MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — The Big 12 Conference is really, really bad this season. From top to bottom, the conference just doesn’t have the depth that it typically does and this could potentially save Neal Brown’s job at West Virginia University.
West Virginia was gifted what has turned out to be one of the most ridiculously easy conference schedules in the Big 12; the Mountaineers do not have to play Texas, Kansas and Kansas State, which are three of the top teams in the conference right now, and the teams that they are playing – Baylor, Oklahoma State, Houston, Texas Tech, etc. – are having down years.
Beating the likes of TCU, UCF and Oklahoma on the road won’t be easy but it wouldn’t be shocking if they won at least a couple of those. In a challenging conference like the Big 12, this is as simple as it gets and Neal Brown and the Mountaineers are ready to pounce on this incredible opportunity.
If West Virginia beats who they should beat – Houston, Oklahoma State, BYU and Cincinnati – they will have a minimum of 7 wins without winning of the games on the road at TCU, UCF and Oklahoma. Although a 7-5 record isn’t ideal, this is Neal Brown we’re talking about, it’s growth from previous seasons and it greatlly exceeds expectations. Remember, this team was predicted to finish 14th out of 14 teams in the Big 12 Conference and many experts believed they wouldn’t win more than a few games. In fact, the Mountaineers were only favored to win one game this season and that was against Duquesne at home. If West Virginia goes 7-5 or 8-4 with a bowl win this year, that would be reason for a parade in Morgantown. If West Virginia can manage to win games they are supposed to win and upset a couple of opponents on the way, Neal Brown could easily go from the hot seat to earning another contract extension.