Best Case Scenario
The Mountaineers come out victorious in the Backyard Brawl, as JT Daniels finds Kaden Prather in the final minutes of the game to pull out a 35-28 victory. The come-from-behind win steels the team, as they quickly gain confidence in their next three games. Victories over Kansas (35-10), Towson (66-7), and Virginia Tech (28-7) have the team riding high and sitting at 4-0. The national media begins to take notice and the Mountaineers are ranked for the first time in Neal Brown’s tenure at WVU.
A trip to Austin doesn’t phase the Mountaineers as they use trickeration and guile and come out ahead and stave off Quinn Ewers with a 28-27 victory. Baylor finally knocks off the Mountaineers but it won’t be long before the Mountaineers are back to their winning ways, beating Texas Tech (35-20), TCU (42-17) and Iowa State (28-17). Oklahoma finally knocks the Mountaineers off their perch but its a closer game than the Sooners want. A win at Kansas State and a loss to Oklahoma State finishes the regular season but at 9-3 the Mountaineers finish third in conference.
Oklahoma and Okie State battle for the championship, with Oklahoma winning and advancing to the College Football Playoffs. Oklahoma State takes the conciliation game of a New Years Six game, leaving the Mountaineers just outside of the New Years Six at-large berth, heading to the Valero Alamo Bowl and looking forward to 2023.
Worst Case Scenario
The Mountaineers can’t handle Pitt’s defensive line and JT Daniels is hurt, forcing Garrett Greene into action. Greene is one-dimensional and Pitt’s line feasts on the quarterback. Daniels is back but continues to suffer injuries and is never healthy in his season in Morgantown. Pitt wins the Backyard Brawl (27-10) which fuels the fires of disgruntled fans in Morgantown.
Kansas nearly pulls out the upset (27-23 WVU) on the Mountaineers and Towson is not the blowout that the team expects (35-14) but the ‘Eers are 2-1 heading to Blacksburg. The Hokies get the best of the Mountaineers (28-14) and take the Black Diamond Trophy back. Sitting at 2-2, fans begin grumbling and are loudly vocal in their displeasure on message boards throughout the land.
Texas (35-20) and Baylor (42-14) whip the Mountaineers and now at 2-4, fans boo the team during the second half of Baylor. West Virginia barely saves its season with a field goal win over Texas Tech (27-24) and beat TCU (37-17) to get back to .500 but that will be the last win of the season. Iowa State begins a 4-game losing streak for the Mountaineers and once Kansas State beats the Mountaineers to end their hopes of a bowl, Oklahoma State completely demolishes a lifeless team in Stillwater. West Virginia finishes 4-8 and the fan base is divided more than ever awaiting the fate of Neal Brown.