The Mountaineers are roughly six months away from the start of the 2018 football season. With the NFL season weeks away from finishing, we ask ourselves is it too early to start thinking about West Virginia’s next season? My answer: never. Looking ahead to next fall, because let’s be real it will be here before we know it, it seems the Mountaineers’ football schedule could be on that sets the team up for an exciting season. Let’s take a way too early, and brief look at the 2018 schedule.
The Mountaineers open their season Labor Day weekend in Charlotte, NC versus the Tennessee Volunteers. This is one of a numerous amount of neutral site games the Mountaineers have played over the past several seasons. This season-opener will be extra special for quarterback Will Grier as he is essentially from Charlotte, having grown up just up the road in Davidson, NC. Not only is this a homecoming game, but the Mountaineers are facing a Tennessee team with a new coach, and the Mountaineers will be looking to come out strong after Grier’s season-ending injury this past fall.
The Mountaineers take a quick trip home to Morgantown for game two, playing Youngstown State before returning back to the State of North Carolina for game three. The Moutaineers will then travel to Raleigh, NC to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The travel between West Virginia and North Carolina is an exceptionally short trip, especially when comparing it to Big 12 travel.
Following week three’s return to North Carolina, the Mountaineers open their conference play back in Morgantown against the Kansas State Wildcats. Kansas State and West Virginia have had several very close games over the last several seasons but West Virginia tends to fair well at home and this will be a great conference opener.
The Mountaineers go on to play Texas Tech in Lubbock, return home to face the Kansas Jayhawks, then travel to Ames to play Iowa State. After four conference games, the Mountaineers are given a gracious bye week before the meat of the conference schedule takes into play. This bye week comes before the team plays Baylor at home, travels to Texas, hosts Texas Christian, then rounds out a trip to see the Cowboys in Stillwater and hosts the Oklahoma Sooners Thanksgiving weekend in Morgantown.
Say that all in one breathe and you’ll be as exhausted as the Mountaineers come the last week of November. That being said, the Mountaineers have the chance to go into the end of November with a really great record before playing host to the Sooners. The Mountaineers have a great amount of returning players, and many of the teams they play in the early to mid-season have large gaps to fill on their rosters. Should the Mountaineers have a strong front half of the season, the Mountaineers could be poised for a very exciting month of November.
What happens if the Mountaineers are undefeated, or even with one loss, going into the last game of the season? Could this be the year for the Mountaineers to beat Oklahoma, at home, and turn around to face the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game? Maybe. We’re literally months away from this happening, but sometimes it’s nice to play a little hypothetical game and just have some wishful thinking. Tell us your thoughts, what do you think of the team’s schedule? Is this the season for the starts to align?