Expert Says West Virginia Can Win the Big 12 Title

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Although head coach Neal Brown has failed to deliver consistent winning during his 5 seasons at West Virginia (31-29 overall, 20-24 in the Big 12 Conference), the 2024-2025 season feels different and expectations are high entering a huge opener against the Penn State Nittany Lions at home on August 31.

The season is a little less than 4 months away, but experts are already painting the Mountaineers as a potential dark horse to compete for a Big 12 Championship and perhaps even make noise on the national scene.

Shehan Jeyarajah, a a college football writer for CBS Sports, likes West Virginia’s chances entering the season. In an article released today called “Big 12 Spring Overreactions”, Jeyarajah made a bold statement about WVU: “The Mountaineers can make the title game:”, Jeyarajah wrote. “It’s nearly impossible to quantify the vibe shift that has taken place in Morgantown, West Vriginia. Less than a year after Neal Brown was firmly on the hot seat, West Virginia featured a wacky and fun spring game headlined by linebackerTrey Lathan rocking a “Neal Breezy” shirt. There’s plenty to get excited about on the football side, too, headlined by superstar running back duo CJ Donaldson and Jaheim White. The Mountaineers used some good luck to win nine games last season, but more could be on the table.”

Jeyarajah didn’t even mention stud senior quarterback Garrett Greene, who finished the 2023 season 147/277 for 2,406 yards, 16 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions through the air, and rushed 120 times for 772 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. With Greene, Donaldson and White in the backfield, and an experienced, talented offensive line, the Mountaineers could potentially have the best running game in the conference.

Neal Brown believes his team had a tremendous Spring and is poised for a great season: “I think we are a hungry team that likes to compete,” Brown recently. “That was evident in how we went about our business in practices one through 14. It showed that this is a group that likes to practice.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Brown thinks his team will be greatly improved, especially in the secondary. “Garnett Hollis is going to help us, and I think some of those freshmen, too. We have some guys that have played some snaps at safety, and we continue to move those guys around,” he said. “There are some new faces back there that are going to make an impact.”

Expectations are high! Now, let’s see if Neal Brown and the Mountaineers can live up to them.

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.