Today I came across several West Virginia fans who are in Baton Rouge for the WVU/LSU game on Saturday.
I asked one of them how many fans do they think will be representing West Virginia in Tiger Stadium on Saturday and to my surprise he said between 10,000-12,000. This is more than the number of tickets opposing teams get and the only other fan base that will bring close to that many fans will be Alabama (Bama traveled strong when they were just an average team).
Then the guy threw in the fact that he is confident West Virginia will win the game.
I didn't want to get on my high horse so I just smiled and wished them good luck. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the guy honestly thought they are going to come into Tiger Stadium tomorrow night and leave with a win.
Then I read an article in The Advocate, which is Baton Rouge's newspaper, in which West Virginia RB Noel Devine said the following, “I think our tempo is faster than their defense, and I think my speed is faster than their defense.”
“I don’t think there is much comparison.” (Making Them Miss, www.2theadvocate.com).
Don't get me wrong, Devine is fun to watch and is one of the better players in college football, but LSU is not Coastal Carolina, Marshall (who they almost lost to), or Maryland.
Last week LSU's defense looked almost perfect and the special team play was not far behind. While I understand it's hard for teams to repeat the same performance from the following week, LSU's defense will not disappoint. Each phase of the defense has a leader that gives the Tigers a shot for something big to happen every play.
Defensive tackle Drake Nevis, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, and cornerback Patrick Peterson are arguably the best in the country at their position and the Tiger defense has much more speed on the line than they did a year ago and since they are able to get to the QB faster, it allows the secondary to make big plays and the last think the opposing team wants is to allow Patrick Peterson to have a chance at making a play because it will usually be a game-changing play.
There is no doubt West Virginia can come in and give these guys fits, but unless something unexpected happens or LSU has a complete breakdown within, there is no way the Mountaineers win the game.
First of all, the Big East is a joke and for it to be a BCS conference is even a bigger joke. Last year West Virginia went to Auburn, who was an average SEC team, and lost. Then they lost to South Florida and Cincinnati. All three of their regular season loses were on the road and while I understand it was last year the fact that they went to Marshall this year and almost lost tells me that this West Virginia team is a completely different team on the road.
This could possibly be the Mountaineers only loss since they will probably be the favorites in the rest of their games, but if it comes down to it I would not be surprised if a 12-0 Boise St. team gets into the national championship ahead of a 11-1 Big East champion which would speak volumes in terms of the lack of respect the college football world has for the Big East.
The line for tomorrow night's game opened up with LSU a seven-point favorite and as of right now some places have the Tigers as high as a 10-point favorite. The fact that there was a lot of money being laid on LSU as a seven-point favorite is a sign that people who know college football have little confidence in West Virginia.
I understand they will more than likely win their conference this year and Devine is fast, but outside of the Big East that means very little. I think the Tigers win and I am going with the score of 24-10. West Virginia might keep it close for two and half quarters, but Tigers will put away in the end and I will be shocked of West Virginia is able to keep the score close in the end.