EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- In this case, all the numbers tell the truth.
And for the West Virginia football team, it has turned into a revolting truth.
First, there is that most telling statistic, the record. West Virginia is 5-3, 1-2 in Big East play after a rip-your-heart-out, 16-13 overtime loss Friday night at Connecticut on national television.
It was the first time Connecticut had beaten the Mountaineers.
As a result, after what had to be one of the most stinging and harsh trips back to campus in recent memory for a West Virginia football team, players woke up Saturday morning in a place they never envisioned.
Indeed, just two weeks removed from the scuttlebutt about possibly contending -- and perhaps being the strong front-runner for a BCS berth in the balanced and jammed-in-the-middle Big East -- the Mountaineers wiped their morning (and mourning) eyes Saturday to see they were last in the Big East.
That is what happens when you are in the throes of a two-game conference losing streak, the likes of which the program hasn't had since the final two games of the 2004 season.
That is what happens when your offense doesn't score a touchdown in the final 55 minutes against a Connecticut team that didn't exactly play brilliant on offense, either.
That is what happens when your offense gains 414 yards but sputters in the red zone and has to settle for two field goals.
And that is what happens when your offense hands away the football like it is Halloween candy, fumbling four times, the most critical coming in West Virginia's possession in overtime when running back Ryan Clarke turned it over for the final time near the goal line, leading to the Huskies' winning field goal.
This is a West Virginia team that has lost two games in a row for the second time under coach Bill Stewart, matching a span in his first season ('08), when he lost the second and third games after being installed as full-time head coach, dropping decisions against East Carolina and Colorado.
Those were non-conference games; the troubles now are deeper.
"Am I worried about the program?" Stewart said following the Connecticut loss. "No, I'm not. I'm worried about just righting the ship and making sure we don't fumble the ball and getting things better so we can finish strong."
Maybe. But there are more numbers as West Virginia heads into an off week before it plays host to Cincinnati Nov. 13 that suggest the Mountaineers have hit a stagnation point.
The most telling is this: In the past 13 games, the equal of a full season if a team goes to a bowl game, West Virginia is 8-5 and 5-5 against teams from conferences with automatic BCS bids.
So, what is the problem?
Could it be other teams simply have better players?
West Virginia senior nose tackle Chris Neild, who has spoken to media members even after the tough losses, brushed aside the thought that these Mountaineers aren't as talented as those lining up across from them.
"We are good," Neild said. "It isn't a matter of talent, it is a matter of consistency. We have players, believe me. Everything clicks in practice, but, you know, that's practice.
"It is something that we have to put on the field, and we haven't done that. That's the problem. But I am confident that it isn't a matter of talent, I am telling you, it is a matter of being consistent and performing to the level we know how. But I have to be honest, it is getting frustrating."
Everything is getting to the point where -- even with a winning record --the Mountaineers might be falling from the short list of the hunted in the Big East.
"This is new territory for us," Neild said. "We have to go into every game now knowing we are going to probably be the underdog.
"I got to be honest, here, at West Virginia, we are not used to that, and we shouldn't be happy with that."
Colin Dunlap: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1459.