Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Paul Millard, who saw mop-up duty against Kansas last season in the Mountaineers’ 59-10 win, could be the starter today in Lawrence.

 

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jayhawk Nation stirred with anxiety Friday, a day made for pins-and-needles as a season hung in the balance.

Next basketball season.

Bill Self and the Kansas faithful exhaled and high-fived over landing power forward Chris Alexander, a consensus top-three national recruit. Of far less consequence to the locals is whatever outcome the football team produces Saturday afternoon against West Virginia at the stadium surrounded by a track.

This game clearly means more to the Mountaineers, who harbor bowl hopes, than it does to the 2-7 Jayhawks, who don’t. Yet with West Virginia battling a serious case of Texas-hangover syndrome, is there a chance the lowly home team can snap its three-year losing streak in Big 12 games?

Vegas trumpets a close game, installing WVU as a piddly 6.5-point favorite. A tad curious, considering the Jayhawks on average have been 24-point underdogs at home this season in Big 12 games. Perhaps the oddsmakers see no Jared Barber, no K.J. Dillon and, more than likely, no Clint Trickett, and think KU is due for one of its not-so-frequent close calls.

I’ll bite, though methinks WVU avoids the ultimate embarrassment.

A Paul Millard-led offense should be able to dink-and-dunk its way to enough points, as long as it commits enough hand-offs to Charles Sims and homecoming king Dreamius Smith (who committed to KU out of high school before going the junior college route). And even an injury-weakened Mountaineers defense that tends to faint at the sight of a fourth quarter should make enough stands against the most inept offense in the Big 12.

Pick: WVU 24-19

Ranking the other Big 12 games:
1. Texas 36, Oklahoma State 30: (Cowboys -3) The Longhorns showed some mettle rising from the dead in Morgantown at night, something Okie State couldn’t do during the day.
2. Baylor 42, Texas Tech 38: (Bears -27.5) Baylor is making a hard charge at the BCS, and Tech has flatlined. So of course this one defies convention and turns out to be a white-knuckler.
3. Kansas State 30, TCU 13: (Wildcats -11) The Gary Patterson Nightmare continues, and K-State keeps humping it toward a Holiday Bowl berth.
4. Oklahoma 33, Iowa State 16: (Sooners -24) Barry Switzer says this one’s a cinch.
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Comments

  • Mtn. Man

    Not even going to watch or listen.
    KU 31 - WVU 10 (hope I'm wrong)
    I'll be at a far better game - Shepherd at Concord.

  • Jack

    You can't do anything about the past. Focus on this game and bring home a win. Don't let Kansas break their losing streak at our expense.

  • Big Larry

    WVU as bad as the are, should blow this pitiful Kansas team plum out of Lawrence.

    If they don't win by 15-20 points, something is bad bad wrong.

    If they lose, Fire Oliver Luck and Holgorsen Immediately afterwards...

    ... and then fire Huggins the following day after they lose to Duquesne.

    Clements has jumped ship, Oliver Luck tried to jump ship...Holgorsen and Huggins both would jump ship but nobody would hire them...

    And yes, it is a SAD,SAD day to be a WVU Sports Fan...

    >>>Wherever you may be!

    • Sheikh yo bonbon

      Holy shmack lil Larry....how did u get internet access in Weston cuckoo's nest??

  • wvrefugee

    Unfortunately, yes. This team had OU down by 10 going into the third in Lawrence.