After Saturday’s loss to a Kansas team that hasn’t won a Big 12 Conference game against a current league member, I thought about which direction this West Virginia football team could go from here on out.
I still don’t have a clear answer, and I don’t think any fan, member of the media or common viewer does.
It’s safe to say West Virginia has officially hit rock bottom. Mountaineers’ head coach Dana Holgorsen doesn’t know what happened, either. Can it be that WVU is now similar to a Kansas-type team and has become more of a doormat member than a competitive one?
That could very well be the case, at least for a while. It will take time for WVU to be competitive in this league.
I’m not saying WVU won’t make games interesting, but after this season-defining loss, and the last two seasons in general, West Virginia has a lot to answer for. Something has to change since WVU lost to a team that failed to score more than 19 points in a conference game all season.
Time to panic? I’d say so. While the Mountaineers have certainly had their struggles in the 2013 season, the two teams that were expected to be guaranteed wins for Holgorsen’s squad were Iowa State and Kansas.
From what I saw out of coaches and player interviews after Saturday’s loss, there was an array of emotions. While some players were in near tears, others appeared to not take the loss as poorly.
From my perspective, I just haven’t seen this team on the same page this whole season. Miscommunication on the field is evident, and the reaction to adversity from coaches and players hasn’t been the best this season.
For the 2014 season, there will still be depth at the running back position, but the quarterback scenario continues to remain a mystery.
Did 2013 season live up to its bill as a rebuilding season? Yes, very much so, but the standard and expectation in Morgantown should always be a bowl game. Even if WVU did finish the 2013 season 6-6, that particular result wouldn’t have been too bad for this team still looking to find their identity with only one game remaining against Iowa State Nov. 30.
Since then-No. 8 West Virginia defeated then-No. 11 Texas in Austin in the 2012 season, Holgorsen and his team have gone just 6-13. Since Holgorsen has taken the helm as head coach of WVU, the Mountaineers are 21-16.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m aware of how difficult Big 12 competition is week in and week out. If one team isn’t prepared, they will flat out get a beating like WVU received at the hands of KU Saturday.
There is and always should be a standard. WVU shouldn’t get embarrassed by a team like Syracuse in a bowl game and shouldn’t lose to a team that was, and maybe still is, considered the joke of Big 12 football.
Coming into Saturday’s game, KU ranked last in the league in 10 categories including: third down conversion percentage, fourth down conversion percentage, blocked punts allowed, completion percentage, first downs, passing offense, red zone offense, scoring offense, pass efficiency and total offense.
That team defeated West Virginia Saturday afternoon. Not to discredit the Jayhawks, but the Mountaineers got embarrassed by a team that was supposed to be far inferior.
It was good for Kansas, but for West Virginia it was rock bottom.
I am curious to know if West Virginia is starting to fulfill the role of the league’s doormat. It may have officially come to that.