COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers thows a pass while being pressured by defensive lineman Andre Monroe #93 of the Maryland Terrapins during the second half at Byrd Stadium on September 17, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. West Virginia defeated Maryland 37-31. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The West Virginia Mountaineers were ranked No. 11 in the SB Nation Preseason BlogPoll. What do the Mountaineers have coming back for the 2012 season?
With the college football season still about four months away, polls seem to be something that should not be top of mind at this point in the year. However, the SB Nation BlogPoll has come out with their preseason rankings for 2012. The West Virginia Mountaineers, entering the Big 12 this season after dominating the Clemson Tigers, 70-33 in the Orange Bowl, was ranked No. 11.
The Mountaineers have 15 total starters returning, eight on offense, seven on defense. Among the returning players is quarterback Geno Smith, who threw for 407 yards and six touchdowns against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Also returning for the Mountaineers are wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. While the defense is still largely unknown with the departure of linebacker Najee Goode as well as defensive linemen Bruce Irvin and Julian Miller could be problems for the Mountaineers, the offense could offset any problems there.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions received votes in that poll but did not break into the top 25.