Commentary: WVU Has a Game This Weekend?

Wait a second, there's a football game this weekend? I hope the team knows.

For days, West Virginia fans have been taken away from the discussion of the Mountaineers' first top 20 matchup since the 2008 Fiesta Bowl to discuss talk of conferences realigning and worlds collapsing.

Yet, for the eight months from the Mountaineers' last game of the 2010 season until opening kickoff of 2011, WVU fans had not stopped clamoring about the upcoming LSU game.

If the stars aligned, of course, it was the hope that both teams would be undefeated and highly ranked. While I'm sure Mountaineer fans would like to be higher than No. 16, it has all happened as planned.

This game is one that could really put the Mountaineers into the national spotlight for the first time since the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.

There hasn't been a game since that point that sticks out as something the national public would care about.

It will be the first top 20 non-conference matchup at Milan Puskar Stadium since Ohio State came to town in 1998 – and fans will be ready (if they remember the game).

West Virginia is going to have to play a complete game, otherwise be threatened with a blowout.

LSU is really good, perhaps the best team in the country, and it has proven it each week, too.

While WVU was busy taking care of business against Marshall and Norfolk State to start the season, the Tigers blew out last year's national runners up Oregon, rolled over a weak Northwestern State team and later a top 25-caliber SEC opponent Mississippi State.

The Tigers are tested and SEC approved.

WVU just wants to be.

Students were sent emails from the Morgantown Fire Department to hide their couches and hide their recliners. Burning is a felony these days, and it won't be tolerated. Students requested more tickets than they have ever before - more than 17,000 to be exact.

Fans in the stands will receive gold towels to wave, and the game is designated a "Gold Rush."

Even ESPN's famed and award-winning show College GameDay will set up on the Mountainlair Green Saturday morning for the first time in 25 years.

It's here, and it's time to enjoy college football at its most original and intended level – without any awful conference talk.

For those saying this game has something to do with conference expansion, you're wrong; these decisions are made at the highest level and have no bearing on whether WVU beats or is defeated by LSU.

What it will do, however, is strengthen the public perception of WVU, Morgantown and the state of West Virginia.

Let's get back to the game at hand – and not that Monopoly or poker game WVU administrators are playing against other nervous administrators.

WVU has an opportunity to become a top 10 football team once again for the first time in four seasons.

There isn't a player on this year's team that was part of a BCS bowl, and only a few that had been on the 2008 team that started in the top 10 before starting the season 1-2.

I bet fans probably forget exactly what the taste of true success is like in football.

The Mountaineers, in just the fourth game of the Dana Holgorsen era, have a chance to return to all that was great about the Golden Era of Mountaineer football from 2005-08.

I just hope people show up.

This conference realignment talk is giving me a headache.


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