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How West Virginia Can Get to the Big 12 Title Game

It isn’t as tough as you think

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Current Big 12 Standings

Team Big 12 Record Pct Overall Record Pct Streak
Team Big 12 Record Pct Overall Record Pct Streak
Oklahoma 4-1 0.833 8-1 0.889 W4
TCU 4-1 0.8 7-1 0.875 L1
Oklahoma State 4-2 0.667 7-2 0.777 L1
West Virginia 4-2 0.667 6-3 0.667 W1
Iowa State 4-2 0.667 6-3 0.667 L1
Texas 3-2 0.6 4-4 0.5 W1
Kansas State 3-3 0.5 5-4 0.556 W2
Texas Tech 1-5 0.167 4-5 0.444 L4
Baylor 1-5 0.167 1-8 0.111 W1
Kansas 0-6 0 1-8 0.111 L8

Following their win over Iowa State, WVU moved into a three-way tie for third place. The good news for the Mountaineers is that this year the Big 12 decided to implement a Big 12 Championship Game, because the Big 12 champion has been left out of the College Football Playoffs two of the past three years. This was especially hurtful in 2014 when the Big 12 thought that the lack of a championship game would help because both TCU and Baylor were 11-1 with solid resumes. The committee proves the Big 12 foolish after Ohio State demolished Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and used that win to propel themselves to the championship.

For West Virginia to win the Big 12 a couple of things must happen. Number one, the Mountaineers have to win out. Both scenarios are going to based on the Mountaineers winning out. Lose one of the next three games and kiss those slim title game chances goodbye.

The remaining teams in the title hunt are TCU and Oklahoma, who both have one conference loss. Oklahoma State, Iowa State and the Mountaineers both have two, leaving them with very few chances. Three conference losses will end your Big 12 title hopes.

Scenario One: West Virginia vs TCU, The Rematch to Decide It All

Week 11: TCU @ Oklahoma, OSU @ ISU, WVU @ KSU

TCU travels to Norman for night game. The Horned Frogs show the Sooners that defense is required for a Big 12 title and leave Norman with a win. This gives Oklahoma their second conference loss, which is crucial.

Iowa State resets itself after the West Virginia loss and harasses Mason Rudolph all game, delivering the Cowboys their fateful third conference loss. This now makes the race a 4-team rally and pushes one of the teams with a win over West Virginia out of the picture.

Now the standings would have TCU at 6-1 in the conference and in the driver’s seat. With Oklahoma State staring at 3 conference losses, Oklahoma, Iowa State and WVU sit in the cat bird seat with two conference losses.

Assuming no surprises in Week 12, the standings should look like this.

TCU - 7-1

Oklahoma - 6-2

West Virginia 6-2

Iowa State 6-2

Now comes the Week 13 matchup. With this scenario, the Sooners are eliminated from the conversation. Iowa State owns a win over the Sooners. If the Sooners beat West Virginia, second place will be a tie between OU and ISU and the head to head matchup serves as the tiebreaker.

If West Virginia beats the Sooners, the Sooners have three conference losses and are eliminated. Now if WVU wins, its a tie between ISU and WVU, with the Mountaineers owning the head to head tiebreaker.

West Virginia heads to the Big 12 Title Game to avenge their loss to the Horned Frogs.

Scenario Two: Riot Bowl 2.0

Week 12: ISU beats Oklahoma State, Oklahoma beats TCU.

Now this scenario is a bit trickier. If the Sooners beat TCU, we could end up with a four-way tie for first place at the end of the year. West Virginia needs Iowa State to beat Okie Light.

After Week 12, where no surprises happen and West Virginia beat Oklahoma in the Week 13 finale with TCU and ISU winning out, you have a four way tie atop first place.

Oklahoma - 7-2

TCU - 7-2

Iowa State - 7-2

West Virginia - 7-2

Here is the tiebreaking procedure.

“If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 4 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the regular season game between the two tied teams shall prevail.

1. The Conference records of the three or more teams will be compared against each other in a “mini round-robin” format.”

So we look at the records of the four teams compared to each other.

Oklahoma: 1-2 [win over TCU, losses to ISU and WVU]

TCU: 1-2 [win over WVU, losses to ISU and OU]

ISU: 2-1 [wins over OU and TCU, loss to WVU]

WVU: 2-1 [wins over ISU and OU, loss to TCU]

Based on this, Oklahoma AND TCU should be eliminated as they have the worst records. This means Iowa State and West Virginia would play for the inaugural Big 12 Title Game.