And so now, Holgorsen insists, it's not so much who is younger, but who is more productive. But all things being equal, youth is likely to win out.
"After you make the decision, it's all about performance. If a guy is not performing, you make the change,'' Holgorsen said. "The biggest motivation in college football is playing time. But you don't want to sit a guy down that you don't think has a guy behind him that's better than him. You want to play the better player. You want to use playing as a motivation if you can, but our depth is the issue.''
This week's opponent, TCU (5-3, 2-3 Big 12), is in many ways similar to the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2), but in others far different. These are the teams that joined the Big 12 this season to much fanfare and both started well. TCU was 4-0 and ranked No. 15, WVU 5-0 and ranked No. 5.
But while West Virginia's downfall and problems are in a way mysterious - the offense that wowed for five games has suddenly become stagnant - TCU's are not. The Horned Frogs are 1-3 since quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested for DUI and then withdrew from school to enter substance abuse rehab. This is also the school that was shocked by a campus-wide drug bust early this year that included several football players.
In other words, TCU is rebuilding and doing it with youth. The team is tied with Texas for playing the most true freshmen in the country this season (16) and tied with LSU and North Carolina for the most overall freshmen (28). Nearly 70 percent of players who have played for the Horned Frogs this season are freshmen and sophomores.
BRIEFLY: Saturday's game will be televised by Fox and will kick off at 3 p.m. The networks (Fox and ESPN/ABC) delayed decisions on this weekend's Big 12 telecasts and kickoff times until after Saturday's results.
The other league games this weekend are Iowa State-Oklahoma (noon, ABC), Texas-Texas Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC), Baylor-Kansas (3:30 p.m., FSN), and Kansas State-Oklahoma State (8 p.m., ABC).
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1