The West Virginia Mountaineers sit at 5-3 (4-3) with two tough games remaining in their 2020 regular season. At the conclusion of that, they are going to receive a bowl bid, but where remains to be determined. The College Football Playoffs factor into the bowl bids and this year, with no ultra-dominant team in the Big 12, the Playoffs appear to be out of sight.
Big 12 Bowl Tie-Ins
New Years Six (Peach Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl)
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Armed Forces Bowl
The NY6 must take the Big 12 champion if the champion is not a part of the Playoffs. Then, each of the remaining bowls has their pick of bowl eligible teams. They are not “required” to take the #2 team in the league just because they have the #2 selection. Location, fanbase, travel, opponent all play a part in the bowl selection process.
The NY6 and Alamo Bowl are likely to be out of play, unless WVU goes on a miraculous run and beats Iowa State and Oklahoma, Texas and OSU lose two games each and WVU somehow makes the Big 12 Championship. Without that specific scenario, WVU is most likely looking at the Texas Bowl, Liberty Bowl or Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
The only projection I’ve seen for this is West Virginia vs LSU from USA Today.
LSU is 3-4 following a loss to Texas A&M and has Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida left on their schedule. From 15-0 national champions to 3-6.
This appears to be the Mountaineers most likely landing spot, as many places have the Mountaineers playing in Memphis on New Years Even. The Mountaineers played Texas A&M back in 2014 when Clint Trickett was forced to retire due to concussions and an unknown juco quarterback Skyler Howard started. That was also the game that saw a TAMU coach, on live TV, try to elbow a WVU player in the back of the helmet.
Those a-holes aside, Tennessee Volunteers and Kentucky Wildcats appear to be the two most likely candidates to face WVU should they go to Memphis. Tennessee, who the Mountaineers kicked off the 2018 season with a 40-14 shellacking of the Volunteers, is 2-5 on the ‘Rona20 season. Tennessee started 2-0 before a 5-game slide and they have Florida and Texas A&M on their schedule. 2-7 seems likely.
Kentucky hasn’t fared much better. Currently sitting at 3-6, they do have South Carolina left on their schedule so they could finish 4-6.
Recently, CBS just also projected Arkansas Razorbacks to the Liberty Bowl. Arkansas is 3-5 with Mizzou left on their schedule.
Guaranteed Rates Bowl
The former Cactus Bowl, the only bowl WVU has won since joining the Big 12, is now the Guaranteed Rates Bowl. That just rolls off the tongue. The bowl tie-in here is the Big Ten. The likely candidates are big name programs which have fallen on very hard times. Michigan. Penn State. Maryland. All have been projected to the former Cactus Bowl. Penn State just beat Michigan for their first win of the season while Michigan stands at 2-5. Maryland is the best of the bunch at 2-2.