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West Virginia Mountaineer Vs. Kansas Jayhawks Preview: Season 125, Episode 8 - The One With The Night Game

How will WVU respond after a loss and being shafted by the Playoff committee?

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

OPENING THOUGHTS

Welp, at least we got that one out of the way. During halftime of the Oklahoma State game, I figured that WVU would end up getting their first game in the loss column. It’s really okay when you think about it. The Mountaineers were never predicted to be this good, so they were essentially playing with the house’s money anyway. Also, I think it’s a quality loss and gives West Virginia a better chance of beating Oklahoma and Baylor.

The thing that outraged me, personally, about the aftermath of the loss was the release of the College Football Playoff rankings. If you haven’t seen them, here they are.

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee first rankings.

A photo posted by College Football Playoff (@cfbplayoff) on

Nine two-loss teams are ranked ahead of WVU:

  • Wisconsin (6-2) Lost to Michigan and Ohio State
  • Auburn (6-2) Lost to Clemson and Texas A&M
  • Penn State (6-2) Lost to Pitt and Michigan
  • LSU (5-2) Lost to Wisconsin and Auburn
  • Oklahoma (7-2) Lost to Houston and Ohio State
  • Colorado (7-2) Lost to Michigan and USC
  • Utah (7-2) Lost to Cal and Washington
  • Oklahoma State (6-2) Lost to Central Michigan and Baylor
  • Virginia Tech (6-2) Lost to Tennessee and Syracuse

PENN STATE?!? VIRGINIA TECH?!? What?

Other than Ohio State, Penn State’s next best win is against Maryland and they LOST TO PITT!! As far as Virginia Tech goes, a loss to Syracuse should automatically shun a team from the Top 25.

I just don’t get it.

Across the Big 12, we’ve got three games to watch before WVU.

At noon, Texas goes to Lubbock to take on Patrick Mahomes and Texas Tech. If the Longhorns can go 3-1 in their remaining games, it might be enough to keep Charlie Strong in Austin.

At 3:30, Baylor looks to get back on track against TCU in the ‘Revivalry’. As crazy as this rivalry is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Horned Frogs pull of the upset in Waco, which would hurt WVU and the Big 12.

Also at 3:30, Oklahoma State looks to keep their momentum going in Manhattan as they face Kansas State. A Cowboy win would go a long way to improve WVU’s strength of record and I think that happens against a really inconsistent Wildcats team.

On Thursday night, Oklahoma beat a feisty Iowa State team in Ames. After seeing that game, I don’t know if I should be less afraid of the Sooners, or more afraid of the Cyclones. Here are the highlights and I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Our game is really the only one-sided game on the conference slate, so I really don’t have a whole lot of mechanical keys to the game, but it should be a fun atmosphere with our first night game of the season.

Another game that I recommend catching before the WVU game is a Division II matchup between No. 3 Shepherd (8-0) and No. 17 Fairmont State (9-0). The game will be on West Virginia PBS as well as WVMetroNews.com at noon. If you live in the Eastern Panhandle and can't make the trip to Morgantown, I highly recommend going. Shepherd has a phenomenal home game atmosphere and it's an easy, beautiful drive from Martinsburg or Hagerstown. Support our other West Virginia teams (except Marshall. NEVER MARSHALL!)

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Saturday, November 5th

Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM ET

Where: The House That Epipens Built, Morgantown, WV

Tickets: General PublicWVU Students

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPN2

Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the WatchESPN app for smartphones)

Radio: WZST Variety 101 (100.9 FM in Morgantown) and the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Radio Affiliates)

Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 136; XM 199

THREADS

West Virginia:

NCAA Football: Texas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The color scheme is confirmed, but it is still unknown if the throwback decals will be used or the flying WV.

UPDATE: The Flying WV decal will be used, confirmed by @WVUFootball on Twitter

Kansas:

Usually announced around 2 hours before kickoff

ODDS

Spread: WVU by 34-34.5 (according to OddsShark)

O/U: 53-53.5

Bill C:

Spread (Home) S&P+ Projection Margin Win Prob. S&P+ Pick (ATS) F/+ Projection F/+ Pick (ATS)
-34.5 West Virginia (42.4-14.8) 27.6 94.5% Kansas West Virginia by 28.5 Kansas

WEATHER FORECAST

During the afternoon, it will be clear with a high of 60. Perfect weather for making the drive or tailgating. At game time, it will be clear and the temps should be in the mid to upper 40s. If you’re driving back to Parkersburg, Charleston or Beckley on Sunday, it will be clear and sunny with a high of 64. It'll be a little warmer if you're heading to Martinsburg or Charles Town.

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Lawrence, Kansas

Series History: WVU leads series 4-1. Before joining the Big 12, the Mountaineers defeated Kansas, 21-0, at Old Mountaineer Field. The only loss came in 2013, when the Jayhawks upset WVU 31-19 to give the Mountaineers their first losing season since 2001.

Last Year: West Virginia 49, Kansas 0

SB Nation Blog: Rock Chalk Talk

Record: 1-7 (0-5 Big 12)

Head Coach: David Beaty

NCAA Football: Big 12 Conference-Media Day Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Move past Oklahoma State. We’ve seen this before. In 2014, the Mountaineers dropped a close one to TCU, 31-30. The next week WVU lost to Texas, 33-16. They were clearly still in a funk from the TCU game. A bad performance against lowly Kansas would be devastating as respect for West Virginia and the Big 12 is hanging by a thread as it is.
  • Create more pocket pressure. With Kansas’s total QBR being among the lowest in the country, this is a perfect opportunity for the D-line to work on pressuring the quarterback. WVU creates pressure on only 13% of opponent dropbacks, which is the lowest in the Power 5.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

3. Not very afraid of a loss. I would be marginally afraid of not covering the spread. This game is like Marshall. If West Virginia doesn’t win by at least three or four touchdowns, it’s a hollow victory.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

It seems to me that the Mountaineers are angry and focused. Since they lost in Stillwater last week, West Virginia was very disrespected by the playoff committee and I think that works in their favor. People in Lawrence, Kansas are counting down the days until they tip off against Indiana, because their football team is so awful, so I think this will end up being a beat down.

West Virginia 62, Kansas 21