Monday, March 18, 2013
Which was a bigger WVU disappointment?
By David Ubben
The NCAA Tournament bracket was released on Sunday night, but 13-19 West Virginia was, of course, absent.
Coach Bob Huggins turned heads when before the season he had this to say about his team being picked sixth in the Big 12.
"If we're the sixth-best team in that league, then it's a hell of a league," he said.
West Virginia finished eighth at 6-12 in conference play and it solidified a very disappointing first year for the Mountaineers in the league's two major sports: basketball and football.
WVU came in from a strong Big East but struggled on the hardwood in the Big 12 in Year 1. They turned what should have been an average season into a disastrous year and finished five games below .500 for the first time since 2003. This performance capped its worst season since going 8-20 in the 2001-02 season.
On the football field, WVU began the year at No. 11 and rose to No. 5 after an eye-opening road win at Texas that sent the Mountaineers to 5-0 and eyeing all kinds of titles. Six weeks later, West Virginia was 5-5 and its first season in the Big 12 had been roundly, deservedly labeled as a disappointment.
The football team rebounded late in the season with wins over Iowa State and Kansas -- the Big 12's Nos. 9 and 10 teams -- to reach 7-5 before being blistered in a snowstorm by former Big East foe Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl. Not exactly the stadium, weather, opponent or result WVU imagined ending its season with back in September.
So, for West Virginia fans and fans of the Big 12 as a whole, which was worse? Vote in our poll.