Holgorsen likes WVU's Big 12 title odds

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen warned that his team might not be as good as some analysts think, but just how good is it?

Good enough to win a Big 12 title, Holgorsen says.

"We have as good a chance to win it as anybody else," Holgorsen told ESPN.com in a recent interview.

The Mountaineers will enter the season with something close to or better than a top-10 ranking, but they'll be charged as one of the chief contenders to take down favorite Oklahoma, who has won seven Big 12 titles since 2000.

WVU is dealing with a move from the Big East to the Big 12, but Holgorsen doesn't sound too worried about the transition.

"Our guys are used to having to play every week," Holgorsen said. "In the Big East, they had to play every week, because anybody could beat anybody in the Big East, and the same thing exists in the Big 12. Anybody can beat anybody on any given week. That’s not only the Big East or the Big 12. That’s college football right now."

West Virginia learned that lesson last year when it suffered a 26-point loss at the hands of Syracuse, who didn't win another game the rest of the season. In the Big 12, Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak ended at the hands of Texas Tech, who didn't win another game the rest of its 5-7 season.

Oklahoma State's national title hopes ended in Ames, when Iowa State erased a 17-point, second-half deficit to win in double overtime and qualify for a bowl.

Even 2-10 Kansas, who beat MAC champion Northern Illinois, pushed 10-win Baylor into overtime, and that was only after Heisman winner Robert Griffin III used some fourth-quarter heroics to force the extra period.

As for the transition? That's nothing new for Holgorsen, who's seeking no outside help in guiding the Mountaineers into their new conference home.

"Coming from four different teams in five years, I've transitioned a lot. I don't think here is any different." Holgorsen said. "Going from Big 12 to Conference USA, then Conference USA to Big 12, then Big 12 to Big East, and now Big East to Big 12."

One thing that definitely won't change, Holgorsen says, is how his team views itself. Confidence won't be an issue as the Mountaineers move to the Big 12.

"This team looks at three BCS trophies every day, so they view themselves as a team that can play against anybody," he said, "and if you look at who they’ve beat in those BCS games, three in the last six years, those teams are pretty good."

West Virginia beat Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl before blowing out Oklahoma, 48-28, in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and embarrassing Clemson in last year's 70-33 laugher of an Orange Bowl.

"They’ve played teams like LSU, Auburn, they’ve played quality opponents," Holgorsen said. "They know how to play in the big game and understand the challenges of having to play in the big game."

Those big games didn't come often in the Big East, where the Mountaineers were the biggest fish in a league devoid of many top 25 teams over the past few years.

Expect plenty of big games in the Big 12 in 2012 and beyond.

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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
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Monday, 12/29
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Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
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Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
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