Fall-practice is upon us and, despite my steady buzz from starting tailgating in mid-July, I can't help but think forward to see what this version of the Mountaineers might become.
I'm not talking recruiting or potential rules violations, just the 2010 Mountaineers. A nine win team in 2009, we return a ton of starters and have new talent across the board, usually a good recipe for a improving on a previous years' win total. Yet WVU was only voted to finish in a tie for second this year in the Big East. It's a curious vote, considering the mentions I just made. Jock Sanders seems to agree with me:
Hands down [we're the best team in the Big East], and we'll show that this year. It is all about politics. For Pitt to get all those [first-place] votes and we got just as much back as them, it is crazy, but, like I said before, at the end of the year after we play them, they'll regret [being the favorites]. They'll regret it all.
Big words, certainly considering that Pitt will be a very talented team this year. But I applaud Sanders' swagger, mostly because it doesn't seem misplaced.
Swagger gets a bad name sometimes. If we can remember back just a few months, Latwan Anderson chose Miami because of their "swagger." Of course, this was a Miami team that hadn't won anything in years, which confused the hell out of me, but apparently not Mr. Anderson. You might also recall the 2007 Yankees hat debacle, which was WVU's last major foray into swagger.
But not all swagger is created equal. Swagger to basically taunt and flaunt (your skill or lack thereof, considering the result of the USF and Pitt games in 2007), isn't worth the time and effort. Believing you're the best in conference, however, is a confidence I can get behind. I couldn't care less if it ends up on Pitt's bulletin board or not. It's not like this statement is finally going to convince the Panthers to play hard when we meet in November. That was already going to happen. This just tells me Sanders & Co. are committed to being nothing but the best in the Big East this season. And I dig it.
This is a team built for success at a high level. We have more depth at every position than we've had in quite some time. While our QB might be a first year starter, he's a decorated Parade All-American who acquitted himself well in duty last season. And good God the talent we have. Familiar names like Devine, Sanders, Nield, Thomas, and Sands give us strength all over the field. New additions -- Irvin, McCartney, etc. -- give us even more upside. I love this team, which is scaring the crap out of me considering I hate being this optimistic four weeks before the first snap.
But whatever, I will just have to live with thinking that this team can go far -- and I do mean far. How far? FAR!
Note: just so we're on the same page, when "far" is written in bold and underlined, that means really, really, ridiculously far.
Note #2: When you stare at the word "far" a lot, it stops looking like a word. Crazy!
Note #3: I might be stoned.