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Asti: West Virginia Football Almost Fooled People

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Neal Brown

One thing is very clear from West Virginia’s loss to Texas – the Mountaineers win streak was simply fool’s gold. Winning two games in a row loses its luster when you then get blasted for an 18-point defeat to a team that entered the game with the same record as you.

It’s time everyone just faces the reality that’s been slapping fans right in the face for awhile now. Through 5 games on the season, WVU is an average team, and that’s at best too. The Week 1 loss to Pitt stung, but led to some positivity, and rightfully so due to losing a rivalry game on the road as an underdog. All of that changed one week later with a loss at home to Kansas. Yes, the Jayhawks have proven to better than most people thought and should garner a top 25 ranking, but WVU blew a two-touchdown lead in the game and did kickoff as a 13.5-point favorite. Neal Brown‘s team was 0-2. This was the first time any WVU team started a season 0-2 since 1979. Imagine that.

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But then all of a sudden, a 65-7 shellacking of Towson and a win in Blacksburg to keep the Black Diamond Trophy in Morgantown for the foreseeable future would follow. A 2-2 record changed the way some felt about the team. There was talk of finding a way to get to bowl eligibility despite a tough schedule ahead. And while just making a bowl game is not exactly anything Mountaineer Nation wants to accept as a ceiling, it would show progress and a fortitude that could help sell year 5 of the Brown era being better. A solid recruiting class and having done the necessary work of bringing in a top transfer like JT Daniels before this season could have aided Brown’s case to stick around. Factor in the immense buyout the program would owe their head coach if he was fired, and continuing this climb under this current coaching staff started to feel understandable, maybe even making some sense.

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Unfortunately, believing in the process and that quality wins will come now seems foolish. Let’s face the facts. WVU beat up on Towson because they are supposed to bully around FCS teams. Those games are there as guarantee wins on the schedule. It even feels like the Mountaineers recording a convincing win over Virginia Tech says more about the Hokies’ problems than it does anything that great about West Virginia.

There’s no evidence to suggest the rest of this season isn’t going to be more of a roller coaster ride. TCU shocked the college football world by dominating Oklahoma. Kansas State is ranked. Texas Tech has a bette record and a victory over Texas. Oklahoma State is a top-10 team. Baylor is 3-2, but one of those loses is to Oklahoma State. Where are the wins remaining on the schedule? It’s hard to find too many while objectively looking at the resumes of the upcoming opponents.

It’s not to say WVU can’t beat one or two of the Big 12 teams they have yet to play. The conference is destined to cannibalize itself before the season is over, but it’s likely the Mountaineers are not favored in any of those games and it’s definitely possible things could get much worse before they ever get better on this current path.

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