Top 25 teams and games No. 6 West Virginia
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 9:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 9:30 p.m.
TEAM NO. 6 — WEST VIRGINIA
The buzz: The 2007 regular season couldn't have ended any worse for the Mountaineers, who were upset by Pittsburgh (losing a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game) and then lost popular coach Rich Rodriguez, who bolted for Michigan. But WVU turned everything around with a blowout victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl under new head coach Bill Stewart, and the Mountaineers are loading up for another possible title run in 2008, led by one of the nation's most explosive offenses.
Difference-maker: Heisman candidate Pat White is a rare talent — a quarterback who can take it the distance (with his legs) from anywhere on the field. He is one of college football's most dangerous offensive weapons, and the Mountaineers are almost impossible to stop when he gets it cranked up.
The upside: The Mountaineers have great skill and speed on offense, led by White and sophomore tailback Noel Devine, who like White, is a home-run hitter. And White and Devine will be operating behind one of the nation's best offensive lines. WVU also has lots of overall speed on defense.
The downside: White has lacked consistency as a passer and the Mountaineers have had problems when good defensive teams have forced them into passing situations. WVU also must replaced three of four starters on the defensive line.
Schedule factor: WVU gets a good early road test at Colorado. The most hyped game of the season will be when Auburn comes to Morgantown on Oct. 23, but the most important games come at the end, against Big East conference foes Louisville, Pittsburgh and South Florida.
GAME NO. 6 — TEXAS AT KANSAS
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan.
When: Nov. 15.
Why it's sexy: In the past, this match-up would have been written off as a certain Texas blowout. After Kansas' amazing emergence last season (12-1), this game becomes one of the nation's biggest late in the season., one that could have possible national championship implications.
Preseason buzz: The Jayhawks were the feel-good story of college football last season and KU has one of the nation's best players in quarterback Todd Reesing, who could make a strong run at the Heisman. The Longhorns, of course, are loaded with talent and have a big-time quarterback of their own in Colt McCoy.
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