It really is no surprise that the West Virginia Mountaineers have been left out of the annual ESPN College Football Power Rankings. The Mountaineers’ Big 12 counterparts TCU and Baylor were ranked No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. The Oklahoma Sooners also made the cut, ranked No. 21 overall.
Per ESPN.com, TCU received their No. 2 rank by housing a stacked offense that scored 46.5 PPG last season. Baylor received the No. 4 rank due to returning 18 starters. As for Bob Stoops’ Sooners, running back Samaje Perine will likely be the driving force behind their future success.
Dana Holgersen’s squad is used to being the underdog. Last season, the Mountaineers were given zero chance of beating then No. 4 ranked Baylor, yet they diminished the Golden Bears 41-27 at Milan Puskar making it one of the greatest upsets in West Virginia football history.
No worries, though. The Mountaineers are new and improved both offensively and defensively. According to Holgerseon, experience will be West Virginia’s key to the College Football Playoff.
Some of West Virginia’s returning talents with multiple years in Holgersen’s system include: Nick Kwiatkoski (LB), Jared Barber (LB), Darren Arndt (TE/FB), Terrell Chestnut (CB), Daryl Worley (CB), Karl Joseph (S), K.J. Dillon (S) and Shaq Pettiway (LB) on the defense; Jordan Thompson (WR), Vernon Davis (WR,KR), Cody Clay (TE), Kyle Bosch (OL), Skylar Howard (QB), and Daikiel Shorts (WR) on the offense.
The Mountaineers have also added a few fresh faces that have already been deemed ‘game changers’.
Those include wide receivers Jovon Durante, Ka’Raun White and Gary Jennings, TE/FB Stone Wolfley, cornerback Tyrek Cole, and quarterbacks David Sills and Chris Chugunov.
The full ESPN College Football Power Rankings are as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Ole Miss
- Arizona State
- Georgia Tech
- Boise State
- Texas A&M