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In 2014, Dana Holgorsen enters his 4th season at the helm. Which 4th year WVU coach had the most impressive season?
1928: Ira Errett Rodgers - Guided WVU to an 8-2 finish including wins over Pitt and Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M).
1953: Pappy Lewis - Led the Mountaineers to the Southern Conference title and a Sugar Bowl berth.
1924: Clarence Spears - Helped WVU post an 8-1 record, including a perfect 6-0 mark in Morgantown.
1969: Jim Carlen - Guided West Virginia to a 10-1 mark and a Peach Bowl win over South Carolina.

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Two more chances

Two more chances

By Queen Carioca

Come in and have a seat. Close the tent flap behind you as once again I glance into my crystal ball. 

My record to date… 

Big 12 Prophecies: 43-for-59 (73%)

Other College Prophecies: 20-for-27 (74%) 

Overall: 63-for-86 (73%)

Here are this week’s prophecies:

TCU (6-4) at TEXAS (8-2): A big game on both sides. At 6-4, and with bowl eligibility wrapped up, the Frogs finish the regular season with back-to-back shots at the two biggest brands in the Big 12 – Texas and Oklahoma. First up are the Longhorns, winners of four straight and in prime position to make some pretty tasty lemonade out of a season that in mid-October was brimming with sour lemons. It won’t be an easy chore. Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 scheme is notoriously tough to navigate, particularly for up-and-down signal callers.  After losing his job then winning it back and responding with back-to-back sensational performances against Kansas and Texas Tech, UT’s David Ash probably qualifies as “up-and-down.” Don’t expect the Horns running game to provide Ash with a major security blanket against TCU’s 7th ranked rush defense, and giving Patterson an extra week to prepare doesn’t help either. In a game that provides several match-ups more interesting than some might realize (UT’s no. 4 third down offense vs TCU’s no. 5 third down defense), a Frogs win certainly wouldn’t be stunning. In the end the Longhorns depth – and a few big plays by WRs Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley – will be the difference. Texas 34, TCU 27

WEST VIRGINIA (5-5) at IOWA STATE (6-5): Two X-factors burst onto the Big 12 scene last week – and both will be on display in Ames on Friday afternoon. In a 51-23 win over Kansas, redshirt freshman signal caller Sam Richardson – without a single college pass attempt to his credit - stepped in for Steele Jantz after the third offensive series and quickly turned the game on its ear. Richardson led the Cyclones on four straight touchdown drives in the second quarter to give ISU a 38-17 lead and the Clones never looked back. On the afternoon, Richardson completed an incredible 85% of his throws for 250 yards and 4 scores while adding another TD and 43 yards on the ground. Saturday night in Morgantown, meanwhile, West Virginia unleashed its own electrifying X-factor on a surprised Oklahoma defense. The Mountaineers moved Tavon Austin from his every down spot in the slot to a running back position, and the rest was Big 12 history. In one of the most staggering individual performances in college football history, Austin exploded for a school record 344 yards rushing against the Sooners 20th ranked defense and a league record 572 all purpose yards. Despite Austin’s incredible production, and a 4-TD effort by Stedman Bailey, OU’s Landry Jones outgunned Geno Smith with 6 TD tosses and a career high 554 yards to guide the Sooners to a 50-49 last second win. Now it’s onto Ames for Black Friday (department store jokes notwithstanding) where WVU will face a new-look ISU offense with a new triggerman at the helm. Against Kansas, the Cyclones hit the 50-point barrier for the first time in 30 games as Richardson spread the wealth. Twelve different Iowa State players caught a pass and ISU churned out 548 total yards – the third highest total of the Paul Rhoads era. Sure this performance came against a 1-win Kansas team, but to be fair KU has often played above its record this season. In league games against Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU the Jayhawks held each of the three to 21 or fewer points. The bad news for ISU? Since losing all-conference LB Jake Knott to season-ending surgery three weeks ago, the Cyclones defense has allowed 221 rushing yards per game and a chunky 5.0 per carry.  For all the struggles the West Virginia defense has encountered, Iowa State has actually struggled more - at least lately. In the last five games the Mountaineers have yielded 2,665 total yards (533/game). ISU has allowed 144 more (2,809) than West Virginia during its last five for an average of 562/per. The loss of Knott could loom especially large this week against a WVU offense that has suddenly found its mojo on the ground with Austin as the freshly minted feature back. Austin now boasts an unheard of career average per carry of 11.6 yards on 72 attempts. Couple that with Austin’s production in the return game and the big play capability of West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey (school record holder with 36 career TD grabs – 20 this year alone) and it’s easy to see why the Mountaineers might appear on paper to be too much for a shorthanded Cyclones defense to overcome. But, as any WVU fan can tell you all too well, never underestimate the ability of a Paul Rhoads’ defense to show up in spades, punch you in the mouth and tackle in open space like a 22-armed monster. Rhoads will have DL Roosevelt Maggitt and the Clones front seven ready to play. It will be up to the West Virginia o-line to respond with a solid effort and provide Austin with some creases. If that happens, it will matter far less when the ISU offense seizes on last week’s momentum and get its shots in with Richardson at the helm. West Virginia 41, Iowa State 38

BAYLOR (5-5) AT TEXAS TECH (7-4): Has Texas Tech turned back the clocks to 2011? After a 5-2 start last year the Red Raiders imploded, dropping their last five games and surrendering 51 points per outing down the stretch. This week, T-Tech’s 6-1 start, powered by Art Kaufman’s overachieving defense, seems like a distant memory and Tommy Tuberville’s squad has all the hallmarks of a team that’s running on empty. Since escaping Ft. Worth with a triple-OT win over TCU on Oct. 20 the Raiders have dropped 3 of 4 while getting shredded for 45 points per outing (compared to the 11 ppg TTU allowed in the first month of the season). After last week’s epic upset of top-ranked Kansas State, Baylor could be smelling blood. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence continues to lead the nation in total offense, but in recent solid performances against Oklahoma and K-State, it’s been the Bears ground game leading the way – racking up 252 & 4 scores in Norman and 342 & 5 TDs in Saturday’s win over the Wildcats. Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk has found his stride, rushing for 379 yards in BU’s last three games while Glasco Martin has added 330. As if opposing defenses needed more to worry about with the hot-handed Florence feeding man-beast Terrance Williams (82 rec.-1,518 yds-11 TDs) and a host of talented receivers. None of this bodes well for a Red Raiders defense that’s been shredded to the tune of 809 rushing yards and 9 TD passes the last three weeks. Baylor 48, Texas Tech 37

OKLAHOMA STATE (7-3) at OKLAHOMA (8-2): Until K-State’s loss at Baylor last week, it was looking like this year’s Bedlam between OSU and OU might lack the Big 12 title ramifications it’s so often had attached to it in recent years. But now, in theory, a conference title for the Sooners might still be on the table. OU victories this week and next, combined with a K-State loss to Texas next Saturday, would give Oklahoma its 8th Big 12 title of the Bob Stoops era. After watching West Virginia’s Tavon Austin torch the Sooners for a league-record 572 all-purpose yards (344 rushing) last week in Morgantown, however, Okey State’s Joseph Randle has to be frothing at the mouth over this opportunity. Austin’s performance was one more in a growing list of examples in the case to be made against Oklahoma’s rush defense. In the season opener, UTEP’s Nathan Jeffery ran for 177 against the Sooners. K-State gashed OU for 213; Notre Dame did the same, for 215 and Baylor managed 252 on the ground in a 42-34 loss in Norman two weeks ago. In last year’s 44-10 Cowboys win in Stillwater, Randle ripped through OU for 151 yards and 2 scores. Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 28

And here are a few prophecies the outside the Big 12 on Rivalry Weekend:

Notre Dame 23, USC 20

Alabama 44, Auburn 10

Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 20

Oregon 41, Oregon State 24

Arizona 37, Arizona State 34

Florida State 20, Florida 17

Stanford 24, UCLA 20

Ohio State 31, Michigan 30

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