MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- If you haven't heard the criticism leveled at West Virginia's football team and, primarily, its coaching staff over the course of the past three weeks, well, you just haven't been paying attention or you don't care.
Or, perhaps, you are one of the Mountaineer players.
"You would be surprised,'' J.T. Thomas was saying earlier this week, "how much we don't pay attention to stuff like that.''
Indeed, the firestorm that has surrounded West Virginia's football program following back-to-back upset losses at the hands of Syracuse and Connecticut seems barely to have touched the players inside the program.
Criticism, it would appear, is something to which the Mountaineers themselves are immune.
OK, so most of that criticism has not been aimed at the players.
The bulk of it is directed at Coach Bill Stewart and offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen. West Virginia has been more or less stagnant on offense for the better part of three games - and to an extent in every competitive game the Mountaineers have played this season - and many fans have not been kind in their appraisal of those performances.
And, too, Thomas himself plays on the one unit that is seldom the object of scorn. West Virginia's defense, statistically at least, is among the best in the country.
Still, it seems odd that none of the disparagement directed toward the WVU program has managed to filter down to the players themselves. And perhaps Thomas is simply being dismissive of the critics.