For the first time since Tavon Austin took the term “touch pass” into national vernacular, the West Virginia Mountaineers have finished ranked in the Top 20 of the final polls. Despite a lackluster showing in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Miami, the Mountaineers find themselves ranked #18 in the AP Top 25. The USA Today Coaches Poll does not update for bowl games, so the Mountaineers maintain their #12 ranking.
The Mountaineers are one of three Big 12 teams ranked to end the year. Oklahoma, thanks to a 35-19 beatdown of Auburn, finishes at #5. Oklahoma State beat upstart Colorado 38-8 to finish the year at #11.
The last time the Mountaineers were ranked in the final polls of the season, they were coming off a 70-33 defeat of Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl. Tavon Austin took touch pass after touch pass and turn the corner for touch pass touchdowns. Geno Smith won MVP honors after tying the all-time bowl record for touchdown passes with 6. Smith also broke Tom Brady’s bowl record for passing yardage with 401 yards.
You can see the entire rankings below.