It’s become one of the more fun football rivalries in the conference, as the two newest members have played to three exciting finishes - and one blowout. Our SB Nation friends at Smoking Musket think that this is the year that the Eers finally hold serve on their home field. Watch for our preview of WVU later this morning.
I believe the home crowd will give the Mountaineers a slight advantage and allow WVU to earn a tight 33-31 victory as Country Roads blares through the speakers of Milan Puskar Stadium once again.
The national narrative seems to be that the TCU defense will get back to looking like the TCU defense, and the offense has enough talent to get by despite losing some of the brightest stars in college football.
TCU is one of the hardest teams to predict this season. While they lost tons of offensive firepower, the defense should be much improved. The saving grace for the Horned Frogs is that they don’t have an difficult schedule overall, and the hardest games are at home. Best-case scenario for the Horned Frogs, and its entirely possible, is going undefeated and finding a way into the CFP. If TCU can get by Oklahoma early in the season at home, they put themselves in command of the Big 12.
The wealth of talent at wide receiver is almost unfair. It will be interesting to see how Meacham and Cumbie find ways to spread the ball around, regardless of who ends up delivering it.
The cupboard isn’t totally bare though as a trio of talented sophomores return after impressive freshman seasons. KaVontae Turpin looks to take over as the go-to receiver. He had 45 catches for 649 yards and 8 touchdowns. Jaelen Austin and Jarrison Stewart combined for 31 catches and 3 touchdowns in 2015. Veteran receivers Ty Slanina and Deante Gray return from injuries and will be in the mix as well. Tight end Charlie Reid could get some targets as well.
Bud Elliot explored which ‘best of the rest’ team has the greatest opportunity to reach the Holy Land. To no surprise, TCU made the cut.
In determining what teams to select, I had to set some ground rules as to what qualifies as a recruiting power. We know that to win a national title since the BCS era, teams must sign more four- and five-stars in a four-year stretch than two- and three-stars. But making the College Football Playoff is easier than winning it, so for the selection process I dropped the criteria down below 40 percent.
The teams I ultimately settled on are Oregon, Stanford, Washington, TCU and Michigan State. Watch the video to hear the discussion.