Picks and Pontifications: WVU - Kansas State

One selector got the Texas game right, and thus made a big jump in the standings. This week's game with Kansas State provides a difficult choice for our panel, and will provide even more shuffling in the season standings.

WINNING SELECTIONS

Andy gained a game on the field and moved into contention for the season title with his lone wolf pick of Texas. He was also the closest in points for the week, missing the final by just 14. West Virginia's anemic offensive day contributed to a number of big misses by the panel.


HOPE YOU DIDN'T BET THIS PICK

Pretty much everyone else gets lumped into this category, as no one foresaw the moribund Mountaineer effort. The losses across the board left Tony, Michael, Andy and Jon tied in the won loss standings, and making the final three games of the season big determinants in identifying the season champion.


Tony Dobies Last Week: L Season: 8-2 Point Differential: 180
The Wildcats are the type of team that gives WVU fits. They are well-coached and don't beat themselves, which seems to be the recipe to beating a West Virginia team of late that just doesn't have the same punch it did through the first half of the year. KSU just manages games behind enough playmakers on offense and a dependable defense. My guess is the Wildcats will make enough plays in the running game to win, and that WVU will likely give Kansas State a few more opportunities to win it fairly easily by the end of the night.
Kansas State 34-23

Michael Carvelli Last Week: L Season: 8-2 Point Differential: 187
If West Virginia wants to come away with a win over K-State, it's going to have to limit its mistakes and not beat itself. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, that's been one thing they have struggled with all season and a team like Kansas State is going to be able to capitalize and make WVU pay. The Mountaineers will play well overall, but a few miscues here and there could be a killer for this team against Bill Snyder's well-coached team.
Kansas State 31-24

Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 8-2 Point Differential: 196
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, who may be the best in the nation, brings his fundamentally sound Kansas State Wildcats to Morgantown for a Thursday night tilt. The Wildcats come into the game ranked 13th nationally and averaging 31.2 points a game. Coach Snyder coaches a very basic and fundamentally sound type of football where his teams make very few mistakes.

On the other hand, the Mountaineers are tied for 107th in the country with 22 turnovers. WVU's undisciplined play has also yielded 6.5 penalties per game, ranking 78th nationally. The Mountaineers will commit critical turnovers or penalties that will cost them the game.
Kansas State 35-21

Jonathan Martin Last Week: L Season: 8-2 Point Differential: 210
West Virginia hopes to get back to its winning ways on Thursday night when it welcomes the No. 13 ranked Kansas State Wildcats. At 6-4 the Mountaineers still have a lot to play for. But the challenge of facing yet another top program isn't easy. Neither is playing in Morgantown at night, though. I expect the Mountaineers used their bye week to their advantage and get back into the win column.
West Virginia 34-31

Matt Keller Last Week: L Season: 7-3 Point Differential: 178
I'm going to take a flier and play the psychological and Vegas card. Kansas State is facing a similar situation with which WVU had to deal after TCU, namely a devastating loss with a solid road foe following. The open week should heal some of what might ail the 'cats, but the Mountaineers clearly win this somewhat intangible match-up, especially on Senior Day. Add in that the rarely-wrong Vegas has WVU as a favorite, and West Virginia makes its season with a win.
West Virginia 30-24

Chris Richardson Last Week: L Season: 7-3 Point Differential: 189
West Virginia finally had its first "no-show" game against Texas. Just when I thought I had them figured out, they throw me a curveball. Such is life following the Mountaineers. I expect them to play better in front of the home crowd, on a Thursday night, with bowl game positioning on the line. But they won't play well enough to out-execute Kansas State. Hit me up for your Memphis restaurant recommendations in late December.
Kansas State 34-28

Roger "CJ" Harvey Last Week: L Season: 7-3 Point Differential: 195
West Virginia and Kansas State have very different records, but not so different reasons to win Thursday night's matchup. The Wildcats are coming off a lackluster loss to TCU which bumped Kansas State from playoff consideration, and leaves both teams fighting for a better bowl game. A night game in Morgantown on a Thursday night is a tough game to win, but the Wildcats will be well prepared under head coach Bill Snyder. The Wildcats runaway from Morgantown with their eight win of the season.
Kansas State 34-17

Greg Hunter Last Week: L Season: 6-4 Point Differential: 157
In the new-wave Big 12, Bill Snyder’s Wildcats win the old-fashioned way – great defense, limited offensive mistakes, dominating time of possession. That method has allowed Snyder to build a powerhouse at a K-State program that rarely tasted success before he arrived in 1989. West Virginia’s negative turnover margin will be deadly if that continues against Kansas State.
Kansas State 28-24

Jane Donovan Last Week: L Season: 6-4 Point Differential: 186
The Xs and Os always matter, but this week what may matter most of all is which team copes better with the cold temperatures. This may be the frostiest game since the infamous Thursday night late November contest with Pitt of a few years ago during which, when the TV cameras scanned the crowd, we looked like a bunch of hypothermic, benumbed blue and gold popsicles. Of course, so many Mountaineers have been spending time in the training room of late that perhaps it will just feel like their normal dip in a tub of ice water to reduce inflammation and sing the Nationwide insurance jingle.
West Virginia 28-24

Brian Jolliff Last Week: L Season: 6-4 Point Differential: 212
It seems that one of the constants of being a Mountaineer fan is that you are frequently disappointed and heartbroken. I could not have been more disappointed at the outcome of last week's effort by our Mountaineers in a game where we simply did not compete. This team has a lot of heart and drive, but it was left at the Puskar Center last weekend. I'm not ready to give up on this squad and I'm hopeful that they can turn things back onto the winning track this Thursday in what should be a competitive game. It's been an entertaining season and this squad has been fun to watch, but Mountaineer wants to see their team win!
West Virginia 35-31


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