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West Virginia Mountaineers 2011 Profile
What more could you ask for as a new Head Coach than to be given the team with the far and away best talent in a conference. The immediate problem that is was not built upon as the 2011 recruiting cycle brought a #47 national class.
That will need to change in 2012 as the recruiting trends are starting to decline (see the bottom of the page). Wins usually are close to follow.
This team was just of one a few that I modeled for 11-1 with no schedule or coaching adjustment. On a neutral field and average coaching, that would be the projected record. LSU, having only lost to 3 teams in 4 years that they out recruit, will beat the Mountaineers. Outside of that, the only threats are at Maryland (new coach) and at Rutgers (coming off a horrible year) and the new coaching staff. I expect 8 wins at the least for WVU and 11 with the breaks.
West Virginia Recruiting Rank Links:
West Virginia Schedule and SOS/EOS Breakdown
There is questions that the Mountaineers are the most talented team in the Big East. The #2 toughest SOS and they still have the #1 ranked EOS (ease of schedule, SOS in relation to talent). This is a prime indicator that anything less than a Big East title is a failed season.
OOC games are very interesting. WVU was very aggressive and it may cost them. For non-Mountaineers fans, like me, I am looking forward to LSU and Maryland meeting up with West Virginia. But those games may be 1 or 2 losses to prevent a perfect season. Lots of football to play, but not many teams ever model close to 11 or even 12 wins.
Once OOC games are done it gets a bit easier. No other team is as tough as Maryland or LSU for the Mountaineers. The only real challenge is Rutgers and the rest are predicted wins. 7-1 in the Big East and a conference title going to the Orange Bowl is the minimum!
Links to other Mountaineers stats, trends, and articles
West Virginia Win/Recruiting Trend Chart
Thanks to @mtneerndixie for being a good sport even when I rip the Big East for being so soft.