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Mountaineer Gameday: Big victory for WVU; Mullen a hot commodity?

By Frank Giardina

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Remember when Columbus Day was actually celebrated on this day? I wonder what ol' Chris would have thought if he had someday known the New World would be this nuts over college football. The city in Ohio named after him - Columbus - is as crazy about the game as any city in the country.  

As we move into mid-October, here are some general thoughts on college football this season.

Nebraska - I wonder if the Cornhuskers miss the old Big 8 and the Big 12. I think their fans do. I remember visiting with a group of their alums last year during their first season in the Big Ten and they described Big Ten football as "boring" compared to the Big 12. I am not sure they are enjoying this season any better. Since the firing of Frank Solich, the Cornhuskers seem to have lost some of their identity.

West Virginia - Last weekend's win at Texas was a major signature win for Dana Holgorsen and his Mountaineers. Not a bad way to start life on the road in the Big 12. Barring a major injury, WVU quarterback Geno Smith will win the Heisman in the biggest landslide since the 1984 Reagan-Mondale Presidential election. West Virginia is the best team in the Big 12. Mack Brown knows it. Bob Stoops knows it. And Dana Holgorsen knows it. This team could be poised to win the national title.

Texas and Oklahoma - Both teams enter this weekend's game now with questions from their fan bases. Texas was expected to have an SEC type of defense at the start of the season, but last weekend's loss at home proved that not to be the case. The Sooners' stumble against Kansas State in Norman still sticks in the craw of OU fans. They did not expect this team to have two losses by the middle of October.

Mississippi State - Not many have noticed, but the Bulldogs are off to a 5-0 start. Coach Dan Mullen is a hot name for potential coaching openings after the season. Will the folks in Starkville have to fight to keep him? Would he leave for another coaching opening in the SEC? Is Arkansas a good move for him? Is it a good move for Louisville Coach Charlie Strong? Time may tell.

Florida State - Every year it seems that the talented Seminoles are declared as being "back." Then they seem to get bored and they stub their toe in an ACC game as they did last weekend at N.C. State. Last weekend's loss hurt more than most. It appeared the Seminoles had a clear path to the national title game after an impressive win over Clemson. Now, can they stay focused enough to win the rest?  

Kansas - Why did the Jayhawks hire former Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis? Most football coaches around the country asked that question when Weis landed in Lawrence. I have not met a coach in America who feels Weis is a good head coaching hire, for Kansas or any other program. Last weekend, Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder called off the dogs against Weis after his Wildcats scored 56 points. He could have easily scored 70 or more.  

TCU and Louisiana Tech - The Horned Frogs might have been the most overrated team in the country this season. Louisiana Tech may be the most underrated. The Bulldogs host Texas A&M today in a game postponed from the start of the season due to weather. If likeable Coach Sonny Dykes pulls an upset this weekend, his team could make some BCS busting noise.


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