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    Monday, October 31, 2011

    The war between WVU and the Big East begins in earnest... WVU fires first shot out of it's musket..


    WVU files lawsuit against the Big East. (Adobe copy of the complaint.) Some important portions of the complaint are as follows:  
    • Paragraph 21 alleges, The Bylaws specifically contemplate withdrawal from the Big East.  Pursuant to the Bylaws, a member may withdraw from the Big East by providing written notice to the conference. The withdrawing member is further required to (a) specify an effective date of withdrawal which must be at least twenty-seven months after the date that the withdrawal notice is received by the commissioner; and (b) pay a withdrawal fee to the Big East in the amount of five million dollars (5,000.000.00)." 
    •  Paragraph 22 alleges, "In 2010 Texas Christian University ("TCU") accepted an invitation to join the Big East as an all sports member beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.  TCU would be a football school.  the Big East invited TCU in an attempt to raise its profile as a major football conference an help insure it remained an AQ conference."  
    • Paragraph 23 alleges, "On September 17, 2011, Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they were withdrawing from the Big East and that they accepted invitations to join the ACC."  
    • Paragraph 24 alleges, "On September 18, 2011, UConn President Susan Herbst issued a statement saying that although UConn is a "proud member of the Big East" the school was staying "actively involved in discussions with our counterparts from around the country to ensure the successful long-term future of our university's athletic program."  
    • Paragraph 25 alleges, "On September 26, 2011, the Governor of Connecticut confirmed that UConn was aggressively seeking an invitation to join the ACC due to the uncertainty that the Big East would remain an viable football conference in the near future."  
    •  Paragraph 26 alleges, On October 10, 2011, TCU announced that it was withdrawing from the Big East to become a member of the Big XII Conference.  The Big East did not require TCU to honor the twenty-seven month withdrawal period set forth in the bi-laws. 
    •  Paragraph 27 alleges, "Upon information and belief, representatives of Louisville, Rutgers, and Cincinnati have been engaged in discussions with other sports conferences, including the ACC, the Big XII, and the Big 10 for the purpose of trying to obtain invitations to join these conferences and withdraw from the Big East. 
    •  Paragraph 28 alleges, " On October 27, 2011, WVU received an invitation to join the Big XII for all sports, including football.  WVU accepted the Big XII's offer the same day.  As the Big East, in less than two months, had denigrated into a non-major football conference whose continued existence is in serious jeopardy, WVU had no choice but to accept the Big XII's offer.  
    •  [In the portion of the complaint that contemplates Commissioner Marinatto's complicity in this matter in his capacity as CEO of Big East the complaint further alleges...]  Paragraph 32 alleges, "The departure of members Pittsburgh, UConn, and TCU created an imbalance and disparity between the football and non-football playing schools that was neither contemplated nor addressed in the Bylaws.  The departure of these schools left six football schools left six football schools and eight non-football schools.  The sudden withdrawal of thirty-three percent of the football schools resulted in the football schools  being subjected to increased governance by the non-football schools.  This disparity was not considered in the Bilaws, and the departure of the above-mentioned schools has rendered WVU's performance in the Big East commercially impracticable."    
    •  Paragraph 33 alleges, "During the weeks that followed the departure of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and TCU, and the public acknowledgment by UConn that it was exploring other conference affiliations, the Big East and its Commissioner further breached their fiduciary duties to the Big East football schools.  The Big East football schools advocated measures to be taken by the Big East and its Commissioner to maintain the level of competition of the Big East football conference.  The non-football schools repeatedly exerted their new-found level of increased governance at the expense and to the detriment of the football schools.  The Commissioner did nothing to protect the football playing schools and in fact took measures to further protect and advance the interests of the non-football playing schools."  
    •  Paragraph 34 Alleges, "This lack of leadership, breach of fiduciary duties by the Big East and its Commissioner, and voting disparity between the football and non-football schools resulted in the Big East football conference no longer being a viable and competitive football conference.  Additionally, upon information and belief, is expected by WVU and others that the Big East will lose its position as an AQ conference.  Accordingly, the Big East Conference and its Commissioner, through their actions, breached their contract to WVU and nullified and voided the Bylaws."  
    •  Paragraph 40 alleges, "In addition, WVU recently submitted an offer to the Commissioner proposing that WVU be permitted to immediately withdraw from the Big East in exchange for payment of certain monies with this offer."  
    •  Paragraph 41 alleges, "Following the receipt of the aforementioned offer or proposal, the Commissioner accepted WVU's tendered enclosed payment, thus accepting WVU's offer to immediately withdraw from the Big East on the terms WVU submitted."  
    •  Paragraph 47 alleges, "The Commissioner's acceptance of WVU's submitted monetary payment constitutes acceptance of WVU's proposal or offer to immediately withdraw from the Big East."  
    •  Paragraph 48 alleges, "Moreover, the Commissioner's excusal of TCU's noncompliance with the 27-month notice provision of the Agreement constitutes a waiver of this same provision with respect to WVU.  
    • Paragraph 57 alleges, "Due to circumstances and events beyond WVU's control, which are substantially different and materially different from what WVU reasonably anticipated, WVU's performance under the Agreement has become impossible or unreasonably burdensome."     
    • Paragraph 69 alleges, "The provision of the Agreement requiring WVU to provide twenty-seven month's notice before withdrawing from the Agreement constitutes an unreasonable restrain on trade."  
    •  Paragraph 70 alleges, "This restrain is larger and more extensive than was required for the necessary protection of the Big East's business interest."  
    •  Paragraph 71 alleges, "Further, holding WV to the twenty-seven month notice provision of the Agreement will contravene public policy."  
    •  Paragraph 77 alleges, "Absent a Court order permanently enjoining the Big East from enforcing the 27-month notice provision against WVU, WVU has no adequate remedy at law to protect its interests and will suffer continuing and irreparable damages and injury."

    The Big East responds with this statement:  “We are disappointed that West Virginia has adopted this strategy and cannot imagine why it believes it does not have to respect and honor the bylaws it agreed to as a member of the Big East.  Based on an initial review of the lawsuit, it is clear that the allegations and claims in it are false and inaccurate. Certainly there is nothing in it that would justify WVU’s not fulfilling its obligations. To put it simply, a contract is a contract," said Marinatto.
     “Once we have reviewed the filing, we will explore all our legal options and will act vigorously to ensure that WVU lives up to all its obligations to our conference. In the meantime, this lawsuit will not interfere in any way with our ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand the Big East.”

    Once again in true Big East fashion, their posture is one of reaction.  They haven't made a proactive move throughout this process and as a result of their continued mismanagement are once again having to say good bye to another member.  

    WVU, as it alleges in the aforementioned complaint, was forced to accept the offer to join the Big 12.  As for why West Virginia "adopted this strategy" it had no choice.  The Big East wishes to force WVU into a specific performance (This is a legal term of art, used in contract law: An extraordinary equitable remedy that compels a party to execute a contract according to the precise terms agreed upon or to execute it substantially so that, under the circumstances, justice will be done between the parties. Specific performance grants the plaintiff what he actually bargained for in the contract rather than damages (pecuniary compensation for loss or injury incurred through the unlawful conduct of another) for not receiving it; thus specific performance is an equitable rather than legal remedy. By compelling the parties to perform exactly what they had agreed to perform, more complete and perfect justice is achieved than by awarding damages for a breach of contract.)of the contract terms.  WVU is seeking to first enjoin (legal term of art which means to stop action,) the Big East from enforcement of the 27 month rule and then seeks a "liquidated damages remedy"(Legal term of art which basically means to pay for value of that term of contract.) or damages (legal term of art, which seeks money for loss) for the Big East's breach of contract.)  This complaint has artfully alleged several issues for the Court to contemplate in its determination of this matter.  It should be noted that this suit was filed in the Mon County Circuit Court, of West Virginia.  My guess is that the first procedural response to this suit will be a motion to remove the case to Federal Court.  At that point the legal finagling will begin.  Rarely does this sports blog delve into the legal matters that come up in sports but in this particular case I feel compelled to report to you my readers all that I can on the matter.  WVU has taken the initiative in this matter.  I would give decent odds that WVU shall be playing in the Big XII conference in 2012.  I would also predict that WVU will pay to do so. 

    Just as we get to breath a collective sigh of relief at getting accepted into a viable AQ conference we now have to endure the legal circus that results from being successful in finding a new home.  Stay tuned as this drama develops. 

    Da Geek     

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    It is official!!! WVU to Big 12 (WVU to compete in 2012/2013 season.)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    October 28, 2011

    West Virginia University To Join Big 12 Conference

    IRVING, Texas - The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors have voted unanimously to accept West Virginia University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2012. The Mountaineers will begin competing in the Big 12 beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.

    West Virginia is the second new member to join the Conference since it began in 1996 after the addition of TCU earlier this month.

    "The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors and President of Oklahoma State University. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12."

    "The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."

    West Virginia University, located in Morgantown, sponsors 17 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming & diving and wrestling. Women’s sports are basketball, cross country, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field and volleyball. The Mountaineers also boast a co-ed rifle squad. The Big 12 sponsors every sport the Mountaineers participate in except rifle and men’s soccer.

    "We are excited to add West Virginia to our exceptional lineup of Conference members," said Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "They bring an excellent overall athletic program to the Big 12 and allow the league to expand into an area that boasts a passionate group of fans and alumni throughout its region."

    Since its inception 15 years ago, the Big 12 has won 42 team national championships and 492 NCAA individual crowns. In addition, more than 3,700 student-athletes have earned All-America First Team accolades for their play on the field with more than 500 being recognized with Academic All-America honors.

    Beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities  Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12’s footprint will encompass five states with over 36 million people. More than 4,100 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually in the 23 sports sponsored by the Conference.
     

    WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY FACT SHEET



    Location: Morgantown, West Virginia Enrollment: 29,617 (22,711 Undergraduates)

    Founded: 1867 Colors: Old Gold and Blue

    Chancellor: Dr. James P. Clements Nickname: Mountaineers

    Director of Athletics: Oliver Luck Website: MSNSportsNet.com



    FOOTBALL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    Ø One of four programs in the nation to post nine or more wins in the past six seasons.

    Ø WVU has been ranked in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings five of the last six seasons.

    Ø Has reached a school-record nine consecutive bowl games.

    Ø The Mountaineers boast the 12th-best record in the nation since 2005.

    Ø West Virginia has 30 all-time bowl appearances, including each of the last nine seasons.

    Ø The Mountaineers have competed in a New Year's Day or later bowl in six of the last eight campaigns.

    Ø Recognized by the AFCA in 2009 and 2010 for having graduation rates of 75 percent or better.

    Ø WVU has had three top seven Heisman finishers in three of the past five years.

    Ø WVU has not finished lower than second place in its conference since 2002.

    Ø Has recorded a 1,000-yard rusher in 13 of the last 15 seasons.

    Ø Since 2002, WVU has had 22 All-America selections to 51 different All-America teams.

    Ø A total of 177 Mountaineers have been drafted by the National Football League.

    Ø Have had 28 Capital One Academic All-America honorees since 1952.



    ADDITIONAL ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    Ø West Virginia teams have a combined academic progress rate score of 974 (NCAA average = 970). Six squads (cross country, rifle, men’s & women’s soccer, rowing, tennis) had perfect APR scores.

    Ø Has finished in the top 50 of the Directors’ Cup rankings each of the past four years.

    Ø The men’s basketball team has made six NCAA appearances in the last seven years (including all four under Bob Huggins) and also advanced to the 2010 Final Four.

    Ø WVU men’s basketball has won 20 or more games for each of the last seven years.

    Ø The women’s basketball squad has earned five NCAA bids in the past eight campaigns.

    Ø WVU began last season with a 16-0 record in women’s basketball and posted the highest national-ranking (No. 6) in school history.

    Ø Head baseball coach Greg Van Zant captured his 500th career victory a year ago.

    Ø The rifle team has placed in the top three of the NCAA Rifle Championships each of the past three campaigns, with an individual NCAA Air Rifle Champion (Nicco Campriani) a year ago.

    Ø The women’s soccer squad has made 11 consecutive NCAA appearances.

    Ø WVU’s outdoor track & field program tied the school record by qualifying 12 student-athletes for NCAA Regionals in 2011.

    Ø Five Mountaineer wrestlers earned berths to the NCAA Championships in 2011.

    Ø Cross country has garnered three Top 10 NCAA finishes in the last four years.

    Ø The Mountaineer gymnastics squad has amassed 28 NCAA regional berths.

    Ø The rifle program has captured 14 national championships.





    WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY FACT SHEET



    FORMER WVU STUDENTS

    Ø Gen. Bantz J. Craddock - United States Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe

    Ø John Chambers - Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems

    Ø Charles Vest ? President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Ø Stephen Coonts - New York Times bestselling author

    Ø Kim Weaver ? Research Astrophysicist, NASA Goodard Space Flight Center

    Ø Rouzbeh Yassini - Inventor of the cable modem; Current President and CEO, YAS Capital Parnters

    Ø Ray Lane ? former CEO of Oracle, Executive Chairman of Hewlett-Packard Board of Directors

    Ø Greg Babe - President and Chief Executive Officer of Bayer Corporation

    Ø Loretta Ucelli ? former Communications Director for President of the United States Bill Clinton; Currently Senior Advisor at Gutenberg Public Relations

    Ø Jerry West - NBA 50th Anniversary Team, Model for current NBA logo

    Ø Sam Huff - College and Pro Football Hall of Fame

    Ø Darryl Talley - College Football Hall of Fame

    Ø Bob Huggins - Head men’s basketball coach, West Virginia University



    UNIVERSITY HIGHLIGHTS

    Ø 2,343 full-time and 667 part-time faculty members

    Ø WVU ranks nationally for prestigious scholarships, including 24 Rhodes, 22 Truman and 33 Goldwater Scholars

    Ø A total of 16 faculty members have been named Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year

    Ø 13 college and schools offer 191 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs

    Ø Faculty conduct $177.7 million annually in sponsored contracts and research grants

    Ø University expense budget is approximately $955 million

    Ø Classified as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation

    Ø A land-grant institution - one of 106 in the United States

    Ø One of the few schools in the country that are land-grant, doctoral research universities with comprehensive health sciences

    Ø Approximately 70 percent of students receive some $350 million annually in financial aid

    Ø Top 20 “Best Places to Work in Academia” by The Scientist (No. 2 public university on the list)

    Ø The WVU Alumni Association is made up of more than 180,000 graduates worldwide

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Rutgers Week ... DaGeek's breakdown of this team and game prediction.

    So what shall happen this time around in Piscataway?  

    For the last 16 years the Scarlet Knights have tried and failed to find the magic to defeat the Mountaineers.  They have fielded some really lousy teams and some pretty talented teams but still and again they have not been successful.   This years incarnation of the Knights team is predicated upon a strong and incredibly opportunistic defense.  In fact, they lead the nation in turnovers forced at 25.  That breaks down to 3 1/2 turnovers forced per game.  Those kind of marks will put a lot more W's in the column than L's.  They play an aggressive and tough nosed defense which gives up on average 16 points per game; 122.1 yards on the ground per game at about 3.7 yards per attempt; and 184.1 yards in the air per game at about 12.4 yards per catch.  Another very impressive statistic for the Knights on defense is there ability to get off the field on 3rd down.  They are only allowing a 3rd down conversion 33% of the time.  Greg Schiano remains a Coach on the "chopping" block (pun intended).  He has therefore found a way to motivate this side of the ball to do the things necessary to win.  Rutgers has proven to be tough to beat at their house this year and the defense has proven to be the necessary ingredient to that success.  Players to watch on defense for Rutgers include # 20 Khaseem Green who leads the team in tackles with a total of 66 tackles 6 of which were for a loss and 2 sacks; #42 Steve Beauharnais 2nd leading tackler with a total of 37 tackles 9 of which were for a loss and 3 sacks as well as 2 interceptions; # 91 Justin Francis has 27 tackles 7 of which were for a loss and 4.5 of which were sacks; #4 David Rowe who has tallied 3 interceptions; and #32 Duran Harmon who has tallied 4 interceptions.  These 5 play-makers are just a portion of this turnover causing machine.   

    On special teams Rutgers has been average in the kicking game their kicker Justin Doerner on kick offs, gives teams an average starting point of the 27 yard line.  His punts net an average of 38.6 yards.  The place kicker San San Te has connected on 60% of his attempts and has a long of 50 yards that he has hit from 2 times.   Coach Schiano has this part of the game as I said looking average.  But they have been effective enough to tally 5 wins thus far.  

    Rutgers offense has been the problem for the Knights this year averaging 28 points per game with 91.7 yards per game with 2.7 average per gain, and 236.1 yards in the air at an average of 11.6 yards per reception. Where they have really hurt themselves is the 15 interceptions and 12 fumbles.  On offense if you know no other name to pay attention to it better be # 6 Mohamed Sanu who has had 65 catches for 683 yards for a 10.5 yard average per catch tallying 6 touchdowns.  He has as you can see been averaging over 10 touches per game.  He is Rutgers offensive weapon.  He also returns punts.  He has thrown the ball and rushed the ball.  When he is on the field WVU needs to know where he is!  Rutgers is starting a quarter back in Gary Nova who is only making his 4th collegiate start.  He has been prone to throw picks and has made youthful mistakes but has found a way, as I have alluded to earlier, to find Sanu.  He has completed 55.3% of his passes for an average of 148.3 yards per game with 7 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. As you can see his numbers against the teams numbers fall a bit short.  This experiment for Greg Schiano may prove to be his undoing this season (though, I agree with building for the future this Coach just doesn't have that kind of time.)  Rutgers has an almost serviceable running game with Javon Jamison leading the way with 62.7 yards per game and 1 touchdown along with the highly touted Savon Huggins who has toted the ball for an average of 19.4 yards per game with 5 touchdowns.  The Rutgers faithful were hoping to see more touches for Huggins this season but circumstance and youthfulness have gotten in the way of that plan.  He should be a good one in the future, but as I said the player that must be found on this team is Sanu. 

    As I have repeatedly said in this post I think Coach Schiano is in trouble this season if he doesn't produce.  This team has started off fast recently and sputtered down the end so the New Jersey faithful are in put up or shut up mode with him.  WVU has been an Achilles heal for him since he has been there, thus this game takes on particular importance to him.   I expect nothing short of Rutgers best game this Saturday.    

    Geno Smith is going to have to a much better job avoiding pressure and make great decisions on passing the ball.  I expect that he will be ready to do just that, as I also expect, Coach Holgorsen is motivated to get that losing taste out of his mouth.  Will the defense be able to match Rutgers in both getting off the field and in turnovers?   Irvin, Garvin,  Goode, and Miller need to get in the face of Nova and force him to make mistakes.  And we need solid games from our entire defensive backfield dealing with the always moving and hard to stop Sanu.  Coach Casteel needs no extra motivation as he too was disgusted with last weeks disappointments.  The coaching staff really needs to do their best job of the year to get this team where it needs to be.  I am confident that they shall do just that.  I see this game ending WVU 38 Rutgers 24.  

    This game shall be televised regionally on ABC at 3:30 pm. 

    Da Geek

    So it looks like the Ville is behind the snag to Big 12.

    West Virginia Illustrated published this quick account of the same I just printed the same here:
    West Virginia still appears to be moving to the Big XII, but the breakneck speed at which the deal was moving has slowed down.
    Sources close to West Virginia University have told WVi that the paperwork has been filled out and a move to the Big XII should happen.
    Numerous other media outlets jumped the gun and reported a press conference to announce the move was going to happen on Wednesday. Late Tuesday night WVU Associate Athletic Director of Communication, Michael Fragale, issued a statement contradicting those reports, "Contrary to media reports, there is no press conference scheduled for Wednesday concerning WVU's athletic conference affiliation.
    West Virginia is poised to become the eleventh member of the Big XII until Missouri leaves for the SEC, which appears to be in the works. The Big XII wants to remain at ten members, at least in the short term, so the conference is only looking for one team right now.
    Louisville is trying to avoid being left on the sinking ship known as the S.S. Big East. An eleventh-hour push by the Cardinals is believed to be the hold up in finalizing a deal sending West Virginia to the Big XII.
    The Big XII is believed to be taking Louisville into consideration. The question is whether this is just to appease Louisville before discarding that idea and going with the Mountaineers.
    So, don't look for a news conference Wednesday. If there is going to be a news conference announcing a move to the Big XII, it is looking more and more like it will take place early next week.

    Da Geek's Big East Power Rankings and Bowl Projections 10/26/2011:


     
    1. Cincinnati has done what it needs to do to climb to the top of this list.  They have won.  They remain the only unbeaten team in Big East play.  And they will have that title for yet another week for sure as they do not play.  Next up for the Bearcats is Pitt.  At least for a couple of weeks the Post Season reward for the Bearcats would be of the BCS persuasion. 
    2. For the second week in a row, the biggest mover in the Power Rankings for me would be the Syracuse Orange.  What can I say the kicked my Mountaineers butts.  They would have moved to the top of the Power Rankings were it not for the fact that they have a conference loss already to Rutgers.  I still think that they are going to go to the Beef O'Bradies Bowl.  While at this snapshot in time they have earned the right to move toward the top of the conference discussion, they still have 5 big east games to play.    I just don’t see them running the table. 
    3. WVU has fallen this week to 3rd in the power rankings.  They are still in a good position for the conference crown but with the Cuse loss they have got to fall below them in the rankings at least this week.   For their efforts thus far I have downgraded their bowl appearance to the Champs Sports Bowl,  I think that the Mountaineers are going to win out but at this point it comes down to a race with Notre Dame for Champs.  WVU be awarded this game if the Irish have a precipitous fall. 
    4. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have done the same thing WVU did and went on the road and lost. This week they will try to defeat the Mountaineers and a 16 game losing streak.  They are still playing fantastic defensive ball, and have one of the best WR’s in the game in Mohamed Sanu.  He is basically their offense.  As for their likely Bowl invite the Pin Stripe Bowl is still the leading candidate when the bids are offered. 
    5. U Conn remains at this position as nothing has changed for them since last week.  They now must make another road trip this time to the ole ketchup bottle.  Can they give the Graham crackers yet another loss?  I think that they are going to find sPitt more game than they have been in a while.  I see this one as actually being an entertaining game to watch.  I also find this game intriguing as members of the Mountaineer Faithful are making the trip to cheer on the Huskies (well more accurately cheering against the Panthers.)  With a win over sPitt I see some potential for a bowl giving them a call.  The likeliest location would be the BVAA Compass Bowl. 
    6. Pitt also holds onto to this position for yet one more week.  If the Panthers can overcome the challenge of the Huskies they will be back on track for another typical average season.  They are going to be fighting for the same bowling opportunity as UConn so this game has particular significance to them. 
    7. With Louisville's  For the second week in a row Charlie Strong is starting to show signs of getting  through to this team.  A win over Rutgers at Papa John’s Stadium was just what the Doctor ordered for their season.  I still don’t see them bowling this year as they just have to cover too much ground to get to the 7 win threshold.  I know that a team is eligible with 6 wins but this team likely wouldn’t be awarded a bowl unless it hit the 7 win mark. 
    8. For the third time in Big East play the Bulls have fallen.  This team was seemingly plagued with an inability to get up for Big East games.  Though, that wasn’t the case against the Bearcats.  Truth be told they played rather well in that game and were it not for some late game leadership and heroics by Zack this game was going to be put in the win column for the Bulls.  Alas, that didn’t materialize and South Florida has plunged into some serious doldrums.  They have all but mathematically eliminated themselves from the conference championship.  They still have a chance for a bowl game but they need to get something going and quick.  As it stands now though they have played themselves out of post season rewards.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Looking like WVU to Big 12 starting to take root. Here are a few posts from today.

    I am starting to see the Times post about everywhere on this.  I think that this smoke must be following some fire.  If that is the case then you shall see more posts on this in the very near future. Stay tuned.  But for your perusal: 

    New York Times
    By PETE THAMEL
    Published: October 25, 2011


    West Virginia is headed to the Big 12, according to a person with

    direct knowledge of the situation, a move that leaves the Big East with
    five football programs and an uncertain future. The person said Tuesday
    that the Mountaineers had “applied and are accepted,” leaving only
    legal entanglements from making the move official. The person spoke on
    condition of anonymity because the deal had not been formally announced.


    West Virginia is the Big East’s flagship football program, and losing

    its consistently strong performance will hurt the conference as it seeks
    to hold on to its automatic Bowl Championship Series spot. With the
    departure of the Mountaineers, who must pay a $5 million exit fee, the
    conference’s football members are Rutgers, Louisville, South Florida,
    Connecticut and Cincinnati. That gives it the same number of football
    teams it had when Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech departed in
    2003.

    The only good news for the Big East is that the Big 12 planned to stay

    at 10 teams for now, the person said. That will spare the Big East any
    more critical losses and give it a chance to build into the 12-team
    model that it would prefer.

    While Missouri, a current Big 12 member, has yet to announce that it is

    applying for membership in the Southeastern Conference, that move is
    still viewed as inevitable. The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday
    morning that Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton said it could be “days
    or possibly a week or two” before Missouri’s application happened.

    Legal problems are holding up Missouri’s move, as it has to negotiate

    an exit fee, and there is a concern among Big 12 teams about how to fill
    the void in their schedules that Missouri would leave. That creates two
    problems, as universities will have to scramble to find another
    opponent, perhaps from the Football Championship Subdivision. A victory
    over a team from that level would not count toward a Big 12 member’s
    bowl eligibility. It will also cause the Big 12 to fall short of
    fulfilling its television contract. Both could be costly for the league.


    The SEC made it very clear during its courtship with Texas A&M that it

    would only accept the Aggies without legal issues, so Missouri must take
    care of those before joining.

    The Big East now moves toward putting together its proposed 12-team

    model; it hopes to add Air Force, Navy and Boise State in football and
    Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida in all sports. With West
    Virginia gone, the new team most likely to emerge as a possible member
    would be Temple, which has received resistance from its Philadelphia
    rival Villanova. But with the league’s future in peril, it is hard to
    imagine that Villanova would have enough influence to thwart Temple,
    which boasts a rising football program, a strong basketball program and
    the Philadelphia television market. East Carolina and Memphis would be
    other candidates. Both have openly lobbied to join the Big East in the
    past.


    ______________________________
    ______________________________________

    West Virginia leaving Big East to join Big 12


    By Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY Updated 10m ago


    West Virginia will join the Big 12, according to an official in the Big

    East who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak
    publicly about the move.


    West Virginia could join the Big 12 if Missouri decides to leave the

    conference for the SEC. The Mountaineers would fill the spot vacated by
    Missouri when it jumps to the Southeastern Conference. Though Missouri
    hasn't formally withdrawn from the Big 12 just yet, that announcement
    appears to be a formality.

    The move by West Virginia will leave the Big East on life support with

    just five football playing members committed to the league. Syracuse and
    Pittsburgh have been accepted to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

    To make matters worse, West Virginia will only be held to a $5 million

    exit fee. The league recently doubled the conference's football exit fee
    to $10 million, a move contingent on the execution of the expansion
    plan.

    The increase in exit fee would be triggered as soon as Air Force or

    Navy agrees to join the league, according to an official in the Big East
    who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of discussions.
    Since neither Navy nor Air Force has made such a move, the Mountaineers
    will only have to pay $5 million.

    Though the Big 12 would like the Mountaineers to begin league play next

    season, that timetable appears unlikely. Big East Commissioner John
    Marinatto is steadfast about not letting Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave
    for the Atlantic Coast Conference before their 27-month league
    notification expires.

    The Big East has said it would like to add six teams to form a 12-team

    football league. Now make that seven. The original model includes
    inviting Mountain West members Boise State and Air Force and independent
    Navy as football-only members and Conference USA members Central
    Florida, SMU and Houston to join in all sports.

    Houston regents will meet Thursday to authorize the school chancellor

    to negotiate a move to a new conference. But at least some of the
    institutions targeted by the Big East have been wary of additional Big
    East defections. Now with WVU's move, there's good reason.

    ______________________________
    _____________________________________________


    WVU headed to Big 12 if Missouri leaves

    Brett McMurphy, CBS Sports

    Shortly after Missouri officially announces it is withdrawing from the

    Big 12, West Virginia will be extended an invitation to join the Big 12,
    college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

    The Mountaineers invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on Missouri

    leaving for the SEC. Once Missouri notifies the Big 12 it is leaving,
    the Mountaineers' official invitation could come within "24-48 hours," a
    source said.

    The Mountaineers would be the latest to leave the Big East Conference.

    Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they are leaving for the ACC and TCU
    will join the Big 12 next season.

    If West Virginia informs the Big East of its intention to leave before

    the league adds Navy or Air Force, the Mountaineers would only be held
    to a $5 million exit fee. If the Big East has added Navy or Air Force
    before the Mountaineers notify the Big East, they would have to pay $10
    million. Either way, the Mountaineers would not be able to leave the Big
    East until June 30, 2014 – the same time frame as Syracuse and
    Pittsburgh.

    Without West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU, the remaining football

    league members are UConn, Rutgers, USF, Louisville and Cincinnati.

    Two days ago in Washington D.C., Big East commissioner John Marinatto

    met with officials from Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF and Navy, but no
    official invitations were extended. Air Force did not attend the
    meeting. Representatives from other Big East schools also attended.

    The Big East hopes to add those schools – along with Air Force – to

    get to a 12-team football league. Even if the Big East adds those
    schools, without West Virginia, they still would need another school.

    The Western contingent of the Big East's possible future members -

    Boise State, Air Force, Houston and SMU - are pushing for the Big East
    to pursue BYU. It's unknown if the Cougars, which had talks with the Big
    12, would be interested in joining a 12-team Big East.

    If the Big East could land BYU - along with the other five new schools

    - it would have two divisions: West - BYU, Air Force, Houston, SMU,
    Boise State and Louisville and East - UConn, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati,
    Navy and UCF that Big East officials are confident would be worthy of
    retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status.

    Besides BYU, other possible candidates for the Big East's 12th member

    would be Temple or East Carolina.

    Blog comments... what is and isn't expected.

    Nothing pains me more than to have to post regulations upon a free flow space like a blog, however, recent comments by a select few have forced my hand.  I don't have any, and I mean no problem with debate or criticism of my posts, or the other author's posts.  However, I shall not publish comments that are personal attacks.  Attack my posts, attack my ideas, attack my predictions, attack my rankings, no problem at all.   Personal attacks upon myself or other authors shall not be tolerated.  That isn't to say that jabs and fun intended rivalry will limited but mean spirited attacks simply will not be aired on this blog.  You know who you are.  I want to hear from you, even my rivals but I won't post those attacks on this blog.  If you wish to participate, then I expect that the respectful posts be made. If that isn't your desire then simply don't expect to see your comments listed on this blog. 

    Notes: 

    To Orangefan:  You have made several attempts to post that you did in fact predict the demise of the Mountaineers in June of this year.  That is in fact a truthful statement.  You did make that prediction.  I did make a personal attack upon you calling your post game comments an act of cowardice.  That is and remains my mistake.  I should not have attacked you in that way.  I stand by the fact that you should have come to this debate during the week of the Syracuse game.  But alas, you did previously predict a Syracuse dominating win.  For that I apologize. 

    To the general public:  This is a WVU site. That is right we drink the Koolaid here. Their is a subjective standard to this content.  I make no appology for the same.  This site shall always post from a Mountaineer perspective.  Anyway, I look forward to hear from each of you in the future. 

    Now back to Mountaineer sports,

    Da Geek

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Da Geeks Blog Poll for Week beginig 10/23

    1.  LSU
    2.  Alabama       
    3.  Clemson       
    4.  Boise State   
    5.  Oklahoma  State   
    6.  Oklahoma
     
    7.  Nebraska/South Carolina   
    9.  Penn State
    10.  VPI/Michigan State    
    12.  TAMU        
    13.  Illinois/West Virginia/Wisconsin    
    16.  Stanford       
    17.  Oregon        
    18.  Syracuse      
    19.  Michigan   
    20.  Arizona State/Kansas State   
    21.  Georgia       
    22.  Houston       
    23.  Arkansas/Texas Tech   
    25.  SMU        
       
       

    Falling out of poll: Auburn, Texas,  and Ga. Tech
    Others receiving votes: Texas, Arkansas State, USC, Cincinnati, Auburn, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Toledo    

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Cuse shall go down big tonight! Syracuse you are worthless and you must pay once again for past transgressions.

    Normally, I try to keep my blog posts informative or at least civil.  But when it comes to Syracuse I can't bring my self to do that.


    I refer you to the breakdown posted earlier for the analytical reasons for an Eer Victory today.   In this post I am simply going to spread on the record my level of disdain for the Orange.  My friend and coauthor on this site Weezie sat through many a Cuse game together during our tenure at WVU as students.  But fresh in our memories is always the year that Marvin Graves came to town in 1992.  WVU won that game by all accounts but the Orange got the W, as the Big East officials decided it the other way.  Syracuse and WVU has been a long time rivalry that has had some wonderfully satisfying moments and as just indicated some completely sickening moments. 


    Tonight's game "may" be the last time that the Eers get to travel to the Dome to play in this series.  If the Eers had no other reason to get up for this game that would be enough.  But it doesn't stop there.  Syracuse deserves this upcoming drubbing just because they exist as a football program.   Since my anger dates back 19 years, I of course have a bit of an emotional investment.  So when Geno and company lace it up tonight know this I will be sending all my positive energy to the Eers and all my negative energy to the Orange.


    The Crush is on!!!




    This rage brought to you in part by the Big East conference leadership for ending my fun with the Cuse.
    Da Geek

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Da Geek's Big East Power Rankings and Bowl Projections:



    1. WVU remains as the leader for yet another week even without playing a game.  Things get interesting for the Eers as they must compete on the road for 4 of their last 6 games but should also be favored to win them all.   I still see them driving it all the way to Miami, New Orleans, or Tempe.
    2. Cincinnati to me is still in driver’s seat for second in the Power Rankings.  Mr. Pead did his thing again in the Keg of Nails game against Rival Louisville.  While the offense wasn’t prolific as they have been the rest of the year they still seem to have the necessary parts to be the only real threat to WVU in terms of yardage gained and touchdowns scored.  The defense is still playing pretty decent football as well.  Cincinnati Bowl hopes are still married to that of the Notre Dame. This places Cincinnati likely in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. 
    3. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights after coming away with yet another win over Navy have proven to be a stubborn team to beat.  They are doing it with the same thing they have done it all year long.  Defense and forcing turnovers.  Will this be enough to go into their game with WVU undefeated in the Big East? Again I ask will they be ready to end the 16 game losing streak?  The game time has been moved to ABC regional coverage at 3:30 on that Saturday clash.  As for their likely Bowl invite the Pin Stripe Bowl is the leading candidate when the bids are offered.
    4. The biggest mover in the Power Rankings for me would be the Syracuse Orange. How does it happen that the other team not to play a down of football gets to climb in this Power Ranking Poll?  For the most part it is due to the fact that they play the most fundamentally sound offensive football of the remaining teams.   You can read below my analysis for this Friday’s game where you see that the Mountaineers will likely roll.  Due to the fact that sPitt and USF don’t seem to want to go bowling at season’s end Syracuse’s options are starting to grow. I think that they are going to go to the Beef O'Bradies Bowl.  The New Yorkers will get to do some Christmas on Crystal Beach.
    5. U Conn also decided to show some signs of life.  While they still don’t have any real cohesiveness in any phases of football this season, they have found a way to get a conference win.  This win came at the expense of South Florida who is on an epic free fall if they don’t right that ship soon.  I had said in the previous power rankings that they had a shot to do some damage at the bottom of the conference apparently they have decided to take me up on my offer.    As for Bowling I still say no soup for you, however you are starting to look like you might flirt with it.
    6. Pitt wow!  I mean wow!  What in the heck is in the Pierogies? Utah comes to your house you get a lead and then simply let them dictate the pace the rest of the game.  This Pitt team is making Dave’s Mustache itch.  I was one who thought that you were going to improve; at this point I don’t see Graham even doing that.  The rub on Pitt is stop one player and Tino will stop the rest.  As for Bowling at the end of the Season this could get interesting.  Getting to that 6th win is going to be tough if they do I am guessing that it is the  BVAA Compass bowl  for Pitt.
    7. With Louisville's accounting in the Keg of Nails game against arch rival Cincinnati, I was able to find some semblance of positive progress.  This could be a result of playing up to a rival but I think that maybe Charlie Strong is starting to get through to this team.  As of today Samford has left the team as Offensive Coordinator.  This team is trying to find a stride.  is a good time to do it.  As there is a lot yet to figure out Louisville is likely on outside looking in come bowl time but there still exists some opportunity to have a 3 and 4 big east record.
    8. Finally on this list is the biggest disappointment in terms of pre-season hype the USF Bulls. This team follows a crushing loss to sPitt only to falter again the following week to UConn.  Starting off 0 and 2 doesn not foreclose upon an end to a Big East Championship as was evidenced by UConn’s run last season but this would be quite a turn around.   The Bulls look like a team without direction.  I stand by the fact that they have talent and coaching they just seem to be going to different practice fields during the week.  USF will likely win enough games to go bowling but look for them to be picked at the end of the pecking order come seasons end.  Maybe a replacement team for a conference that doesn’t have enough teams to fill their slots. 

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    The ACC Orange!!! To the Dome we go what shall we find?

    A
      C
        C
      The Orange go as 6'2" 229 lb., Ryan Nassib takes them.  He is the starting Senior Quarterback and he has been basically the harbinger both good and bad of what they can do.  He has completed 124 of 192 passes for 1294 yards with 11 touchdowns against 4 interceptions.  He has lead the Orange to a 4 and 2 mark with a come from behind victory over Wake Forest in the Dome opener.  What he has done particularly well is spread the wealth to his many receivers.  6'2" 202 lb., WR Alec Lemon is his favorite target having 31 passes completed to him for an average catch of 10.4 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Next on the target list is 6'1" 175 lb., WR Van Chew who has caught the ball 20 times for an average of 15 yards per catch and also has hauled in 3 touchdowns.  But it isn't just the WR's that get all of the attention as is the case with most Doug Marone teams the TE is utilized.  So Nassib has found Nick Provo 22 times for an average of 12 yards per catch with 2 touchdowns.  Finally, the fourth receiver to get real attention from Nassib is 5'10" 185 lb, WR Dorian Graham, who has caught 13 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns.  (Needless to say the Coach Casteel will have much to focus on this week in terms of secondary assignments.)
    The Orange also have a running attack which is headed up and pretty much solely produced by Senior RB  5' 7" 201 lb, Antwon Bailey.  He has accounted for 124 carries for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns over the course of this season.  The only other player to score a rushing touchdown on the team is Ryan Nassib.  The Orange offensive line is the type that can punch you in the mouth and Dough Marone has them pretty much in tune to do positive things on that side of the ball.  And when they are called upon to kick field goals or extra points their kicker Ross Krautman has prove to be reliable inside the 40 yard line.  He has tallied nine field goals and 17 of 18 extra attempts.  If the Orange only had to play offense this game could get interesting.  However, they are going to be called upon to play defense.  This is not an area where they have excelled at all this entire season.

    While admittedly lucky, in terms of actual results in games, this Defense gave up 29 points to Wake, in a game that Wake had in control until their QB went down with an injury; gave up 14 to Rhode Island in a squeaker winner for the Orange; gave up 38 to USC; gave up 30 to Toledo in a game where a phantom field goal was the winner; gave up 19 to Rutgers and finally gave up 34 points to Tulane.  The point to this is that this defense is giving up an average of 27.33 points per game and thus, not very stingy.  (WVU is scoring in the neighborhood of 40 points per game as such should likely be able to win in a shootout.)  The Defensive Coordinator for Syracuse is Scott Shafer.  He gives a little insight into his way of thinking in this quote," "Scheme is overrated, I've always believed that. What's not overrated is getting your kids to play with great effort, great attitude and great enthusiasm. Those are things we can control on a daily basis, and that will be my primary goal. . . . The philosophy of our defense is attack-oriented, attack and react. We want to be a defense this is multiple, that is always putting pressure and forcing the hand of the offense. We want to be a penetrating defense. If you're going to (ask) what our objectives are? The one thing we want to do is stop the run, force them to throw the ball on first down, create negative plays on first down . . . and get ourselves in position to force them to throw the ball. Get them one-dimensional. We don't want to be a defense that sits back. We want to be a defense that creates turnovers and scores touchdowns."  I guess the best response I can give to that is good luck with that Scott.  (Admittedly, I am a scheme first kind of guy and I believe the Jimmy's and Joe's can be coached up.)  The attacking style he wishes to implement against Geno and the boys will require a little more than a hat on a hat and thus I see this Orange Defensive Unit doing what it has done well all year.   Give up some more points.

    My Prediction for this game WVU 49 Syracuse 17.

    The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy be making its way back to its rightful home in Morgantown,WV. 

    Da Geek

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Ivan McCartney mid-season report card. A solid B+

    So what have we learned about Sticks this season?  If you would have read all of the per-recruitment publication you would have believed that he was going to be the next Ochoa-Cinco.  In his inaugural season you might have been underwhelmed with his performance.  So what were we going to see from him after a spring of conditioning.  If you had listened to all of the preseason hype you would have been convinced that he might not even see the field this year.  It was the talk of camp that he was 2nd on the depth chart behind a game Ryan Nehlen.  So what exactly happened in that fall camp to lead us to where we are today?  I would surmise that Coach Holgorsen has found exactly what buttons to push to motivate this obviously talented kid to the new and great heights.  No question he is one of the 3 most popular targets of Geno Smith behind only Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.  This 3 headed dragon that has emerged has made it almost impossible for defenses to cover the field. Basically, a team must chose its poison and if that poison is Sticks it could be a painful sting indeed. A little look into his numbers reveals the following: He has played in 6 games this season. He has caught 34 passes for 455 yards. He is averaging 13.38 yards per catch. He has 3 touchdowns. He is averaging 5.7 catches per game with a game average of 75.8 yards.  I decided to highlight this player because I think that you will see a huge game from him in the dome.  As I said above the Orange must chose its poison and that likely means that they will key on Stedman and Tavon.  I think that they will find that choice to be a painful one.  I look forward to seeing this receiver doing big things in the weeks to come.


    Da Geek

    Da Geek's Top 25 College Football Poll

    1. LSU
    2. Alabama 
    3. Boise State 
    4. Oklahoma State
    5. Oklahoma 
    6. Wisconsin 
    7. Clemson 
    8. Stanford 
    9. WVU 
    10. Oregon 
    11. South Carolina 
    12. Nebraska 
    13. Arkansas 
    14. Kansas State 
    15. Illinois 
    16. Michigan State/ Houston 
    17. Penn State 
    18. TAMU 
    19. VPI 
    20. Arizona State 
    21. Auburn 
    22. Georgia Tech 
    23. Texas 
    24. Georgia
    • Others considered:  Michigan, Baylor, SMU, Rutgers, Temple, Louisiana Lafayette, Notre Dame, Washington Cincinnati and Wyoming.  This poll is a conglomeration of participating authors from the site. In this first poll LSU received all 1st place votes. 
    • It should be noted that this is the poll which this sight will use to rank teams from now till the end of the year.  
    • Our poll has absolutely no effect what ever on the awarding of the mythical national championship trophy known as the BCS National Championship.  What it does do is give us a chance to evaluate the teams as we see them at the mid season point.  We really love this game.  And we have opinions.     
    • It should also be noted that the AP Poll (also has no baring on Mythical National Championship) (If you wish to see another interesting poll you should check out the SignalCaller's Poll) Coaches Poll Harris Poll and BCS Poll may by clicked on directly from this site in the very near future. 


    Feel free to debate these positions in the comments below:

    Da Geek

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