Cover Photo: WVU Athletics
The 2023 football schedule was just released and people have many different thoughts about it. West Virginia will play an even split of six home, six road games. They’ll play four at home in league play and five on the road. The schedule is highlighted by non-conference clashes with Penn State and Pitt and sandwiched in between is the home opener against Duquesne, rounding out a full non-con slate of games with the Keystone State. Here’s a look at my thoughts about this upcoming season.
It was a given that the Mountaineers would compete against Cincinnati and Central Florida, but the fans were unsure about whether we would face BYU and Houston. One could argue that facing these four rather than Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Texas make the slate less difficult. It would have made sense to at least keep Iowa State on the schedule and kick Houston off to make travel a little easier, but the Big 12 could care less about that. While this part of the schedule seems fairly easy, it will not be an easy ride for the Mountaineers.
Not only does West Virginia have the Backyard Brawl, but they have to open the season in Happy Valley against Penn State. Not to mention, their Big 12 opener is against a surging Texas Tech team followed by TCU, who just went to the College Football Playoff. If the Mountaineers begin the season 1-4 or 2-3, Neal Brown’s seat will be hotter than it’s ever been. With a fanbase starting to question Neal’s ability to coach our team, winning these games will be crucial.
Hopefully we will be thinking completely differently closer to the star of the season, but this appears to be the toughest schedule WVU has had in quite a while. Aside from Duquesne, there aren’t any guaranteed wins. And to be honest, I don’t know if the Mountaineers will be favored in more than two or three other games besides that. It’s going to be a challenging path to six wins. However, this doesn’t mean that we should give up on the season before it even starts. In a time where people are starting to Distrust The Climb, we need to buckle down and trust our team.