Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers – Texas Tech Red Raiders

West Virginia cheerleaders Sara Caracciolo (l) and Glori Beverly flank WVU Mountaineer Timmy Eads at Big 12 Media Days

Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers – Texas Tech Red Raiders

The overall standings remained the same after the Baylor game, but the standings for second place again tightened. This week provides the promise of at least some movement, in the standings, although most of the panel sees a narrow WVU win.

Greg Hunter

Last Week: W     Season Record: 8-0     Point Differential: 177

Both WVU and Texas Tech are rebuilding under new coaching staffs and for each this season has been a roller coaster, filled with a few ups and plenty of downs. WVU is last in the Big 12 in both scoring offense (22.7) and defense (33.4), while Tech is more middle of the pack (30.8 scored, 29.4 allowed). Still, at home this feels like a good opportunity for WVU to pull out a close win.

West Virginia 31-30

Michael Minnich

Last Week: W     Season Record: 7-1     Point Differential: 130

The Mountaineers’ defensive improvements from the Baylor game carry over and the offense does just enough to win this time

West Virginia 24-17

Chris Richardson

Last Week: W     Season Record: 7-1     Point Differential: 138

If I had a dollar for every college mascot that can trace its root back to something a sportswriter wrote about their football team, I’d be a rich man. Just on this year’s schedule already, N.C. State, Iowa State and Texas can each trace their mascot names back to something a journalist wrote. So, too, can the Red Raiders. Texas Tech was originally called the Matadors, a tip of the cap to the Spanish-influenced architecture prevalent throughout the campus. After a win over Loyola Marymount, though, an LA sports writer referred to the scarlet-clad football team as “red raiders”. By 1936, the nickname was permanently adopted.

West Virginia 27-24

Andy Easton

Last Week: W     Season Record: 7-1     Point Differential: 138

WVU returns to Mountaineer Field on a four-game losing streak and with a banged-up roster. The Blue and Gold defense continues to improve while the offense makes you long for the days of Pat White, Geno Smith and Will Grier.

This coaching staff is really building something special and some of that will be evident this weekend. I don’t know how they will do it but the Mountaineers will snag a victory on Saturday.

West Virginia 30-24

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Brian McCracken

Last Week: W     Season Record: 6-2     Point Differential: 120

West Virginia continues to fight and builds off of a gritty effort in Waco, but at the end of the day the injury-riddled Mountaineers are too depleted and starting too many underclassmen to pull out a win late against Texas Tech.

Texas Tech 31-30

Jeff Cobb

Last Week: W     Season Record: 6-2     Point Differential: 152

The push is on in the final four games to try and secure a bowl bid. Given the team’s struggles this year, it seems an unlikely scenario. It will require that the Mountaineers sweep the two remaining home games versus Texas Tech and Oklahoma State – and then upset TCU or K-State on the road, a Herculean effort to be sure. But I think WVU will take its first tentative steps toward that goal this weekend against an equally suspect Red Raider program. Starting QB Alan Bowman has been out and they’ve been relying on Jett Duffey. Duffey’s wheels hurt WVU last year but I think that Koenning has the defense playing pretty well right now, even with the youth and depth issues. West Virginia does just enough to edge Texas Tech and keep the improbable bowl hopes alive for another week.

West Virginia 31-23

Bill Gleason

Last Week: W     Season Record: 6-2     Point Differential: 200

The Mountaineers face an equally unimpressive Texas Tech squad who limps in to Morgantown also at 3-5 with their sole good victory over a good Oklahoma State team and a road loss to Kansas. The WVU defense was very impressive against Baylor, but can these guys withstand the barrage of injuries to get things done? I don’t know, but if the offense doesn’t wake up and put some points on the board, this team won’t beat anyone. I’m taking the Mountaineers, but I don’t know how good I feel about it.

West Virginia 24-17

Jane Donovan

Last Week: W     Season Record: 4-4     Point Differential: 193

I think the Texas Tech Red Raider — the woman (or man) who rides the galloping black horse onto the field at the beginning of their home games – is one of the coolest non-combatants in college football. Very impressive. This will be an away game for them, however, so no horse. A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and if you got that joke you probably don’t want to admit how old you are or how long ago Mr. Ed was on TV.

So, Texas Tech has no horse and WVU has no players. Or, well, WVU has players, but half of them are on injured reserve. The other half has disappeared for their own reasons. Maybe Kevin Kinder and Greg Hunter should plan on suiting up; I don’t think they used up their eligibility yet. If Neal Brown can find enough warm bodies to put on the field, hopefully 10 days of rest and a home crowd will be enough to pull this one out. Maybe. I hope.

West Virginia 28-27

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