Optimism is bubbling from Morgantown as the 2019 football season draws to a close under the new regime, and right when the story was starting to get good.
This team is exciting. This team is fun. This team is improving. This team is trusting the climb. So is it possible for the Mountaineers (5-7) to be selected to a bowl game?
Technically yes, but realistically, no.
In the event there are not enough regular bowl-eligible teams to fill every game the open spots can be filled by 5-win teams in the order of their Academic Progress Rate score. Unfortunately WVU finished with a ranking of 104 out of a total of 129 institutions, therefore, the chance of being selected are somewhere between zero and nil.
That’s unfortunate for this 2019 team.
More weeks of practice translates into more opportunities to teach fundamentals. Playing on national TV would be another benefit that allows WVU football to advertise its product while showing off the flying WV to recruits nationwide.
Sure WVU is 5-7, but are the Mountaineers being punished for scheduling tough out of conference games?
Should WVU have scheduled cupcakes instead?
In my opinion, no, but you can make an argument that WVU should have scheduled punching bags instead.
Take Washington State out of the Pac-12 for example. Mike Leach’s Cougars finished the year 6-6 with an out of conference schedule that featured Northern Colorado (Who?), New Mexico State (Really?), and Holgo’s Houston Cougars.
Not a single Power 5 opponent in the mix, but Wazzu will probably be rewarded with a trip to Las Vegas to play in the Mitsubishi Motors Bowl.
Are the Wazzu Cougs more deserving of a Bowl Game because they beat up on weaklings outside the Power 5 conferences? That seems like a difficult position to defend.
The stinky out of conference schools on Washington State’s schedule are so irrelevant on the landscape of college football, I asked Siri for help, and she suggested I “google it”.
In fact, let’s make a bet, before you go googling whether these schools may or may not exist, can you name the mascot to all 3 schools Northern Colorado, New Mexico State, Houston? (Hint: Houston Buffoons is incorrect despite the debauchery and juvenile antics of the coaching staff).
If WVU decided to swap out a tough road game against a team from the SEC (Mizzou) with a home game against Old Dominion, they’re in!
I’m not just picking on Wazzu. There are several other schools guilty of playing multiple marshmallows.
Let’s take a peak at Mississippi State from the SEC. The Bulldogs finished (6-6) playing out of conference doormats like Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss, Abilene Christian, and Kansas State.
In fact, the Bulldogs lost to the Wildcats 31-24 in Starkville, unlike WVU who went to the Little Apple and beat Kansas State.
Rewarding Wazzu and Mississippi State for scheduling creampuffs and punishing WVU for squaring off against NC State (ACC) and Mizzou (SEC) doesn’t seem reasonable
Perhaps the moral of the story is this, the NCAA favors teams that schedule cupcakes.
Looks like bowling in December will have to wait until 2020. o