Contrary to popular belief (see: SEC fans), there are a lot of tough games on this year's schedule. The Big East has transformed itself into a deep conference where no game is an automatic win (exception: any Greg Robinson coached team). But beyond the conference slate, WVU faces two very tough non-conference tests: Colorado and Auburn (maybe three, if you count ECU...but I'm not).
Most of the focus has been given to the Auburn game. It's easy to see why: two marquee national powers doing battle in the middle of October on national television. Plus it's the holy-fucking-shit SEC, a conference so strong it's trying to replace the NFC (please, please, note the sense of sarcasm). But maybe Auburn isn't the game we should be most worried about.
Which brings me to....
Colorado has a lot of things going for it this year -- and especially on Thursday, September 18th.
One, it improved from 2 wins in 2006 to 6 wins and a bowl appearance in 2007. Dan Hawkins has really started to build some momentum in Boulder, which was certainly tough to do after the Gary Barnett fiasco.
Two, they signed arguably the #1 running back in the country, Darrell Scott, last year. Scott should see the field immediately and certainly, in the third game of the season, should have his feet wet enough to contribute significantly.
And third, it's a Thursday night, which apparently is during the week. It's tough to travel 2,000 miles, through two time zones, to play a team on their home field in primetime on ESPN. Erin Andrews will even be there, which could be terribly distracting (though, probably more so for a Colorado program coming off a recruiting/stripper scandal).
So, a tough game. Though, even with all that said, we're still probably at least a touchdown favorite in Boulder. But with a new coach and the first significant road game of the HCBS campaign (again, ECU be damned), it's still a question mark.
Win that one, and the sky's the limit for this season. Lose it? The sky might be falling.