Oct 31, 2020; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown talks to officials before their game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

(Photo by Ben Queen – USA Today) 

 

The Neal Brown era is close to getting kicked into high gear in Morgantown, and I am excited to see where the program goes next. However, if we want to see Brown take the program to heights we haven’t experienced in nearly a decade, he must begin to produce on the field in 2021.

If Neal Brown wants to keep the excitement for the “Climb” alive and well, he must knock off at least one of the best teams the Big 12 has to offer.

Here are three teams Neal Brown must pick up at least one win against next season:

 

  • Iowa State: The Mountaineers have lost three straight to the Cyclones by double digits. Matt Campbell has his program in Ames competing at a high level, and will do so as long as he remains with them. In his two matchups against Campbell, Brown is 0-2, and has lost by an average of 10-40. I feel like this is the one team in the upper-tier of the Big 12 that WVU can knock off next season, and luckily for Brown the game will be in Morgantown. The Mountaineers are historically better than Iowa State, and should be up for some revenge in this matchup.
  • Oklahoma State: West Virginia hasn’t knocked off the Cowboys since 2014. To put it into perspective, Clint Trickett, Kevin White, and Mario Alford were leading the offense for the Old Gold and Blue that season. The Cowboys have been a thorn in the side of the Mountaineers, and West Virginia must pick up a win against them sooner or later. This will also be a matchup held in Morgantown next season, and as we all know, WVU plays MUCH better at home than they do away.
  • Oklahoma: Okay, here’s the big one. If Brown really wants to leave his mark with the Mountaineers, knocking off the Sooners will do that. Since joining the Big 12, West Virginia has yet to beat Oklahoma. As talented as the Lincoln Riley-led squad is, this trend could continue for a long time if WVU simply doesn’t want the game enough. However, this matchup will be in Norman, so hopes of finally toppling Oklahoma may just have to wait until 2022 when the series comes back to Milan Puskar Stadium.