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Neal Brown Believes Mountaineers Deserve National Ranking After 9-Win Season



WVU head coach Neal Brown after beating UNC in the Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

Charlotte, N.C. – WVU head coach Neal Brown didn’t waste any time demanding respect for his Mountaineers after winning the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

Brown followed West Virginia’s 30-10 victory over North Carolina by making his thoughts loud and clear about where his team stands compared to the rest of the country. He said he feels WVU deserves to be nationally ranked in the final major polls.

Brown even said he will be casting a vote for the Mountaineers himself. And he did not stop there. Brown, who spent most of the off-season hearing about how he would be fired, even believes West Virginia should be part of the pre-season rankings for the 2024 season as well.

WVU’s argument for a 2023 end of season ranking stems from finishing with nine wins, including a convincing bowl victory over a Tar Heels team that won eight games out of the ACC. In addition to nine overall wins, the Mountaineers won six games against Big 12 competition. He did also take a moment to ponder what could’ve been too.

Brown asked where WVU would be if they were able to hang on against Oklahoma State and Houston. But even though WVU did not win those games, which would have resulted in 11 total wins, he’s still making the case the nine-win season that did happen should at least result in a spot as one of the top 25 teams.

And while it’s tough to predict what will happen next season or pre-season rankings in December of 2023, the fact West Virginia has been able to already retain the key core members of the team lends credence to Brown’s commends about WVU earning a place in any ranking that projects 2024.

If voters agree with Brown, WVU will find itself ranked for the first time at any point since Brown arrived in Morgantown in 2019. Brown did argue for a ranking after West Virginia’s hot start to the season and was denied at that time.

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