This morning we had the pleasure of interviewing one of the best college football commentators in the business, FOX Sports' Tim Brando. Tim joined our show for the 2nd year in a row to give us a little sneak peek of the college football landscape and to offer his thoughts on the Mountaineers.
Brando has always been very complementary toward West Virginia, but he really caught me off guard when I asked what teams could sneak into the College Football Playoff. "The leader of the clubhouse to be the team that crashes the party is without a doubt West Virginia. I love the schedule. If they play the way I think they're going to play, I see them going into the Kansas game October 6th undefeated." Brando responded.
"If they can get to the Cyclones (Iowa State) at 6-0, there's a really good chance they could run the table or be it, at worst, a one loss team." he continued.
If things play out as the media projects West Virginia would have to play Oklahoma back to back weeks for the Big 12 Championship. The Mountaineers host the Sooners in the season finale and if both teams are the top two teams in the league, they will have to square off again one week later in Arlington, Texas.
"I think the idea of a back to back match up from November 23rd to December 1st is really there. I think it's more of a probability than a possibility." Brando said on the matter.
One point that Brando made during our interview is something that the fan base should pay attention to because it has some substance to it. "The modern day athlete can handle a lot. The bigger question is can the fan base and the team itself handle it (hype)? Maintain your poise, know who you are as a team and don't get caught up in the week to week stuff. I do believe schools like West Virginia are consistently overlooked. By the same token, because of that collective chip on the shoulder of the fan base when there is an amount of success, they don't handle it particularly well."
And you know what? He's absolutely 100% correct. West Virginia has yet to win a Big 12 title, win a national championship, make the college football playoff or have a Heisman winner. So, when we see success, enjoy it, but remember the season is a marathon not a sprint. Things can change in an instant. It is easy to get caught up in all of the hype and expectations, but it's best to just let it happen and then talk about it.
Brando is one of the very few national commentators that gives West Virginia love regularly. He has respect for the university, the football team and the state. He understands the culture that is ingrained at West Virginia, so I buy his advice. Brando is very real, last year he wasn't so high on West Virginia, but said they had potential. He is very truthful in his analysis and for the most part, he is pretty spot on.
During his broadcast of the Missouri-West Virginia game in 2016 he stated that he believed the Mountaineers had enough to compete for the Big 12 title and that's exactly what happened. The team finished 10-2 that year with its only losses coming to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
This Monday, he will be releasing his annual "pre-season" top ten. As he states in the show, his pre-season top ten is him projecting how teams will finish, not how they will start. "I'm going to have West Virginia in there, I don't know exactly where, but I'm going to have them in that top ten somewhere." Brando said.
The season kicks off in less than 30 days in Charlotte vs the Tennessee Volunteers and it will be the start of what Brando believes could be a very special year for the Mountaineers.
To listen to the full interview with Tim, click the link below!