With spring practice just around the corner and only 184 days until WVU's season opening game against
West Virginia Junior College Marshall, I'm here to give you my early predictions for the 2011 season. Right here would be the perfect time to to say that my prediction for next season is "pain", but I'm not going to do that at this time. I'll leave that joke on the table for some much more skilled bloggers than myself.
Instead of making lame jokes from Rocky movies, I'm simply going to run down the schedule and give my thoughts about each match-up. It seems simple enough, but watch me screw something up.
Will I paint my normal rosy picture of the future or do I see struggles ahead next season? My take after the jump...
My initial thoughts are that our non-conference schedule is on par with other BCS schools, so people need to stop pretending otherwise. We play two BCS teams, an FCS team and two mid-majors.
9/3/11 Marshall - W - WVU will struggle early to get into the flow of the game and will be down after the first quarter. Happens every year and I doubt 2011 will be any different. If we match their intensity from the start we win going away. Having said, I see another close WVU win to start the season. After the game feel free to stop by the tailgate where I will burn the Marshall shirt I have to wear because I lost the NFL Combine bet to Charley.
9/10/11 Norfolk St. - W - No discussion necessary.
- 9/17/11 @ Maryland - W - While Maryland's new coach, Randy Edsall, has energized its fanbase and brought an exciting brand of football to the Terrapins. Wait a second, what am I talking about? Edsall is a total bore and a very overrated football coach. The only reason he beat WVU last season was because Jeff Mullen is allergic to scoring points. Holgorsen will find his rhythm by this game and we will putting up some big numbers.
9/24/11 LSU - L - If LSU beats Oregon to open the season, there is a chance LSU will come into this game atop the polls. For all the grief people give Les Miles for being bat shit crazy the guy is a good coach and with a couple extra days to prepare for the trip to Morgantown, LSU will be ready to play. While I would love to say we can pick them off, our lack of depth on defense will be tough to overcome. However, if the game ends up at night there is a good chance we pull the upset at Mountaineer Field. Right now though, I have it penciled in as a loss.
10/1/11 Bowling Green - W - We don't lose back-to-back Homecoming games.
- 10/8/11 UConn - W - Do not overlook this Paul Pasqualoni coached team. He had some great teams at Syracuse and should have never been fired. However, he can lick my feet because UConn goes down in Motown.
- 10/22/11 @ Syracuse - W - Both teams will be coming off a bye so neither team has an advantage. By this point in the season WVU will be fully comfotable with the new offensive scheme and be clicking on all cylinders. I see a 350+ yard passing day for Geno in The Dome. WVU wins going away.
- 10/29/11 @ Rutgers - W - Instead of turning the corner last season, Schiano decided to put the program in reverse. They chopped through the forest only to find a toxic waste dumped, got depressed and decided to become dregs of the Big East again. Thank you Rutgers. Nobody wanted to see a bunch meatballs with bedazzled t-shirts rushing the field. WVU does not lose to Rutgers.
- 11/5/11 Louisville - W - This game is a year away from being for the Big East Championship. Charlie Strong has turned that program around in a hurry. In 2012 the Big East will have 4 or 5 Top 25 teams.
- 11/12/11 @ Cincinnati - W - If you are a fan of armed robbery and rape then you will be disappointed to know that this game will be played at Stadium and not Nippert. This gives WVU a little bit of an advantage because we have not traditionally played well at Nippert. Holding the game at Paul Brown also gives WVU fans a chance to take away the home field advantage by outnumbering Cincy fans on game-day. I think we can do it. WVU wins a tight one.
11/25/11 Pitt - W - While Pitt may be number one in some preseaon polls, LINK, WVU will knock the shit out of them at Mountaineer Field. I see this becoming a blow out of epic proportions and leads us into our toughest road test of the season.
- 12/1/11 @ USF - W - This game was set-up by the league office to the be de facto Big East Championship Game. The Bulls do not play a cold weather game this year and will likely take full advantage of that fact. Again, WVU does not traditionally play well in down there and could get the bulls horns yet again. We win because Geno Smith is good quarterback, Tavon Austin is fast and Dana Holgorsen can coach offense.
There you have Mountaineer fans. WVU ends the regular season as Big East Champs with an 11-1 record. Also, note that I did not mention Bill Stewart's name once in my analysis. I think he will stay out of Holgorsen's way and allow him to coach up the Mountaineers the way he sees fit. Bill Stewart will leave us with some good memories and a lot of great quotes.