Furniture burnin’ time in Morgantown as WVU trips up Baylor

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Find yourself a jar of apple pie shine, a book of matches, and your nearest couch. Light it on fire. Holler. Rinse. Repeat.

Two months ago when this season started, West Virginia played Alabama nearly to a draw everywhere but on the scoreboard. The one thing you came away from that game saying was, “These guys are better, and they’re ready to put an elite pelt on the wall under Dana Holgorsen.”

Holgorsen probably wandered into this season needing a winning record to not have his own furniture, specifically his seat, burning. Since the program has been turned over to him, he’s been a pedestrian 25-19, but 15-16 if you snare away that first 10-3 season.

Now, it’s clear that West Virginia is “back.” The program is headed in the right direction after suffering through the inevitable lull in switching to the Big 12 and being a small country away from most of the teams they’re having to play on the road in conference.

A couple things stand out from this one:

1. West Virginia receiver Kevin White should be in the Heisman discussion. Yeah, if it’s to reward the best player, it’s hard to make a case for him not at least being a talking point.

2. This is a good opportunity for me to beat the “See, this is why you play decent out of conference games and don’t approach them as though they’re infectious” disease. I’m not saying WVU won this game because it played Alabama, but the bright lights at least get you ready for big games down the road.

Baylor, for its part, was a willing victim. The last two weeks, the Bears have played the role of “I’m not trying to get myself into trouble,” yet every Saturday night they’re closing down the bar. Last week, it was a defense that couldn’t plug a paper cut. This week, it was over 200 yards of penalties and an offensive line that was a sieve late when it needed to give Bryce Petty time.

And so it stands that if WVU wins out, the Mountaineers … not Oklahoma, not Baylor … would be the Big 12 champs, a triumphant return to the conference for Holgorsen.

Afterwards, Petty remarked that his team never wanted to feel like this again. Obviously. But is this one loss too much for Baylor to reasonably stay in the CFB Playoff conversation?

Probably not, because we’re entering that time of year when wins get tough for everyone in the room as the pressure mounts. This is especially the case with losses now teetering on the edge of “free pass” level, where we’ll be dissecting which was the “best loss” to squeeze that fourth team into the playoff, which is an absolutely abhorrent thought.

The Bears are behind the 8-ball, though. Coming into this Saturday, it looked like with just a little chalk, the Big 12 was almost guaranteed to have a team in the playoff, what with the Pac-12 being a total cluster. Now, with Oklahoma (which still hosts Baylor) and the Bears going down within minutes of one another, it looks like a long few months of splitting horrible hairs about who looked “better” in failure.

No matter for West Virginia. This is what actual writers call a “signature win” in columns. So give Holgorsen a pass if he sneaks a little Grey Goose into that Red Bull fridge of his on the sideline for one day.