Talk about bad timing.
West Virginia's first, and only, Friday football game occurs less than a week after yet another hard-fought, but frustrating, loss-the fifth in a row for those Mountaineer fans still counting.
Making matters even worse for the faithful fans of the old gold and blue is the fact that this year's Thanksgiving holiday gift is a game at Ames, Iowa, against an Iowa State team that, on paper, should be three touchdown underdogs.
But, because WVU's defense has yet to show the ability to stop the big play when the game is on the line, this game will be a tossup as will be WVU's final regular season contest against Kansas on Saturday, Dec. 1.
What Mountaineer fans should be treated to this Friday is the 105th meeting between WVU and arch-rival Pittsburgh. That won't happen, however, because of West Virginia's move to the Big 12 and the inability of the two schools' Directors of Athletics to realize just how important this game is to fans from both schools.
Now, the chances of this historic rivalry resuming at some near date is, at best, slim.
So, instead of making the short trek to Heinz Field, fans will have to hop aboard their favorite airplane to spend the holiday far away from home. Not exactly what we have become accustomed to as Mountaineer fans.
It would be hard to imagine that more than a couple of thousand old gold and blue clad fans will be in the seats at Jack Trice Stadium (55,000) for the 3:30 p.m. kickoff what will be aired on ABC.
And, if ever a team needed a lot of vocal support, it is this year's team. A team that has found every way imaginable to drop its last five contests after starting the season 5-0 and rising to No. 5 in the BCS poll.
Anything less than the effort the Mountaineers showed in losses to TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will find West Virginia suffering its first six game losing streak since the 1986 accomplished that feat en route to posting a 4-7 mark.
Two months ago we would never have considered this game to play a pivotal part in West Virginia's success, or failure. Now, thousands of fans, who were already booking flights and hotels to possible bowl locations, are just hoping that their beloved Mountaineers can pick up one last win in their final two games so that they will become bowl eligible.
At 7-5 the pickings won't be great, but fans still could find themselves cheering on the Mountaineers at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego or even the Meineke (Texas) Car Care Bowl. A 6-6 mark, thanks to the marquee value placed on star players Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, still would send WVU bowling, but probably in New York City in the Pinstripe Bowl.
How ironic would that be?
WVU, the team that left the Big East to challenge for the Big 12 title, matched up against a team from the very conference it left just a few months ago.
Contact Jim Butta via email at email@example.com