Just one year ago, the Mountaineers had high expectations and a star laden team. This year, however, is a completely different story.
Quarterback Will Grier, receivers Gary Jennings, David Sills V and Marcus Simms are off to the NFL along with other former starters tight end Trevon Wesco and left tackle Yodny Cajuste. There’s no question about it, that’s a ton of top end talent to have to replace in just one year. Not to mention the losses of David Long Jr. and Kenny Robinson on the defensive side among others.
West Virginia also finds themselves with a new coaching staff led by Neal Brown who comes over from Troy after Dana Holgorsen announced his departure to Houston. Brown has seemed to reunite the fan base which has been divided for quite sometime, but he will have a more daunting task at hand. In his first year as the head coach the team will play 11 of its 12 games vs Power Five opponents. Only three other schools are in the same boat (Boston College, Purdue and Stanford). Welcome to West Virginia, Coach.
Luckily for the Mountaineers, they aren’t the only ones rebuilding this year. Many other teams in the Big 12 are having to replace star talent, have a new head coach or possibly both. It would appear that Oklahoma and Texas are the early on favorites to reach the Big 12 championship game, but there is so much parity in the league a wild card contender could find themselves in Dallas.
Today, the Big 12 Conference released its preseason poll voted on by the media.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
2. Texas Longhorns
3. Iowa State Cyclones
4. TCU Horned Frogs
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys
6. Baylor Bears
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders
8. West Virginia Mountaineers
9. Kansas State Wildcats
10. Kansas Jayhawks
Are the rankings accurate? Where do you see the Mountaineers finishing?