West Virginia was not favored to reach a bowl game in the 2023 season. They were essentially going to be what Houston is showing up to be or what everyone thought Baylor was before their come-from-behind fourth-quarter upset in Orlando. The Mountaineers under Neal Brown can become bowl-eligible as early as week 7. In seasons where we have struggled with the hopes of getting to the post-season play, we are actually looking at the remaining schedule of not winding up in the lowest tier of bowl games but being a competitive clash to watch as we approach the beginning of 2024.
Facing the Houston Cougars on the road on October 12th will be another step on the road to bowl eligibility. While this Texas team has had its share of struggles, their offense can surprise people looking ahead to, say, Oklahoma State or UCF. While everyone has their predictions on where WVU might end up when our twelfth game comes to an end, I don’t think that future has been written yet. This is a team playing like no one told them they weren’t still being thought of as the #14 team in the conference.
Neal Brown has only had us in two bowl games since taking over as the head coach of the team, the Liberty Bowl against a substituted opponent in Army, and the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a disappointing offensive display. In 2021, the Mountaineers did not become bowl-eligible until winning a close one against Kansas (pre-Lance Liepold) in the year’s final game. Now, with our backs to the wall, we are carrying the West Virginia flag to Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma and asking ’14 who?’
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