1. WEST VIRGINIA WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
Easily one of the toughest calls in the Big 12 this season, what is this team going to be under new coach Neal Brown?
The young former Troy head man was a strong choice by the program after Dana Holgorsen made the move away from the adult table to the Group of Five world, but good luck trying to figure out where all the pieces on the 2019 Mountaineers fit.
The offensive line is solid and relatively settled, the running back situation is strong, and the corners and linebackers should be set.
Is Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall really ready to handle the starring role? Where are all the receivers from last year? Where are all the safeties? Who are all these new guys, and what’s going to happen when the recruiting class kicks in and has to play a big role?
Brown will be cut some slack considering there’s a rebuilding job to be done here – at least a rehab – but it could be a major indictment of the Holgorsen era if West Virginia wins eight games like it did last year when the team was loaded with veterans.
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 6
Brown is just that good a head coaching prospect, and the talent level across the board isn’t falling off that much. Yeah, the mass exodus at safety is a problem, and you don’t get better by losing the parts to the passing game, that WVU did, but there’s enough in place to fight and claw to seven wins.
There should be a win over James Madison – although not a slam-dunk – and beating Kansas on the road and Texas Tech at home are a must.
That’s three … maybe.
The Mountaineers don’t get any major breaks considering they have to go to Missouri and host NC State.
Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State are all home games, but getting two wins out of that would be amazing. Going to Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor and TCU will all be problems.
But Brown will get enough wins to go bowling and set the foundation for a stronger 2020.