The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 8, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN - For now, WVU just an average Big East team

MORGANTOWN — The conversation was being carried on in the car while driving toward Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday morning, just as it was being heard in cars all across the state of West Virginia as they headed to the football Mecca that is Morgantown.

Hoppy Kercheval's point was, quite simply, that West Virginia had fallen into being a middle-of-the-pack Big East team, which was being taken by his companions as something of a failing of faith on Kercheval’s part.

It is difficult to believe any person sound of mind and breathing earth’s own air could argue with such an assessment, but it would not be very good radio if the point weren’t argued at all and it wouldn’t be the old gold and blue allegiance between radio station and its bread and butter client, WVU, if they just let that pass as the gospel.

Now, if a rational — if somewhat warped — mind can present a point of view on that matter today, it really can be settled quite logically.

1. The Big East football conference has eight teams. No argument.

2. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are the top two teams, both ranked, both unbeaten in conference play. No argument.

3. Louisville and Syracuse are the bottom two teams, neither having won a Big East game. No argument.

4. The four teams in between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh at the top and Louisville and Syracuse at the bottom would be the middle of the pack in the Big East — West Virginia, South Florida, Rutgers and Connecticut.

Do I hear any argument?

You didn’t need to see South Florida dismantle West Virginia a week ago or Louisville battle them to the wire on Saturday to figure out the Mountaineers can be ranked nowhere but in the middle of the Big East Conference … at least until they do something to prove differently.

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Bob Herzel
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