We Must Ignite This Couch Articles

2012-2013 WVU Football Season Predictions

By Jude
2012/09/05

Well, it happened again.

Last year's season predictions, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, and with the full understanding that Couchers haven't exactly looked back fondly on their predictions of undefeated season after undefeated season after undefeated season, after undefeated season (at least we mixed in one season where the worst we could imagine was one loss), featured predictions for a season that ranged from undefeated to the unimaginable outcome of losing 2 games.

We take our roles as homers very seriously.

So it is that once again, we find ourselves at the start of the football season, and the need for our prognostication is at a fever pitch.

(Ideally, shouldn't these predictions have come before WVU's first game? Details, details. But if you honestly thought that anyone on this site would predict anything less than the outright slaughter of Marshall, you are probably a spammer trying to find the comments section to sell us some boner pills, anyway.)

Remember folks. Don't just take these things with a grain of salt. Get the whole shaker.




The ride is usually a little bumpier than we expect, folks.


Dan

I’ve gone on record with lofty, unreasonable, season predictions in the past. I’ve unfairly eschewed our recent history while squinting through my blue & gold glasses as I’ve picked double-digit win season after season.

West Virginia hasn’t gone unscathed in their conference play since Pat White was under center as a redshirt freshman in 2005. And this was in the BIG EAST which gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield at an Aretha Franklin concert. So I must’ve learned from my past mistakes, right? My prognosticating skills surely have improved given the letdowns my previous predictions have provided me, right?

Nope, not this year! Sure, WVU is in new conference territory, facing new foes in new hostile environments. No matter, this is a different coach. A different offense. A different team. A different program even.

Holgerson and the boys will finish 11-1 with their lone loss at conference foe and lesser opponent Iowa State on 11/24. Hey, the more things change, the more things stay the same, right?


PB

This is the toughest season ever to predict and we are finally going to answer the question that has repeatedly been asked over the past decade: How would a Big East team fare in a real conference? The thing is, WVU hasn't been a Big East team for a long time, which is why we are always at or near the top. And with our current coaching staff and offense, we certainly more closely resemble an Oklahoma State than Pitt.

All that being said, I foresee a 9-3 season. I feel like we are as good as any team in the league, however I am buying into the dramatic increase in strength of schedule. I have no idea who the 3 loses will be, and I think those losses will come in games we are favored in. Still, 9 wins will be more than respectable for our first year in a for-real conference, and it will be fun watching records fall every week. Also, 9-3 might still be good enough to get to another BCS game as none of the Big 12 teams stand above the rest.


Dusty

Mountaineers go 10-2 with losses against Texas in an ugly game that we should have won, and a late loss to Oklahoma at home in a battle of Top 5 teams.

WVU places second in the Big 12 and earns an at large BCS berth.


Banjoman

10-2. Losses at Texas (despite the fact that we'll be geeked to play there) and at home to Oklahoma.

The defense will be better than people think despite the loss of Casteel, and will eventually gel.




With all these predictions of a loss in Austin, apparently we all need to get the Mountaineers some t-shirts with this logo.


Jude

One good thing about beating the everloving dogshit out of a conference champion in a BCS Bowl is that for the remainder of the offseason, it erases the memory of everything that came before it.

70-33 became a rallying cry, an internet joke, a score printed on thousands of WVU t-shirts flying off the shelves.

And it certainly had an impact on voters in both polls, who bumped the Mountaineers from #23 in the rankings to #17, then up to #11 in this year's preseason rankings, and now to #9 after blowing out Marshall Clemson-style in the first game of the 2012-2013 season.

But while Mountaineer fans bask in the glow of WVU's 69.5 points per game in the 2012 calendar year, it's easy to forget that the Mountaineers had to win out their regular season (and get some help along the way) just to make it to the Orange Bowl last year, and they won their final 3 Big East games by a combined 7 points despite playing competition that wasn't exactly SEC caliber.

So while I certainly understand how people might consider the Mountaineers to be an unstoppable juggernaut (even Mark May has WVU in his top 5 at this point), I do think a healthy dose of "Hold on folks" is in order. ESPECIALLY considering that in their inaugural season in the Big 12, the Mountaineers will be facing a level of competition on a week-to-week basis they've never seen before.

As always, let's go pros and cons.


Pros

- Conveniently, if ever there was a year for WVU to be making this transition, this is the year. Senior leadership at QB, RB, WR, and O-line, and some youth sprinkled in with veterans on the defense. Young, up-and-coming offensive mind capable of diagramming some crazy mess these Big 12 fools haven't ever seen before.

If this was next season and the Mountaineers were going into their first year in a new, far superior conference, with a first-year starter at QB and question marks all over the field, this would be a very different tone of a preview article. As is, if anyone should be prepared, they should.

- Geno Smith is set to be the most prolific QB in Mountaineer history with an insane arsenal at his disposal in Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, etc. His near-perfect game against Marshall should be put on film and preserved for anyone that ever wants to see the quarterback position played as well as it can be played. If he keeps this up, WVU has a legitimate Heisman contender.

- Shawne Alston looks like he might be the real deal at running back, trucking over fools like the second coming of Quincy Wilson. Andrew Buie is a more-than-capable back who has his own burst as well. If the Mountaineers can achieve balance in play calling at the same time a full air raid is in effect, this could be the best offense in school history.

- The offensive line should be VASTLY improved over last season, when it looked like a jailbreak nearly every time Geno dropped back to pass. The return of Josh Jenkins at the left guard spot allows Quintin Spain to move to a natural left tackle position and shores up a line that desperately missed him last season.

If the first game against Marshall was any indication, what was a weakness last year should be one of the strengths of the team this year.

- While the d-line will surely miss Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin, who were single-handedly responsible for over half of the team's sack production last year, they should also be a little more stout against the run than last year. While Irvin is an all-world pass rusher, he could also be a liability in the run game.

- While some view the departure of Jeff Casteel as something that I should be putting in the "Cons" category, I don't. There was apparently a decent amount of friction last year between the holdovers from the Stew era on the defensive side of the ball and the new regime under Dana Holgorsen. That division is gone, and the team has one cohesive message at all times this year.

Combine this with the fact that quite honestly, the 3-3-5 is a gimmick defense that got by on smoke and mirrors in much the same way that John Beilein's 1-3-1 defense was in basketball. Spit all the statistics that you want at me about WVU's national defensive ranks in the last few seasons. It won't change the fact that teams moved the ball against the Mountaineers at will for 8 years and even the vaunted defenses of the past few seasons gave up 49 points to SYRACUSE, 39 points to Louisville, 31 points to a Maryland team that won 2 games last year, and 23 points to NC State in the bowl game in 2010 where our defense was allegedly the strength of the team.

Those teams ain't exactly Oklahoma and Texas, folks.

Obviously the defense had its issues on Saturday, but give them time to gel under new defensive coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson.


Cons

- WVU generated little to no pressure on the Thundering Herd on Saturday, which exposed the secondary as being the held-together-with-tape-and-glue unit it is. With Big 12 offenses on the horizon, the pass defense needs to improve drastically or WVU is going to need every bit of the 69.5 points per game they're averaging in 2012.

- The defense is young, too, starting a true freshman (phenom though he may be) at free safety in Korey Joseph and a redshirt freshman at linebacker in Isaiah Bruce. As many as 8 true freshmen could see the field at some point this season. Hopefully that says more about the quality of defensive recruiting than it does the depth issues that the Mountaineers may have.

- Special teams are still terrible. A missed extra point and a blocked punt were the only two really embarrassing moments against the Herd on Saturday, and the Mountaineers have to do something to shore up those units. Kick coverage was good, but special teams have been a concern for the Mountaineers for at least 5 years now, and we can only hope that first-game jitters were responsible for the mistakes so far.

- Overconfidence and hubris. All offseason, Mountaineer players have been hearing how unstoppable they are, how highly ranked they are, hearing words like "Heisman contender" for 2 players and being predicted to win the Big 12 in their first year of entry into the league.

They seemed to have their heads screwed on straight against Marshall, but little things like going for a TD on 4th and 3 from the 3-yard line when you're already up by 13 (and then running a how-could-you-think-that-was-going-to-work QB sneak) embolden the opposing team and could eventually come back to bite the Mountaineers.




The Mountaineers might be a tad overconfident going into the season.



So all that said, here's my game-by-game breakdown.

Marshall- W 69-34

Man, this prediction stuff is much easier if you just wait until after the games happen.

James Madison- W 54-24

An unfamiliar environment at FedEx Field shouldn't deter the Mountaineer attack.

Maryland- W 48-17

This team is horrible. Remember when these games were competitive? That was fun.

Baylor- W 30-21

Things start to get a little more interesting for WVU as they enter their first-ever Big 12 regular season. I'm just glad this game is in Morgantown.

at Texas- L 38-35

While Texas wasn't up to par last season, it's hard to believe they're going to have two down years in a row, and the Moutaineers' first ever trip to Austin could be asking too much for a young defense to handle.

at Texas Tech- W 42-17

There won't be many easy games in the Big 12, but this should be one of them.

Kansas State- W 45-38

And thus beginneth WVU's slate of shootouts. Hopefully we're on the right side of this one.

TCU- 55-45

Another barn-burner in Morgantown. WVU's going to need everything they can get out of that offense. Fortunately, they'll have a week off after the KSU game to get ready.

at Oklahoma State- L 53-48

The Mountaineers' young defense will have to hold up to be able to slow down Oklahoma State. I don't think they get it done.

Oklahoma- W 38-35

Another high scoring affair in Morgantown, WVU finds just enough to move past the Sooners in their first ever visit to Touchdown City.

(An important sidebar is going to be what happens if the Sooners are #1 when they roll into town and lose to the Mountaineers? Does that warrant a couch-burning? The Couchburning Committee may have to convene to consider the matter beforehand.)

at Iowa State- W 24-21

Closer than anyone thinks it will be after the Mountaineers are exhausted following the Oklahoma game on Saturday night, then fly out to Iowa State for a game on Friday night.

Kansas- W 35-28

WVU closes out their inaugural Big 12 season with a win at home against a surprisingly frisky Jayhawk team.


Final record- 10-2, appearance as an at-large in a BCS game.


Enjoy the season everyone.


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Poster Thread
msaul37
Posted: 9/9/2012 1:06 pm  Updated: 9/9/2012 1:06 pm
Joined: 7/27/2006
From: Alkol, Lincoln County
Posts: 24643
 Re: 2012-2013 WVU Football Season Predictions
i think the texas, oklahoma, kansas state, and tcu games will be the closer ones. i know iowa state is the 'trendy' pick for an upset over us.. but we'll be preparing for that. hopefully. i think we have a plan to beat osu now. hire back our former coaches for that game.
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