The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
The West Virginia football team is currently preparing to go bowling. The Mountaineers made the scene into extra season by earning an invitation to play in the Cactus Bowl on January 2nd. They will do battle with Arizona State.
Prior to bowling, the Mounties did some streaking and as streaking typically goes, some of it was good and some, well maybe not so much.
WVU started the campaign winning their first three games to gain some early momentum. They also collected a four game win streak on the back side of the schedule, which did make them bowl eligible. However, there was a disastrous stretch of four consecutive losses that devastated their big bowl hopes. Even though the stretch was strength of schedule, this was one of the toughest four game combos of any in the land. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU provided the teeth to this schedule. It is also worth pointing out that three of the four (Oklahoma State which was WVU’s homecoming) were on the road.
The biggest stumble unfortunately occurred at the worst time for Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and company. The season ending setback to Kansas State really stung for multiple reasons. It put a screeching halt to the last season roll and we all know how crucial momentum is on the collegiate level. The level of competition was also an issue. Prior to the victory over the Mountaineers, the top wins for Kansas State were over Kansas and Iowa State. The timing of the defeat might just be the hardest pill for Holgorsen to swallow.
Fans tend to fixate on what happened last night. It is a long layoff between K-State and Arizona State, which leaves lots of negative water cooler talk in the time being.
Add in the fact that former WVU Head Coach Rich Rod turned down the University of South Carolina job and there are all kinds of rumors swirling. Mountaineer Nation is split over the possibility of Rod riding back into town. Would he or could he, well never say never that’s what I’ve always been told. I know WVU Athletic Director Shayne Lyons announced on December 9th that Holgorsen was going to be the “Head Man” in 2016 but many claim conspiracy on that one.
Some have gone as far as to question the verbiage and intent of Lyons. It sounds like semantics to me. The bottom line is somebody might be safe today, but not tomorrow, or vice versa. Time will tell and the Mounties can with a win in the Cactus Bowl!
That will do it for now. Until next time…take care and God Bless!