Morgantown, West Virginia – In all of the weirdness of 2020 and this college football season, the West Virginia Mountaineers hold their destiny in their very own hands and, surprisingly, shockingly, a very clear path to the Big 12 Championship on December 5th at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
With traditional powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas sitting at 2-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play, the door is wide open for a team like West Virginia to sneak into the conference championship. In addition, the Kansas State Wildcats, who are undefeated at 3-0 in conference play, lost its team leader and senior captain, quarterback Skylar Thompson to injury today.
Currently, the Mountaineers sit in 4th place in the conference behind Iowa State (3-0), Kansas State (3-0) and Oklahoma State (2-0) and just ahead of Baylor (1-1, WVU holds the tie-breaker).
West Virginia’s next three games are the key, are all very winnable and will likely decide the fate of the season for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia’s home game against basement-dweller Kansas Jayhawks should be an automatic win, which would put the Mountaineers at 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
The following week, West Virginia travels to Lubbock, Texas to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are currently 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12. Although Texas Tech is not a very good team this season, winning in Lubbock is always a chore. However, the Mountaineers will likely be a favorite here and should get a tough win on the road.
The Mountaineers then return home on Halloween to play the Kansas State Wildcats. Potentially sitting at 4-1 and 3-1 in the conference, and now almost certainly ranked in the Top 25, West Virginia will be fired up for a season-defining game and a huge step towards making it to the conference championship. If this is a night game on Halloween with a full, sell-out crowd in attendance, is there any way the Mountaineers lose this game?
Now at 5-1 and 4-1 in the conference, West Virginia will have Texas on the road, TCU and Oklahoma at home, and then a blockbuster finale on the road against Iowa State. What seemed like a 5-5 season prior to the first game, now feels more like a 7-3 or 8-2 season and a real shot at a berth to the Big 12 Championship game.
A lot has to go right for the Mountaineers, and a lot wrong for its opponents (and a lot already has gone wrong), but the door is open, the path is cleared and West Virginia could do the impossible, the unthinkable in Year Two of Neal Brown’s tenure in Morgantown.
Go ahead and book your tickets to Dallas, West Virginia fans, this is the year.