Does West Virginia have a path to the national title and another Fearless Forecast season is in the books

BUCKHANNON – A couple of weeks ago, we deciphered the play-off hopes of the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers, this week we are going to do the same for the West Virginia University Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers remained ninth this week in the all-important college football playoff rankings despite, being seventh in both the AP and Coaches poll.

It appears to be a long shot for the Mountaineers to crack the top four with two weeks left in the regular season, but there is a path for the Mountaineers.

The hardest part for WVU is taking care of their own business and that means winning out. That also means beating Oklahoma twice in back-to-back weeks, once in the regular-season finale and once in the Big XII title game.

Assuming they do that, let’s take a little look at how things need to play out.

Ahead of WVU right now is No. 8 Washington State and No. 7 LSU.

There is little issue with these two teams. If WVU wins out, they would certainly jump a two-loss LSU team and Washington State won’t even have close to the same resume that the Mountaineers would with two wins over Oklahoma.

Which leads us to the Sooners. They are No. 6. Simply by virtue of beating them twice gets them out of the way, which leaves five teams.

No. 5 is Georgia. If Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC title game, WVU would leapfrog the two-loss Bulldogs as well. If Georgia pulls the upset this will all but kill WVU’s chances. Georgia would certainly be one of the top four with that win and Alabama would still go with only one loss. Two SEC teams make it and with Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan still around, WVU would be left out.

So, the first thing for a WVU fan is, root for Alabama to beat Georgia.

Michigan is No. 4. Now here is what we need for the Wolverines. They need to beat Ohio State next week because a Buckeye win would propel Ohio State over West Virginia without a doubt. Then we need a huge upset in the Big 10 title game with Northwestern beating Michigan.

That should land the Mountaineers in the top 4.

Let’s face facts, Clemson and Notre Dame are still unbeaten. Even if they stub their toe and lose a game, at one loss, they will still be more attractive and will stay ahead of a one-loss Mountaineer team.

So in a nutshell, this needs to happen:

WVU to win out.

Michigan beat Ohio State then lose to Northwestern.

Alabama beat Georgia.

Simple right?

On the Forecast Front, talk about stubbing your toe.

Yours truly went 11-4 last week and finished in last place.

Kevin Materne went an impressive 14-1 while the combo of Shea and Sid Phillips went 12-3.

Despite Kevin joining us late, he wins the 2018 Forecast title based on winning percentage.

He finished with a 59-16 record (78.6 percent) while I took second with a 135-42-1 mark (76.2 percent) while Shea and Sid finished third with a 128-49-1 record (72.3 percent).

So congratulations to Kevin, but I wonder if he could have kept that pace up over a season.

Our weekly winner was Kevin Patterson, who went 13-2. Kevin was also our winner last week.

Kevin won a gift certificate to Brakes Dairy King.

All of our winners will have their names dropped into a hat for a random drawing for two WVU basketball tickets. The winner will be contacted by phone along with a photo in The Record Delta.

Thank you to everyone who played this year.

And again, thank you to our sponsors, Shea and Sid Phillips at Number One Auto in Buckhannon.

Without their support this column wouldn’t be possible!

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