Any Mountaineer magic to appear in 2021 season?
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After defeating a Brave Old Army Team with a nifty bowl comeback to complete the muddled 2020 season, what will be ahead from the fast-approaching West Virginia University football schedule?
The newly instituted “transfer portal” has seen departures away from Morgantown and brought in possible starters from other programs. Any player making use of the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at his new football home.
West Virginia finished with a 6-4 record after several games had to be cancelled because of the virulent Pandemic disease that had more control over college football than did the NCAA .
Speculation has arisen in the Big 12 Conference as to the future of both Oklahoma and Texas. Whether those two conference power brokers will leave for the SEC will be questioned much more often than who WVU’s starting offensive guards will be.
Neither of those schools will be leaving before the 2021 football season is complete, so the big bad Boomer Sooners from Oklahoma will be the favored team to finish in front of the baying pack of nine chasers once again.
If the conference schedule were to be played beginning today then not only Oklahoma but also Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas Tech would be favored to beat the Mountaineers.
Even with Leddie Brown (1,010 rushing yards on 199 carries and nine touchdowns) advancing as one of the league’s most effective running backs, the Mountaineers aren’t considered to have enough on the ground to be placed among the conference powers.
Most people see WVU’s defense as the team’s most useful asset.
If you scatter the transfers to positions where they are starters, then trying to get a definite read on what they can achieve is like trying to contain liquid mercury under your thumb.
At least some normalcy should return to college football. Stadiums should be filled in many college towns. Tailgate activities should find linen table clothes, candelabras, craft alcoholic beverages and speculation as to whose grandchildren are the cutest and most athletic will dominate conversations.
Bowl games should find enough teams to satisfy their needs — not like in 2020 when games were cancelled and red faces had to refund sponsor’s cash and ask for good faith for the 2021 season.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to open at Maryland on the first Saturday in September. And then comes the first game in Morgantown when the never-seen Long Island Sharks swim up the Monongahela to Puskar Stadium.
Another non-conference game with Virginia Tech should bring interest and enthusiasm boiling to the surface across the faces of Mountaineer Nation and Hokie Nation alike. That game is in Morgantown and could be a benchmark as to whether WVU can qualify for another bowl game.
Better check your game program for the revamped WVU roster. Try to familiarize yourself with the transfers and then any possible freshmen or first-year players who just might figure in this season’s plans. Try to figure out who has gone elsewhere and was supposed to be important here in 2021.
Even the Oklahoma’s, Iowa State’s and Texas’ of the college football scene also had defections and additions to their sometimes enclosed worlds.
Everybody concerned hopes the coronavirus and its variants suffer shutouts across the land. Seeing games cancelled or even postponed will only be greeted with shrugged shoulders and moans of “here we go again.”
Losing by one point might be more acceptable than losing again to the virus.