Nothing will quite feel the same as Pitt, Virginia Tech, or even Maryland, but establishing a rivalry with one of our new conference brethren will go a long way to feeling at home in the Big 12. Here are five reasons why the Red Raiders should be our new rival.
1. Measuring stick game - the Mountaineer fan base has traditionally viewed Maryland as the ultimate measuring stick game of the season, but after 2015 there is a hiatus on that series until 2020. As noted by Allen Taylor at West Virginia Metro News (and others) WVU entered Lubbock in 2012 with a 15-3 record under Dana Holgorsen, but after a 49-14 drubbing at the hand of the Red Raiders WVU has gone 9-16 since. Couple the respite of the Maryland series with the fact that Lubbock is where the Mountaineers most recent downward spiral began, and Texas Tech could rightly slide in as the measuring stick game. WVU seems to have cured some of their recent ills and this years game will go a long way to showing how far WVU has truly come. I suspect this will be the case in the coming years as well.
2. 0-2 - Texas Tech is not the only team WVU is 0-2 against in the Big 12, but it also feels like a team we shouldn't be 0-2 against. There was the aforementioned 49-14 2012 beat down, a game in which WVU entered ranked #5 in the country, and last year's debacle where the Mountaineers blew a second half lead and lost 37-27. Texas Tech celebrated on Mountaineer Field and then their quarterback took to twitter to rub in the defeat.
Davis Webb (@Davis_Webb7) October 19, 2013
3. The Master vs. The Pupil - Holgorsen and Kingsbury both come from the Mike Leach coaching tree and Holgorsen was Kingsbury's offensive coordinator at Texas Tech. If both coaches remain at WVU and Texas Tech this could blossom into a coaching rivalry.
4. The Mascot - Seriously, we need the Mountaineer to show this chump what's up.
5. John Denver - The tie that binds. John Denver attended Texas Tech and we are all aware of his role in WVU sports tradition. A couple years back Mike Casazza from the Charleston Daily Mail and others were unofficially dubbing the game "The Battle for John Denver's Guitar." It's not the Black Diamond Trophy, but it's something.
Bonus reasons to hate Texas Tech - Per Deadspin: Kliff Kingsbury wears costume jewelry, the school is in Lubbock, and as my colleagues at the Musket pointed out in the weekly predictions, Texas Tech is the origin for the term Raider Rash.