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    Friday, November 30, 2007

    The Evolution of the Broken Play & The Spread’s First Quarterback

    This first article is about 1991 Mountaineer transfer (He was the star of the spring game, before moving to Glenville to be a part of Hot Rods program.) Jed Drenning who along with Coach Rod invented what is the evolving spread offense. The second article is written by Jed about being the trail-blazer or "Pioneer" of Rod's offense. That is right my sports fans Jed Drenning is now published in the New York Times and one of its blogs. Not bad for a country boy from Davis, West Virginia. Way to go buddy. I am pretty damn proud of you.
    The New York Times needs no preface, as it is one of the foremost publications in the World. I included the full text of this article as well. For your reading enjoyment:
    "MORGANTOWN, W. Va., Nov. 27 — In the fall of 1991, Glenville State quarterback Jed Drenning left the field with a few fractured fingers and numerous body bruises. He had been sacked 20 times by West Virginia State, and no one was more embarrassed than his coach, Rich Rodriguez.
    Glenville State quarterback Jed Drenning accidentally began what has become West Virginia’s spread offense in 1991.
    “He didn’t want to face my parents,” Drenning said of Rodriguez, now the coach of West Virginia University. “I’ll never forget the look on his face.”
    The look on Rodriguez’s face this weekend should be an iridescent smile. His second-ranked Mountaineers (10-1) need a victory Saturday against Pittsburgh, a heavy underdog, to reach the Bowl Championship Series title game. The linchpin to success is Rodriguez’s spread offense, which averages 41 points and 310 rushing yards a game.
    It is a system that has worked well for dynamic quarterbacks like Tulane’s Shaun King, Clemson’s Woody Dantzler and West Virginia’s current starter, Pat White. But the offense that has West Virginia on the cusp of its first national title in football began, as the song goes, with a story about a man named Jed.
    How did a pharmaceutical salesman whose son’s middle name is Unitas help invent college football’s most productive offenses? By accident, of course, as Rodriguez likes to joke, noting that the man who inspired the offense that has turned White into a Heisman Trophy contender could not run the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds with a stiff breeze at his back.
    “I’m nothing if not self-aware,” Drenning said, chuckling, in a recent interview.
    Rodriguez calls Drenning one of the smartest players he has coached, which is how a bit of ingenuity by necessity was able to give birth to the basic shotgun zone-read run play that West Virginia uses so effectively. In a game early in 1991, Drenning missed or bobbled a handoff and then kept the ball, running for a moderate gain.
    “Why did you do that?” Rodriguez asked Drenning.
    “The end squeezed in, so I kept it,” Drenning said.
    “Oh, right,” Rodriguez said, pretending not to be surprised. “Oh, we’re putting that in next week.”
    Years later, Rodriguez laughed when he recalled that moment of discovery.
    “It was one of those deals where we kind of fell into that,” Rodriguez said. “We weren’t running it because he wasn’t a runner. But the thought process came in our mind.”
    And 16 years later, a majority of running plays in West Virginia’s spread offense are built on the same principle: reading the movement of the defensive end.
    Here is how the play works: White takes a snap out of the shotgun and looks at an unblocked defensive end, as Drenning did. If the defender crashes toward the quarterback, White runs into the hole he vacated. If the end stays put to contain the quarterback, White hands off to tailback Steve Slaton, who dashes off in the opposite direction.
    Florida’s Tim Tebow and many other college quarterbacks run the spread option out of the shotgun using the same read.
    “I don’t think that there’s a team in America that doesn’t do that play now,” said Rod Smith, West Virginia’s quarterbacks coach, who was the backup to Drenning at Glenville.
    When Drenning ran the offense at Glenville, it was still primarily a passing offense based on the old run-and-shoot. Drenning said the offense was “stitched out of necessity,” an apt description considering that his body had to be stitched back together while he and Rodriguez learned.
    Progress was slow and often painful, with Drenning following up his 20-sack Saturday by taking 12 the next week.
    “One thing about getting sacked that many times, he learned to get rid of the ball quickly,” Rodriguez said, laughing. “Jed Drenning probably had the quickest release in all of college football.”
    But soon, the new offense took shape, adapting to the defenses and adding wrinkles like reads to counter blitzes. A year after taking the 20 sacks, Drenning led Glenville to a blowout victory against West Virginia State without being sacked. By his senior year, Drenning threw for 4,329 yards, was named the conference’s player of the year and helped receiver Chris George set an all-college single-season record with 144 pass receptions. He also led Glenville to the N.A.I.A. title game.
    “It’s amazing how the game has changed,” Smith said. “I used to ask Jed all the time, ‘How come teams don’t run what we run?’ He’d say, ‘They’re scared to.’”
    Rodriguez found the same thing. He applied for jobs in his own conference without success. But his break came in 1997, after seven years at Glenville, when Tommy Bowden hired Rodriguez as an assistant at Tulane.

    In installing the offense, things started off so bad that during the first spring scrimmage, Tulane’s defensive coaches let a manager call the defensive plays.
    “I don’t think we got a first down the whole spring,” Rodriguez said.
    Eventually Rodriguez got Shaun King to buy into the system. By King’s senior year, his second in the system, he broke the N.C.A.A. record for passing efficiency and Tulane finished 12-0 and No. 7 in the Associated Press poll. King was not as fast as White, but he ran well enough to be a threat out of the shotgun with the field spread out. King’s running ability showed an evolution from a pass-heavy system.
    “He gets so much credit for his system,” King, who played in the N.F.L. and is now an analyst for ESPN, said of Rodriguez. “But he doesn’t get as much credit for his ability to adapt the system to personnel.”
    Rodriguez was snubbed for the head coaching job at Tulane after Bowden left for Clemson. So Rodriguez went with him and his system developed its reputation for being “amoebalike,” as Smith calls it.
    At Clemson, Dantzler was not as effective a thrower as Drenning or King. So Rodriguez shifted the system’s emphasis to the ground, an early version of its current incarnation. Rodriguez designed run plays based around Dantzler reading the defensive end and reacting. And as Dantzler became more comfortable, Clemson started climbing the polls, including as high as No. 5 in 2000.
    “As simple as it is, it’s very potent when executed properly,” Dantzler said of the offense. And the more he ran it, the harder it got to defend.
    “Instead of thinking about the play, you’re reacting to the defense,” Dantzler said. “Those are two totally different things. If you’re thinking about the play, you’re not paying much attention to the defense.”
    After two seasons at Clemson, Rodriguez came home to his dream job in West Virginia, his alma mater in his home state.
    There were growing pains, including a 3-8 season to start, in 2001. But once the personnel fit, the Mountaineers took off. Quarterback Rasheed Marshall ran the spread well enough to lead the Mountaineers to the Gator Bowl in consecutive years. Marshall was selected the Big East offensive player of the year in 2004.
    But White and Slaton have taken it to another level, becoming only the third pair of teammates to run for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. And while the national title game in New Orleans is a long way from Glenville State, the principles are the same.
    “If the defensive end squeezes, I pull the ball,” White said. “If the defensive end stays wide, I hand off to Steve, and he goes 90.”
    Sounds familiar to a man named Jed. Just a bit better executed.
    “The difference is that a play that I’d get 15 yards on,” Jed Drenning said, “Pat White would get 80.”

    The Quad is a sports blog from the New York Times about college football. I have included the full text of this article in this blog because I wish to save it. So here it is:

    "Jed Drenning was the first quarterback of a spread offense. Drenning started for Glenville State in 1991, when Rich Rodriguez was the coach. Now that Rodriguez has West Virginia in the hunt for a national title, Drenning has fond memories of the spread’s early days and he was nice enough to share them with us here at The Quad.
    By Jed Drenning
    That’s the best word I could use to describe the spread offense West Virginia Coach Rich Rodriguez has employed to such great effect over the past 16 years of his coaching career. That same system has been instrumental in making Rodriguez a household name in coaching circles and that now has Rodriguez, a former Mountaineers defensive back, on the threshold of guiding his alma mater to the promised land of college football: a berth in the B.C.S. title game Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
    To qualify things a bit, let me preface this all by saying I do believe my perspective through the looking glass of an offensive scheme and style that has in many ways changed the landscape of college football might at least be a touch distinctive, or so I hope. You see, I have the very good fortune of being the first quarterback to ever have played in this offense for Rich Rodriguez. With the Heisman Trophy candidate Pat White behind the wheel, the sleek old sportster seems to be running faster than ever, even after countless points and tens of thousands of yards. Now more than ever I beam with pride over the fact I was the guy lucky enough to first be handed the keys from Coach Rod and drive it off the lot 16 years ago at Glenville State in West Virginia.

    Folks these days most readily associate Coach Rodriguez’ Mountaineer offense with 400-yard rushing outbursts, zone-read running plays and explosive jaunts on the perimeter by guys like White and Steve Slaton. While things have no doubt changed a bit since the early 1990s at Glenville State when we were chucking the ball around to the tune of 50-60 times a week and our leading receiver once hauled in 144 receptions in a single season, the fundamental premise of Coach Rod’s scheme remains intact: Spread the defense and take what they give you.
    The numbers are hard to dispute. In the past decade and a half Coach Rodriguez’ system has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to burn the offensive candle at both ends. In 1998, with Rodriguez as offensive coordinator, Tulane averaged more than 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game for an entire season. Show me another offensive system boasting a resume that includes 500-yard passing performances (Coach Rodriguez’ quarterbacks produced three such games at Glenville State), as well as games with over 500 yards in team rushing (two times to date at W.V.U., including last week against Connecticut). Show me another scheme that has produced a quarterback with 38 touchdown passes in a season (Shaun King under Coach Rod’s tutelage at Tulane in 1998), and a quarterback with no fewer than three 200-yard rushing performances (White at West Virginia). For that matter, can you cite another offense that stakes claim to a 300-yard single-game receiving performance (Chris George at Glenville State in 1994), and a 300-yard rusher (Kay Jay Harris at West Virginia in 2004)?
    The concept of four-receiver sets and a high octane, no-huddle tempo probably seems mainstream today. That wasn’t the case, however, when the earliest variant of West Virginia’s “power-spread” offense was first conceived sixteen autumns ago.
    To truly appreciate how progressive Rodriguez’ approach was in 1991 as the head coach at Glenville State, which was when he first began attacking the opposition with spread formations and no-huddle, you first must recall the climate of the collegiate game at that time.
    In the early ’90s, college football was obviously a much different game than today, and this especially held true on offense. It was a time, after all, not far removed from the golden era of the wishbone offense. Throughout the course of the 1970s and 1980s, old-school icons like Bear Bryant and Joe Paterno had guided their teams to glory with a simple but effective formula that resonated through the college ranks, from the major universities to the lower-tier, scholarship-deprived programs. Hard-nosed and fundamentally sound defense coupled with a conservative, ground-oriented offense that would chew up the clock and often call for more tight ends and fullbacks in the formation than tuba players in the band.
    In short, many coaches at the time still preferred to play it as close to the vest offensively as possible. Batten down the hatches, tighten up the formation and play the entire game in rugby-scrum fashion between the tackles.
    For generations of coaches that was the tried and true recipe for success. In the early 1990s when Coach Rod arrived at Glenville State, that conservative mind-set still reigned supreme over college football. For every offensive radical like LaVell Edwards at Brigham Young or John Jenkins at Houston, there were dozens of traditionalists still clinging to the more established three-plays-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach that had worked for decades.
    Never get cute and line up in the shotgun or start spreading people out. Only in desperate circumstances like the two-minute drill or third-and-long should you even consider such antics. To do so otherwise would be to invite disaster. That was the widely accepted attitude of the day.
    Things weren’t so simple for Coach Rod. At Glenville State, he inherited a program that had at the time the smallest football budget in the country at its level (N.A.I.A.). He recognized that his squad was overmatched, both financially and physically, and consequently he lacked the luxury of convention. Coach Rodriguez realized very early on that if he was going to reverse Glenville’s football fortunes and bring the university its first conference title since 1958 he would have to defy the norm. Defy it he did in 1993. That was the year that he led Glenville State to the first of five straight West Virginia Conference crowns, and he hasn’t looked back since.
    Players respond to the notion of being part of something special and unique. Maybe Coach Rod was forward-thinking enough to recognize that going into his rebuilding project at Glenville and that’s why he played the hand he did with an offense no one else dared to implement. Or maybe he simply gained that insight from his experiences there. Either way, Coach Rodriguez adheres to that philosophy and to this day it still serves him –- and his team -– very well. Whether it’s West Virginia’s unique no-huddle, power-spread running game, or the Mountaineers’ odd-stack defense that only a handful of teams across the country employ, or a fake punt in the final minutes of West Virginia’s 2006 Sugar Bowl victory over heavily favored Georgia, Coach Rod is acutely aware of a simple detail that appears lost on many coaches. Kids react favorably to someone who demonstrates the courage to take a chance, and they embrace the notion of circling the wagon and being a part of something that few others have the guts to try.
    The great irony is that the whole circumstance appears to have come full circle. There’s no copyright on X’s and O’s and following West Virginia’s recent success coaches across the land are now doing their best to emulate Coach Rod’s offensive system, a system that was born years ago in Glenville when he was brash enough to do one thing no one else dared to.
    Be different.

    I thought they were two great reads.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007

    Da Geek's Pitt Week Pickem.... GO EERS!!!!

    Well my fellow Mountaineer fans Pitt Week is upon us. We are getting charged up for our 100th tilt with the Pussy-cats from Pittsburgh. As hyperbole could not express the expanse of the ramifications for this weekend let me just say that what happens this weekend is of some import. I have decided for the last regular season pickem just to pick the games straight up. As it is wins and losses that will be touted for the voters and computers this weekend I shall prognosticate the following: (as always you may take this to the bank, however if you do this author takes no responsibilty for your reliance upon these stone cold lead pipe locks)

    Rutgers at Louisville DaGeek's Pick: Louisville becomes bowl eligible with their sixth win at home.

    Virginia Tech (6) vs Boston College DaGeek's Pick: Much to my chagrin one of these Big East traitors is heading to a BCS Bowl and I am picking BC to repeat its performance in Jacksonville.

    (12) Tennessee (15) vs Louisiana State DaGeek's Pick: LSU coming off of a crushing defeat last week will once again lose and the SEC send the Vols in New Orleans January 1.

    (7) Oregon State at Oregon (20) DaGeek's Pick: OSU wins this intrastate rivalry and further demonstrates how much the Duck's miss their QB.

    UCLA at Southern California (9) DaGeek's Pick: USC gets to play this game and then play again in Southern California as it locks up yet another ho-hum Pac10 championship.

    Pittsburgh at West Virginia (1) DaGeek's Pick: The Mountaineers do what is necessary to stamp their passport to New Orleans in January 7. Couches Burn. DaGeek Cries like a little girl both with the Senior night festivities and the sheer gravity of the situation. The EERS are going to play for all the cookies.

    Arizona at Arizona State (13) DaGeek's Pick: Arizona wins this game much the same way it defeated Oregon. An otherwise fantastic season ends with a disappointment for the Sun Devils.

    Oklahoma (8) vs Missouri (2) Da Geek's Pick: Ohio State fans have to weight until the wee hours to find out that they are going to get their wish to play the Mountaineers. Oklahoma wins a wild won in Texas to end the dream of Missouri. The BCS voters are left with a big decision about whether or not to send Missouri, Illonois, or Kansas BCS bowling.

    Washington at Hawaii (10) DaGeek's Pick: Hawaii finishes its perfect season and gets to play the Vols in an interesting contest in New Orleans.

    Army vs Navy DaGeek's Pick: The Middies take out some frustration on their rivals from New York. It is not even close.

    I hope you enjoyed this years Pickem. This site will host a Bowl Game Pickem for all who wish to participate. You need only register and place your picks in a response to the original post prior to the first Bowl game.


    WVU Men's Soccer team advance to Sweet 16

    Way to go Soccer-EERS!!!

    With a win over UVA on a free kick by Dan Stafford in the 51st minute of regulation to win 1-0. This is another program 1st. I know that this blog is focused on the other version of "football" this week but I felt compelled to share the great news. The Coach of the Mountaineer Soccer team was quoted as saying "the goal is a national championship." This sound familiar. Mountaineer Athletics is in a true "golden" age and we need to appreciate just how good we have it. You can read the MSN.Com story for a full report on this sport as do not claim to be a soccer guru. I am however quite excited about both the Men's and Women's success this year.


    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Coach Calvan Magee is getting nationwide recognition...

    Coach Magee has brought an energy and integrity to this program along with a rich knowledge of the game. He is a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and South Florida Assistant. He came to Morgantown in 2001 as a running backs coach and his players have since never relinquished the Big East Rushing title. Any time DaGeek has visited with this wonderful coach he has been greeted with a smile and a handshake. He is always willing to share his thoughts with anybody who seeks them. He spent 5 minutes with DaGeek and DaGeek's father one year just discussing the program. He didn't hurry on to the next person he made us feel like we were a part of the program and that impression has lasted. It is fun to watch he and the other coaches succeed. He has gotten the job done in all of his previous rolls. He currently is the running backs coach, the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He is being sought after openly by Georgia Tech among others to be their next head coach. Today he received the prestigious "2007 Assistant Coach of the Year" from the American Football Coaches Association. He is also a finalist for the Broyles award. This is what happens when a program such as ours has success. It is great that we are blessed to have his kind of talent in Morgantown. It is a shame that we will likely lose him to another program, but it is a direct byproduct of success. Everybody with WVLaGeek's West Virginia Sports wishes him a heart-felt congratulations and continued success. Thank you, Coach Magee for making us proud.



    Here's an appropriate computer background for you.


    WVU pounds Maryland-Eastern Shore on hardwood.

    110-44. Wow just wow. I don't care who you are playing that was a beat down. Huggy is off to a nice start in this years basketball campaign. I think what can be taken from the early season pulse, would be the fact that a Huggy coached team will win the games he is supposed to win. More on basketball after the close of Pitt Week.


    Monday, November 26, 2007


    This was the play White broke up the sideline. The following play Slaton scored up the left side. On the sideline after the play it was announced Slaton and White had just gone over 1000 yds each on the season. Niiiicccceeee!!!

    W'sWVS Contributing Writer's Poll 11/26/2007:

    Thank you Doug for another fine performance. For your viewing pleasure compliments of Dougitydog from wvsports.com Blue Lot :

    Rank School points (1st); last week:

    1 WVU 125 (5) ; 3

    2 MISSOURI 120;4

    3 OSU 115;6

    4 KU 106; 1

    5 UGA 104;7

    6 LSU 97; 2

    7 VPI 91; 8

    8 OKLAHOMA 89; 8

    9 USC 84; 10

    10 HAWAII 75; 13

    11 BC 73; 15

    12 ASU 69;5

    TIE FLORIDA 69;12

    14 TENN 58; 18

    15 ILL 54; 19

    16 CINCY 45; 21

    17 USF 34; 22

    18 UVA 30; 14

    19 OREGON 27; 11

    20 TEXAS 26; 17

    21 BYU 25; 24

    22 CLEMSON 24; 22

    23 U CONN19; 16

    TIE WISC 19; 25

    25 AUBURN 8; NR





    And for your viewing pleasure:

    Crow tastes a lot like Leftover Turkey

    I'll skip the "we're going to the championship" gloating for a moment to say I was wrong.

    T0 Hawaii: you beat Boise St. Not only did you win, you were impressive. BSU was never in the game and looked rather lethargic. Meanwhile you have a great set of wideouts. They fight on every play. Probably because every play is a pass play but nonetheless... That being said, you SHOULD be able to beat a battered Washington at home this coming week. Congratulations, you will get an at large bid. The bad news is you'll be the last pick. That pick is owned by the Sugar Bowl this year. You know, the ones with the SEC tie-in. That's right! You get the winner of the LSU-Tennessee game....good luck with that. Maybe you can stick around for the week and see WVU whip up on OSU.

    DaGeek's Thoughts for this weekend...

    Have I said how much I love Pat White? Well he simply was "sick" Saturday night. That was true both figuratively and literally. While amassing yet another monumental night on the ground and in the air he was losing weight by throwing up. Tis quite impressive when you can battle not only opposing defenses but also flu like symptoms and still come out on top. His supporting cast didn't do so bad either. 66-21 I believe constituted the necessary style points to get us to a level never attained at any time before in West Virginia Football history. That is a No. 1 ranking in a regular season poll. That is right fans the Coaches have anointed our beloved Mountaineers the best team in the land. You will see in this sites poll the Mountaineers will also get some love.

    I think that maybe it would be hard to overstate my excitement regarding this weekend's events. A perfect storm has occurred and WVU is now in the driver's seat again regarding it's future.

    First off let's check back at the teams preseason goals:\

    1. Win the Big East Out Right (To be determined on Saturday on Saturday December 1 around 11:45)
    2. Make a BCS Bowl as a result of Big East Championship. (Check)
    3. Go undefeated: (Whoops in Tampa prevented this)
    4. Play for a national title. (To be determined on Saturday December 1 around 11:45)
    5. To win a national championship. (Again we have to win the semi-finals to advance to finals.)

    As you can see more work is to be done.

    Now let's look at the remaining concerns for the WVU Mountaineers in their quest to play for the national title:

    BEAT PITT!!! That is it, that is all. Even though the Big 10 crybabies out their are going to cry foul OSU will not overcome an 11 and 1 WVU. OSU's only hope is for Missouri to lose to Oklahoma for the second time this season. I hope they get their wish because I would love to put that arrogant fan-base in its place. I relish all of the pub right now. Including a well written article by Mr. Schlabach of ESPN. Some quotes of note:

    "If Ohio State fans want to avoid an upset stomach, they might not want to root too hard for Oklahoma to beat No. 2 Kansas or No. 4 Missouri in next week's Big 12 Championship Game in San Antonio. The No. 5 Buckeyes should really save themselves from being embarrassed for the second season in a row.

    The Buckeyes' national title hopes seemed lost when they fell to Illinois 28-21 on Nov. 10. Then Oregon, Oklahoma and finally LSU lost while the Buckeyes watched. But Ohio State's chances of winning the BCS title are still fleeting, at best. Even if the Buckeyes use the back door to the Louisiana Superdome by finishing in the top two of the final BCS standings, they don't stand a chance.

    After Florida ran up and down the field against a better Ohio State team in a 41-14 win in the 2006 BCS Championship Game, the Mountaineers might actually lap the Buckeyes on the Bayou. The Mountaineers are really that fast."-Mark Schlabach

    "It is not going to be the "Back Yard Brawl but rather the Back Yard Maul" Stated in Game Day Final after the trouncing of U Conn- Mark May (former Pitt Grad no less.)

    "I think we have to have a perfect game and then I don't even know if that's good enough against these guys. Even if we played perfectly I don't know if we could beat this team."; "I hope [West Virginia] goes and wins the national championship."; "The only way that West Virginia loses is if they turn the ball over," Edsall said. "That's what happened [in their loss against] South Florida. If you don't get turnovers on them, ain't nobody going to beat them."- Coach Edsall as was quoted in the courant.com's article West Virgina Routs U Conn.

    The Big East anounced its weekly award winners and guess who they were: Offense: Ben Mauk (What?) Deffense: Morrty Ivey Special Teams: Pat McAfee . The Big East saw fit to give Pat White and honorable mention this week. Oh well 2 outta three ain't bad. I just can't believe that the Big East couldn't see fit to give the sweep to WVU. Side by side how can Mauk be considered to have had a better performance than Pat White's 3 quarters of Brilliance. Oh yea I do drink the Pat White cool aid even if it might give me the flu.

    As for other issues I am certain that this blog is going to be on overdrive this week with folks thoughts. I will edit this blog later to include some photos I took from the game this weekend.


    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Thoughts on recent developments

    It may be folly to get ahead of oneself, but I am not a football player, nor am I superstitious, so I'm going to go ahead and do so. The crushing victory over Connecticut propelled the Mountaineers into a virtual dead heat in the polls and BCS standings with Missouri, with Ohio State lagging in third place. Barring a collapse against the Pittsburgh Pussycats, West Virginia is going to the National Championship game in January.

    After West Virginia fell to USF and back into a double-digit poll position, the necessary scenarios for WVU to get a berth in the BCS championship game looked too improbable to contemplate for long. After all, early in the season, it didn't even seem guaranteed that an undefeated Mountaineers squad would get the nod over the anticipated perfect seasons of LSU, Oklahoma, et al. Bizarrely, however, those unlikely events have come to pass.

    The most important game next week, of course, is against Pitt. I'm sure Wannstadt is salivating over the prospect of a season-redeeming upset that would crush the spirit of his rivals to the south, not to mention give him a reprieve from the angry mob of a fanbase that is *this* close to setting fire to his metaphorical thatched-roof cottage.

    But other than the Backyard Brawl, the game to keep an eye on, of course, is the Big 12 championship. An Oklahoma win in that game would allow Ohio State to supplant current #1 Missouri as the other Championship entrant. I'm uncertain which one would provide a more favorable matchup, but my sense is that OU is going to beat Mizzou, and the Buckeyes will get the nod.

    If that's the case, there are a few observations I've made lately that may be of relevance to their likely fate if they line up across from the Mountaineers. Essentially, the Big 10 is a conference living in the past in more ways than one. Having browsed some OSU message boards, it appears that many folks in and around Columbus rely on past years' accomplishments as a proxy for current realities. When discussing how OSU would do against West Virginia, their fans point out the fact that West Virginia has never won a championship as a reason that Ohio State would prevail.

    West Virginia may never have won a championship, but one thing Ohio State has never done is successfully defend against a decent spread offense. Not to disrespect Juice & Co, but there's a reason that a second-rate spread attack at Illinois has become the second best team in the Big 10. It's not that Illinois is a top-notch team; it's that the Big 10 still thinks it's 1935, and generally hasn't made the necessary defensive modifications to compete with any decent opponent that plays a modern style of college football. Besides Illinois' achievements, look at the success that Oregon had against Michigan. And why do you think Ohio State decided to stop playing Cincinnati? Maybe someone in the program realizes that the Big East's Bearcats are a threat to OSU's intra-Ohio winning streak.

    Do I think that a WVU-OSU matchup would be as noncompetitive as Oregon-Michigan? No. But if West Virginia plays Ohio State for the national championship, I think that White, Slaton, Devine, Saunders, Reynaud and all the rest will be licking their chops. I'd go so far to say that Collington might even get a few carries in the Big Easy.

    Geek Sighting?

    If that guy in the Slaton jersey was wearing a ski cap instead of a baseball cap, I would've sworn it was DaGeek.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    I just got done reading a blog by a U Conn media person with the New Haven Register.

    The discussion reminded me of the many discussions we use to have about who gets what bowl. Obviously, if either team wins this weekend they are going BCS bowling. But the discussion was interesting on how the rest of the Big East tie-ins would sort themselves out. Anyway, I thought you guys would find his information to be interesting. Here is the link U Conn Blogger.

    OFF TOPIC: Taking athletic fanaticism too far...

    My fellow Eer Fans, you won't find me going off topic very often on here but this is I would argue tangentially related to Mountaineer sports and I felt compelled to opine.

    I have been a fan of Mountaineer football for all of my life. I was blessed and am quite thankful to be able to go to games throughout my life. My parents took incredible care of me and gave me opportunities that many others never received. Throughout that period if time. 35+ years in my case I would be called a Mountaineer fan (maybe more accurately a fanatic). I have placed an inordinate amount of importance upon the success of this College's athletic success. I have fallen into miner depressions when the Eers didn't accomplish the goals I had set for them. I have had mania-like events when they achieve. All in all I would say that I am extremely passionate about Mountaineer sports. I tend to give our coaches a blind trust to get it done. I am loyal to a fault to Mountaineer players current and graduates. I tend to drink this gold and blue cool-aid like it is the nectar of the gods. I guess the point I am making is that I have danced on a line of fanaticism, which some might suggest is in excess. I don't see me relenting of course. But I did find a line that I can not cross when it comes to athletics. It is merely a hobby and a game! There are things of far greater significance and import than the success or failure of an athletic team on the hardwood or turf.

    Nick Saban decided to invoke past national tragedy to illustrate a point regarding Alabama's loss to Louisiana-Monroe. I read the following: article and found myself getting sicker by the second. Maybe I am being a bit judgmental in my analysis, but I will stand by this position. The last line of the article stated that Mr. The level of contempt I harbor toward the following made me take stock in my favorite hobby and passion. Alabama fans are commonly referred to as the most fanatical of any you will find and their head coach wished to illustrate to his football team the very large disappointment he had in their performance. You see it was reported by the associated press that Nick Saban didn't "compare the embarrassing loss to those events" referring to 911 and Pearl Harbor. I beg to differ that is exactly the picture he was creating when he made the statement. I argue that in no way was the loss catastrophic. I offer this AP article for your thoughts:

    "TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama fans aren't the only ones treating the Louisiana-Monroe loss as a monumental event.

    Coach Nick Saban described the humbling defeat in almost apocalyptic terms Monday, mentioning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor in talking about how his team must rebound like America did from a "catastrophic event."

    "Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event," Saban said. "It may be 9/11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II, and that was a catastrophic event."

    If the comparisons seem over the top, well, it is Iron Bowl week.

    Saban didn't compare the embarrassing 21-14 loss to Louisiana-Monroe to those events, but picked those historical references to illustrate that this could be a pivotal week for the Crimson Tide..." The rest of the article can be read by clicking on the link. There is also a poll on that site asking whether you found the comments offensive. - Associated Press via ESPN.Com

    If you disagree with my assertions please feel free to share your thoughts on the same. As I said above I am a Fan(atic), and I look forward to this Saturday's clash with U Conn with high hopes. However, rest assured the heroics which may be exhibited on the football field should not ever be taken to a level greater than what it is an accomplishment on a football field. All this in my humble and verbose opinion.


    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Monday, November 19, 2007


    Rank Team votes (1st), last week

    1 KANSAS 123 (3); 1

    2 LSU 120 (2); 3

    3 WVU 117; 4

    4 MISSOURI 108; 6

    5 ARIZONA STATE 105; 7

    6 OHIO STATE 103; 8

    7 GEORGIA 89; 9

    8 VPI 79; 10

    (TIE) OKLAHOMA 79; 5

    10 USC 71; 11

    11 OREGON 68; 2

    12 FLORIDA 65; 14

    13 HAWAII 63; 16

    14 UVA 59; 13

    15 BOSTON COLLEGE 56; 18

    16 U CONN 42; 21

    17 TEXAS 41; 12

    18 TENNESSEE 40; 20

    19 LLONOIS 34; 22

    20 BOISE STATE 31; 18

    21 CINCINNATI 24; 17

    22 USF 20; 24

    (TIE) CLEMSON 20; 14

    24 BYU 15; NR

    25 WISCONSIN 14; NR





    All we really need

    One thought for this week's football game.

    Where is Lester Hayes when you need him?

    Round ball

    It may be a little early to get too deep into the round ball, but just a couple thoughts. Friday's game against Tenn strikes me as much more than a benchmarking game. Every year there seams to be statement game for a program. Obviously, the rigors of the Big East can wear any team down in the win/loss column. This game has the potential to be THAT game. I'm not sold on Tenn at #7, but they certainly can run and score. It will be interesting to see how Huggie defends and if our offense can be as explosive as it was under Belein (may he rest in peace). Frankly, I think it sets the tone for the entire season. And at year end, we will probably be one of those teams under the microscope being disected on every win and loss. An early statement against a top ranked team can propel them not only into to the NCAA tournament, but put them squarely in the face of new recruits building the future of WVU basketball. Enjoy the game. (VS network, 7pm)

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    WVU Basketball goes to 2-0

    Mountaineer Basketball team gets off to a great start against lessor opponents, first 81-53 win over Arkansas-Monticello then todays lambasting of Praire View 106-41. First test of the season will be against the Vols this Friday.

    WVU Women's Soccer moves to Sweet 16

    WVU women defeat the Lady Dukes of JMU 2-0.

    BCS 3 rd :Harris Poll tied for 3; Coaches 3, and Sagarin 3

    The polls have been released. We are now 3rd in the latest BCS Poll. We are now at least tied for 3rd in 2 thirds of BCS component polls, Harris Poll tied for 3 with Missouri, Coaches 3. We are also 3rd in Sagarin both regular and ELO Chess. ASU is 4th and OSU is 6th. The AP has us at 4. Things are getting interesting now.

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    Phew 2!!!

    Wow that was a hell of a game!!!! Mauc is for real! It was all I could take but lets just say survive and advance! I will have more thoughts about this tomorro. Ask Oregon and Oklahoma how it feels tonight and I am guessing the feeling in the "queen city" is better.
    Quotes of the game:
    "I tried to give the game away," White said crisply. "Two fumbles -- one forced, one not. Just happy to get out with a win." -from Pat Forde ESPN.COM
    "There's always this talk of style points on ESPN," kicker Pat McAfee said. "I don't understand it. The No. 1 team in the country wins by two points every week." -from Pat Forde ESPN.COM


    Another week, another heartburn-inspiring victory.

    Hey, if it works for LSU...

    This makes two weeks in a row that West Virginia's solid general play has offset bad mistakes. But really, that's not a bad thing. The vast majority of teams don't survive turning over the ball in their own territory twice like that.

    In other news, Oklahoma trails Texas Tech by 21 points in the fourth quarter. So we should be rooting for Oklahoma to win the Big 12 Championship.

    Mountaineers in ESPN the Mag

    ESPN Magazine has a feature where they profile young athletes that are about to break on the scene in a big way called "Who's Next". Freshman RB Noel Devine has made it to the final five athletes who will have the biggest impact on the future of sports. Other candidates are Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain, sprinter Tyson Gay, Trailblazers guard Brandon Roy, and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. It's pretty phenomenal that a college freshman is on a list with 3 young professional athletes. You can vote for Devine in this poll at: www.espn.go.com/mag/?lpos=spotlight&lid=tab8pos1

    Also in the magazine in the Page 2 section (the goofy section of The Mag) is Ryan Mundy in a feature where they asked athletes who are not baseball players what music they would listen to if his sport had "at-bat music." Finally, here are my picks for the day:

    Northwestern +14 at Illinois
    Syracuse +19 1/2 at Connecticut
    Pitt +12 at Rutgers
    Kansas State +8 1/2 vs Missouri
    Ohio State -3 1/2 at Michigan
    Georgia Tech -10 vs North Carolina
    Navy -16 1/2 vs Northern Illinois
    LSU -19 at Mississippi
    Duke +7 at Notre Dame
    Miami +16 1/2 at Virginia Tech
    Clemson -9 vs Boston College
    Southern Miss -3 at UTEP
    Baylor +16 1/2 vs Oklahoma State
    Oklahoma -7 1/2 at Texas Tech

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Oregon is losing. And just fumbled again.

    I'll just leave it at that.

    Update: Oregon Lost.

    We signed all three basketball recruits listed yesterday.

    LOI's were sent to Huggy today and he made the official announcement this afternoon.

    Very Very Very Cool.

    Roomers are surfacing that "Game Day coming to Motwown"

    I read today that someone had it on "good authority" that it is in the works with both teams WVU and U Conn winning this weekend. Just another reason to kick some bear-kitty butt. But it looks like it will be down to WVU-U Conn or UVA-VPI. (By the way this will be the same day that several recruits will be visiting the campus.) That would be a wonderful boon to our recruitment of those athletes. Maybe it will also bring the students back to campus a little earlier too. The Kansas Missouri game is out because the game will be at a neutral site. It would be the first time that this crew would have shown up in Morgantown. But I am guessing that it is still a long shot. Well anyway, I just wanted to make sure that the roomer mill didn't pass you by. It is my solemn duty to pass second hand information to you as quickly as possible. It is only a little necessary that the info is good. :) Just kidding. I thought it was interesting that it is even being discussed.

    Greg's Picks

    Oregon (2) at Arizona (Oregon by 12) -Oregon covers
    Hawaii (12) at Nevada (No Line) -Nevada
    Ohio State (7) at Michigan (23) (No Line) -OSU
    Missouri (6) at Kansas State (Missouri by 7) -Miizou covers
    Kentucky (20) at Georgia (9) (UGA by 7 ½) -Kentucky covers by UGA wins
    Idaho at Boise State (15) (Boise by 34) -Boise picks the spread
    Miami at Virginia Tech (10) ( VPI by 17) -Tech wins, Miami covers
    Louisiana State (1) at Mississippi (LSU by 19 ½) LSU covers
    Iowa State at Kansas (4) (Kansas by 26 ½) Kansas, ISU covers
    West Virginia (5) at Cincinnati (25) (WVU by 6 ½) WVU covers by 1/2 point
    Oklahoma (3) at Texas Tech (Oklahoma by 8)Oklahoma covers
    Syracuse at Connecticut (U Conn by 18 ½) Uconn, Orange cover
    Maryland at Florida State (FSU by 7 ½) FSU, Maryland covers
    Pittsburgh at Rutgers (Rutgers by 11 ½) Rutgers covers
    Mississippi State at Arkansas (Arkansas by 11) MSU wins outright
    Marshall at Houston (Houston by 11 ½) Houston, Marshall covers
    Western Michigan at Iowa (Iowa by 14) Iowa violates them and covers
    Louisville at South Florida (USF by 7) USF covers
    Duke at Notre Dame (ND by 6) ND covers (Go Blue Devils!)

    Ol' J.B.'s picks.

    Here are my picks. These are all, obviously, mortal locks:

    Oregon (2) at Arizona (Oregon by 12) - Oregon SU, Arizona ATS
    Hawaii (12) at Nevada (No Line) - Nevada

    Ohio State (7) at Michigan (23) (No Line) - Michigan
    Missouri (6) at Kansas State (Missouri by 7) - Missouri SU & ATS
    Kentucky (20) at Georgia (9) (UGA by 7 ½) - Kentucky SU & ATS
    Idaho at Boise State (15) (Boise by 34) - Boise SU, Idaho ATS

    Miami at Virginia Tech (10) ( VPI by 17) - VPI SU & ATS

    Louisiana State (1) at Mississippi (LSU by 19 ½) - LSU SU, Ole Miss ATS
    Iowa State at Kansas (4) (Kansas by 26 ½) - Kansas SU, Iowa State ATS
    West Virginia (5) at Cincinnati (25) (WVU by 6 ½) - WVU SU & ATS
    Oklahoma (3) at Texas Tech (Oklahoma by 8) - Oklahoma SU & ATS
    Syracuse at Connecticut (U Conn by 18 ½) - UConn SU & ATS

    Maryland at Florida State (FSU by 7 ½) - Maryland SU & ATS

    Pittsburgh at Rutgers (Rutgers by 11 ½) - Rutgers SU, Pitt ATS

    Mississippi State at Arkansas (Arkansas by 11) - Miss State SU & ATS

    Marshall at Houston (Houston by 11 ½) -
    Houston SU & ATS
    Western Michigan at Iowa (Iowa by 14) -
    Iowa SU, WMU ATS
    Louisville at South Florida (USF by 7) - USF SU, Louisville ATS
    Duke at Notre Dame (ND by 6) - Duke SU & ATS

    Da Geek's Picks for this weekends games:

    (All picks are both line picks and straight up unless noted.)

    (The line used is the "Sports Book" line as published in the USA Today for Thursday November 15 2007)

    WVU BCS Impact Games:

    Oregon (2) at Arizona (Oregon by 12) DaGeek's Pick: Arizona against the line Oregon Straight up.

    Hawaii (12) at Nevada (No Line) DaGeek's Pick: Hawaii

    Ohio State (7) at Michigan (23) (No Line) DaGeek's Pick: Michigan

    Missouri (6) at Kansas State (Missouri by 7) DaGeek's Pick: Missouri

    Kentucky (20) at Georgia (9) (UGA by 7 ½) DaGeek's Pick: UGA

    Idaho at Boise State (15) (Boise by 34) DaGeek's Pick: Boise State

    Miami at Virgina Tech (10) (VPI by 17) DaGeek's Pick: VPI

    Louisiana State (1) at Mississippi (LSU by 19 ½) DaGeek's Pick: Mississippi against the line and LSU straight up.

    Iowa State at Kansas (4) (Kansas by 26 ½) DaGeek's Pick: Kansas

    West Virginia (5) at Cincinnati (25) (West Virginia by 6 ½) DaGeek's Pick: West Virginia

    Oklahoma (3) at Texas Tech (Oklahoma by 8) DaGeek's Pick: Oklahoma

    Syracuse at Connecticut (U Conn by 18 ½) DaGeek's Pick: Syracuse against the spread and U Conn straight up.

    Maryland at Florida State (FSU by 7 1/2) DaGeek's Pick: Maryland

    Pittsburgh at Rutgers (Rutgers by 11 ½) DaGeek's Pick: Rutgers

    Mississippi State at Arkansas (Arkansas by 11) DaGeek's Pick: Mississippi State

    Marshall at Houston (Houston by 11 ½) DaGeek's Pick: Houston

    Western Michigan at Iowa (Iowa by 14) Western Michigan against the spread and Iowa Straight up.

    Louisville at South Florida (USF by 7) Louisville

    Game of interest only because of its utter futility:

    Duke at Notre Dame (ND by 6) DaGeek's Pick: Duke (totally a homer pick but gotta do it!)

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Great News WVU Basketball Kevin Jones Signs LOI Today!!!


    Mt. Vernon (NY) 6-foot-7 210 pound, **** Power forward Kevin Jones is a Rivals top 100 4 star basketball recruit. He made his decision today to join the Mountaineers. He chose WVU over Indiana, Seton Hall, and Pitt to name a few. What is really exciting is that this power forward is just the type of athlete that is known to excel in the Huggins style of ball. A question I have for our previous coaches who claimed we could not land the big-time athletes at WVU is: Why? The answer Huggy has given is: Why not?. Headlines like "Huggy get's his man" are being posted on ESPN.COM.

    He promised immediate upgrades in the talent level at WVU and this recruit along with rivals 3 star athletes:
    *** Shooting Guard Darryl Bryant (From New York (NY) St. Raymond's he played AAU for the New York Gauchos he is 6-foot-2 and weighs 190 lbs ) and 6 foot 10 205 lb, *** Power forward Roscoe Davis (who is actually rated as a 4 star in Scout.com's list.) from Hargrave Military Academy from Chatham, VA. He played for the AAU team DC Assault. Each have verbally committed to WVU to be a part of the class of 2008. I am with out a doubt excited at the prospect of beating out Pitt for Basketball recruits. No longer does the Zoo have one up on us. It will be very fun to see how all of this plays out. I think it is clear we are playing with the "Big Boys" now. Do I see Big East Championships in our future? You bet I do.

    (All photos are the property of Rivals.com. The top image is Kevin Jones, the middle image is Darryl Bryant and the bottom image is Roscoe Davis.)


    Who is the best Big East Coach and why?

    I am standing by Rod in this debate but I would love to entertain your thoughts.

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Award winners for last week in Big East

    Another award wining week for our beloved Mountaineers. The Big East handed out its weekly nod to no one but two Mountaineers: Pat White and Erik Wicks

    "White was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season after he accounted for 328 yards of total offense and scored on a 50-yard touchdown run with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter to break a 31-31 tie and give West Virginia a 38-31 win against Louisville. He rushed for a game-high 147 yards and 24 carries and completed 16 of 25 passes for 181 yards and two TDs.
    Wicks was chosen as BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week after he figured in two second-half takeaways in the win against Louisville. He scored a touchdown on a 44-yard fumble return in the third quarter and had a key fourth-quarter interception. Wicks added three tackles and a pass breakup."


    Where is the crowd noise?

    A post by John Radcliff at the AOL Fanhouse blogs discusses, among other things, the issue of crowd noise at Mountaineer Field. Apparently the decibel levels are down from previous years, and it is reducing the edge that home field gives to WVU. I've now read comments from Louisville and Mississippi State players alike saying that they've been underwhelmed by the noise from the stands.

    One thing I noted during the Thursday game was that the stadium only got REALLY loud at one moment... the last minute of the game during which Louisville futilely attempted a last-gasp comeback. Granted, that was a good time to have a lot of crowd noise, but why can't we keep up some of that intensity throughout the rest of the game? I screamed myself hoarse the whole time, and I have pretty good vocal projection, so I think I did my part. But, short of higher supplies of alcohol, what can encourage the fans to scream louder, and more frequently? And what has caused the noise shortage in the first place?

    DaGeek's Coaches Ratings by monetary value:

    After reading Greg’s post I decided to find out a way to evaluate a coaches relative value versus his pay. I chose 15 coaches from notable BCS programs. I think that this is a telling blog so please read on and enjoy. I have decided to make this post all about the cost in dollars per victory. I acknowledge that it is only one measure of success or failure but I thought that it could be a way to do an evaluation. So here goes:

    From least bang for the buck to most I will do this evaluation. The relative level of hot under the coaches seat will correspond with the color of the writing. I got the coaches base salary and divided the total base salary by the current number of wins. The salaries are as reported on the website: CoachesHotseat.com

    ~ Charlie Weis to date has cost Notre Dame 3.5 million dollars per win. With two remaining games left on the schedule at the very best he will cost ND 1.67 million per win.

    ~ Butch Davis is costing North Carolina is costing the Tarheels $600,000.00 per win. The Heels have some hope to recoup a little value with two remaining games making it possible for the price tag to only be $360,000.00 per win.

    ~ Nick Saban to date has cost Alabama $583,334.00 per win. With two games remaining he at best will cost the Tide $437,500. per win. (Bama will be going bowling so this number may be reduced again.)

    ~ Kirk Ferentz to date has cost Iowa $473, 334.00 per win.

    ~ Dave Wannstedt has only cost the Pittiful Panthers $375,000.oo per win thus far. He has 3 more games remaining on his schedule two of which he needs to win to become bowl eligible and they are Rutgers, South Florida, and WVU. Not necessary to recalculate this figure as it is a finale.

    ~ Tommy Tubberville will cost Auburn $371,428.57 per win. He has one game remaining against Alabama thus the best Auburn can hope for is 325,000.00 per win. (This team is going bowling thus this number may be reduced again.)

    ~ Bill Callahan of Nebraska is only costing Big Red a paltry $350,000.00 per win. With a win against Colorado Nebraska would only be out $257,000.00 per win and that would make them bowl eligible.

    ~ Ralph Friedgen has cost the twerps a disgusting $338,380 per win so far this season. He has two games remaining to become bowl eligible which would under that circumstance make his rate $211,483.oo per win.

    ~ Dennis Franchione has cost Texas A&M $335,367.00 per win. With one remaining game at the very best he will cost Texas A&M $287,457.15 per win.

    ~ Tom O’Brien is costing the Wolfpack $300,000.00 per win thus far this season. He has 2 wins to become bowl eligible and with that occurrence he could at best bring this total down to $187,500 per win.

    ~ Phillup Fulmer is costing the Vols thus far $292,857.15 per win. This team still has 2 remaining home games with a shot at the SEC Finals and a major bowl thus if successful making the best-case scenario cost per win this season $186,364.00 per win.

    ~ Bobby Bowden is costing the Seminoles $281,983.34 per win to date. The Noles have an additional 2 regular season games and a bowl game to bring that total down to at best $187,988.89 per win.

    ~ Frank Beamer is costing the Chokies $251,000.00 per win. But as was said about Tennessee that number can drop a large margin if VPI can win its final 2 games the ACC Championship and its BCS bowl game under that scenario the price tag would be a meager $167,333,34 per game.

    ~ Rich Rodriguez is a very cheap by way of comparison costing $162,500.00 with 4 more games to play this season, which could reduce that number to $108,334.00 per win. With only one other coach in his range of pay and bang for buck being Mark Mangino I think that Hot Rod has done pretty well by us.

    ~ Mark Mangino is costing Kansas $150,124.10 per win thus far. And with his Cinderella season he has an opportunity to reduce that sum substantially with wins in its final 2 regular season games an appearance in the Big 12 Championship and a BCS Bowl win. Were that to happen the Jayhawks would only be in the till for 107,231.50 per win. This guy looks to be the pound for pound champ.

    ~ Needless to say these numbers are staggering. How Charlie Weis has a job after this year is beyond me.

    Well I hope you enjoyed,


    Coaches ratings

    Just a thought. Who's doing the best and worst coaching jobs this season. I'll start with my thought on the worst. Despite my complete disdain for Charlie Weis (Jaba the Hut), I would really have to give it to another washed up "pro" coach, Pete Carrol. He's done less with more than any other coach. In fact, they haven't looked like the same offense since Norm Chow left. Blame injuries, blame the weather, blame the schedule, blame the waterboy but USC was supposed to be 9 deep with 5 stars at RB. Their celebrated team speed on defense couldn't keep up with Stanford and frankly, IDAHO moved the ball on them with no problem. They still are likely to make a BCS game, but I'm not picking them to beat any other BCS team (except IF Hawaii makes it). Pete Carrol has done a terrific job recruiting....maybe he should go into sales.

    On the other end of the spectrum , if Mark Magino runs the table, he's the coach of the year. Looking a little deeper, Sly Croom is winning games where he shouldn't. Love that in a coach. (Hated that about Nehlen, never won games he wasn't suppose to win...Coach Rod....Georgia!) Good coaches inspire and coach them up! Kudos to the Zooker for this weekend but I'm not convinced he's an X's and O's guy. Just another case of a traditional defense vs. the spread...when will they learn? Don't get me wrong. Tressel is solid and probably the most dignified coach out there, but he hasn't handled the spread very well.

    And finally I have to mention Troy Calhoun and Paul Johnson. Not just because AF and Navy beat Notre Dame, but the fact that they get the little guys to play harder than their opponents week in and week out!

    W'sWVS Contributing Writer's Poll:


    Rank: School: Votes (1st); Last Week

    1. Kansas 122 (3); 4

    2. Oregon 121 (2); 1

    3. LSU 114; 3

    4. WVU 110; 5

    5. Oklahoma 108; 5

    6. Missouri 99; 7

    7. Arizona State 93; 8

    8. Ohio State 91; 2

    9. Georgia 80; 13

    10. VPI 79; 11

    11. USC 64; 15

    12. Texas 59; 16

    13. UVA 58; 25

    14. Clemson 53; 20

    (Tie) Florida 53; 20

    16. Hawaii 49; 14

    17. Cincinnati 48; 18

    18. Boise State 40; 17

    (Tie) Boston College 40; 10

    20. Tennessee 28; 22

    21. U Conn 20; 9

    22. Illinois 18; NR

    23. UK 17; NR

    24. USF 12; NR

    25. Penn State 10; NR

    Dropped out of last weeks poll:
    Michigan, Auburn, Alabama, California,

    Receiving votes:
    Wisconsin 6, BYU 5, Michigan 4

    Biggest move up:
    UVA 12; Clemson and Florida 4
    Largest fall: Michigan 15; U Conn 11; OSU 7

    Bonus Treat: "WVU vs. UL Highlights"compliments of Dougity Dog:

    DaGeek's Weekend Thoughts:

    ~ First off I want to again say congrats to the Lady Mountaineers. Big time win for program. :)

    ~ Well the Harris and Coaches Polls like us at 5th but the computers have us at 8th. This means we reside at 6th in the BCS Poll. That is right we fell a spot. I think that part of that is that we have played fewer games, but that is discouraging. It looks like the only way WVU plays for all the cookies is if both Oregon and LSU lose. I say this because it looks as if the Big 12 will be represented in the big game.

    ~ Hawaii's run this year may be marred by the concussion suffered by Colt. He clearly is their offense. Colt broke all time Touchdown record for QB right before leaving the game (31-7 at the time) with a concussion. Anyway, the Bows are in trouble if he is out this week. I only bring this up as it impacts one more BCS at large spot.

    ~ WVU's D gave up 31 pts. But to tell you the truth I found them to play very well. U of L was only 3 of 13 on third down conversions. That is a far cry from how that went last year.

    ~ Survive and advance. Those that are holding onto this montra now are LSU and Kansas. Oregon needs help but is close. Oklahoma, Missouri, and WVU are at mercy of those in front of them losing. As far as the Big East is concerned: WVU is in that mode. If they win at Cincy and defeat UConn at home they will at worst share the Big East Championship. They will be the Big East Rep in the BCS as a result of head to head match-ups. Cincy is still mathematically in it as well if they win out and a WVU wins over UConn. That would assure them a share of Big East title with the BCS bid going to them with tie breaker wins over WVU and UConn. Uconn needs only win out and they will be the Big East Champions. Another slip up and they are outside looking because of tiebreakers. This type of craziness is best settled with a pair of big time wins for WVU against Cincy and UConn. Oh yeah WVU still has the pussy-cats on their schedule at the end of the year. But they goto the BCS with wins in the next 2 weeks regardless of the outcome of that game.

    ~ I loved the Gold Rush!!! I have never seen such a display of solidarity at Mountaineer field. I loved it live and I loved it when I watched it on TV. The blimp shots really captured the look. I too liked the Gold on Gold Uniforms. Between Oregon and WVU the nation gets a good look at color variations. Anyway, I was quite happy with the Gold Rush.

    ~ It sounded like the Mountaineer scrimage this weekend demonstrated both a little bit of the old style (aka. Johnny B.) and the new style of Huggy. Sounds like it could be an interesting year for Mountaineer basketball.

    ~ Chris Henry came back and made an accounting of himself in the Cincy game yesterday. Good to see him back on the field. Good luck to him.

    ~ D. Reynaud is quietly becoming the single season touchdown reception record holder at WVU. He currently has 10 touchdowns and the record is 12 with 3 games to go. I really hope he stays another year.

    ~ Frosh report: Well I was very impressed with the play of Brandon Hogan, Joche Saunders, Noel Devine, and our Pat Lazear. These guys certainly give us some things to look forward to in coming years.

    ~ Thank goodness we picked up Michigan graduate Ryan Mundy. He is a force in and of himself but it doesn't stop there. Because he is holding the fort at free safety. Both Quinton Andrews and Erik Wicks are able to do there thing. I love our secondary this year. It is too bad we will not have him in future years but he will always be a Mountaineer in my heart.

    ~ Proof again that Owen Schmitt has hardest head in college football (video taken from a YouTube by IronMan2131) :

    Have a great week.


    Youtube Highlights for South Florida Game

    Big East Champions

    Bruce Irvin

    There was an error in this gadget

    Pat White 15 Touchdowns Just to remind you of how fun scoring can be...

    Geno Smith Video By Dougitydog

    How important are early verbal commitments?

    How many pushups do you predict Brock will press in Marshall game?