Colin Dunlap's West Virginia football/Gator Bowl chat

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Colin Dunlap: YOU. ARE. LOOKING. LIVE ... AT THE LOBBY OF THE HYATT ON THE RIVER IN JACKSONVILLE. THE WEATHER HAS WARMED A LITTLE (I'D SAY HIGH 60s NOW) ... FIRE AWAY ...

EERwax: CD -- is Noel going to go pros? What do you think?

Colin Dunlap: 60 yes, 40 no.

Stewball: How many WVU fans have you seen down there?

Colin Dunlap: A ton ... a whole lot. They really started to get here today ... there have been some all week, but it has really spiked today.

BmoreEer: Hi Colin, do you get the feeling the team is prepared to replace the suspended players adequately, or is it more of a feeling of a band-aid repair?

Colin Dunlap: How good was Nate Sowers anyway? Seriously? I mean, Boogie Allen started three games this season. So, on that front, I don't think they will miss a beat. From the time I began covering this team -- and this is no knock personally on him -- I never felt Sowers was a BCS kind of player. As for Berry, that will be the bigger loss. The d-line must find a rotation of sorts to fill in.

BmoreEer: What is your best approximation of the 'Eers to Seminole jersey ratio walking around Jacksonville?

Colin Dunlap: right now? 75/25 Eers ... but that will change as, I would bet a lot of 'Noles people will drive up here tomorrow or, maybe, just for the game.

BmoreEer: Do you get the feeling this game will be huge for Brown's draft status?

Colin Dunlap: perhaps. I don't think it is a certainty he will be drafted, by any stretch. Will he get a shot in the NFL? yes. Will he be drafted? Don't bet the ranch.

buckskinned: Does it look like Reed Williams is finally 100% and ready to be the force he was before his injuries?

Colin Dunlap: No. I don't think, with shoulder injuries like he has, he will ever be 100 percent. It seems like he will just have to play through pain. I will say this, the time off did as much for him as probably anyone. But asking for a 100 percent Reed Williams is something that is probably impossible. I will give you this: He is probably as close to 100 percent as is humanly possible for him.

Stewball: Any adventures from your travels so far?

Colin Dunlap: Mike Casazza from the Charleston Daily Mail and I have been involved in some shenanigans so far, yes. He has been my carpool buddy to practice and we pal around town. I will just say this: This morning, we turned what should have been a 10-minute ride to FSU's practice into 25 minutes, tested the limits of a Dodge Caliber, and sprinted into practice just as Bobby Bowden and his boys were taking the field.

buckskinned: WVU's defense has been bending but not breaking during the final weeks of the season. Does FSU have an answer for getting in the end zone?

Colin Dunlap: FSU will get into the end zone ... trust me. I think WVU will get in there more -- but the Noles will score a touchdown (or two).

EERwax: What is the weather like in JAX?

Colin Dunlap: Average. Which means it is 1000000000005892345023105 times better than the town.

Stewball: Who is the offensive and defensive MVP for you this year?

Colin Dunlap: Offensive is Jarrett Brown or Devine. Defensive is Neild or Sands.

Stewball: Who is the one guy WVU needs to worry about most?

Colin Dunlap: Bobby Bowden. He can throw, run, kick, catch, punt, cover, tackle -- oh wait, that's the idea you'd get if you just followed the coverage from down here, that Bobby was THE ONLY STORY. Actually, it is EJ Manual, the FSU quarterback ... he is a lot like BJ Daniels at USF -- and everyone remembers what happened that night in Tampa earlier this year. If I remember, he had more yards, individually, than WVU had as a team.

WVUAlum06: Can we look forward to another 10 win season next year?

Colin Dunlap: Yes. There will be one this year -- and one next year. The notion that this program has "fallen off" under Bill Stewart is crazy. Most of the talent (particularly in the skill kids) is either redshirting or freshmen. Geno Smith is going to be VERY good.

BmoreEer: Has Brown's status gone way down from mid-season? I am almost certain I saw him as Kiper's 4th or 5th best QB prospect a month or so ago.

Colin Dunlap: Brown status went down when his head got busted against Marshall. He simply wasn't the same guy for a month. I don't know where Mel has him, but I think he will play in the league, just don't know if he will be drafted.

ImmaManIm40: Any RichRod sightings in Jax? He's not busy coaching this week.

Colin Dunlap: None. Maybe him and Dusty are watching the game somewhere.

hines: Prediction for Friday?

Colin Dunlap: WVU 28, FSU 24

ImmaManIm40: On a scale of 0-10, with zero being me and ten being Usain Bolt, how ready (fast) will Noel Devine be?

Colin Dunlap: If you are a 0, Bolt is a 10, then that means Zeise is a 5. OK, now that I have the metrics all squared away, Devine is a 9.1.

wvuminer: What's the mood of Coach Stew and the players?

Colin Dunlap: They are being treated as the 6-6 team here while FSU is being looked at as the 9-3 team ... weird scene.

WVUAlum06: What are the chances of Devine sticking around for his senior year?

Colin Dunlap: It just moved from a few minutes ago. 61 percent says he goes, 39 says he stays. But, I am in Florida, so I don't know how accurate the voting tabulation is. Maybe I will call Jeb Bush.

ErieEER: How many coaches do you think WVU loses at during the off-season?

Colin Dunlap: 1 full time guy --- John Holliday.

ImmaManIm40: Bobby-B called me, said 'Noles would refrain from wearing their horrid all-blacks for his send-off if WVU leaves the banana suits at home. Deal?

Colin Dunlap: Only if "The U" plays a game at halftime in the all whites against Pitt wearing the script ...

wvuminer: What's the weather forecast for the game?

Colin Dunlap: Good question, and one that could have mighty impact. It is supposed to be windy for the game. Otherwise nice, but windy. Could have a huge impact on the kicking game. Imagine, just for a moment, if WVU wins by 2 and FSU has a chance to win at the end and misses a field goal as it sails -- GULP -- wide right. Would be fitting, huh?

ImmaManIm40: This season was kinda limbo for the 'Noles, with Bowden staying ... going ... staying (as nauseum). Now that it's settled, do they rally around the old man, play outta their minds for one last hurrah?

Colin Dunlap: that is the $100,000,000 question everyone is wanting to know.

WVUer21: Colin, aside from Noel (if he even decides to leave), who else on this team do you think is draftable?

Colin Dunlap: Berry (maybe) ... Jock Sanders (maybe) ... And, I am not crazy when I say this -- Wes Lyons. Seriously.

WVUer21: Colin, loved the blog all season. I really hope you're back on the case next season. Now, what is the atmosphere down there? Does it feel like a bowl game, or more like a week-long retirement party?

Colin Dunlap: Both. More like a week-long celebration of coach Bowden. But, I will say this: Never have I been around a man of larger stature in a sport who has been so kind and welcoming. He is a gem. As much as this is about him, you can tell it makes him a bit uncomfortable. Great guy, legend. In these days of college football becoming a big business, and coaches becoming robotic, there will never be guys like Bobby again.

EERwax: Great story on Jarrett Brown. My question is how underappreciated do you think he has been?

Colin Dunlap: Hugely. His sacrifice to the program is as large as anyone's in the history of WVU football.

ImmaManIm40: Thanks a ton for letting Paul Zeise off the hook (partially) for yaz Backyard Brawl bet. Going to Charlotte was lots better than Birmingham.

Colin Dunlap: I watched that game, great game. And, Bill Stewart told me today he was pulling hard for Dave Wannstedt and Pitt. You know what, Stewart wasn't kidding, either. On days when they are not recruiting against each other or playing against each other, Stewart is a big Dave Wannstedt fan -- likes the guy a lot.

WVUAlum06: Is Coach Stew preparing any differently in this years bowl game than in years past?

Colin Dunlap: This is the first one I have covered, but from what I can gather, no. He is 2-0 in bowl games, so I would guess he doesn't change much.

ImmaManIm40: Will hardened sportswriters -- such as yourself -- shed a tear at Bowden's send-off?

Colin Dunlap: There's no crying in the press box. Ever. Gotta go, it has been fun. Need to grab lunch and write a story for tomorrow's paper.



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