Can West Virginia Contend For 2012 Big 12 Title?

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If you missed it last night, West Virginia hammered Clemson in the Orange Bowl, 70-33.  West Virginia will likely be in the Big 12 next year unless the Big East makes them stay.  The Mountaineers opened up a lot of Big 12 fans’ eyes with their performance yesterday.  Many are starting to wonder if they can contend for the Big 12 title right away.

Move over Robert Griffin III, Geno Smith may take over the reigns as the most exciting quarterback in the Big 12 next year.  If Geno Smith returns for his senior year, the Big 12 will have another elite quarterback.  Last night, Smith looked RG3-like in WVU’s big win.  He completed 31 of 42 passes for 401 yards, and threw for 6 touchdowns (0 INTS).  Geno Smith’s performance looked like he was playing on Saturday in the Big 12 conference with how effective he was throwing the ball.  If the 6’3 QB returns for his senior year, I think he’ll be a top 3 QB in the Big 12 next year (assuming that Landry Jones stays).

Another reason West Virginia has a decent chance of winning the conference next year is due to their coach.  Dana Holgorsen has been in the Big 12 before and knows the defenses.  Before he was the head coach at West Virginia, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.  At both schools, the offense set numerous school records.

However, the Big 12’s defenses are used to these types of offense.  Almost every school in the conference can put up points in a hurry against any team.  West Virginia is used to Big East offenses which aren’t comparable to the offenses we see every Saturday in the Big 12.  This fact gives me some reason to believe that they will be middle-of-the-pack in 2012.

West Virginia will return around 15 starters next year.  With Dana Holgorsen calling the plays and Geno Smith at quarterback, it is hard not to think West Virginia can win the Big 12 title next year.

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