West Virginia Can Win the Big 12
With a little luck and a little help, West Virginia may find themselves in a chance to win their very first Big 12 title
Looking at the current state of the Big 12, West Virginia has a prime opportunity to seize control of its own destiny in a weird season. WVU sits at #4 in the conference standings at 2-1, behind Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State but with huge games still to come on the schedule. If QB Jarrett Doege can limit turnovers and threaten downfield, then WVU will be hard to stop. A trip to Lubbock this week for a date with Texas Tech should put the Mountaineers at 4-1 and inside the Top 25 for the first time since finishing #20 in 2018. A ranked matchup with Kansas State in Morgantown could be....
K-State is vulnerable too, as shown by their loss to Arkansas State. This has only been exacerbated by their loss of multi-year starting QB Skyler Thompson. The WVU offense HAS to be productive though in order to exploit the Wildcat's D. It is a very winnable game and would vault the Eers into the top of the Big 12 standings.
Next come the Longhorns who are reeling from a heartbreaking OT loss to Oklahoma. WVU catches them after playing Oklahoma State the week prior. Will Texas beat the Pokes or will Mike Gundy prevail? The Mountaineers should be rooting for Texas in order to give OK State a conference loss, but regardless it will be a hard fought game and WVU can catch UT off guard. Stopping Sam Ehlinger is the only way to win, but WVU can lock him down and exploit the Horns weak defense.
The following weeks WVU faces TCU and Oklahoma, two very bipolar teams. TCU lost to ISU and K-State but topped Texas while Oklahoma got stunned by ISU and K-State before beating Texas in OT. Should WVU beat Kansas State then they know they can beat TCU and Oklahoma. Whether Spencer Rattler gets his act together or not could be the deciding factor for the Sooners. The likelihood WVU makes it this far without suffering another conference loss is low, but the amount of games lost by their fellow Big 12 mates beating up on one another should help their cause in staying relevant.
The final game comes against what is shaping up to be a formidable Iowa State squad. Despite a week 1 shocker to Louisiana, the Cyclones have bounced back strong and remain unbeaten in Big 12 play. As unpredictable as the Big 12 is though Iowa State may have lost to OK State, Texas or Kansas State in the meantime. This will easily be WVU's toughest game of the season, and while I am bullish on ISU's chances, don't count out West Virginia. Look for the Eers to try and force turnovers as ISU has lost nearly ever fumble they've put on the ground thus far. Win or Lose, this game could end up being replayed the week after in the Big 12 championship. The Mountaineers are the clear dark horse in this conference so take notice because they are on the rise.