Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogpoll Roundtable 3.2

We were thinking that just about everyone we know has dressed up like a Pirate at one point or another. So we thought that maybe we didn't actually have to show them dressed up like a Pirate to work them into Pirate Week. I mean really, is anyone going to argue that the lovely Janet, here on the left wouldn't look smashing in a Pirate outfit? Yeah, we though so too!

OK, now that you have stopped cursing the day the scarf was invented we can move on to the Blogpoll Roundtable brought to us by Peter over at Burnt Orange Nation. In this roundtable we'll look at some of the stories that are starting to develop around the college football world.

1. Handicap your team's chances to win your conference championship. If your team is not the favorite, who is?

With Louisville's loss to Kentucky, I say we have a great chance to take the Big East. Not that that counts toward their conference record, but the Cardinal defense has been offensive the first three weeks against two lesser opponents and KY. And if they don't fix it soon, I think USF and Rutgers have a good chance of beating Louisville. South Florida has won, but the offense has not been what I was expecting so far. I think the game at South Florida will be a big test, but I also think West Virginia will be at full strength this time around. I have no idea what to think of Rutgers until they play someone, but they haven't beaten WVU since I was in high school, so I like our chances. And Cincinnati is making some people take notice this year. Will they still be as strong at the end of the year?

The Big East is a young conference, so I can do a little math without digging too deep. West Virginia is 1-1 against USF and UL, and 13-2 against Cincinnati and 28-4-2 against Rutgers. Soooooo, (.5+.5+.86+.82)/4= 67% chance we win.

2. Outline the (realistic) best case and worst case scenarios for your team.

Best case scenario for West Virginia would be that they would be the only undefeated team in the country at the end of the year. Otherwise, I do believe a one loss SEC/Pac 10 team would get the nod in a championship game. And yeah, the defense would miraculously turn it around and become a strength.

Worst Case would be that we lose to Rutgers, South Florida, and Louisville and play Western Michigan in a bowl game. Seriously, if Slaton or White were to get injured, I think we have the backups to keep the offense moving. But if we have a bunch of injuries on the defensive line, we are screwed.

3. We're only three games in to the season, but teams and storylines are starting to take shape. Compare your team to a character or theme from a fable or children's tale.

Hmmmm, Fables of the Reconstruction by REM comes to mind. Sorry, but I can't help it. The defense has been under construction for two years now. I liken it to the San Diego Charger teams of the 80's that had all the firepower on offense and no defense. It was only good enough to get them to the AFC championship game, but never the Super Bowl (I know the Chargers went in 94, I'm just talking about the 80's). And that is where WVU is going to be until they become a complete team with a formidable defense.

4. Imagine you're the coach of your team. Give three specific changes you'd implement immediately which you think would have the biggest impact on improving the team.

I'm purposely not going to talk about the defense here.

1) Option off of Owen Schmitt on first down. Everyone is so keyed in on Slaton that it almost hurts to see him get bottled up on first downs that go for nothing.

2) Crossing paterns! I know they exist, I see other teams use them against us. NO MORE WR SCREENS. Well, I'll limit the wr screens to two per game, but that's it!

3) No more directional kicking on kickoffs. I think WV leads the nation in kicking off out of bounds. Kick it to one of the up backs and be done with it.

5. USC, LSU/Florida, and Oklahoma have established themselves as the frontrunners in the early going. Which other team or teams are you eyeballing as potential BCS party crashers?

I like Oregon or Cal from the Pac 10. Maybe Ohio St. Possibly BC. WVU and Rutgers as well. A lot of strange things would have to happen for any of the above, but this is college football we are talking about.


Option Spread said...

Ah, but if you were to discuss changes on the defensive side of the ball... the Bastards have been quite critical of the 3-3-5. While we haven't written any posts on the subject yet, we're becoming big proponents of a switch to a 3-4.

John Radcliff said...

With the "speed" of our linebacking corp I would say that is what you would want. What's Steve Dunlap doing these days?

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the trend for the D continues upward from a darn good job at UMd.

Meanwhile, it doesn't even need to be a crossing route, just more forward passes period!