"I know people think we come from the Big East and that things we were able to do were sometimes a fluke, but we've been putting in a lot of hard work and we're ready for every challenge coming our way," Bailey said.
Bailey is one of the major reasons WVU has such a reputation right now. He set WVU's single-season record with 1,279 receiving yards in 2011. The pairing with first-team preseason all-Big 12 receiver Tavon Austin helped quarterback Geno Smith win the conference's preseason Big 12 player of the year award.
The Mountaineers set a number of passing and receiving records as they went 10-3 last season and punctuated everything with the record showing in their 70-33 Orange Bowl win against Clemson. Yet WVU's scoring, which was No. 13 nationally at 37.6 points per game, would have been fourth in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma (No. 10, 39.5), TCU (No. 9, 40.8) and Oklahoma State (No. 2, 48.7).
The passing offense (No. 6, 346.8 yards per game) would have also been fourth in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma (No. 5, 349.4), Baylor (No. 4, 351.5) and Oklahoma State (No. 2, 387.2). The total offense ranked No. 15 nationally with 469.5 yards per game, but would have been fifth behind Texas Tech (No. 13, 470.6), Oklahoma (No. 5, 512.3), Oklahoma State (No. 3, 549.8) and Baylor (No. 2, 587.1).
"We just need to continue to do it," Bailey said. "I don't expect anything less than 50 points per game."
Bold statement, but that's the confidence the Mountaineers have entering their second in Coach Dana Holgorsen's offense. Other teams don't have the same luxury.
Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Kendall Wright are all in the NFL. WVU has the most offensive continuity among 2011's explosive teams.
"We're getting a lot of preseason hype and I'm sure a lot of people are going to look at that and say, 'These guys haven't seen us' - and I'm speaking about Big 12 people," Bailey said. "I'm quite sure they're saying those things won't happen to them. I'm quite sure we have a target on our back."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.