WVU Vs. Syracuse: The Final Tuneup

Frank AhrensSenior Writer IOctober 9, 2008

Probably if Coach Bill Stewart and his WVU team had their druthers, this season would have started with Villanova, Marshall, Rutgers, and Syracuse THEN face East Carolina and Colorado.

Because this team needed as many tuneups as possible. I believe that had that been the schedule this year, the team would be 5-0 heading into the Syracuse game.

As it is, though, the team has improved with each game following East Carolina and is now finding itself. "Itself" may not be a 45-point-scoring, 300-yard-rushing quick-strike team, but, after Saturday’s game, it should be 4-2 heading into the Auburn game, which could turn around the season.

Syracuse may be the worst team in a BCS conference but, as we’ve seen over the past two seasons, no favorite, even at home, is safe. So WVU has been preparing hard all week for Saturday’s game.

I believe WVU will beat Syracuse, and soundly, and then have 13 days to prepare for an Auburn team that has just fired its offensive coordinator because the Tigers wouldn’t take to the spread offense.

We know Auburn has a good defense, but I don’t think it’s so much better than WVU’s defense, and we know Auburn’s offense is (or was) much worse than WVU’s offense, even this version of it.

But that’s getting ahead of matters.

First, dispose of the ‘cuse, and WVU is 4-2 and 2-0 in the Big East. By the end of the day, WVU will be one of only three undefeated teams in the Big East and holds its fate in its hands. (Pitt and UConn both have byes on Saturday.)

As I wrote before, the Auburn game is a win-win. If WVU loses, it has no impact on the Big East. If WVU wins, on ESPN, and if WVU wins, that means Pat White has a good game, then WVU forces itself back into the national consciousness, and likely back into the Top 25