I Hope I'm Wrong: WVU O-Line, Sam Bradford, and Notre Dame

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIIJuly 21, 2009

13 Aug 1997:   A view of Touchdown Jesus at newly renovated Notre Dame Stadium during Media Day in South Bend, Indiana. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman  /Allsport

I hope I’m wrong about the West Virginia offensive line.  The Mountaineers return two starters, center Eric Jobe and right tackle Selvish Capers.  The new guys are mostly sophomores with one junior starting.  Two freshmen are in the two-deep.  Not good.

These neophytes must learn quickly as there is no time for study and, most importantly, no time for mistakes.  East Carolina hits Morgantown for the second game, then WVU travels to Auburn for the third. 

The Pirates have three starters back on their defensive line as well as two of the three linebackers. 

The Tiger defensive ends return to Jordan-Hare along with two linebackers. And, unfortunately, SEC teams always have athletes on the sidelines waiting to get in the game.

I don’t have to stress how important the big guys are to the health and well-being of quarterback Jarrett Brown and running back Noel Devine, much less the pair’s performance.  If I’m wrong, the Mounties have a double-digit win season.  If I’m right…WVU is 1–2 in September.

* * * * *

Sam Bradford didn’t win the Heisman just for being a great kid, which he is.  The guy has size and an accurate cannon for an arm.  He’s a leader, despite his chronically choking happy feet upon feeling pressure from great defenses like 2007 West Virginia and 2008 Florida. 

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It is true the Big XII, as a conference, doesn’t line up much on the other side of the ball.  Hence, the big numbers from Mr. Bradford, Colt McCoy, Zac Robinson, et cetera. They are also not accustomed to linebackers and corners in their faces.

Before Sam takes off for the NFL, he must display his willingness to stay in the pocket, read and throw, producing the same statistics he does when he has a lot of time.  Unfortunately, this is his year to do just that. 

The Sooners return but one tackle to the starting five.  Oh, boy…  So, Sam’s will and physical courage will be put to the test.  I’ve insinuated that he won’t be able to do that.  I hope I’m wrong.

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Notre Dame makes a lot of people angry. 

Name it: the NBC television contract, the enormous fervent fan base, the fans’ general superior attitude, the schedule loaded with éclairs (Purdue, Boston College, Michigan, Washington State, Nevada, Navy, Connecticut, Stanford, Washington), the pope, priests, Roman Catholics in general, Touchdown Jesus, bowl preferential treatment despite the lack of success, Charlie Weis, Urban Meyer, and on and on. 

Despite being inconsistent with regard to my true beliefs, I’ve fallen into this trap.  There is written record of that in my comments to Notre Dame articles.  

Forgive me, all, for I have sinned.  It’s been a few years since my last confession about my affinity for the Fighting Irish.  I’m Irish and I’ve been known to put up a few good fights.  I’m also a practicing Catholic, although I don’t do it well.  The truth is, I like Notre Dame.

Despite all the money available to the school, good times on the gridiron have been scarce.  C'mon, you Golden Dome detractors.  Give the Irish a break!  They've felt enough pain.  Wake up the echoes!  Notre Dame's success is college football's success.

Besides: a) the television market will do what the market will bear, b) I admire Notre Dame fans, c) the Irish has no control over which teams have down years, d) the pope is good, e) there aren’t enough priests, f) I would like to have a fourteen-story touchdown anything in Morgantown (West Virginian Jennifer Garner, perhaps...Touchdown Jennifer!), and g) someday the Fighting Irish will win a BCS bowl game. 

I hope I’m wrong about the things I’ve written about Notre Dame.

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