BIG Picks

BIG Picks

Like the Mountaineers, our pickers are reeling. Does redemption await with this week's selections?

PICKIN' AND GRINNIN'

Chris certainly wasn't happy about picking K-ate to win, but the selection moved him into sole possession of the lead. Greg was the only other panelist to predict a Wildcat win -- a prognostication that moved him into second place in the standings.


NOSE PICKING

Everyone else? Even yuckier than WVU's performance. All of the losers had bigger misses than West Virginia's margin of defeat. Like West Virginia's defense, we're heading for point margins of biblical proportions.


Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 61 Pt Diff: 298
West Virginia got an open week at the best possible time after back-to-back thrashings at the hands of Texas Tech and Kansas State, respectively. Open weeks allow coaches to hone in on self-scouting, re-visit key teaching points, and spend the weekend recruiting.

TCU comes to Morgantown in a similar postion to WVU. The Horned Frogs racked up a ton of wins and prestige in a lesser conference (or three or four...hard to keep track of these guys) over the last several years, but have since found the Big XII a little bit tougher.

Really not sure what to expect for this one, but the Mountaineers have the best player on the field in Geno Smith (despite his relatively pedestrian numbers his past two times out). I'll take West Virginia in a much-needed bounce back win.

Pick: West Virginia 35-31
 
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 5-2 Pt Diff: 225
WVU badly needs to stop the slide and right its confidence level, both of those within the program and outside it. A week off to rest and refocus should help the Mountaineers, but a couple big plays early against TCU will help even more. WVU's defense is probably going to struggle all season, but it's hard to believe WVU's offense won't bounce back with a strong showing.
Pick: West Virginia 45-41
 
Brian Jolliff Last Week: L Season: 5-2 Pt Diff: 258
What a rough three weeks it has been for the WVU football team, coaches and fans. And this weekend's game is no easy pick as to what direction we all may be taking. I somehow get the feeling that this is a pivotal game in the season... not just from a win/loss standpoint, but something that could have reverberating effects through the coming months. I still have faith in this team, shaken as it is. And I still have faith in the Mountaineer offense, as unproductive as it has been the last two games. No need to dive into the numbers, schemes, game plans or any other quantitative analysis to predict the outcome of this match-up. It's all down to heart. Does this team have the drive to gain back what it has seemingly lost?
Pick: West Virginia 35-31
 
Matt Keller Last Week: L Season: 5-2 Pt Diff: 269
The tell-all game is upon us. West Virginia comes off a bye week, is at home and faces a beat-up TCU team with a similar talent level. If the Mountsineers lay down again this week, they'll stay there the rest of the season.

The gun's been jumped a bit with losses to a pair of top 20 teams, and WVU can easily begin to right the ship and finish solidly. But it's put-up or shut-up. With difficult games looming at Oklahoma State and vs Oklahoma, this is a must-win if West Virginia wants to remotely approach a solid season. Show me something.

Pick: West Virginia 31-30
 
Jane Donovan Last Week: L Season: 5-2 Pt Diff: 280
Bog questions forSaturday's game: Will Shawne Alston play, and will he return to JMU game form? How much will the tweaks to the defense help?

Geno, Geno, Geno: Will he remember that RG3 won the Heisman on a three-loss team and realize he's still in the hunt and play ccordingly.? How soggy will the field be? Cand can we really trust the sun to come out after Frankenstorm week?

Call me (maybe) a homer, -- I will own that -- but I believe the Mountaineers will come out hungry, determined and on top.

Pick: West Virginia 42-35
 
Patrick Southern Last Week: L Season: 4-3 Pt Diff: 217
Does anyone know what to expect from West Virginia this week? Because I honestly don't. It's not that the Mountaineers lost two games, or even that they lost back-to-back games. Either of those scenarios wouldn't have stunned me when the season began. But losing in absolute blowouts? Having consecutive games where the offense was average at best?

Still, if WVU has any hopes of seriously competing to finish near the top of the Big 12 down the stretch, it must win this game. TCU's own coach, Gary Patterson, has called his team "tired" in the past few days.

This game, like so many others, will be won or lost up front. TCU's defensive ends, Stansly Maponga and Devonte Fields, are the best WVU will face this season outside of Texas' Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. If West Virginia can pass protect and run effectively, it should win. If it can't do those things, who knows?

Pick: West Virginia 38-35
 
Andy Easton Last Week: L Season: 4-3 Pt Diff: 226
I have analyzed each team's stats and studied each team's game performances this season. I have scrutinized the coaching staffs and home/away records. I have reviewed each team's personnel and heard prognosticators evaluations of this game; I have come to one conclusion. I have no idea who will win this contest and there's isn't anyone that could know for sure.

WVU's offense has the potential to score a ton of points or fall flat on its face. The Mountaineer defense has had its moments but for the most part makes average throwing quarterbacks look like Joe Montana.

TCU's defense has looked very solid at times but has also allowed a ton of points to average teams. The Horned Frog offense has looked spectacular at times, and at other times has failed to produce.

With those four squads being unknowns the game may come down to special teams -- and my money is on Tavon Austin.

Pick: West Virginia 31-30
 
Tony Dobies Last Week: L Season: 4-3 Pt Diff: 242
West Virginia has not lost three straight games during the regular season since 2003 - it's only happened four times since the 2001 season (and twice were during that year). The Mountaineers just haven't had to face this much adversity in recent memory, and when it has, it has found a way to win. The Mountaineers are simply as talented as TCU, but they must find a way to fix the leaks that were caused from losses at Texas Tech and to Kansas State. All is not lost for WVU just yet. The team is led by a once-Heisman leading quarterback Geno Smith, remember? He will be the difference.
Pick: West Virginia 41-38
 
Bill Gleason Last Week: L Season: 4-3 Pt Diff: 243
Everyone can see that WVU is coming off two embarrassing blowout losses. What I saw on the sidelines is a bigger problem than the final score.

This team quit against Kansas State. And that is a problem. Once you give up, it is easy to do it again, and again.

This is the week we find out if this WVU team has any heart. Intestinal fortitude. Stones. Marbles.

Until the offensive and defensive lines start to win more battles than they lose, the rest of the team is in trouble.

I'm going with the U one more time because I believe this team is going to fire out, deliver the blow, and show some Mountaineer Pride.

Pick: West Virginia 45-27

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