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Where Does WVU Football Fall on Big 12 Media Preseason Poll?

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WVU Football HC Neal Brown at Gold-Blue spring game
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU used being picked to finish last in the Big 12 as motivation in 2023. Now a year later, Neal Brown and his team know what the media thinks of the Mountaineers as far as their chances in 2024.

On Tuesday, the Big 12 unveiled the results of the media’s preseason poll and predictions for who will win the conference this fall. While WVU fans are dreaming of the program winning its first Big 12 title, the collective media has West Virginia in the No. 7 spot in their standings. Instead, the media is producing Utah will lift the trophy to cap off the Utes debut season in the conference.

WVU received 581 points, falling well shy of the 661 for Iowa State at No. 6. Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Kansas and newcomer Arizona round out the rest of the schools in front of West Virginia. For comparison, Utah eared 906 points and 20 first place votes.

This projection is similar to where veteran college football writer Phil Steele has WVU and the rest of the Big 12 in his top 40. Steele currently has West Virginia at No. 35, placing Neal Brown’s team sixth in the Big 12. He also has newcomer Utah as the clear front runner in the conference at No. 8, Oklahoma State at No. 15, Kansas State at No. 23, Iowa State taking a step forward and coming in at No. 29, Arizona at No. 30 in their debut season and then Kansas two spots behind WVU at No. 37.

For a more favorable comparison, Athlon Sports has West Virginia just outside their current top 25 at No. 26. Taking an even bigger leap, Siris XM radio host Ari Temkin actually believes WVU will win the conference and reach the College Football Playoff.

Radio Host Incredibly High on WVU Football in 2024, Makes Big Prediction

But despite the increased expectations from fans and the surprise success of 2023, the ESPN FPI is projecting WVU to struggle to even reach bowl eligibility. Major sportsbooks also have West Virginia’s over/under win total only set at 6.5 and view the Mountaineers as a heavy underdog in their season opening game to Penn State, granted Athlon likely agrees with the latter since they have the Nittany Lions as their No. 8 best team in the country and a contender for making the College Football Playoff.

Early Win Total Projections Suggest WVU Football to Decline in 2024

Fans may argue the Mountaineers are being disrespected by some while others may feel talk of winning a conference title is premature, but one thing is certain – Brown and the rest of the coaching staff prefer to be the underdog. However, any of the low projections are interesting, taking into account most of the key players are returning and the schedule is arguably similar to last year.

After a 9-4 (6-3) season and a Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory, West Virginia is hungry to start the 2024 season getting revenge on the Nittany Lions. Penn State beat WVU in the 2023 season opener at Beaver Stadium 38-15. Penn State would finish the year at 10-3 (7-2), losing to Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl

Of course, the success or failure of the 2024 Mountaineers will largely depend on the play of Garrett Greene and if he lives up the hype or stays stagnate.

For related stories, Brown, who was firmly on the hot seat at this time one year ago, has moved way up the national coaching ranks and a national writer has WVU facing an old Big East foe in his bowl game projections.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. wvu vs everyone

    July 2, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    So what are these people smoking? So Utah that just moved over from a weak PAC 12 conference with a 8-5 record is going to win the Big 12 conference? These people are delusional!!!

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