The Big 12 continues to flounder along in the sea of college football. First the Big Ten announced they would only play conference games, eliminating the rivalry game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Maryland Terrapins. After that announcement, the ACC decided that they would play all their conference games plus a non-conference game, but only if the non-conference game was played in their own state. This decision helped to preserve some inter-state rivalries like Clemson Tigers vs South Carolina Gamecocks, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs Georgia Bulldogs, and Florida State Seminoles vs Florida Gators. The decision also, in all intents and purposes, killed the Mountaineers opening weekend game in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic against the Seminoles.
Following the decision by the ACC, the SEC announced that they would only play conference games. The Big 12 remains flopping in the wind like a kite. The Big 12 is already at a disadvantage with having only 10 conference teams and deciding to play all conference teams. The Big 12 can’t fall further behind by playing only 9 conference games. The Mountaineers need a tenth conference game.
1A - Pittsburgh Panthers
This is the no-brainer pick. The team is less than hour from Morgantown, they are still our rivals and we haven’t played them in years. Both teams also have an open date on September 19. The gods of the universe have lined up the stars and announced that we should play, all it will take is Shane Lyons and Heather Lykes to make a deal.
1B - Marshall Thundering Herd
You may not want to hear it. I may not want to write it but if we look at this objectively, playing Marshall makes sense. They are in state so we can reduce the amount of travel for the team. The Joan only holds 30,000 people, so we can easily social-distance. The stands are right on top of the field so you won’t even need to worry about the small scoreboard. If Lyons can’t make a deal with Pitt, he should make a deal with the devil and look to the Herd. The green can remind us we’ve been in a Pandemic since St. Patrick’s Day.
3- Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech has held the Black Diamond Trophy for 5784 days. #Hokies— Black Diamond Trophy (@BlkDiamondTrphy) August 3, 2020
I need to shut this twitter account up. Or at least make it tweet something else....
4 - Cincinnati Bearcats
Renew an old-time (new) Big East rivalry with Cincinnati would be a solid consolation prize if the Mountaineers can’t play the Panthers or Herd. The Bearcats were very good team in 2019, winning 11 games with former Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell at the helm.
5 - Houston Cougars
I tend to avoid writing about former head coach Dana Holgorsen, but for this list, playing Houston makes sense. I mean, we should start the season off with a win right?
Best of the Rest
South Florida Bulls - We don’t run the zone-read anymore so we should be ok, right?
Syracuse Orange - We should beat them this time, right? Right?
Miami Hurricanes - Because, why not.