The WVU football team checked in at No. 22 in the Associated Press top 25 preseason poll.
Early indications suggest that it is a fitting landing spot for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are ahead of fellow Big 12 Conference foe Texas, Washington State and Tennessee. So, being ranked No. 22 seems good for right now.
The WVU football team finished 10-3 in 2016 and after falling to Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Mountaineers were ranked No. 18 in the final AP poll.
The last time the WVU football team finished ranked in the AP poll was following the 2011 season. The Mountaineers wrapped up their final season in the Big East Conference with a 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
The WVU football team has not finished a season ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll since the Mountaineers have been members of the Big 12 Conference, except for last season.
It’s easy to say that the WVU football team is riding the high of last year’s momentum. The Mountaineers reached 10 wins for the first time in the Big 12 and it was the first time that head coach Dana Holgorsen led the team to a 10-win regular season.
It still felt, however, that the WVU football team underachieved in the 2016 season. The three losses, one being the bowl loss, were ugly losses that the Mountaineers barely even seemed to put up a fight.
The most ugly loss was at home against No. 8 Oklahoma, the only ranked opponent the Mountaineers faced.
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The WVU football team did not start the season ranked in the top 25. But after racking up four straight wins, three of which were against solid Division I programs in Missouri, BYU, Kansas State and Texas Tech, the Mountaineers climbed to No. 20 in the rankings.
The Mountaineers were 6-0 and ranked No. 10 in the country when they ventured to Oklahoma State on Oct. 29 and fell to the Cowboys, 37-20.
The WVU football team did not drop from the top 25 poll after either of their two regular season losses.
That’s the goal for this season, too. The Mountaineers are receiving some national attention and it is up to them to stay in the spotlight. The WVU football team does not have an easy schedule being in the Big 12, and the out-of-conference schedule is solid to.
That first game of the season against Virginia Tech, which happens to be ranked one ahead of the WVU football team at No. 21, will be a test right off the bat. If the Mountaineers get past the Hokies, there is even more reason to be excited for the 2017 season.