West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen doesn’t watch the “reality TV,” as he puts it, that is the weekly College Football Playoff rankings: “It doesn’t do me any good,” he said. “It doesn’t do our players any good."
“It does coaches no good to think about it and talk about it,” Holgorsen told USA TODAY Sports. “I really, honestly don’t (watch). I get why that show is, it’s all advertising and all that stuff. Fans want to watch it and it’s been great for college football. You guys want to follow it and write about it and read about it and talk scenarios and all that good stuff. It’s the most popular thing going."
Not to say that Holgorsen is unaware of the Mountaineers’ climb up the rankings. Ranked No. 13 in the first release of the 2018 season, West Virginia moved to No. 9 last week — climbing on the back of a 42-41 win at No. 15 Texas. The Mountaineers held that spot Tuesday after Saturday's 47-10 win against TCU.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” he said.
Now 8-1 overall, with that one loss coming at No. 16 Iowa State, this year’s surge has the Mountaineers alongside Big 12 rival Oklahoma and a handful of fellow contenders from the Power Five leagues as the teams ready to pounce if given a window to slip into the top four.
It’s not the first time West Virginia has played a national role under Holgorsen, the Mountaineers’ head coach since 2011, but this season marks something new: WVU entering the heart of November as a realistic challenger for a national semifinal, not as a team on the outskirts of a New Year’s Six bowl and playing the role of spoiler for opponents ranked higher by the selection committee.
“We’ve been knocking on the door a little bit, as we are this year, which is all we’re at right now — we’re just in the conversation,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve been in the conversation a couple other years and couldn’t get it done, you know. “
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