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WVU Football: Since 1970, WVU Has Prospered In The College Football World

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WVU has prospered as a nationally recognized program since the 70s.

Throwback helmet honors WVU's winning tradition.
Throwback helmet honors WVU's winning tradition.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Consider these facts:

  1. WVU has won 712 games in 121 seasons.  317 of those victories have occurred since 1970.
  2. WVU has played in 32 bowl games.  26 of those games have been played in the 44 seasons since 1970.
  3. WVU has experienced only 11 losing seasons in the last 44 years.
  4. In the BCS era, only Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Florida and LSU have more BCS bowl victories.  WVU is tied with Florida State, Alabama, Oregon, Miami (FL) and Texas with three victories each.

Bobby Bowden, Don Nehlen, and Rich Rodriquez brought national prominence to Mountaineer football.

Bowden won 62% of his games and led the Mountaineers to two bowl games in six seasons.

Nehlen won 61% of his games and took WVU to 13 bowl games in 21 seasons.  In 1988, Nehlen brought the Mountaineers within a Fiesta Bowl victory of winning the national championship.

Oh, so close.

Rich Rodriguez won 70% of his games in seven seasons.  He led the Mountaineers to five bowl games, including a BCS Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia in the 2005 season.  He also brought WVU within one game of playing for the national championship in 2007.

Bill Stewart led the Mountaineers through the chaos of Rich Rodriquez' departure. On a January night in Phoenix, WVU bested Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl to conclude a tumultuous 2007 season.  Stewart won 70% of his games and coached in four bowl games.

Dana Holgorsen has won 55% of his games in three seasons.  He has led WVU to two bowl games, including the Mountaineer's third BCS victory in three tries with a resounding 70-33 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

WVU's 317 victories since 1970 puts the Mountaineers in a tie for 23rd place nationally.  Here are the top 30 winningest programs since 1970:

Team                     Wins

Nebraska             431

Ohio State            408

Oklahoma           407

Alabama             404

Michigan              393

Penn State          390

Florida State       386

Boise State         379

USC                    376

Texas                  375

BYU                     373

Georgia               370

Florida                 366

Notre Dame       358

Miami (FL)          354

Tennessee         354

Auburn                352

LSU                      341

Clemson             329

Texas A&M         329

Virginia Tech     325

Arizona State    321

Arkansas           317

WVU                   317

Nevada              315

UCLA                 313

Fresno State     312

Troy                    310

Washington      309

Toledo               298

23 of the 30 teams come from the "Power Five" conferences.  The list consists of four teams from the ACC, three from the Big 12, four from the Big Ten, four from the Pac 12, and a whopping eight from the SEC.

Notice the absentees from the above list:

Oregon, South Carolina, Stanford, Ole Miss, Michigan State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia Tech, Utah, and Air Force are solid programs that haven't been consistent enough to make the top 30.

Big 12 colleagues Baylor, TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech didn't make the list.

Maryland.

Old foes like Syracuse and Boston College.

Louisville.

And, of course, Pitt.

WVU football and its faithful followers should be proud of a history of success.

Good luck to the 2014 edition of Mountaineer football.  Continue the winning tradition.

As always,

Let's Go, Mountaineers!

*Stats derived from totalfootballstats.com and wvustats.com.