Convert both of those and West Virginia is 9-3 in its first season in the Big 12, the same as in its final season in the Big East. Does anyone not believe that the conversation is a whole lot different if that happens?
Of course, Holgorsen points that out because, well, he wants you to know how similar the two seasons actually were. He knows he's being criticized because last year was an abject failure as far as most are concerned - particularly given the offensive talent - and this is a way of rationalizing it.
You'd do the same thing.
Is the criticism unfair? Unjust?
"It doesn't matter how I feel about it,'' Holgorsen said. "We let everybody kind of have their opinion on it.''
As if he had a choice.
In pointing out, though, how similar the two seasons are, Holgorsen also refreshes the fact that while both seasons could easily have turned out the same, they both could have turned out much, much worse. If getting a few breaks is the difference, what happens if there are one or two fewer breaks instead off one or two good ones? Then does the Cincinnati game in 2011 turn into a loss and a demoralized team doesn't win another game (after a 5-1 start and only a loss to LSU)? No Orange Bowl, perhaps no bowl at all.
And what of one or two more bad breaks in 2012, say against Baylor and Texas or even Iowa State? Instead of 7-5 is it 4-8? Then again, maybe that's a good thing because then the Mountaineers don't even make it into the Pinstripe Bowl.
The point, though, is that yes, this is often a game of breaks. Alabama doesn't win three national championships in a row without breaks because twice it needed teams to lose in order to get into the title game. Notre Dame goes unbeaten a year ago because Pitt steadfastly refuses to beat the Irish despite being given every opportunity. Everyone needs breaks.
Fortunately, Holgorsen is banking on more than just breaks.
"After this last year it was a good opportunity to kind of re-evaluate everything with the program,'' Holgorsen said. "It was impossible to do it the first year because of how things transpired and it was pretty tough to do it the second year with all the returning guys, with the bowl game win. And so when last year ended with a disappointing loss in the bowl game, in my opinion was the correct time to re-evaluate everything.''
What he found, among other things, was that those first two seasons weren't all that different. If nothing else, it's a positive with which to march forward. And after last year, the program can use all the positives it can manufacture.
"I think the state of the program is healthy. I think we have the parts to be a good football team,'' Holgorsen said. "It's how we develop and catching some breaks at some key times.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.