Brown was North Carolina's coach when the Tar Heels beat Nehlen's Mountaineers in the 1997 Gator Bowl. A year later, Brown left the Tar Heels to take over at Texas.
Rhoads was an assistant under current Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville at Auburn when the Tigers lost to West Virginia in Morgantown in 2008.
And Rhoads was defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh that met West Virginia every Thanksgiving weekend in the Backyard Brawl. Pitt's 13-9 win in Morgantown in 2007 denied West Virginia the chance to play for the national championship.
There's the Sept. 29 Big 12 opener with Baylor, whose coach, Art Briles, served as an assistant with Holgorsen for three seasons under Leach at Texas Tech a decade ago.
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops was victimized by West Virginia's spread attack in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. Even new Kansas Coach Charlie Weis recalled coming to Morgantown as an NFL assistant looking over player workouts and visiting with then-WVU coach Rich Rodriguez.
"There will be excitement about facing all of them,'' Holgorsen said. "They're all quality coaches in the Big 12 and we're going to have our work cut out for each and every one of them. There's storylines with each and every opponent.''
Holgorsen wouldn't elaborate on whether there's personal excitement about a Nov. 10 matchup with Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State, where Holgorsen spent the 2010 season as offensive coordinator before getting his first head coaching job with the Mountaineers.
"It really doesn't matter what I think,'' Holgorsen said. "It's about what our kids think.''
Gundy took a similar path on squaring off with Holgorsen.
"Ultimately I don't know if that really matters,'' Gundy said. "It's really no different than (playing) against anybody else in our league. He may know some of our plays and we may know some of his plays. On Saturdays it comes down to the players They've got to go out there and execute.''
Like Holgorsen, Gary Patterson knows there's a lot of preparation ahead and the TCU coach refuses to get caught up in the hype of his first Big 12 season.
"Really we have to keep our head down,'' Patterson said. "We approached spring like we did every spring. Our spring was about being the best football team we could possibly be. That hasn't changed and that's what we're going to try to get accomplished going into two-a-days.''