WVU football can still sneak into the Big 12 title game. Here are its paths to victory

Gold and Blue Nation

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportwire)

It’s an open week for WVU football, but there’s still plenty at stake this weekend for the Mountaineers even though they aren’t playing. With a 4-3 Big 12 record, West Virginia sits at No. 6 in the Big 12 heading into the weekend. The top five teams in the conference are all in action this weekend and the outcomes of each game could determine if Neal Brown and company are completely out of contention.

Here’s a look at how the standings shape up ahead of week 12:

  • 1. No. 17 Iowa State (5-2, 5-1 Big 12)
  • 2. No. 14 Oklahoma State (5-1, 4-1 Big 12)
  • 3. Kansas State (4-3, 4-2 Big 12)
  • 4. No. 18 Oklahoma (5-2, 4-2 Big 12)
  • 5. No. 22 Texas (5-2, 4-2 Big 12)
  • 6. West Virginia (5-3, 4-3 Big 12)
  • 7. TCU (3-4, 3-4 Big 12)
  • 8. Texas Tech (3-5, 2-5 Big 12)
  • 9. Baylor (1-5, 1-5 Big 12)
  • 10. Kansas (0-7, 0-6 Big 12)

Now, a lot of things would have to go completely wrong for the top five teams to allow the Mountaineers to sneak in, and WVU would have to win its remaining two games against Iowa State and Oklahoma. The best-case scenario is that WVU gets both of those wins and finish 6-3, keeping its championship hopes alive. Worst-case scenario is it ends 4-5 with no chance of competing for the crown.

Iowa State, the conference leader at 5-1, hosts Kansas State on Saturday, followed by Texas and West Virginia. The Mountaineers need ISU to lose all three matchups, meaning ISU would fall to 5-4. If the Cyclones don’t lose at least two games and drop to 6-3, the chances are very slim for the Mountaineers.

The biggest game of the weekend for a number of reasons is Oklahoma State at Oklahoma. Bedlam features the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the conference, OSU is 4-1 while OU is 4-2. The Cowboys would need to lose their last three matchups to drop to 5-4. The Sooners would have to add two losses, including to West Virginia next weekend, for a 5-4 mark. 

Texas was supposed to play Kansas on Saturday, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19. The odds are in the Longhorns favor for that one, but it would help WVU if they lost at least two of the remaining three. That puts Texas at 5-4 and under the Mountaineers in the standings. 

Additionally, the Mountaineers have to rely on a collapse from Kansas State, who has a 4-2 record. After facing Iowa State this weekend, they travel to Waco to face Baylor next week.

Again, a lot of scenarios would have to play out in order for West Virginia to still have the Big 12 Conference title game in reach, but this weekend’s slate will provide a much clearer picture of that path the conference championship on Dec. 19, and it could include a few tie-breakers. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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