FILLING IN THE BLANKS
West Virginia University's football team is getting a lot of respect from the national media.
With several preseason polls already released WVU is ranked as high as second for the 2007 college football season.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution (ajc.com) ranks WVU second in its 2007 preseason poll, right behind the consensus number one preseason team USC. AJC.com had this to say about the Mountaineers: "With quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton both set to return, the Mountaineers will be in position to run the table. WVU ought to be undefeated going into its eighth game — against Bobby Petrino-less Louisville — with a non-conference schedule of Ball State, Marshall, Mississippi State, Maryland and East Carolina."
AJC.com is not the only publication that believes the Mountaineers should be among the nation's best in 2007. Both Lindy's and Rivals.com have WVU ranked fourth in their preseason polls, while Athlon and FoxSports rank them fifth and 12th respectively.
It is nice to see WVU getting the national attention they have earned over the past couple of years. Rich Rodriguez and his staff have done a marvelous job and deserve a lot of credit for recruiting and developing players. His innovative and attacking style of offense is fun to watch (unless you're on defense), and if White and Slaton can stay healthy, the 2007 version should be something special.
It might be early for some to be thinking about football, but the sport has become so popular that the preseason publications come out earlier than ever before, creating discussion and excitement months in advance. I don't know about you, but I'm already eager for the season to begin.
Belt goes after titles
Tone Belt, a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School and a sophomore at the University of Louisville, heads to Sacramento, Calif. for the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on June 6-9. Belt, a two-time outdoor All-American, will try to improve on his 2006 performances in both the high jump and long jump. Belt finished fifth in each event during his freshman campaign to earn All-American status in each event and then won the 2007 NCAA Indoor Long Jump title.
Belt comes into the NCAA Championships with the fourth best long jump and the ninth best high jump performances. Though he doesn't have the top performances, Belt is certainly one of the favorites to win the long jump and also one of the favorites to medal in the high jump.
Louisville enters the NCAA Championships ranked sixth in the nation in the Trackwire Outdoor Top 25.