prediction. Yet, it seems like virtually every other state sports writer is more optimistic about the Mountaineers than am I. Being a WVU alumnus, I hope they are right and I am wrong.
I figured my 5-7 pick might be lower than anybody else is predicting for West Virginia.
That is until I read an online article at vegasinsider.com, which bills itself as the global leader in sports gaming information.
The article, authored by Lance Blankenship -who identifies himself as a graduate of a Wheeling area high school-not only recommends betting West Virginia to win less than six games, but goes as far as to say “I believe West Virginia will be lucky to win four games and there is a distinct possibility that the Mountaineers will go 2-10.”
While that seems like an improbable call given WVU’s recent history, I’ve learned to respect anyone willing to put their name with their opinion, especially when the author goes out on a limb and is the only one making what appears to be an outlandish call and thus will be subjected to criticism, anger and ridicule.
Of course, if the pick turns out to be right, those who vented their anger about it won’t acknowledge the author was right.
Blankenship writes that Paul Millard and Clint Trickett, who are battling for the starting quarterback position, “both stink.”
But those aren’t the only strong words that appear in the column as Blankenship describes WVU football as a “suddenly gravely ill program.”
Defensively, Blankenship says “WVU’s defense was perhaps the worst of any power conference team last year. Expect more of the same… Teams will run wild all season against the hapless Mountaineer front seven”
To complete his trifecta of criticizing all three sides of the ball – as coach Dana Holgorsen loves to say -Blankenship expresses “great concern” about West Virginia’s special teams.
Blankenship calls the non-conference games against William & Mary and Georgia State “definite wins.” He notes that in between those contests West Virginia will meet Oklahoma “who should crush them.”
He then says in the other non-Big 12 contest against Maryland, Terrapin coach “Randy Edsall will outcoach Holgorsen.”
By now you get the picture. Poor offense. Atrocious defense. Questionable special teams. Pathetic coaching.
If all those turn out to be true, Blankenship will be “on the money.”
The good news is it doesn’t matter what anybody says or thinks, it what takes place in between the lines that counts.
It’s time to let the season play itself out, then there will be more than ample time to analyze the results.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com