Oh, oh, oh. Remember this? It was last October and Bob Huggins, then a fresh 59 years old, was on the verge of a revised contract that would add seasons and dollars to the lifetime contract he wasn’t about to abandon. He’d taken some time for himself and for his family in the offseason, he was pumped up about joining the Big 12, which had just picked WVU to finish sixth in the conference, and he really, really, really believed he had a winner in his gym that would prove the 2012 season was an aberration.
“Honestly, if we’re the sixth-best team in the league, it’s a hell of a league,” Huggins said. “I’m telling you, this is a team that, if I had scheduled it that way, would win 25 games. It’s going to be really hard to do that with who we play, but if we did what a lot of other teams do and play 18 home games and buy everyone in, we’d win 25 games with this group and most people would say we’re a pretty good team.
“We’re not going to win 25 probably because of who we play, but we’ve got a chance to be pretty good.”
I’m not sure how good the 10-team Big 12 was, but I know the Mountaineers weren’t a top-six team. But, hey, no rear view mirrors here. The 2014 season is just around the corner and Huggins would again like to prove that 2012 was an aberration and that 2013 was the most poisonous encore ever, but one that made WVU learn its cues and its lines for this season.
That would help because the Big 12 picked the Mountaineers to finish seventh in Thursday’s preseason poll and closer to eighth than the two-team tie for fifth.
So maybe this all sounds familiar. It’s happened before and it’s happening again for the basketball team, but in a lot of ways — roster rollover, junior college arrivals, new receivers — this is the same story being told about the football team.