While Arkansas, Oklahoma State and others saw their nightmares come true in Week 2, West Virginia sat idly by, unharmed by the treacherous weekend.
Early last week, as WVU's first bye weekend approached, head coach Dana Holgorsen voiced his discontent for having a week off at what he thought was an inopportune time.
Bye weeks are typically used to make some extra game preparations for big opponents, provide time for injured players to regain their health and make improvements after accumulating few games worth of film to study—all tasks that are more imperative late in the season.
Holgorsen expressed these feelings during a teleconference last Monday (via Cam Huffman, Register-Herald).
I don’t think it’s ideal, Holgorsen said during Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. You’re going to have a couple of off weeks regardless of where you put them. We’ll have to make some corrections by playing against each other, but I think it’s a little easier to make corrections when you’re playing against somebody else. But there’s nothing we can do about the off week.
However, after all of the frightening injuries and eyebrow-raising upsets of this weekend, Holgorsen has to be at least a little bit glad his team wasn't part of the tumultuous weekend in college football.
In what was the scariest moment the weekend, Tulane safety Devon Walker collided with a teammate while making a tackle against Tulsa, fracturing his spine. He is in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon, and will undergo surgery over the coming days (via Associated Press, ESPN.com).
We certainly hope for the best in his recovery.
In an eerily similar play, Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel was carted off the field after a collision and suffered what was simply described as an "injury above the shoulders," (via Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com).
In the game, quarterback Tyler Wilson also went down with a severe concussion (via Lisa Cornwell, SECPressPass.com) and didn't return—and the injury bug even spread across to Texas.
During Texas A&M's SEC debut against Florida, it seemed like a different Gator went down with an injury on every third play, and it was clear that these players weren't faking injuries to hurt the Aggie tempo.
Among the injuries were starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins and running back Mike Gillislee. Jason Leisler of The Palm Beach Post even speculated that Jenkins will miss significant time.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers were in the clear, allowing more time for running back Dustin Garrison, linebacker Jewone Snow and others to regain some health as the Big 12 season approaches. Additionally, WVU avoided a season-tarnishing upset that plagued multiple teams around the country.
For Arkansas, the case was just the opposite. On top of the injuries, the Razorbacks fell victim to the most surprising upset of the week, as they were sunk in overtime by Louisiana-Monroe. This dropped them from No. 8 all the way out of the Week 3 rankings.
This allowed South Carolina to slide up to No. 8, giving WVU sole possession of the No. 9 slot in the Associated Press poll.
Wisconsin, Nebraska and Oklahoma State all suffered a fate similar to that of Arkansas.
Wisconsin was upset by Oregon State after its second lackluster performance this season. Nebraska regressed from an impressive offensive performance in Week 1, as they were defeated by UCLA. Finally, in a late-night game, Arizona dropped Oklahoma State in a shootout.
All three teams were left out of the most recent AP poll.
Just hours before OSU's defeat, Kansas became the first Big 12 team to record a loss in 2012, falling 25-24 on a last-minute field goal to Rice.
Meanwhile, WVU sat back and watched this chaos ensue, quietly becoming the highest-ranked team to only play one game.
Originally, the Mountaineers were scheduled to play Florida State, a team ranked No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 2 in scoring offense and defense.
A win over the Seminoles would have been huge, but a loss would have all but crushed WVU's title hopes.
So, instead, West Virginia sits happy and healthy in the top 10 of the polls with the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation, ready to begin its climb to the top.
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