Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Record: 42-9, Bowl Record: 4-0 including two BCS wins
Well, WVU fans, the day we have all been waiting for is finally here. Today we discuss the career of Ryan Stanchek. Oh, and I guess we did officially join the Big XII today too. I almost forgot about that. Anyways, Stanchek is one of the key contributors to a stretch of Mountaineer teams that won four straight bowl games. He came to West Virginia as a redshirt freshman in 2004. By the mid-point of the 2005 season, Stanchek earned a starting spot at guard. He made the transition to tackle in 2006, starting at tackle for the rest of his career. Stanchek was instrumental in blocking for Slaton and White, allowing the Mountaineer offense to run all over opponents. He was honored with All-Big East selections in 2007 and 2008 as well as 2nd team All-America in 2008.
Memorable Game: In honor of West Virginia’s official move to the Big XII, we will take a look back at the Mountaineers’ most recent romp over a Big XII conference opponent. The 2007 regular season ended on a sour note. Coach Rich Rodriguez could not come up with a scheme to beat the Pitt Panthers, costing the Mountaineers the National Championship, and was somehow given the opportunity to coach the Michigan Wolverines. West Virginia was devastated by both losses. The Mountaineers rallied around Coach Bill Stewart, determined to win the Fiesta Bowl. Stanchek and the offensive line were able to outwork, out hit, and out hustle the Sooners defensive line, tallying 525 yards. The Mountaineers, an 84% dog, beat down the Sooners by a final of 48-28.
Competition: There are plenty of worthwhile selections for the Mountaineers at #62. Many other great linemen were considered for this selection, including: Bill Legg, Rick Dolly, and Carl Dannenberg. I went with Stanchek here. He has the All-Big East selections, All-America selection, and two BCS wins.
Teaser: Tomorrow, we take a look at one of the most memorable defensive linemen in WVU football history. He was a major star in the late 80s, even bigger than Michael J. Fox (at least in Morgantown). I wish the DeLorean was here, so I could bring him Back to the Future.