Same old, same old for WVU

Preseason predictions.

They’re a slippery slope for those of us who feel obligated to make them due to the position we hold.

Take, for example, last Sunday’s column.

I predicted Ohio State would go 11-1 and flirted with picking the Buckeyes to finish the regular season undefeated.

You know what happened. No sooner than the ink dried, came the word that quarterback Braxton Miller was out for the season.

Obviously, that makes 11-1 much more difficult for OSU. But remember that the Buckeyes outrecruit virtually everyone in the Big Ten and still will have the better talent virtually every time they take the field.

Before the Miller injury, only the games versus the two Michigan teams fell into the potential pitfall category. Now, the games against Virginia Tech and Penn State bear more watching.

Now that I’ve done my disclaimer not to take such calls too seriously, it’s time for the annual WVU prediction column.

Rather than make you skip to the last line, the call here is for a repeat of last year’s 4-8 season.

I’ve seen predictions as low as 3-9 and as high as 12-0, with the latter coming from overexuberant fans who want that to happen. So do I, but that simply isn’t realistic or credible.

What is most likely to occur is another frustrating season where West Virginia struggles to make its mark in the Big 12. Plus, the non-conference schedule isn’t kind with games against national power Alabama, FBS national runnerup Towson and a road game against Maryland, which manhandled WVU, 37-0, last year in Baltimore.

Talking to fans and reading their online comments, they’re excited by the new names on the roster.

That’s understandable for the old names showed us last year they couldn’t live up to the lofty expectations West Virginia fans have for their beloved Mountaineers.

In West Virginia’s last seven games a year ago, six were losses -including embarrassing ones to Kansas and Iowa State -and the other an overtime win.

With such a poor finish, it’s hard to get excited about the returning players, so fans pin their hopes on newcomers who never have gained a yard or completed or caught a pass at the college level.

Some may live up to the great expectations of the die-hards, but others never will see the field unless WVU is way ahead or way behind.

While opinions on WVU’s progress widely vary, I see little if any reason to believe things are going to get better. The program has gone from 10 to 7 to 4 wins. You can figure out the next number in that numerical progression.

That makes it hard to have faith in head coach Dana Holgorsen’s ability to lead this program.

He was hired for being an offensive guru who attracted and developed nationally-ranked quarterbacks at his other stops.

That hasn’t happened in Morgantown,

Holgorsen’s first experience as a head coach. In any organization, there’s a major difference between being a good employee and being the person in charge. To say Holgorsen has struggled with the latter would be a gross understatement.

After last season, it was obvious WVU needed some new blood. The recruiting class was the best of the Holgorsen era. But WVU has such a long way to go to be competitive in the Big 12, one solid recruiting class isn’t likely to create a remarkable turnaround.

Evaluating the units, WVU’s strengths should be at running back, in the defensive backfield and on special teams.

While most others would disagree, my biggest concern is quarterback play. At least there are four options there, but this must sort itself out fast for there is no position near as important as the signal caller, other than, of course, head coach.

Look for the same old, same old and the same old record as last year.

Contact Dave Poe at