Why West Virginia is a Strong Contender to Make the College Football Playoff

By Derek Ferreira
Oct. 26, 2016

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia is undefeated with a 6-0 record for the first time since the days of Owen Schmitt, Steve Slaton, and Pat White back in 2006. Picked to be a bottom-tier team in the Big 12, the defensive side of the side was going to be a big issue. Even though the Big 12 conference is a disappointment this season, West Virginia is not. After playing a close game against Kansas State, they have been a team to watch, beating teams like TCU and Texas Tech. Sure, they were people saying this was going to be a dark horse team, but many experts have said that it's luck. Even though the Big 12 is not the marquee conference that it once was, only three teams are ranked, hence why I'm going to say that it's time to take Mountaineers seriously. The Mountaineers are poised to make a deep run in the Big 12 in 2016 and could be a dark horse to be in the College Football Playoffs. I'll tell you why we should pay attention to West Virginia.

West Virginia only has six remaining games, and if they can stay undefeated, they will be favorites to win all their games. My lock games for a victory are against Kansas, the Texas Longhorns, and Iowa State. Their latest test will be against the 5-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys, but the Mountaineers are 4-point favorites. As we progressed through the season, the Mountaineers play Baylor and Oklahoma. Those will be a test, but West Virginia will earn a playoff berth if they can stay undefeated. The Big 12 is the only Power 5 conference without a championship game. Another advantage for the Mountaineers is that they play Baylor and Oklahoma at home, where they haven't lost a game in over a year. Their defense was made to slow opposing offenses in the Big 12. Teams like Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have great offensive philosophies, and Dana Holgersen has an idea on to attack them. The offensive attack of the Mountaineers can use their passing game or the run game if they are in trouble. West Virginia's schedule favors them to run the table and have victories that are impressive, which can land them a playoff spot. Now it's up to them to win those games.