This season, which was once thought to be a time for rebuilding, has turned out to be something special. It is amazing when a group of guys get together and decide to work as a team to accomplish a common vision. When selfishness and pessimism give way to an uncanny ability to overachieve.
My classification of this bunch is very simple. They are overachievers. Not because of luck or a lack in competition, but because of their desire to win. They have been underdogs since day one. Nobody gave them a chance. They did not buy into it, but rather used it to fuel a burning passion to disprove the cynics and earn back the respect for which they thought they deserved. They were right.
I witnessed this in spending time with some of them this past summer as they killed themselves in the weight room. How many injuries have we had this season? Enough said. Great job Doug Elias and Dave Kerns!
I have also observed a coaching staff that took their lumps but learned some valuable lessons last year. They certainly squeeze every last ounce of talent and energy out of their players, which is great attribute for a maturing group of coaches. I am really taken back by this team and this season. They have proved a lot of people wrong.
Peering back through the last few months, I can say that I had my doubts. This team clearly had (and probably still does have) some major deficiencies. And this season, which was once thought to be filled with a bunch of powder puffs, has turned out to be very respectable int erms of opposition, especially given the performances of recently beaten Boston College and Top 25 teams like Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Maryland and Miami.
As I said last week, we are slowly creeping into the limelight. People are starting to recognize West Virginia with the same conviction as the nation's elite. The good news is we should all be very proud, not just of this team, but to be a Mountaineer. I have been on both sides of the street and there is a special atmosphere that resonates throughout the mountain state when the Mountaineer football team is successful. Our days become less stressful and our weeks become more pleasant. We need to learn to not wish for this but expect it.
We beat a good football team in Boston College. Yes, we have their number and certainly they struggled in response to their Notre Dame victory, but they suited 11 up just like we did. The bottom line is we are better than them. In fact, I suspect this team would like to play Maryland and Wisconsin for a rematch. I bet they would both wisely decline.
We are improving and firing on full cylinders or at least our running game and rush defense is. Nobody can stop our rushing attack. Nobody. I am amazed. We are virtually one-dimensional, and for good reason. Barring a sheer catastrophe, West Virginia will be the NCAA rushing champs. Imagine that. Folks, it is almost reality.
We have the next couple days to heal, rest and get ready to finish strong. It is a well-deserved break. Tech has already demonstrated their vulnerability and Pitt is certainly beatable. I don't even want to get into Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. I hate the Hokies and the Panthers. Let's just rest and be proud to be Mountaineers!