PICKIN' AND GRINNIN'
Such as they are, kudos to Matt for getting the correct read on a team that didn't have much interest in playing hard on the road at Kansas. That moved him up to the top of the second win group.
With records better than the team they cover, it's hard to single out any bad selections from two weeks ago, especially given the Jayhawks 31-0 whitewashing at the hands of Iowa State last week.
|Andy Easton||Last Week: L||Season: 8-3||Pt Diff: 255|
Thankfully our last prediction of the season is upon us, as WVU will not be bowling for the first time since 2001. At this point in the season I thought I had a pretty good idea of what type of team Iowa State has until it shut out Kansas last week. The Cyclones had struggled on defense all season, ranking 107th in points allowed even after last week's game, but after their dominating shutout this game is a toss up.
Who will get the most snaps at quarterback for WVU? Will the offense be able to sustain drives and keep the defense off the field? Will Grant Rohach continue his improved play for ISU? Will the emotion of Senior Day help WVU to the fifth victory of the season? Ask me Sunday!
|Pick: West Virginia 31-20|
|Chris Richardson||Last Week: L||Season: 8-3||Pt Diff: 264|
There's a scene in "Wedding Crashers" that shows the phone ringing at Owen Wilson's character's apartment. The answering machine picks up, with Wilson's voice saying "This is John...whatever".
That's kind of how I feel about this game this week. WVU is a bad team playing another bad team. Neither team is going to a bowl game. It's also Thanksgiving Break, meaning no students will be there. In short, it should be a dreadful atmosphere on Saturday.
I do want to see WVU play with pride and passion. Compete on every play. Make a few big plays. Get some important stops. Come away from this game with something positive to build on heading into the offseason. I'm not sure if we'll see all of that, but I anticipate the Mountaineers will do enough to win the game.
|Pick: West Virginia 31-21|
|Michael Carvelli||Last Week: L||Season: 8-3||Pt Diff: 300|
The problem for West Virginia is finding something to play for with bowl eligibility out of the question. As the players and coaches have said, Iowa State has shown at times that it's a little better than its record might show - and that was seen in a 34-0 rout against Kansas last week and close calls against Iowa, Texas, Texas Tech and TCU earlier this season. It's hard to pick against WVU at home, but if the Mountaineers don't come ready to play (which has been a question a lot this year) the Cyclones will be able to come out and pull off the upset on the road.
In the end, this will be a close game and the Mountaineers should be able to leave Milan Puskar Stadium and send the seniors off on a high note with a victory.
|Pick: West Virginia 20-17|
|Matt Keller||Last Week: W||Season: 7-4||Pt Diff: 290|
My prediction? Pain.
West Virginia, somehow, wins it.
|Pick: West Virginia 30-24|
|Tony Dobies||Last Week: L||Season: 7-4||Pt Diff: 306|
|The Mountaineers may have nothing to play for, but the week off might have given the players and coaches an opportunity to understand how important this game could be. West Virginia will do just enough to win, but it might take a last-second field goal to do it.|
|Pick: West Virginia 24-23|
|Bill Gleason||Last Week: L||Season: 6-5||Pt Diff: 299|
The battle for seventh place in the Big 12 is finally here. Tens of people have looked forward to this titanic matchup with anticipation unmatched since their last combined root canal and colonoscopy.
It all comes down here to pride and heart. Two weeks ago WVU showed neither.
|Pick: Iowa State 37-13|
|Greg Hunter||Last Week: L||Season: 6-5||Pt Diff: 308|
|Like WVU, Iowa State suffered close, tough losses to both Texas Tech and Texas. A play or two by either in those games could have changed the season around for each. But the seasons are what they are for each, and the two physically and emotionally bruised squads are playing a regular season finale with nothing at stake but pride. Who can get up for one last game?|
|Pick: West Virginia 24-23|
|Jane Donovan||Last Week: L||Season: 5-6||Pt Diff: 281|
|It seems only right to close this topsy-turvy football season with a quote from the late, great John Denver: "And it was just that night the readjustment blues got to me." Perhaps this was the unknown anthem we all sing. We've all had the readjustment blues this year. Hopefully, our third year in the Big 12 will be the charm.|
|Pick: West Virginia 27-21|
|Jon Martin||Last Week: L||Season: 5-6||Pt Diff: 288|
|Both West Virginia and Iowa State wrap up their seasons on Saturday -- a meaningless game between two teams who'll sit out the bowl season. \West Virginia will be sending off the 2013 senior class, their last game as Mountaineers. That should provide enough reason for them to play with enough intensity to pull off a win. Nothing, however, would surprise me. On the strength of Charles Sims -- and overall pride -- West Virginia does just enough to knock off the Cyclones.|
|Pick: West Virginia 27-24|
|Brian Jolliff||Last Week: L||Season: 5-6||Pt Diff: 302|
|Not much left to say about this season, other than perhaps my prediction record is better than the Mountaineers' record. Will this team have enough pride to try to out on the year with a win or was the check mailed in weeks ago? Since I don't have any where else to go but up, I'll err on the side of being a optimistic fan and say WVU gets one final win.|
|Pick: West Virginia 34-24|