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Can WVU Football Live Up To The Hype?

Bill Connelly of SBNation.com's preview of the West Virginia Mountaineers' upcoming football season is probably among the most detailed you'll find, and there's tons of interesting stuff about how WVU is adjusting to life under new head coach Dana Holgorsen, and how it might adjust to life in the Big 12. The Mountaineers enter the season with plenty of hype -- the preseason Coaches Poll ranked them No. 11 in the country. Connelly, however, suggests caution, which is probably wise given that WVU's amazing performance in last year's Orange Bowl didn't necessarily reflect how the team played the rest of the season.

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The Football Outsiders Almanac 2012 projects WVU to rank 20th in the country, with a 58 percent chance of going either 8-4 or 9-3. So I'm inclined to set the bar around there. Only, when you instead begin the season ranked 11th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, and some members of the media are giving you Top Five hype, 8-4 would seem quite disappointing, especially with such exciting seniors in Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. I guess I'll set the bar at nine wins and move on.

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The Mountaineers' schedule this year includes Oklahoma, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, so it's a much, much tougher slate than they're used to facing in the Big East.

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For more on WVU football, check out The Smoking Musket.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.