July 25, 2006

Mountaineers look for Big East title, again

After winning at least a share of the Big East Championship the last three seasons, the pre-season media poll finally came around to picking West Virginia first in the conference. With one of the nation's most exciting backfield tandems returning in Pat White and Steve Slaton, could this be the year WVU makes a run at a National Championship? Vernon Bailey of WV Sports.com breaks down the 'Eers.

2006 Preview: West Virginia hasn't been more hyped in the preseason mags since the 2004 club went ka-plunk and bowed out of the BCS bowl hunt. It is unlikely that will happen again.

Rich Rodriguez and the majority of his staff have been doing this longer in the Big East (six seasons) than any other group. He has been playing with his guys for the last two seasons. They have developed the "hard edge" he looks for.

The uniqueness of the 2005 season was that WVU finished games like never before. It took the Mountaineers several games to get the right formula on the field. But when they did in the fourth quarter of the Louisville game, they never lost again. Steve Slaton, potentially the best running back in the history of the school, Pat White, in reality a second-tailback who takes carries (and pounding) away from Slaton, athletic multi-purpose back Owen Schmitt and three offensive linemen who will see NFL camps in the future are the core of the offense.

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