Earlier today ESPN released its way too early top 25 football rankings for 2018, this coming one day after the Alabama Crimson Tide took home yet another national title. After finishing a 7-6 season in which the majority of the fanbase was extremely disappointed with, there’s a lot to look forward to. According to the rankings, ESPN has West Virginia at No.10 heading into the 2018 season. With Heisman hopeful quarterback Will Grier and the touchdown catching machine David Sills V returning, there will be a lot of hype surrounding Morgantown next fall. West Virginia was also given odds of 40/1 to win the national championship, which is pretty high odds considering a team that only one 7 games this year.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach believes that West Virginia will be Oklahoma’s biggest challenger for the Big 12 championship in 2018 and why not? The Mountaineers return 7 starters on both sides of the ball, not to mention a stable backup quarterback in newly eligible Jack Allison and two other transfers wide receiver T.J. Simmons and tight end Jovani Haskins who will be heavily utilized in the pass game. I also want to mention that Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and TCU will all be grooming new starting quarterbacks. Say so long to Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Hill, this is Will Grier’s conference now.
My thoughts on the number 10 ranking:
I see the logic behind it, but I am a little hesitant on fully agreeing with it. There is just too many question marks heading into the season; Who will step up on defense? Will the offensive line improve? Will the running game return to its 2016 success? As of the moment, I see a 9 win season with a shot a New Years 6 bowl. The 2018 season may be pretty comparable to Oklahoma State of this past year. High flying offense, with a Heisman candidate, that needs to prove it has a defense and can win the “big game”. The 2018 slate is not the easiest as the Mountaineers start off the season in a neutral site setting vs Tennessee in Charlotte then two weeks later return to North Carolina to take on NC State in Raleigh.
Let us know your thoughts! Do you agree or disagree with the ranking?