College Football Playoff: 2015 Dark Horse Conference Champion Contenders

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Dec 29, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Kevin White (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies in the 2014 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 – West Virginia Mountaineers

There may not have been a team that was more hot and cold than the Mountaineers in 2014. One week they’d look unbeatable, then the following week they were unbearable.

Some consistent play from their defense and a bit of extra oomph in the running game, and West Virginia could have been challenging both TCU and Baylor last season. There’s a lot of experience returning to the Mountaineers this season, as well as a solid incoming freshman class.

The thing that makes WVU a serious dark horse this season is their schedule. They have very winnable first five games (with Oklahoma being the tougher of them), and a very winnable last five games (with Texas looking like the most difficult). Sandwiched in the middle of those are back-to-back games with Baylor and TCU, both on the road.

Win those two games and play the kind of football they are capable of during the rest of the season, and the Mountaineers are primed to shock the Big 12.

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