Many observers are trying to draw parallels between WVU's 1998 and 2004 teams and this year's squad in terms of dealing with expectations. However, there's a much better comparison to be made with an earlier Mountaineer squad, and we went to someone who was close to both teams to find out how the coaching staff dealt with hype back then.
Former WVU football assistant coach Dwight Wallace was on the staff of the 1988 and 1989 teams, both of which were subjected to a good bit of attention in the preseason. Those squads also had a player being singled out for national praise in the form of quarterback Major Harris. Wallace was Harris' quarterback coach, and thus had a front row seat as he attempted to keep the dual threat QB and his highly-ranked teammates from being swept away by too much publicity.
If all this is sounding familiar, it should. Wallace is now the color analyst for MSN's radio broadcasts of the games, so he has had an upclose view of both squads and how they dealt with those issues.
exclusive interview, Coach Wallace talks with BlueGoldNews.com about those teams from the late 1980s, and compares that situation with the one currently surrounding the 2006 squad.