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WVU HC Neal Brown ‘Fired Up’ Over Fan Interest Ahead of 2024 Season

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Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

For some tangible proof to show the excitement in WVU football, look no further than the ticket sales. And after dealing with a depressed fanbase at this point last year, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is “fired up” by the fact ticket sales have already surpassed 2023’s total with the full summer to go.

Brown responded to the program announcing this news on Tuesday with some words of excitement and appreciation for the fans. “Fired up over this! We have the best home field advantage and traditions in college football. Let’s go!,” said Brown. 

Obviously, the difference in the prior season helped fueled so many more tickets being purchased this year compared to last. WVU is currently coming off a 9-4 season and a Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory over North Carolina. The 2023 season is Brown’s mosts successful overall year since arriving in Morgantown in 2019. This is a major contrast to situation at this same point one year ago. At that time, West Virginia was on the heels of a disappointing 5-7 campaign and failing to even reach bowl eligibility.

In addition to the hope for big things ahead, WVU will open the season with Penn State in Morgantown for the firs time in three decades, offering fans a big game to look forward to right away. West Virginia will be looking to avenge 2023’s 38-15 loss in State College.

Based on the recent success and the new Big 12 landscape, WVU fans are expecting even bigger things from the Mountaineers in 2024. But while there’s clear excitement and hype over the potential of WVU and even star players like quarterback Garrett Greene, there are others who are still doubting Brown and his team.

So while WVU football fans are dreaming of winning the Big 12, others are arguing West Virginia may take a step back again. Count the ESPN Football Power Index among those doubting the Mountaineers.

The ESPN FPI actually has Brown’s team around the middle of the pack in the conference at 6.0. They have WVU’s projected win-loss metric set at just 6.3-5.8, offer only a 64.1% chance to even be bowl eligible, 5% to win the conference title and an abysmal 6.4% chance to make the College Football Playoff.

How Does the ESPN FPI View WVU Football in 2024?

Factor in these numbers and where West Virginia falls in win total projections and the early odds for their season opening game against Penn State, and Brown has tons of material to use as motivation.

Fans may argue the Mountaineers are being disrespected, but Brown and the rest of the coaching staff prefer to be the underdog. However, the low projection is interesting because most of the key players are returning and the schedule is arguably similar than last year.

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

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