Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s safe to assume that Newton’s third law of motion is not a popular talking point amongst West Virginia’s football team, but with a contest against Oklahoma looming and the bevy of implications that come with it, maybe it should.
The winner is awarded the No. 1 seed for the Big 12 title game. The loser will watch from home. And for the Mountaineers, a loss means dropping all the way to fourth in the conference if both Texas and Iowa State win on Saturday.
The loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater released a hellish realization that playing in the College Football Playoff is now unobtainable. A dream that the whole state of West Virginia was reluctant to wake up from.
Losing that hope, however, does not mean this season cannot be a memorable one.
The Sooners are the conference’s last hope of a playoff berth. There’s still a sliver of opportunity that Oklahoma can win its final regular season game, the conference championship game, and represent the Big 12 against the likes of Alabama in the playoff.
Naturally, there are ulterior motives afoot.
West Virginia could not only secure its first-ever Big 12 Championship Game appearance with a win. It also means the Mountaineers could stonewall the Sooners’ own playoff hopes and keep the Big 12 from playing for a national title altogether.
If we can’t have it, no one can.
Beyond that, its also Will Grier’s and a host of Mountaineers’ last game in West Virginia. There are 18 seniors that have done more than enough to deserve a proper sendoff in the form of the program’s first win against Oklahoma since the Fiesta Bowl in 2008.
Action and reaction. Win or lose. The stakes have literally never been higher.