It’s 100 days until the football season, which means it’s time for a way-too-early 2022 record prediction for West Virginia football. This upcoming season, there are several match-ups to look forward to if you’re a West Virginia fan.
In addition to the highly anticipated renewal of the Backyard Brawl there’s another rivalry game against Virginia Tech on the schedule and the usual Big12 games against Texas and Oklahoma.
How will West Virginia fare in each game? Find out below:
Game One: West Virginia at Pitt
The renewal of the Backyard Brawl is easily the most exciting game on both West Virginia’s and Pitt’s upcoming schedules. However, it is more likely to be a rough Thursday night for West Virginia than an upset victory. Pitt is coming off their best season in nearly 50 years, has a much more talented roster and currently is the more stable program.
With it being a rivalry and week one game craziness can easily ensue that could lead to an upset of Pitt, a program known for playing in crazy and weird games. In addition to being the more talented team though, Pitt comes in with a veteran squad that returns 17 starters compared to West Virginia’s nine. The experience makes it much more likely that Pitt can handle the emotions of such a significant early game. Pitt rides their talent and experience at home en route to a two-score victory.
Result: West Virginia loss, 0-1
Game Two: Kansas at West Virginia
It’s Kansas. West Virginia should have no issue putting away a team that hasn’t had more than three wins in a season since a 5-7 year in 2009. They have six total Big12 wins since West Virginia joined the conference in 2012, and have never had more than one in a single season.
Granted, one of those six wins was against West Virginia in 2013, but that was a long time ago and again, it’s Kansas. While Kansas only lost by six points last season to West Virginia, this game should be an easy home opener for West Virginia.
Result: West Virginia conference win, 1-1 (1-0)
Game Three: Towson at West Virginia
It’s West Virginia’s buy game and it will be the second consecutive victory for the school. While a 66-0 thrashing that the team put on LIU last year will be a tough performance to follow, expect a similar safe win for West Virginia.
Towson is an FCS school and power-five schools shouldn’t play FCS schools for a reason, but teams like an easy win. The reason for why these games are atrocities will be reflected in this lopsided victory for West Virginia.
Result: West Virginia win, 2-1 (1-0)
Game Four: West Virginia at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech comes into the game undefeated, but with two of those wins in buy games against Old Dominion and Wofford. Despite being under new head coach Brent Pry, the team was still built during the disappointing Justin Fuente years and will play like that.
There will be no “he won with someone else’s players” argument against Pry in 2022 as he struggles through a losing season while his program starts a quick rebuild. It will be a close game, but a victory for West Virginia, who extend their winning streak to three.
Result: West Virginia win, 3-1 (1-0)
Game Five: West Virginia at Texas
West Virginia heads to 3-1 (1-0) Texas that is ranked around the No. 10 spot mainly because of the school’s brand and not because of the three easy wins for Texas that huddled around a blowout loss to Alabama. West Virginia plays Texas tough and the horns down gif trends on Twitter during the game, much to the disproval of the Big12 office.
New quarterback JT Daniels has statistically his biggest game of the year for West Virginia when he goes up against one of 2021’s worst defenses. The two teams play a typical Big12 game, scoring at least 40 points apiece with no defense in sight. Despite all of this Texas, being both at home and the more talented team, earns a nerve-racking victory over West Virginia.
Result: West Virginia conference loss, 3-2 (1-1)
Game Six: Baylor at West Virginia
Baylor heads to West Virginia at 3-2 (1-1) with close losses to Oklahoma State and BYU. Baylor is on the cusp of falling out of the Top-25 while West Virginia is receiving votes, albeit very few. It’s Baylor who uses this game to prove that they belong amongst the top teams in the country with a steam-roll victory over West Virginia.
Daniels follows up his strong start against Texas by throwing multiple interceptions against a Baylor defense that was seventh in the NCAA in turnovers in 2021. This performance leads to a fan-created quarterback controversy prior to the Texas Tech game.
Result: West Virginia conference loss, 3-3 (1-2)
Game Seven: West Virginia at Texas Tech
Calls throughout the week from the fanbase center around wanting four-star recruit Nicco Marchiol to take over for Daniels as the starting quarterback, but head coach Neal Brown continues to make the only smart choice in starting Daniels once again.
This distraction, combined with poor momentum from just having lost two straight, leads to the third consecutive loss for West Virginia, and the fourth straight loss against Texas Tech.
Result: Texas Tech conference loss, 3-4 (1-3)
Game Eight: TCU at West Virginia
West Virginia needs a win to salvage what is starting to look like a lost season. The calls from the fanbase for Marchiol to start get louder and perhaps Brown actually considers making the switch this time, though highly doubtful. Brown continues to make the right choice and starts Daniels.
Unlike last week, this results in a win for West Virginia over a TCU football team in their first full season without Gary Patterson at the helm since he took over as interim head coach in 2000. West Virginia gets much needed momentum as they head back to .500 on the season.
Result: West Virginia conference win, 4-4 (2-3)
Game Nine: West Virginia at Iowa State
Amidst rumors that Matt Campbell will leave Iowa State for a better opportunity in the winter, Iowa State will be having another strong season and will enter this game ranked in the Top-25.
West Virginia however, with momentum from the TCU victory, ride into Ames, Iowa for their first and only ranked win of the season in an uncharacteristic defensive battle for the BIG12. It’s West Virginia’s biggest win of the season and motivates them heading home to face a top-10 Oklahoma team.
Result: West Virginia conference win, 5-4 (3-3)
Game 10: Oklahoma at West Virginia
Oklahoma enters the game with a win over Baylor and one week away from an Oklahoma State game that will clinch the winner a Big12 title shot. West Virginia enters having saved their sinking ship of a season with a two-game winning streak including a ranked win on the road against Iowa State.
This has all the makings of a trap game for Oklahoma, who barely beat West Virginia last season at home. The game starts to play out just like that, and West Virginia is within one score heading into halftime. However, a rousing speech from new Oklahoma coach Brent Venables leads to the team pulling away in the second half for a decisive victory.
Result: West Virginia conference loss, 5-5 (3-4)
Game 11: Kansas State at West Virginia
West Virginia needs to beat Kansas State to become bowl-eligible while Kansas State once again plays all year like a good, but not great, eight-win team. After being man-handled by the Kansas State offensive line last season, West Virginia’s defensive front figures out how to shut down one of the nation’s best rushing attacks en route to a senior day victory.
There’s a chance that this is West Virginia’s second ranked win on the season, but the polls will snub a decent Kansas State team who “hasn’t beaten anyone” prior to this game.
Prediction: West Virginia conference win, 6-5 (4-4)
Game 12: West Virginia at Oklahoma State
Similar to the Oklahoma game two weeks prior, this game has all the makings of a trap game for West Virginia’s opponent. West Virginia enters with no real motivation except playing for a slightly better bowl game. Despite all of the roster turnover that affected Oklahoma State’s defensive backfield in the off-season, the school enters off a win against their rival Oklahoma, and the former is already looking ahead to the Big12 Championship, which will be a rematch against Oklahoma and potentially clinch a College Football Playoff berth.
Just like the Oklahoma game, West Virginia keeps it close and perhaps even leads at halftime. This time, Oklahoma State doesn’t pull away for a convincing win and the game goes down to the final few minutes. Oklahoma State does win in the end, but barely. West Virginia gives them and College Football Playoff voters a real scare heading into the bowl season.
Final Result: West Virginia conference loss, 6-6 (4-5)