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November 26, 2007

No. 1 In The Coaches' Poll, No. 2 In The Nation

I've been looking for a congressional angle to justify this blog entry -- a press release of praise from Sen. Robert Byrd or something. I haven't had any luck yet, but I can't restrain myself any longer.

You just can't expect a Mountaineer like me not to blog when West Virginia University's football team rises to No. 1 in the USA Today poll of college coaches and No. 2 overall in the nation. If WVU beats Pitt in the annual "Backyard Brawl" this week, my alma mater will be playing for a national championship.

That's a big "if," of course. I'm a loyal Mountaineer fan but also a realist. I thought our shot at a national title ended in September with our woeful, turnover-plagued loss to the University of South Florida, and we haven't played very consistently since then. Despite WVU's 66-21 thumping of then-No. 20 Connecticut on Saturday (great photos at the Charleston Daily Mail), the team barely escaped battles against Louisville and Cincinnati the previous two weeks because they ran up big leads and then lost enthusiasm and focus.

You can bet that Pitt will be pumped when they visit Mountaineer Field in six days, and WVU can't afford to play sloppy football or rest on its laurels if we get a big lead. That's a sure recipe for us to join the previous No. 2 teams that have been toppled repeatedly in this unpredictable college football season.

Pitt is unranked and has a 4-7 record, but the Panthers have surprised better WVU squads at home before. During my senior year in 1989, Pitt came back from a 31-9 deficit in the fourth quarter to tie a Major Harris-led team (before college football had overtime). That's not the type of performance any Mountaineers fan wants to see repeated.

And if quarterback Pat White leads the 'Eers to a national title game, we fans also don't want to see repeats of the 1988 or 1993 championship games after undefeated WVU seasons. The 'Eers lost our first trip to a title game 31-21 to Notre Dame; we were even more humiliated by Florida in a 41-7 defeat five years later.

Let's go ... Mountaineers!!!

P.S. I was rooting for a longshot WVU-LSU matchup in the title game because my wife is from Louisiana, but WVU-Missouri or WVU-Ohio State probably would be better for peace and harmony in the Glover household.

CORRECTION: An astute reader noticed that I apparently still had Major Harris on the brain when I referred to the team's current running quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate. His name is Pat White, not Pat Harris. I've made the correction above.

Posted by Danny | 12:25 PM


pat white...great article.

glenna | 11.26.07 12:59 PM

The only reason the 'Eers are getting consideration is the BCS is hoping to get a federal grant by renaming it the Robert C. Byrd BCS Bowl

Don Surber | 11.26.07 06:33 PM

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Beltway Blogroll, by K. Daniel Glover, gauges the policy and political impact of blogs. Glover is the editor of National Journal's Technology Daily.
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