Sunday, September 30, 2007

Crazy Weekend for Football

When 5 of the Top 10 teams lose, it's a crazy weekend in college football. Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Rutgers joined West Virginia in losing this weekend. Which is good news for the Mountaineers really. First, it took all the headlines that would have been used against WVU and turned it into a discussion about the parity in college football. Second, it eased the drop in the polls. West Virginia only fell to 13th. Before Saturday, I would have guessed 18th.

Other observations, USC doesn't look very good. They barely eeked by Washington, which is why they are now #2 in the nation. LSU played uninspired football against Tulane and found a rough first half. But the second half showed why LSU is now #1. I'm still not convinced that Ohio State is a team that can win a national title.

Notre Dame is 0-5 but listening to the announcers for their games, you would think they were on the cusp of a great season. The constant sucking up to the ND fans and Charlie Weis is absolutely asinine. Notre Dame is a bad, bad football team. They will be lucky to win 3 games this year (Air Force, Duke and Stanford or Navy). Jabba the Weis is not a genius. The offense is horrible and the defense is average. And special teams aren't anything to write home about. They aren't good. Why can't anyone admit that?

Speaking of not good, how much longer is the Wannstedt experiment going to last in Pittsburgh? He is horrible. Supposedly Pitt has the best recruiting classes in the Big East. What do they have to show for it? A 44-14 loss to Al Groh's Virginia. The same Virginia that lost to Wyoming 23-3. Pitt can keep Wannstedt forever as far as I'm concerned...but you think someone would wake up in Pittsburgh and get rid of this perrinial loser. He does have a nice mustache though.

Joining South Florida, only Cincinnati and UConn remain undefeated in the Big East. WTF? Cincy and UConn? Sure, they haven't played anyone but they're not supposed to be good. I think UConn is a fraud. But Cincinnati's defense may just keep them in the spotlight for a little while.

Lastly, the Kentucky Wildcats football team is in the Top 10 in the nation. If you wonder about parity in college football, look no further. Kentucky football. The SEC doormat. Now in the Top 10. Who would have guessed?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Th-th-th-th...That's All Folks

National title hopes? Gone. Heisman for Pat White? Gone. Heisman for Steve Slaton? Gone. Top-10 ranking? Gone. Hopes and dreams of millions (well, many thousands) of Mountaineer fans? Crushed.

One bad trip to Tampa and the 2007 season has come to a crashing halt. A season of destiny once again turns into a season of disappointment. Not even "Devine intervention" could overcome 6 WVU turnovers. Not even a much, much, MUCH improved Jeff Casteel offense could overcome the inept play of the WVU offense.

Life goes on. But it ruins a lot of plans. It diminishes the Rutgers game and the Cincinnati game to some degree. Just like the Louisville losses diminished the WVU/Louisville game. But, with some wins, WVU could still win (or share) the title for the Big East. WVU could still be in the BCS. But Mountaineer fans were looking for more. Not any longer.

All season long the offense has sputtered. It isn't flowing as smoothly as you would think. I believe it is the inability of the long pass to be a threat. I love Pat this isn't a knock at him. But Rich needs to open this offense to create more running lanes for Slaton or White or Schmitt or Devine or Sanders. If the opposing team is putting 7 in the box or 8 in the box and you don't go downfield, the screens and draws and sweeps aren't going to work. Especially against a team with speed like USF.

But I's the same argument WVU fans have made all season and it falls upon deaf ears. I'm not a coach. I really don't claim to understand why we don't take more shots. I thought White's arm looked good in the games...but maybe I'm just way off.

Anyway, thankfully I did not watch the debacle in South Florida last night but instead went and saw East Fairmont win their first ever game at North Marion. First time EFHS has beaten NMHS in Rachel. That seems impossible but everyone says it's true so I will believe it. East looks good. Back to back playoff years. Who would have thought?

I'm going to try to watch some college football today and hope they don't talk about WVU/USF too much. It just disgusts me to hear about it...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blocking the Bridge

For too often, I am traveling to work in the morning only to be stopped in traffic near the Kingmont exit. Why, you might ask? Well, it is because an over-sized load would like to cross the bridge on I-79 just south of Kingmont and, for whatever reason (weight, size?), the accompanying vehicles block all traffic from being on the bridge with the over-sized load. This creates a traffic hazard like no other because there are no warnings. And, if you happen to be one of the unfortunate ones who come upon this traffic before it goes beyond the Kingmont bridge, watch out.

There's just enough of a hill before that I-79 bridge to make it nearly impossible to see that traffic is stopped. And, if you are cruising at a comfortable 70 MPH, it is very difficult to stop in that short of a span. It is very, very hazardous. Surely there has to be a better way. I cannot believe a large truck hasn't plowed over some unsuspecting Yugo driver there yet. It's a very dangerous situation that hasn't been addressed. I am just thankful that I haven't been crushed yet.

Also on my morning commutes, I have noticed that Bridgeport stinks. Just south of the Meadowbrook Mall exit is a foul odor that is undescribeable. Apparently there is a sewage treatment facility near that area. Well, some mornings it is nearly unbearable to drive through there. I can't believe the people of Bridgeport would put up with such a thing. It's not good for business, that's for sure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Louisville Stinks?

A little late...but who would have thought that Syracuse could beat Louisville at Papa John's Stadium? This really changes the complexion of the Big East. If West Virginia can get by South Florida this Friday, the looming matchups against Rutgers on October 27 and Cincinnati on November 17 become huge. And don't laugh at Cincinnati. Brian Kelly has that team playing some serious defense...and, it appears their fans are taking notice and actually attending games.

So, I'm working yesterday evening. Had to travel up Morgantown way to do some work. Got there only to be told that the gentleman I'm working with forgot the power cord to his laptop. Could I get another one? Well, unfortunately there were none of those models in the Morgantown office so I had to travel back to Clarksburg to pick up a power supply and then back to Morgantown. So that made two trips from Clarksburg to Morgantown in a 3-hour span. Not fun...not fun at all.

On the positive side of that, I did get to sit in the car and listen to my favorite radio station (93.1, WFGM). Sorry...a little plug there. And, I have discovered that Guitar Hero has ruined me. I sit there in the car listening to songs thinking "Man, that would make a great song on the Guitar Hero." Already Gone by the Eagles really seems like a good Guitar Hero song. This morning I thought Vehicle by Ides of March would work nicely too. I would also like to see Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty be made as a Guitar Hero/Saxophone Hero song. How awesome would that be?

Anyway, that's all for today....I hope.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

WV State Motto; Football Picks

Voting ended last night for a new state slogan...which, unless there's a major upset, will return to "Wild Wonderful West Virginia." First of all, I don't see where it is that big of a deal. We could have as many slogans as we wanted...different slogans for every entrance to the state. Like, for Huntington it should be -- "Huntington Ahead, Turn Back Now." Or for Martinsburg is should be -- "Please Don't Transport Crack Across the State Line." Or for I-79 into Morgantown it should be -- "Welcome to West Virginia. Fairmont is 30 miles South. Look for the big bridge with no roads attached to it."

Apparently "Open For Business" was extrememly unpopular and Manchin was a little afraid he might be recalled over a bad state slogan. I just don't see why it's that big of a deal...seriously.

Other rejected slogans proposed by the Manchin staff included:
  • West Virginia - One Big Happy Family
  • West Virginia - Bob Byrd Lives
  • West Virginia - Yes, it's a state
  • West Virginia - Watch for exploding mobile homes
  • West Virginia - Home to Powerball winner, Jack Whittaker
  • West Virginia - Stay out of Summersville

I could go on, but I won't. I have been pretty poor on making football picks this, for Week 4, I will make picks just to confuse everyone. Here we go:

East Fairmont 21 - Bridgeport 13
John Marshall 42 - North Marion 12
Morgantown 17 - Preston 7
Penn State 24 - Michigan 21 (Aside: Joe Paterno breathes life into Lloyd Carr's body following the game when a Michigan fan loses it and beat Lloyd in the head with a trash can.)
Cincinnati 38 - Marshall 10 (Aside: hahahahaha)
Steelers 28 - 49ers 17

And finally....
WVU 56 - ECU 24 (Aside: Lou Holtz picks ECU to upset WVU...not because his son coaches there. Lou would never be anything but impartial.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Campaigns Heating Up...

I really hate talking about an election that is still over a year away but we're closing in on the first set of primaries so I guess it's time to at least look at what is happening on the political landscape. My favorite story comes from South Carolina where Jesse Jackson says Barack Obama is "acting too white." Amazing. If someone were to ever save Obama acts too black, there would be riots in the street. But Jesse Jackson can come out and say he's acting too white no one seems to care too much. Leave it to Jackson to continue to inject race into everything. It is Jackson and his posse that really create division in this country.

Hilary is back on her Health Care Crusade. Did she learn nothing from 1992? Every American required to have health insurance. Every employer required to provide health insurance. Such a mandate simply increases the cost of hiring workers, meaning employers will inevitably hire fewer workers. Some may even be forced to layoff current employees in order to meet this mandate of providing cradle-to-grave health insurance for the employee and his family. It is asinine to require a low-level employer to provide health insurance. I understand the sentiment but the cost is insane. If you really want to fix health care, the industry needs more privatization and competition. The government is why health care is so expensive. The inability to compete because of insurers and HMOs is why health care is so expensive. Hilary's plan will decimate health care in this county and ruin several viable businesses. It will never be enacted's just rhetoric.

On the other side of the race, I have no idea. I'm guessing Romney and Guiliani are battling it out for the nomination with McCain nipping at the heels hoping to steal some votes. The Republicans are playing it pretty quiet compared to Hilary's loud mouth and the black-on-black violence occuring against Obama. Ah, campaign season...I really hate it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Upgrade Update

Well, if anyone really cares, here's a quick update on the current computer upgrade at work: CRAZY!! It has been busy. I'm talking late nights, early mornings...all the busy you can take. So far, so good. We're using a virtualization client for all our applications. For the most part, it has worked pretty well. I'm starting to run into some applications that will not virtualize (like Adobe products). I think that is because of activation issues more than anything. Haven't run into too many application issues with Vista yet.

We're increasing bandwidth between the offices because of the extra WAN traffic that will be created from our Document Management centralization. We're going to put in a redundant firewall in another office in case the master would go down. Don't want people to be without their Internet (or e-mail).

The remote access side is moving very slowly. Unfortunately, without all the applications 100% ready, there's no reason to start publishing apps out to the remote access site. So, that will be pushed back to mid-October. We've been adding our current machines to the new domain. Having people in NDS and AD is causing a few complications but not as many as I would have initially guessed.

We have servers galore. I believe we have now purchased 27 or 28 DL380s for this upgrade. That's a lot of $$$. Oh, but the server room looks nice. I'll get pictures on here soon...before and after.

But, that's about it. It's been crazy. But progress is still being made and we're still anticipating rolling this bad boy out in mid-November. If only I live to see it...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Buy, Sell or Hold

An interesting weekend of sports so far...and haven't even seen the NFL kickoff yet. So, let's see what I would buy, sell or hold from what I have seen:

Buy: Noel Devine. Seriously...Devine, Slaton and White may all end up with 1,000 yards rushing this year. Has that ever occurred?
Sell: Morgantown football. Lost to their first NCAC opponent outside of University since 1996. Didn't look like it bothered them much either...
Hold: USC at #1. Wow.
Sell: Louisville as a national title contender. No defense=no chance.
Hold: Kentucky. Don't annoint them as the Blue Grass State great hope. It's still Kentucky football until they win some big games in the SEC.
Buy: East Fairmont football. See Morgantown's loss. The Bees are a 2-point conversion away from being undefeated. Sets up some great showdowns for late in the season.
Buy: Michigan. Stock is low...almost junk bond status. They're going to win some more games and be back in the Big 10 title hunt before all is said and done.
Sell: UCLA. Blown out by Utah? Hmmmm...not #11.
Buy: Florida. They're good...I hate it but they're really, really good.
Hold: Ohio State. Not sure a big victory over Washington gives you national title credibility.

and, lastly,

Sell: Notre Dame. If you had any stock left what-so-ever in the Fighting Irish...for the love of God, get rid of it. They are bad. Very, very bad. Like Temple bad. Even Temple can score a touchdown. And sell Jabba the Weis too if you can find anyone who can fit him out the door...

Friday, September 14, 2007

WVU 31 - MD 14

I was pretty impressed by the Mountaineers last night, I must admit. Once again, it wasn't a huge blowout but the defense played well and WVU played a great second half. USC has made their recent run with strong second half play and that appears the be the emphasis of the WVU coaches. After a close first half, Ralph "The Fridge" Friedgen had no answer for the running attack of Slaton, Devine and Schmitt. Pat White didn't have a great game...only 22 rushing yards and 95 passing yards, but it was enough for a solid victory.

Special teams looked improved...other than a McAfee missed field goal from like the 4 in the first half. Kick coverage looked must better than it did in the first two games. The defense held up, bent at times but never really broke. Once again, the Rodriguez defense will give up first downs and plays but attempts to prevent the big plays. I know it's frustrating but it does look much better than it did against Marshall and WMU.

On a negative note, I was very, very unhappy with the ESPN coverage. There is never any reason to cut away from a game to show Ray Lewis or interview Ray Lewis or anyone for that matter. People have tuned into ESPN to watch a football game...not an impromptu interview with an injured Ravens ex-con. To make matters worse, instead of splitting the screen between Lewis and the game...ESPN decided to split the screen between Lewis and the broadcasting crew. And it was still in the first half when the game was still very much in doubt. I was completely befuddled by the fact that the WWL would allow this to occur. Of course, it shouldn't surprise me too much because ESPN's coverage had progressively gotten worse year after year.

But, back to the good side, WVU looked solid on national television against a quality opponent and, for the 4th consecutive time, beat the Fridge. The rivalry won't resume until 2010, so this is a good note to leave them think about for a few years. And, once again, it shows how far the ACC has fallen in comparison to the Big East. Many thought Maryland could compete for the ACC championship this year (because the ACC is so weak). I hope they win the ACC...that would just be funny.

WVU (3-0) takes on East Carolina and Lou Holtz's son on September 22nd. I'm sure Lou will be frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the matchup. Literally.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Very, Very Funny

Definitely worth the time to watch:

Just because...

Just because this should be posted occassionally...he is the one, the only William Shatner:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Steelers, Favre and more

Steelers looked good. Or Cleveland looked bad. Can't really decide yet. How does Romeo Crennel still have a job? He starts Charlie Frye...and Frye looked horrible. I don't see how this is the best quarterback you have in your stable. How long has it been since the Browns had a good season? They are pathetic.

On a positive note...I will lay off the Browns until the Steelers play them again. The Steelers defense looked pretty tough. And the offense moved well. When Ben gets into a rhythm, he is a good quarterback. Will need to see them against better competition before I make a final judgment.

Since the Steelers game was a blowout, I decided to watch a little of the Eagles/Packers game. But it was nearly unwatchable. The manlove coming from the booth to Brett Favre was sickening. There's 22 players on the field and Favre is the only guy they can talk about. I was waiting for them to offer themselves to him at halftime.

I have previously expressed my disdain for Brett Favre. He once was a great guy and he's still a decent quarterback. But the way he has held the Packers organization hostage over the last several years is sickening. He won't commit to play but if they attempt to look for another quarterback he throws a hissy fit. He publicly denegrates the management without regard for what it really takes to build a team. A good leader is the first thing they need but Favre won't let anyone take ownership of Green Bay over him. He is the most selfish player in football...worse than T.O. because people actually take him seriously.

I guess Brittany Spears made her big comeback last night. Thankfully I didn't watch. From what I saw from highlights...hmmmm...what a trainwreck. I really have nothing more to say about that...

Lastly, General Petraeus will be giving his report on the surge success in Iraq today to Congress. Without hearing a word the General has to say, many are already blasting him. That's funny because several months ago I heard many Democrats say they trusted Petraeus and would decide what they wanted to do in Iraq following his report. As is typical, they fill the report may not further their agenda for defeat so they begin tearing the man down before he can utter a word. How disrespectful can it get? Seriously...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

WVU defeats Marshall, etc.

I know there are a lot of upset Mountaineer fans out there but WVU did beat Marshall 48-23. A 25-point victory isn't necessarily close and 90% of college football fans did not care about this in-state "rivalry" they just see the final score and that's it. As for the 10% who did watch, they watched an amped up Marshall defense stack 7 or 8 in the box every play and stuff the run and pursue screens vigorously. And the WVU offense sputtered until they finally broke out in the second half.

This is two weeks in a row that WVU had trouble in the first half of a game. WMU used a similar defense in the first week of the season and WVU had some issues then. I'm not sure why Rodriguez won't open up the offense and let Pat take more shots down the field. For the second straight week, White has shown a good touch on the ball and he had a couple dropped but, for the most part, I thought his arm looked good. I know Rich is very concerned about not having turnovers but when a defense is committing solely to the short game, you need to take some shots downfield. Maybe he's just waiting until bigger games to open the offense. I just hope there is more to the offense than what we have seen in these first 2 weeks. Slow starts will eventually catch up with you.

In other news, went and saw Morgantown visit Fairmont Senior Friday night. A classic overtime game. Morgantown doesn't look as dominating as they have in the past. Not sure what's going on up that way...

I didn't think Lloyd Carr should be fired last week after Michigan's loss to Appy State. A blowout loss to Oregon has me reevaluating that decision. If they lose to Notre Dame next Saturday, he's done. And, if he does beat ND, it's just a brief reprieve. There's a lot of heat building in Ann Arbor.

Speaking of Notre Dame, I can't begin to express how much I enjoy their struggles. Jabba the Weis was billed as the greatest coach of all-time and most expected him to be competing for a national championship this season. For what I can tell, Notre Dame is just barely clinging to legitimacy. I still think they will start the season 0-8. They have no offense.

South Florida beating Auburn is pretty awesome. And Cincy beating up on Oregon State was nice too. Does Louisville have a defense or are they just setting some traps for later? LSU beat Virginia Tech...which was enjoyable. And Spurrier beat Georgia...which makes you wonder who will be the best in the SEC. Has to be LSU? Maybe Florida? What a conference...

NFL starts today. On a pure emotional level, it can't touch college football. But, it's still good. Pittsburgh visits Cleveland. We finally get to see what Mike Tomlin has up his sleeve for the Steelers. I have no idea what to expect...that's what makes it so interesting...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tiki Barber Needs to Shutup

Tiki Barber has to be the most annoying broadcaster ever and his recent PR stunt attacking the Giants and Coach Tom Coughlin is getting old in a hurry. Barber, who works for NBC, was on the Today Show blaming Tom Coughlin for his early retirement. "Coughlin robbed me of what had been one of the most important thing I had in my life," Barber wrote in his soon to be released memoirs. "If Tom Coughlin had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform."

Of course, since Tiki works for NBC, they are eating this up. Nevermind the fact that Tiki announced he would be retiring mid-season...while the Giants were still in a playoff position. Nevermind the fact that Tiki was the biggest complainer the Giants had and caused more issues with that team than anyone else.

Tiki was upset with Coughlin because Coughlin wouldn't bow down to the delicate genius that is Tiki Barber. Barber believes he knows better than everyone and is probably the most self-consumed and self-indulgent people in all of sports. The fact is that Tiki wanted to quit and people have given him a bad time for being a quitter on a team he's looking for anyone to blame it on to take the heat off his back.

Last today...stayed up last night and watched Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open in straight sets. Roddick is now 1-14 vs. Federer. Roger is unbelievable...Roddick at his best can't compete with Federer. Roddick's defeat means that for the first time since 1989, no American male will reach a Grand Slam final during a calendar year. Not sure what happened to American tennis...but it has a long way to go to catch back up with the world.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Moving an Office

Moving an office is no fun. Trust me. We spend Thursday and Friday moving a 45-person office about two miles...from an old 2-floor building with no elevator to a brand new 3 story building with an elevator. We are, of course, on the 3rd floor.

Moving doesn't sound too bad until you start thinking about the logistics. 45 computers, 45 monitors, 45 desks, shelves, files, printers, copiers, tables, chairs, phones, etc. It's a major, major process. Surprisingly, we knocked it out in two days...2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on day one and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on day two. It was pretty remarkable really.

For the most part, things went pretty smoothly. I had one very irritating exchange with a lady we'll call Bellona...who is Pablo's secretary. We're moving computers on Friday morning and the network is up and running so people can log in once their computers are setup and, I'm working on this and she stops me:

Bellona: "You can hook up Pablo...his desk is here."
Me: "Speaking of Pablo, I haven't seen him here yet to help with the move. He's on the only person I haven't seen the entire move."
Bellona: "Well, Pablo is on vacation."
Me: "How convenient is that?"
Bellona: "Well, you can hook up his computer."
Me: "There are people here waiting for their computer who have helped. Pablo isn't here...he's not a priority. I'll get to it before I leave."
Bellona: "..."

I mean, there are people working in the office who might want to check their e-mail and she's fighting to get Pablo setup and he's not even in the office. That, to me, is absolutely asinine. But, that's me.

Anyway, the move was done by 4:00 p.m. on Friday and I was able to get back in town in time to see East Fairmont lose to University by 1-point. Man, glad I didn't miss that...

Saturday, September 01, 2007


I'm not sure what I'm happiest about...WVU putting up 62 against WMU, Georgia Tech beating Notre Dame or Appalachian State beating Michigan. All of them are pretty awesome...

First, it was a bad day to be from Michigan and play the Mountaineers. I'll start with my third favorite game: Michigan overlooked ASU. I'm sure the 100,000+ in attendance at the Big House overlooked ASU. A D-II Champion? Big deal. Kinda like when WVU lost to Temple. The crowd laughs...never really gets into the game. Yeah, we're down but we'll make the comeback and when. But sometimes that doesn't happen. What does the loss mean? If Lloyd Carr doesn't run the table from here, he's probably lost his job. Michigan is eliminated from national title contention. And the loss will go down as one of the greatest upsets ever. It's a bad day to be a Michigan fan...from #5 to, what should be, unrated in one week. We'll see the voters really throw them out of the Top 25...they should.

Number 2: Jabba the Weis wouldn't reveal his starting quarterback. I guess they thought that would be an ace up their sleeve. Well, it wasn't. Notre Dame managed a whopping 121 total yards in their loss to Georgia Tech. He played two quarterbacks...and both were inept. The running game wasn't there either. And their defense Tashard Choice to put up nearly 200-yards rushing. At Notre Dame Stadium. Do you think Notre Dame fans are happy? The Irish could conceivably start out the season 0-8...they play at Penn State, at Michigan, Michigan State, at Purdue, at UCLA, Boston College and USC. Who knows, Navy could hang in there with them if they continue to play like they did this week. I could wish for an 0-12 season but Duke is on their schedule...

And, of course, Number 1 is West Virginia whipping up on Western Michigan 62-24. Player of the game: Pat White. 10-18 for 192 and 2 touchdown. 9 rushes for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pat White is a field general...amazing. His arm seems greatly improved over last year. Most of his incompletions were good passes...just out of the reach of a receiver or simply dropped. Slaton struggled running early but found his groove...2 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown and 109 yards on 16 rushes and 3 touchdowns.

Defense was improved but the secondary is still a little suspect. A lot of dropped interception opportunities and they still give up too many short passes. The run defense was stout, only giving up 32 yards. I still have major concerns about a better team throwing the ball against us. But it was the first game of the year and they will improve. I think they are better than last year.

I was glad to see Jarrett Brown get some touches in the 4th quarter. He could be the starter most places. Also good to see Devine and Sanders get some reps. I've never seen such a warm reception for a 1-yard run as Devine received. He showed a flash or two of brilliance. We're definitely deep on offense.

Lastly, great crowd at Mountaineer Field today. The stadium was full and most people stayed until the final rifle blast. There were only a few times when the crowd was on an early turnover in the 1st quarter...and the other was towards the end. But, for the most part, the crowd was energetic and into the game...which is a good sign. It should be a great year...can't wait until Maryland. Oh? Oh yeah...I guess there's the game against Cabell County Community College before then...but Maryland is really the next test.

It's GameDay!

An off-season of high expectations and big talk now comes to an end as the 2007 edition of the West Virginia Mountaineers takes the field against Western Michigan today at Mylan Puskar Stadium. A lofty #3 ranking is put on the line against the Broncos...a ranking that is the highest ever preseason ranking for the Mountaineers. Two Heisman hopefuls, BCS aspirations and national title hopes are also risked every time the 2007 Mountaineers take the field.

I'm not sure if I'm looking to this season with hope or dread. Obviously, the hope is that the Mountaineers can navigate through Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and the 9 other teams on the schedule and put together the long-awaited 12-0 season and play against USC or LSU or some other undefeated team in the national title game. But there is that inkling of dread...the high ranking being put on the line every week and the chorus of nay-sayers that will haunt the 'eers and "analysts" waiting for the misstep so they can say "I told you so...".

Regardless, it is time for football and all we can do is look at the foe that visits Morgantown on this weekend. Western Michigan played in a bowl last year and is expected to win their division in the MAC this year. This team is not a pushover like James Madison. A suspect secondary will get tested by sophomore quarterback Tim Hiller. And don't expect the Broncos to rollover and let Slaton and White run non-stop down the field. This is a team that upset Virginia last year and will look to do the same to their cousins to the west this year. Expect a battle because no one is going to lay down for the #3 team in the nation. There is a lot more for Western Michigan to win in this game than WVU and that could make a difference.

At the end of the day, West Virginia has far too many weaspons for Western Michigan. And the rabid Mountaineer fans who have been salivating since the Gator Bowl will make a huge difference in this contest. Expect a close first half but the Mountaineers should pull away in the second half with experience and depth. Mountaineers roll...45-17.