September was kind to West Virginia. The Mountaineers crushed an easy non-conference schedule, defeating Georgia Southern, Liberty and Maryland by a cumulative 130-23. That success was good enough to rise the Mountaineers into the top 25 rankings and the top 10 nationally in scoring defense.
And then October started.
The Big 12 schedule makers cursed West Virginia with the most difficult October slate in college football: at Oklahoma, vs. Oklahoma State, at Baylor, at TCU. In turn, those four teams did to West Virginia what WVU spent September doing to its foes: bludgeoning them. The Mountaineers lost 44-24 to Oklahoma, 33-26 in overtime to Oklahoma State, 62-38 to Baylor and 40-10 to TCU.
“We’ve had a tough road here. The Big 12 is the only Power 5 conference with four teams in the top 15 — and we’ve played them all," WVU president Gordon Gee told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "We’re a little bruised and battered, but I have every expectation we’ll play great in the coming weeks.”
Now at 3-4 and 0-4 in the Big 12, the backside of the Mountaineers' conference slate is much more forgiving: Texas Tech and Texas in Morgantown the next two weeks, at Kansas, home against Iowa State, at Kansas State. Dana Holgorsen's bunch could win all five and wind up 8-4.
Holgorsen won the Big East in his first year on the job, and has struggled since moving to the Big 12.
5-2, t-1st Big East
Won Orange Bowl
4-5, t-5th Big 12
Lost Pinstripe Bowl
2-7, t-7th Big 12
5-4, t-5th Big 12
Lost Liberty Bowl
0-4, TBD Big 12
“We’ve been through a very tough schedule,” Gee said of the status of his head coach. “Let’s see what November brings.”