"South Florida, for example, has said it's not going to schedule any games without a clause in there that says South Florida can drop the game without any type of penalty. Certainly it's something that's going to cause some things to change."
* * *
WVU COACH Bill Stewart knows the famed Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area well, having spent six years recruiting it as an assistant at Arizona State (1988-89) and Air Force (1989-93).
The plan now is to increase WVU's presence there, as well as the ability to convince players there to be Mountaineers.
"I can only see it adding to our vast recruiting efforts - and I italicize or emphasize the word vast - at this university," Stewart said. "In recent years, we've done very well outside that 250-mile radius of West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which for years was our recruiting base."
WVU signed quarterback Jeremy Johnson, from the southeast Texas city of Kountze, in February, although a homesick Johnson left the team earlier this season. The Mountaineers already have a 2011 commitment from Houston running back Jermichael Selders.
"Based on the years I had down there, I think it will bring good fortune right away," said Stewart, who maintains relationships with many high school coaches in the Metroplex, including Irving High's Jim Bennett, whose brother, Phil, is Pitt's defensive coordinator.
"I can't say right now I'm going to jump on a plane and go to Texas, because I have other plans starting Sunday for the coaches and for me, but I think it's a help."
* * *
STEWART CLARIFIED the status of senior nose guard Chris Neild. The coach said Sunday that Neild had a third-degree hamstring pull, but confessed Tuesday he had misspoken.
"He's got the lesser kind," Stewart said. "I thought third was the lesser kind. I was then reminded by the medical staff to be the football coach and leave the doctor stuff to them. He will play, unless something totally jumps out at us."
* * *
THE MOUNTAINEERS enter the final week of the regular season atop the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy poll.
The Lambert Trophy, established in 1936, is given annually to the best team in eastern football. The Mountaineers are ahead of Navy, Connecticut, Penn State, Pitt, South Florida, Temple, Boston College, Syracuse and Louisville.
WVU has only won the trophy in 2007, 1993 and 1988.
"One of the proudest nights of my recent life was when (defensive line coach) Bill Kirelawich, (defensive coordinator) Jeff Casteel and I went up and accepted the Lambert Trophy a couple of years back," Stewart said. "Growing up in this state and certainly this region and the eastern seaboard of the United States, the Lambert Trophy speaks volumes and I will talk to the team about it. It speaks about Eastern supremacy."