MORGANTOWN - It may seem only one small number. And in reality it is.
But for Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia's football team, it's more than that.
A win in Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl will give the Mountaineers an 8-5 record. A loss to Syracuse at Yankee Stadium reduces that mark to 7-6.
There's just something that seems far superior in an 8-5 record than in the alternative of being just one game over .500.
"That's why we're excited about the game, because there's some unfinished business from this season,'' Holgorsen said. "Eight and five is a heck of a lot different than 7-6.
"Much like we ended with the Kansas game playing for the seniors, those guys have been through a lot and I respect a lot of the things those guys have done. We have some pretty good football players in that group to the point to where we want to send them out on top. To win eight games sounds a lot better than 7-6.''
This year's bowl game is a lot different than the one the Mountaineers played in a year ago, of course. And it's more than the just weather and the status of playing in a BCS bowl, which WVU did a year ago and walloped Clemson, 70-33, in the Orange Bowl.
This game is also a week earlier than last year's Jan. 4 date, which changes bowl preparation. There is less of it, which means less preparation and less time to work with younger players.