The way I see it, only four Marshall teams had the talent to finish unbeaten, relative to its schedule: 1988, 1996, 1998, and 1999. Two teams pulled it off (1996, 1999), the other two fell short. The 2014 team will be No. 5.
I mean, East Carolina's next football game, sorry to say, will not be in C-USA. Nor will Tulsa's next game. Nor will Tulane's, not that I care.
Scout figured that out, as did 247Sports. But it doesn't really matter, as Marshall's class was universally rated above that of ECU, a few American Athletic Conference teams and all of the new C-USA.
The honorable mention? Marshall's Todd Hartley. Fine choice.
The rest of the list, in no particular order: linebackers Stefan Houston and Kent Turene, receiver Angelo Jean-Louis, wide receiver tight end Deontay McManus, defensive back A.J. Leggett, defensive backs Chocolate Wilson, Michael Johnson, Brian Robinson and D.J. Hunter, running backs Travon Van and Kevin Grooms, defensive end Armonze Daniel and somebody named Jeremy Benjamin.
So far, Leggett is the surest bet for a big career, though Houston has been very tough at times. Grooms has been a Conference USA freshman of the year, but is looking for a bounce-back year.
Hunter will be fighting to regain his starting status, Johnson will be a sophomore looking to rise up the depth chart and Turene suffered a tough injury break last season. The overhyped Daniel probably has one year to buck some long odds to break into the regular rotation.
Jean-Louis and McManus joined the program in December, and Wilson has yet to take his first college rep. Robinson and Van are long gone, the latter being the No. 2 back last year at Montana.
Robinson was dismissed from the team and Benjamin ...
If you've paid a shred of attention to the four Greenbrier Classics, you know this name. He was tied for second last year, tied for fourth in 2011 and tied for fourth in 2010. The Old White fits his eye and he loves the neighborhood.
He finished the 2013 season strong, making the third round of the FedExCup playoffs. But as the rearranged 2013-14 season began, he was still seeking his first PGA Tour victory.
With his victory Sunday at Pebble Beach, he has three. He rose from 35th in the world rankings to 24th, padded his FedExCup points lead and will qualify for all four majors for the first time, all the World Golf Championships events and anything else he wants to tackle.
Here's hoping and expecting he'll return to Old White. He's a good guy and a very good player to follow around the course.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.