The Mountaineers beat Pitt and Rutgers lost to Connecticut to leave only WVU, Louisville and Cincinnati as two-loss teams. The plan worked out about as well as the Mountaineers could have expected four weeks ago.
Now, Holgorsen can change his tune.
"The truth of the matter is that it does come down to this one game," he said. "It's the only game left. For the bowl game, once we find out where we're playing, we'll worry about that. Right now this is the only game on the schedule, and we better give it everything we've got. This team will be remembered for what happens (tonight)."
The only thing a win guarantees is that years from now people will recall Holgorsen's first team won its final three games after losing two of three before that and was a co-champion of the Big East.
It could be Cincinnati that controls whether people remember these Mountaineers as a co-champion that went to the BCS or a co-champion that went to some other bowl - and, again, likely the Belk Bowl.
"Makes no difference," WVU quarterback Geno Smith said. "We put ourselves in this position. Not to dwell on our past, but we let two opportunities slip past us and we could be in a better position now, but it's all part of a learning curve that helped us grow into the team we are now."
The Bulls (5-6, 1-5) have plenty to play for, too. Once 4-0 and No. 16 in the polls with a win at nationally ranked Notre Dame, they now need a win to become bowl eligible for the seventh straight season. Five of the six losses have come by 3, 3, 6, 3 and 10 points. Three of the losses have been on the final play of the game.
The Mountaineers fixed their season by winning those close games. Following the loss to Louisville, which swung toward the Cardinals when they blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown, WVU won at Cincinnati by scoring a defensive touchdown and blocking a field goal on the final play and then beat Pitt by getting nine sacks in the final 25 plays.
Those wins came by four combined points.
"You want to be on the positive side of that," Holgorsen said. "The last couple of games, we've done a lot of things wrong, but we've had some really positive performances and some great atmospheres.
"You win at Cincinnati, that's a great football team. You beat your rival (Pitt) after being down 10 at halftime, that's a good win. We've had two good wins in a row. We've found ways to win. It's better than finding a way to lose.
"We've been telling the guys since after the Louisville game that Louisville found a way to beat us. We can all pinpoint one play if we want to, but they found a way to win. What we talked about was putting ourselves in a position that we're in right now. The guys bought into that and we've found ways to win."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142.