11-1overall, 7-0 conference, 8th Big East
Against the spread
9-2 (3-2 home, 6-0 away, 3-0 grass)
6-5 (4-1 home, 2-4 away, 1-2 grass)
+1.17 per game
2005 Season Summary
West Virginia Mountaineer head coach Rich Rodriguez wasted little time in turning around his alma mater. After going 3-8 straight up in his 2001 rookie campaign, Rodriguez improve the Mounties to 9-4 straight up and 9-3 against the spread the very next season, which was the first of three consecutive bowl campaigns in Morgantown .
Good but not great
While Rodriguez seemed to be making solid progress at a brisk pace, there was the perception that West Virginia was good but not great and the program had no shortage of critics. As Miami and Virginia Tech departed the Big East for the ACC it was believed that West Virginia should have been winning league titles rather than merely making bowl games.
2004 ended in frustration
The 2004 Mounties were of particular disappointment as they were experienced and considered “loaded” at least by Big East standards and yet after starting off 6-1 straight up and 4-1 against the spread, West Virginia faded miserably down the stretch going 2-3 straight up, (with three consecutive defeats to end the year), and 0-5 against the spread. This caused calls for Rodriguez's head as many of the highly touted players graduated.
The rebuilding Mounties started 2005 under the radar screen
After being hit hard by graduation, particularly on offense, and with the powerhouse and highly touted Louisville Cardinals arriving to join the Big East from Conference USA , the rebuilding Mounties started 2005 under the radar screen of the general gambling public.
A metaphor for their season
The Mounties' opener at Syracuse proved to be a metaphor for their entire season. The Orange were 3-point home chalks and were caught up in a wave of enthusiasm and promise as new coach Greg Robinson was to make his debut in front of an eager home crowd. Syracuse was touted as a possible dark horse contender for the league crown, in fact. Many tout services were all over the Orange in this game as were multitudes of the general public. With few backers on their side in a game that was almost considered a forgone conclusion, West Virginia pulled off a 15-7 upset win and cover which served as the springboard to a remarkable season.
After a 35-7 win against 1-AA competition, the Mounties traveled to Maryland where they were 3.5-point dogs against the Terps. West Virginia prevailed 31-19 to start off 3-0 straight up and 2-0 ATS. This was followed by a 20-15 home win against East Carolina as 24-point chalks.
A short and final dip
West Virginia next hosted powerhouse Virginia Tech, an old former Big East rival. The Hokies proved to be too much in a 34-17 win as 10.5-point chalks in what proved to be a short and final dip for the Mounties.
On their way
The back-to-back failures against the pointspread helped West Virginia retain some value as they were a bargain 3-point chalk at Rutgers , where they prevailed 27-14 to start on their way to an incredible roll.
“Welcome to the Big East!”
Highly touted league chalk Louisville next visited Morgantown and was installed as a 7-point chalk. West Virginia said, “Welcome to the Big East” as they shocked the Cardinals and the nation with a 46-44 win to take over the driver's seat of the Big East.
The Mounties never looked back
West Virginia went on to win and cover their final four games of the regular season as the Mounties never looked back, taking the Big East title that they were given no chance for back in August.
One last surprise!
As Big East champs, West Virginia got a grudging invite to the Sugar Bowl against SEC champ Georgia, who was a 7-point chalk. The Mounties took the game 38-35 for one last surprise and their 7 th straight cover!