Morgantown, W. Va. – As the bye week comes to an end, many are asking where the last three wins could come from in order to sneak into bowl eligibility. With the next West Virginia kickoff days away, let’s see what the remaining schedule looks like.
October 31: 8:00 EST kick versus the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas
November 9: Time TBD for the second to last home kick against the Texas Tech Red Raiders
November 16: Time TBD versus the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas
November 23: Time TBD for last home game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys
November 29: 3:30 EST kick against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Take a second and look over the next five weeks of the season. Where will the next three wins for the Mountaineers come from? It is very clearly an uphill battle to round out the 2019 season, but there are few opportunities to walk away with the W.
Baylor: A Thursday night game reminiscent of old Big East days, the Mountaineers travel to Waco on Halloween hoping to cast a spell on the currently (as of October 22) undefeated Baylor Bears. It feels like only two years ago, literally two years ago, when Baylor had a 1-11 season when the Mountaineers left Waco winning a nail biter 38-36. Now, the Bears under Matt Rhule are sitting at the top of the conference, likely to make an AP Poll jump after every other ranked Big 12 team lost on Saturday, October 26. Can the Mountaineers take a page out of of the records from the old Big East days and take down the only undefeated team left in the Big 12?
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are waking up Sunday, October 27 and likely scratching their heads and getting ready to watch some film. Texas Tech handed Kansas their first Big 12 victory under Coach Les Miles during the final moment’s of their week nine road trip. The Red Raiders are yet another Big 12 team with a new coach this season and are two weeks away from their trip to Morgantown. The Red Raiders are sitting at a 3-5 record going into week ten with a bye week, where they will likely regroup for a West Virginia team that badly wants another win in Morgantown. Could this be a win for the Mountaineers?
Kansas State: Full disclosure, I had the Kansas State game in November penciled in as a win for West Virginia. First year head coach, replacing legend Bill Snyder, grueling Big 12 schedule. Then the Oklahoma Sooners made their way to Manhattan and quite literally all hell breaks loose. The Wildcats performed outstandingly for a full sixty minutes during week nine and delivered what was thought at the time to be the biggest blow of the Saturday for the Big 12; a 48-41 upset over the then fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Yes, the Wildcats handed Jalen Hurts a loss; something he doesn’t see very often. Now, that ‘penciled in win’ has been feverishly erased and replaced with a question mark. Can a West Virginia defense that has been riddled with injuries and inexperience handle a Kansas State offensive line that beat Oklahoma?
Oklahoma State: Apparently the football gods really did miss the memo and should have scheduled West Virginia for a week nine game, because Oklahoma State also upset a ranked foe in their take down of Iowa State. The Cowboys were thought to be upper echelon of the conference going into the season and with their performance over ranked Iowa State, it seems as if the mullet-wearing Gundy is trending upward for their wins and not just his infamous hairstyle. Before taking on West Virginia in the final game in Morgantown for the 2019 season, Oklahoma State faces TCU, a bye week and Kansas. After a last quarter heartbreak in Stillwater last November, the Mountaineers need to work on their revenge and hope to end the home games for the season with a win.
TCU: The 2019 regular season finally comes on the Friday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. Going into week ten, Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs handed the Texas Longhorns their third loss of the season and reminded those who subscribe to the Longhorn Network that Texas is in fact . . . not quite back. The Horned Frogs of Fort Worth have always been a literal pain in the side of the Mountaineers and this game has the potential to be a tipping point for the 2019 season: Will the Mountaineers scrape three more wins this season and advance to the bowl season or will the 2019 season be chalked up to less than six wins and a whole lot of experience and growth? Bowl season or moral victory? If history is any sort of evidence, the matchup in Fort Worth after everyone is coming off of their Thanksgiving meals and late night Black Friday shopping will likely be a nail biter for the full sixty minutes and write another page in the WVU-TCU storybook.
The Mountaineers have five more games left in this rebuilding season and are three games away from advancing to the post-season. The question that everyone is asking is which of these five games can the Mountaineers come away with victoriously, at least three more times?
Can Coach Brown and his team stir up some more trouble in the Big 12 after a very chaotic week nine Saturday? Guess we will just have to wait and see.