MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Neal Brown needed a bonafide statement win badly and he got it by beating a team that went to the national championship last season on their own field. With this huge win, the Mountaineers are now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12 Conference and are shockingly in position early to actually play for the Big 12 Championship at the end of the season.
“Nobody has believed in us,” said Brown following West Virginia’s win at TCU. “I don’t want to hear anyone on social media saying ‘Yeah, I saw them being 4-1.’ Nope. The only people that really believed were us.”
Through five weeks, West Virginia is currently in 3rd place in the conference behind only Texas (5-0, 2-0) and Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) and those teams play next Saturday. The Mountaineers have a bye week and will move into 2nd place in the Big 12.
Although West Virginia had what was considered one of the most challenging schedules in the entire nation during the preseason, their remaining schedule looks very promising. After the bye week next week, the Mountaineers go to Houston (2-3, 0-2), return home to play Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1), on the road at UCF (3-2, 0-2), at home against BYU (4-1, 0-1), at Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0), home against Cincinnati (3-2, 0-2) and on the road at Baylor (2-3, 0-1).
This isn’t an easy schedule but it’s not out of the realm possibility that the Mountaineers could only lose one or two more games this season. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if West Virginia only loses at Oklahoma for the remainder of the season.
At the beginning of the season, I predicted West Virginia to go 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big 12. I was mocked for this prediction, but the reality is that this is very realistic at this point and the Mountaineers could even exceed it. Neal Brown’s tough, gritty team is consistent and playing the type of football that is difficult to beat right now. Don’t be surprised if West Virginia is playing for the conference championship in the Big 12 Championship Game on December 3rd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.