A win at TCU could be WVU football’s biggest in 35 years

MORGANTOWN, WV - DECEMBER 03: Marvin Gross /

The WVU football team could pull off a history-making victory this Saturday against TCU.

Only twice in the WVU football team’s history has it went on the road and beat a top 10 opponent. Plus, the two times it previously happened, the Mountaineers were facing out-of-conference teams. This time around, West Virginia has a chance to knock off a top 10 Big 12 team, which will help it climb to the top of the conference standings.

The previous two wins over top 10 teams came against Penn State in 1954 and Oklahoma in 1982. So, it’s been 35 years since the Mountaineers have pulled off a win with these kind of epic proportions.

TCU has taken care of business this season by going 4-0. There really is no secret formula to the Horned Frogs’ success. They won the opening game against Jackson State in shutout fashion, which any team should be able to do. The next two, against Arkansas and SMU, could have been toss-ups, but the Horned Frogs won in convincing fashion.

Even more convincing was the win over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were a top five team and the Horned Frogs dismantled them on the road, 44-31. Then, the nation took notice of this team that was predicted to be fifth in the preseason rankings.

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The WVU football team was supposed to be right around the middle of the pack with TCU at No. 6. Now, these two teams can make or break their season as hopeful contenders for the Big 12 Championship.

When the WVU football team had its two earlier top 10 victories, the team went on to have very successful campaigns. In 1954, the Mountaineers beat No. 9 Penn State at State College, 19-14 in front of 32,321 fans. The Mountaineers finished that year with a record of 8-1. The PSU victory wasn’t the only big road win for West Virginia that year, either. The WVU football team opened up the season with a 26-6 win over No. 15 South Carolina.

In 1982, the Mountaineers pulled off arguably one of the best games in program history. The WVU football team stunned No. 9 Oklahoma in the first game of the season. West Virginia won, 41-27, in front of 75,008 fans. The WVU football team won three straight games to start that season but fell in Week 4 to rival Pitt, which was ranked No. 2 at the time. The Mountaineers still finished that season with a record of 9-3 including a loss to Florida State in the bowl game.

This year’s edition of the top-ranked showdown will be huge for both teams. ESPN’s College Gameday will be there and a national audience on FS1 will see how the Big 12 Conference can position itself among the nation’s elite with a competitive match up.

The WVU football team is just one play and an overtime away from being in the exact same position as the Horned Frogs. If the Mountaineers were able to beat Virginia Tech in the first game of the season, they would likely be near the top 10 as well.

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With a solid road victory against a top 10 team, the WVU football team should be in the top 15 by next week. The following week has Texas Tech coming to Morgantown for homecoming. With the Mountaineers potentially staying spotless in the Big 12, Milan Puskar Stadium will be rocking all day on Oct. 14.