Big 12: West Virginia
Alright, West Virginia. This is your chance. This is when you need to make that move from being an annual bowl team/also-ran in the Big 12 race to a real, live contender.
You have the quarterback in Will Grier. You have the receivers. You have the offensive line, enough on defense, and the veteran head coach in Dana Holgorsen to make it all work.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each have to go on without their respective all-timer quarterbacks, Texas still isn’t there yet, Baylor isn’t even close, and Texas Tech is Texas Tech.
TCU and Kansas State will be strong, but c’mon – again, West Virginia, this is your chance.
The opener against Tennessee in Charlotte should set the tone. The Vols aren’t going to be anything special just yet under Jeremy Pruitt and the new regime, but win that, and the road game at NC State a few weeks later becomes the big test to see just how strong you really are.
If you’re the real deal, Mountaineers, you rip through the first part of the Big 12 slate, getting Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor at home, and going on the road to deal with Texas Tech and Iowa State.
And then it’s winning time. Welcome to November, going to Texas and Oklahoma State, and getting TCU and Oklahoma at home.
If you’re the stuff, Mountaineers, that November 23rd date with the Sooners could and should be the first of two, playing them again in the Big 12 Championship a week later.