"We're honored and pleased, but the day hasn't been any different and yesterday wasn't any different either," Coach Bill Snyder said on Monday's Big 12 coaches' teleconference. "That's not what you expect me to say, but we're not paying a lot of attention it."
Snyder, deeply committed to what he calls the program's "intrinsic values," knows it isn't easy these days. He nevertheless trusts his players to remain disciplined and continue doing what they've done in the 10-0 start.
"They have all their iPads and they get into that stuff and I understand I can't keep them from that, but it's not my intent to keep them from it," he said. "My intent, which has been the same since Day One, is to get these young guys focused on the appropriate things and having the mindset that the important thing is meetings and practice and preparing for Baylor. It's not as though it's something that all of a sudden we have to reinforce."
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WVU HAS games remaining against Oklahoma Saturday, at Iowa State the day after Thanksgiving and against Kansas. Each opponent has very different goals to finish the season.
The 13th-ranked Sooners, who play the 7 p.m. Fox game at Mountaineer Field, had Big 12 and national championship aspirations. Losses to Kansas State and then Notre Dame altered both, but Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1) remains alive for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl either as the Big 12 champion or as the conference representative if the Wildcats play for the BCS title.
"There are a lot of scenarios in play for the end of the year and everyone wants to find out already, but let's face it: Everyone had Alabama already going undefeated," Sooners Coach Bob Stoops said. "A lot is going to happen in the next two or three weeks, so let's do our part to prepare for one game and keep improving our position."
Iowa State (5-5, 2-5) needs one win for bowl eligibility for the third time in four years with Coach Paul Rhoads. The team plays at Kansas and home against WVU to finish the schedule and get more than three conference wins for the first time with Rhoads.
"That's something we don't have to talk about," Rhoads sad. "The media likes to talk about six wins and bowl eligibility, but the team and the coaches, we don't need to. We can count."
Kansas (1-9, 0-7) has been increasingly competitive for a team that has lost 19 straight Big 12 games and 30 in a row against current Big 12 members. The Jayhawks, No. 2 in the conference and No. 21 nationally with 213.1 rushing yards per game, have only been out of one Big 12 game at the half and have lost games by six, four and seven points, the third a double-overtime loss Saturday at Texas Tech.
"I think for a team to be 1-9, I don't think they could be any more confident that they're going to turn the corner than they are," Coach Charlie Weis said. "That's their mentality and I give the guys a lot of credit because the staff has been able to keep guys focused every week and we really expect the guys to come out and give their best every week."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.