Team preview: West Virginia

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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There is no predicting how the long-term future of the Big East will pan out. But one thing has become clear: In the short-term, the chief beneficiaries of the massive conference shakeup that has seen more arrivals and departures than a train station are fourth-year head coach Rich Rodriguez and his West Virginia Mountaineers.

West Virginia is coming off a season in which it won the Big East title and made a New Year's Day appearance in the Toyota Gator Bowl.

Over the last two seasons, the Mountaineers are 12-2 in the Big East, with the only two losses being heartbreakers against Miami. That big obstacle in South Florida is gone, replaced on the schedule by the slightly less intimidating James Madison. The Morgantown crew emerged from the spring as the trendy national pick to breeze to another Big East title and a BCS berth.