Oct. 13, WVU at Texas Tech - If the Mountaineers keep level heads, they should win this game. Dana Holgorsen knows all about the Red Raiders after coaching them for seven years. Quarterback Seth Doege will be a handful for WVU's defense, but it shouldn't be tough for West Virginia to stop the run. The Mountaineer offense should have its way, and Shawne Alston could have a big day. WVU 38-28
Oct. 20, Kansas State at WVU - The key to this game for WVU will be avoiding sloppy play and turnovers because Wildcat coach Bill Snyder has made a very long career off those. Collin Klein is back at quarterback for K-State, as is a solid cast. Expect a tough one, especially if the Mountaineers get too amped about their return home after two away trips. Still ... WVU 28-21
Nov. 3, TCU at WVU - This should prove to be quite a battle between the two Big 12 newcomers. WVU's offense should be fine-tuned at this point and its defense improved. TCU will boast a balanced, explosive offense and a defense that also figures to improve after losing personnel from the nation's No. 1 unit from 2008-10. Expect a letdown and give the nod here to Gary Patterson and his crew. TCU 33-30
Nov. 10, WVU at Oklahoma State - T. Boone Pickens has flushed OSU with cash and it's paid football dividends, but even he couldn't stop Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon from moving to the NFL. It might be a good time for WVU to visit Stillwater. Coach Mike Gundy has a true freshman at quarterback and four new starters along the offensive line. WVU 40-24
Nov. 17, Oklahoma at WVU - This sets up as the season's most anticipated Big 12 game of the year. The Sooners were picked to finish first, the Mountaineers second. There will be at least three Heisman contenders in Smith, Austin and OU quarterback Landry Jones. But Morgantown will be wild for this one, and if Alston can provide just a bit of balance to WVU's offense, look for the upset. WVU 24-21
Nov. 23, WVU at Iowa State - Uh oh. WVU will be heading to Ames and into the lair of coach Paul Rhoads, who, as a defensive coordinator, orchestrated that infamous Pitt win over the Mountaineers in 2007 that derailed a national title game appearance. Rhoads also engineered last season's biggest national upset, an ISU overtime stunner against Oklahoma State. But look for Smith to get off to a hot start for the Mountaineers and for WVU to avoid the upset. WVU 35-17
Dec. 1, Kansas at WVU - Is this Kansas or Notre Dame? Charlie Weis? Dayne Crist? Whatever the case, West Virginia should have no problem moving against the Jayhawk defense. The Mountaineers should have no problem closing out the season on a high note - and a high position in the national rankings. WVU 52-17
Final WVU record: 10-2, Big 12 runner-up, BCS or Cotton Bowl berth.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.