WVU Football: Is the Hype and Expectation a Bit Too Much and Too High?

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIAugust 10, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  (L-R) Head coach Dana Holgorsen and Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrate after they won 70-33 against the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The West Virginia University football team has gotten a lot of preseason praise since the well-documented 70-33 win over the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl.

Since, WVU has been a team to watch out for as it enters the Big 12 Conference. 

Are the Mountaineers worth the hype?  Well, their history in BCS games says yes.  West Virginia is 3-0 in BCS games, including the Orange Bowl victory over Clemson, a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia in 2005 and a Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2007.

However, some do not remember WVU losing to the Syracuse Orange and Louisville Cardinals last season.  It wasn't the most consistent season for the Mountaineers—a team who barely survived beating South Florida and Pittsburgh.

The USA Today Coaches Poll showed the Mountaineers at the No. 11 ranking.  In the ESPN.com's Preseason Power Rankings, West Virginia was No. 9

The ranking is right where it should be, but those who think the Mountaineers will roll to the Big 12 Championship are sadly mistaken.  WVU has to prove to be a more consistent factor.  In that, it must show up each week ready to play and handle the teams it is expected to.

Marshall, James Madison and Maryland must be games the Mountaineers win big.  They need to show the country that the preseason ranking was well-deserved.  These wins should be blowouts and have the clear goal to send a message to the rest of the playing field. 

There's no doubt that the offense is ready to go.  However, the naysayers continue to bring up the defensive and special teams units.  Well, some of them have a point. 

While WVU had an offense that averaged 37 points per game, the defense gave up 49 points to a Syracuse team that had one conference win. 

So, with such a season-ending high note of the Orange Bowl win, is the hype and expectations coming off of one game? 

It certainly may be so, but for the Mountaineers to have success in a top-tier conference, they will need to beat the teams they are expected to and not take anyone lightly. 

Iowa State has proven it has been more than capable of an upset at home.  West Virginia travels to Ames this season, and that could be a dangerous game if WVU doesn't consider the Cyclones a worthy team. 

So, the question remains if WVU's preseason rankings are a bit too hyped up.  Will the Mountaineers live up to the expectations?  Time will tell starting Sept. 1.