IT WAS A week of relative calm within the West Virginia football circle.
Yes, there was the Dana Holgorsen skydive, but after the implosion that was the Bill Stewart story, that was News Light. Refreshing. Simply led to a few jokes. (Already employing the golden parachute?)
So while all's quiet in Morgantown, I thought, hey, let's try something a little different: write about the actual sport. It should be a fine 2011 season, after all. And if you check the preseason magazines out this time of year, you'll see many agree.
WVU is expected to contend or win next season's Big East title, and many Mountaineers have been bestowed preseason league honors. Quarterback Geno Smith was named first-team All-Big East by Phil Steele, Athlon and Lindy's magazines.
Tavon Austin and Don Barclay made the cut in those three as well as in The Sporting News. But from here it seems the two with the best shot at All-America honors are Bruce Irvin and Keith Tandy. Both are coming off terrific seasons. Both were accorded first-team honors in all of the aforementioned mags. Also, both were named by Lindy's as second-team preseason All-America selections.
Tandy is coming off a setup year in which he was No. 5 nationally in passes defended (17) and tied for 10th in interceptions (six). He was first in the Big East in both categories. And while he'll be a veteran and teams might shy from him a bit, the ball will still be thrown in the left cornerback's direction.
Tandy's coach, David Lockwood, said he believes the 5-foot-10, 198-pound senior is ready for the All-America challenge.
"He's a candidate," said the cornerbacks coach. "He was third-team All-America [via Rivals.com and SI.com] last year. So he's more than a candidate. You turn on the tape and it speaks for itself.
"A lot of people tried to make it out as Keith was something he wasn't. He proved everybody wrong. Obviously I'm looking forward to him having a heck of a senior year."
Lockwood said he remembers when the light clicked on for Tandy.
"Probably the weeks following the South Florida game two years ago," said the coach. "He got beat on two double moves and the kid never looked back. He looked forward, went out prepared and busted his butt.