In Search of a New Rival

I feel a little lost… WVU doesn’t have a game this weekend. It’s a little early in the season for a bye week, but WVU snuck away from the Big East a year early so there were only about 5 months to pull together a schedule.

It’s not just this week that has me feeling lost, it’s the whole season. I’m thrilled we’re in the Big 12, don’t get me wrong. But… so much of my identity as a Mountaineer is tied up in hating Pitt, mocking Rutgers, and being a little scared of Syracuse and USF. We’ve basically had the same schedule since I was a student at WVU in the early 90’s. Boring, yes, but also comforting. Most seasons I was reasonably certain we had a good chance to win the conference title. Now I’m not so sure.

Some of the football blogs and sports sites are abuzz with talk that WVU is a contender for a BCS title this year. I’m not even ready to go there yet. I think we need to start with picking a new #1 rival, since sadly, it doesn’t really make sense to hate Pitt anymore. Besides that, it’s no fun to kick someone when they’re down. I mean, did you see the Pitt game last week? They lost, badly, to some high school Youngstown State.

Let’s take a look at 5 teams in our new conference and see who it should be.

Baylor

We play Baylor in our first conference game of the season (Sept. 29). Ok, real talk, I don’t know who Baylor is. I had to Google them. Apparently they’re a small-ish private university in Texas. They aren’t even ranked. Next.

Texas Longhorns

Now this is getting more interesting. I have some facebook and twitter friends that are Longhorns fans, so the potential for smack talk is high. I do love me some smack talk. Also, they’re ranked. But the University of Texas is in Austin, which is a very, very cool city and one of the few places in Texas I would consider living. So, I just can’t bring myself to wish them ill. (Get back to me if they beat us on Oct. 6th.)

TCU

Texas Christian University. Texas again. Are there any other states in this conference? They’re the Horned Frogs, which I just can’t take seriously. Next.

Kansas State

A state other than Texas! Kansas State is ranked, but they seem to have a pretty poor record when it comes to bowl games. So, they have a good season, then blow it at the end by losing their bowl game. As a Mountaineer, I can unfortunately relate to that. Plus, purple is my favorite color, so… I think I might actually like them a little. Not a good set-up for a rivalry.

Oklahoma

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner. Oklahoma has long been on my list of teams to hate for random reasons, along with Notre Dame (look at us, we’re too fancy to be in the Big East),  Florida State (that tomahawk chant – just shut up already), and LSU (they’re so smug), and historically it’s been because I hate that ridiculous Boomer Sooner fight song. But now, being ranked at #5, they are the only Big 12 team ranked higher than us. They are arguably the team we need to beat to win this conference.

So, there you have it. Oklahoma, we’re gunning for you!

 

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