West Virginia was the quintessential Jekyll and Hyde program last season.
After slipping past Maryland in Week 3, West Virginia was on the receiving end of a old-fashioned SEC beatdown at the hands of LSU in Week 4.
The Mountaineers then took out some frustration on Bowling Green State from the MAC and conference foe Connecticut before completely laying an egg against Syracuse—which finished with a 1-6 Big East record, by the way.
West Virginia also lost to Louisville, and finished with a 9-3 regular season record, and a 5-2 Big East mark. That meant West Virginia shared the Big East crown with two other programs, and only received an Orange Bowl berth by virtue of a slight edge in rankings.
Then, West Virginia responded to all the naysayers by absolutely demolishing a highly-touted Clemson team.
So how on Earth are we supposed to figure out what Dana Holgorsen's squad is going to do for an encore?
About the only thing we can go on is history.
History tells us that West Virginia has constantly good finishes, but has had trouble sustaining that success over the course of an entire season. For instance, West Virginia has now lost to a pretty bad Syracuse program two years running. Before that, it was South Florida and Cincinnati that derailed a possible BCS run for the Mountaineers.
So while we applaud West Virginia's move to the Big 12, and the Mountaineers are clearly stepping up in class from the likes of the Big East, it's that added level of difficulty that gives up pause about West Virginia's chances to blow through the Big 12.
Dana Holgorsen will certainly feel comfortable picking apart Big 12 defenses—something he has experience in doing—and senior quarterback Geno Smith will have all of his favorite targets back for 2012.
But WVU's lack of week-in, week-out consistency is reason enough to believe the Mountaineers will be just one of several teams to crumble under pressure in 2012.