Morgantown, West Virginia – In all of the weirdness of 2020 and this college football season, the West Virginia Mountaineers hold their destiny in their very own hands and, surprisingly, shockingly, have a very clear path to the Big 12 Championship on December 5th at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, particularly if West Virginia can win today in Lubbock against Texas Tech.
With traditional powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas sitting at 2-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play, the door is wide open for a team like West Virginia to sneak into the conference championship. In addition, the Kansas State Wildcats, who are undefeated at 3-0 in conference play, lost its team leader and senior captain, quarterback Skylar Thompson and looks very average today against the horrendous Kansas Jayhawks. The Mountaineers, of course, play Kansas State next weekend on Halloween in Morgantown.
Currently, the Mountaineers sit in 4th place in the conference behind Iowa State (3-0), Kansas State (3-0) and Oklahoma State (2-0) and just ahead of Baylor (1-1, WVU holds the tie-breaker). Iowa State and Oklahoma State play today.
West Virginia’s next three games are the key, are all very winnable and will likely decide the fate of the season for the Mountaineers.
Today’s game at Texas Tech is likely the most important game of the season for the Mountaineers. The Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are currently 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12. Although Texas Tech is not a very good team this season, winning in Lubbock is always a chore. If the Mountaineers can take care of business today, the door is wide open for a West Virginia berth to the Big 12 Championship.
Potentially sitting at 4-1 and 3-1 in the conference, and now almost certainly ranked in the Top 25, West Virginia will be fired up for a season-defining game against Kansas State and this will be a huge step towards making it to the conference championship. With its starting quarterback out for the season, winning a big conference game on the road will be very challenging for Kansas State.
Now at 5-1 and 4-1 in the conference, West Virginia will have Texas on the road, TCU and Oklahoma at home, and then a blockbuster finale on the road against Iowa State. What seemed like a 5-5 season prior to the first game, now feels more like a 7-3 or 8-2 season and a real shot at a berth to the Big 12 Championship game.
A lot has to go right for the Mountaineers, and a lot wrong for its opponents (and a lot already has gone wrong), but the door is open, the path is cleared and West Virginia could do the impossible, the unthinkable in Year Two of Neal Brown’s tenure in Morgantown.