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    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Roundball Update

    If you're not following the action on the hard court now would be a good time to start!

    WVU is currenty sitting at 10-3. Kevin Jones is playing on a Player of the Year (POY) level in the Big East (20.4 ppg, 11.5 reb). Truck has found his shot at the #2 spot (17.7 ppg) and there's a lot of talent in that freshman class.

    I think we're better than a bubble team. With a win over a 10-1 K State team and the OT loss to Baylor, this team has proven they can play with anybody.

    Syracuse is the class of the league, but there's a drop off after that. Despite the early rankings, some of those teams have under-performed. *Pitt should be dropping from the rankings this week.

    So here's my thought's on how the Big East schedule shapes up

    at Seton Hall - Could be a key game for both teams SH is playing very well, slight edge to WV
    at Rutgers - W
    Georgetown - Hope the coliseum is rocking for an upset, L
    at UConn (Hartford) - L
    Rutgers - W
    Marshall (Charelston) - Beat Cinci, stayed with Syr. tough game, L
    Cincinati - Playing better since the brawl, but edge to WV
    at St Johns - W
    at Syracuse - L
    Pitt - Haven't got their act together yet, W
    at Providence - W
    Notre Dame - Other than Pitt, playing has been poor w/or without Abromaitis - W
    Louisville - Winnable game but Louisville will be the favorite -L
    at Pitt - L
    at ND - ND tough at home, but I hate ND - W
    Marquette - Playing well, surprised they dropped to LSU after beating Wisc - L
    Depaul - W
    at USF - W

    That would put us at 21-10 and my early guess would be about an 8 seed.

    This team is getting better every game. They seem to have good chemistry, more important in basketball. Role players seem to be accepting and embracing their roles. Kevin Noreen has giving a lot of good minutes and continues to develop. Aaron Brown is a very good shooter coming off the bench. Rutledge is very athletic. So there are role players for all the looks Huggs wants or needs.

    Now that the BE schedule has started we're really going to separate the haves and have nots.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Da Geek is getting a new oppertunity.

    I have recently agreed to do some posting on HailWV.com regarding the goings on with the 2 law suits concerning WVU and the Big East. Please if you get a chance check out that site.  It is a fan-based WVU website.  My first article, A tale of two Jurisdictions WVU vs. Big East/ Big East vs. WVU was just posted.

    Da Geek

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Edging Closer To Top 25

    It was a good week for WVU hoops. The win over KState this week gives them a quality nonconference win. Almost as importantly, the 2 overtime periods was like getting an additional practice or another quarter game of much needed game experience for the young guys. That was followed by a nice win over Miami on short rest. While this certainly isn't going to vault them into tourney favorites, I expect they will see some votes for the top 25 this week.

    Truck Bryant was quite impressive last night and could receive POTW honors in the BE for his performances. Kilicli was also a force on a diminished frontline for Miami. After struggling with Miami's backcourt play in the first half, the 'Eers opened up the 2nd with a 25-3 run holding Miami without a field goal for the first 9 minutes. Good shooting and dominance on the boards were the main factors for the turnaround. For the young guys, Gary Brown hit a couple key 3 pointers early in the contest to keep WVU close as well as doing a much better job of distributing and limiting his TO's. Aaron Brown had some nice offensive possessions in the second half and Noreen was impressive for his limited minutes. Hinds saw his minutes diminished for at least the second consecutive game, but I still suspect he will be one of the most explosive young guards in the BE by the end of the season.

    For the next few games, the Mounties should be able to gain some momentum and get on a roll. Contests against Texas A&M CC, Tenn Tech, and Missouri State should be pushovers. They'll need to take advantage of those matchups cause they'll close the pre-conference schedule with #7 Baylor.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    WOW just WOW!!! WVU Hoops defeats K State in Double Overtime.

    Kevin Jones and Truck Briant were true leaders both in terms of production on the floor and in terms of getting production from the rest of the team.  K-J led all scorers with 30 points he added 11 rebounds to record yet another double double in his career.  Truck put 24 points on the board against just one turnover.  Those type of games are going to be hard to duplicate but, suffice to say, it got the job done last night.   Though not mistake free we got to see the two Browns play very well too.   Aaron Brown in particular was clutch on 3 separate occasions.  The one glaring downer is the free-throw-shooting.  But on the whole I think that this game will prove to be one of the measuring posts for the growth of the team this season. 

    It was an interesting storyline before the tip-off even occurred  as Huggs and Martin were having a reunion of sorts.  It was clear to me that Martin is a chip off the old block as the two of them brought similar amounts of intensity and profanity.  I found this game to be one of the most entertaining to watch in a very long time.  Clearly, this game can go a long way in terms of team confidence down the road.    Finally, I think it is fantastic that a brand new rivalry may have just been born.  K-State and WVU played in a preview of things to come in the future.  Excitement, effort and growth are words I would use to describe last nights action.  I think that Huggs demonstrated a willingness to go to his bench and utilize the talent rich though experience lacking pool of players.  The future looks very bright indeed but last night was extreemly fun for the present incarnation of the Mountaineers!!!.

    Go Eers!

    Da Geek

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Bowl Lineup for 2011-2012 Who do you pick?

    December 17, 2011

    Gildan New Mexico Bowl
    Temple (8-4) 37 vs. Wyoming (8-4) 15 Da Geek's Pick: Wyoming; Weezie's Pick: Wyoming +7

    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
    Ohio (9-4) 24 vs. Utah State (7-5) 23 and Da Geek's Pick: Ohio; Weezie's Pick: Ohio +1.5

    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
    San Diego State (8-4) 30 vs. La Lafayette (8-4) 32 Da Geek's Pick La Lafayette; Weezie's Pick: La Lafayette +4

    December 20, 2011

    Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg Bowl
    FIU (8-4) vs. Marshall (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Marshall Weezie's Pick: Marshall +4

    December 21, 2011

    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
    TCU (10-2) vs. La Tech (8-4) Da Geek's Pick: TCU Weezie's Pick: TCU -9 1/2

    December 22, 2011

    MAACO Bowl Las Vegas
    Arizona St. (6-6) vs. Boise St. (11-1) Da Geek's Pick: Boise St. Weezie's Pick: Boise St. -14

    December 24, 2011

    Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
    Nevada (7-5) vs. Southern Miss (11-2) Da Geek's Pick: Southern Miss Weezie's Pick: Southern Miss -8 1/2

    December 26, 2011

    AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
    Missouri (7-5) vs. UNC (7-5) Da Geek's Pick: UNC Weezie's Pick: N. Carolina +6

    December 27, 2011

    Little Caesars Bowl
    Western Michigan (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Western Michigan

    Belk Bowl
    Louisville (7-5) vs. NC State (7-5) Da Geek's Pick Louisville

    December 28, 2011

    Military Bowl—Pres. By Northrop Grumman
    Toledo (8-4) vs. Air Force (7-5) Da Geek's Pick Air Force

    Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
    California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5) Da Geek's Pick: Texas

    December 29, 2011

    Champs Sports Bowl
    Florida State (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4) Da Geek's Pick: Notre Dame

    Valero Alamo Bowl
    Washington (7-5) vs. Baylor (9-3) Da Geek's Pick: Baylor

    December 30, 2011

    Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
    BYU (9-3) vs. Tulsa (8-4) Da Geek's Pick: BYU

    New Era Pinstripe Bowl
    Rutgers (8-4) vs. Iowa State (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Rutgers

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
    Mississippi St. (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Wake Forest

    Insight Bowl
    Iowa (7-5) vs. Oklahoma (9-3) Da Geek's Pick: Oklahoma

    December 31, 2011

    Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
    Texas A&M (6-6) vs. North Western (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: North Western

    Hyundai Sun Bowl
    Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5) Da Geek's Pick: Georgia Tech

    AutoZone Liberty Bowl
    Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Cincinnati

    Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
    Illinois (6-6) vs. UCLA (6-7) Da Geek's Pick: Illinois

    Chick-fil-A Bowl
    Virginia (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5) Da Geek's Pick: Virginia

    January 2, 2012

    TicketCity Bowl
    Houston (12-1) vs. Penn State (9-3) Da Geek's Pick: Houston

    Outback Bowl
    Michigan State (10-3) vs. Georgia (10-3) Da Geek's Pick: Michigan State

    Capital One Bowl
    Nebraska (9-3) vs. South Carolina (6-2) Da Geek's Pick: South Carolina

    TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
    Ohio State (6-6) vs. Florida (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: Florida

    Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio
    Wisconsin (11-2) vs. Oregon (11-2) Da Geek's Pick: Wisconsin

    Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
    Stanford (11-1) vs. Oklahoma State (11-1) Da Geek's Pick: OSU

    January 3, 2012

    Allstate Sugar Bowl
    Michigan (10-2) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2) Da Geek's Pick Michigan

    January 4, 2012

    Discover Orange Bowl
    West Virginia (9-3) vs. Clemson (10-3) Da Geek's Pick: West Virgina

    January 6, 2012

    AT&T Cotton Bowl
    Kansas State (10-2) vs. Arkansas (10-2) Da Geek's Pick: Kansas State

    January 7, 2012

    BBVA Compass Bowl
    SMU (7-5) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6) Da Geek's Pick: SMU

    January 8, 2012

    GoDaddy.com Bowl
    Arkansas State (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois (10-3) Da Geek's Pick: Northern Illinois

    January 9, 2012

    AllState BCS Championship Game
    Alabama (11-1) vs. LSU (13-0) Da Geek's Pick: LSU

    WVU Football ranks 6 in New America Foundation Accademic Bowl this year!

    WVU Places 6th!
    The New America Foundation pull the academic records from the schools found in the final BCS Poll of the regular season and then compiles this list.  I think it is telling that WVU had spent most of the expansion saga dealing with Academics being the (lie for an excuse) reason for exclusion from the ACC and SEC.  I look at this poll and WVU is 5 places better than any ACC team, only one SEC team ranks higher than WVU and that is by a mere 3 points.  Kind of interesting that the two Orange Bowl participants are the highest ranked from their respective conferences in academics.  A further point should be that we would rank near the top of our new conference trailing only the other new comer TCU.

    Eer Nation is proud of this accomplishment.  This indicates that these football players are excelling in the classroom too.  Way to go fellas. This is a testament to the commitment of the coaching staff and academic support staff at the University towards athletics.   It is my hope that Eer Nation will remind everyone that WVU competes in the classroom. 

    Da Geek

    The Big East expands, covers its losses, and persists in trying to stifle WVU's exit.

                   WVU is in a battle with the Big East regarding the term of its stay.  The two pending lawsuits are in a turf battle. Both of the Courts are going to try to determine who has Jurisdiction in the matter.  The hearings on the motions to dismiss filed in both Courts by the respective plaintiffs will be heard later on this month.  This matter is in the hope of WVU fast tracked.  But as anyone who practices or has participated in a law suit understands, the court system moves slowly.  It is not likely that this matter will be concluded prior to the late Spring even on the fast track.  WVU doesn’t have that kind of time to prepare for participation in Big XII sports.  Therefore, WVU has to get moving on with the scheduling of all participation sports for next season.  It is with that in mind that WVU AD Oliver Luck traveled to New York City to meet with other members of the Big XII conference.   

                It is the opinion of da Geek, that with the Big East acquiring replacement plus two for Syracuse, Pitt and WVU, the conference is moving on and should simply let the teams who wish to leave, go.   “All of our thoughts, quite honestly, have been about the Big XII as we go into the 2012-2013 academic year and prepare all of our sports, from football down to volleyball and swimming, for Big XII competition," Oliver Luck said Wednesday when asked about the newest teams to sign on to the Big East Conference.   Luck is correct in the fact that he doesn’t have time to gander at the changing landscape of WVU’s old conference. 

                What is it that the Big East gains from keeping WVU around?  WVU returns the vast majority of its offense.  The offensive line is bound to improve (one would hope.) This young defense is going to have Bowl prep/ spring ball and fall ball to improve.  The special teams (okay I concede I have no idea what will happen there.)  The point is that with all of the returning talent, and the additional talent WVU is to acquire, WVU’s likely going to repeat as Big East Champions for the third straight year, if we are forced to stay.  What does that do to help the credibility of the conference if WVU is ultimately leaving?  The answer is that it will take away from the new “plan” (as oxymoronic as that sounds in conjunction with anything Big East.)  They want to promote their new standard bearers, Boise State and Houston.  They can’t do that if WVU is around to cloudy that picture.  The point I am making is that the Big East needs to tell us what they want in terms of money, get paid a percentage of that and move on.

                On a related note, I find it interesting that the travel for the “New Big East” aka the “Jet Blue Conference,” would have been more taxing on the WVU budget as the travel in the Big XII.  Trips to California and Idaho would be considerably further than that of any games in the Big XII.  Trips to Houston, South Florida, SMU, and Central Florida would be awash in terms of travel expense.  Point is that WVU may have ultimately saved on travel costs by leaving the Big East.      

                As I have said on other occasions, WVU will be in the Big XII next season.   It is my hope that said transition will be smoother than it appears to be at this time.  Alas, it shall happen whether smoothly or not.  As more information is released either regarding future schedules or lawsuits I shall post on this blog.

    Go Eers,
    Da Geek

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Da Geeks Final Big East Power Rankings and Bowl Invites...

    1.  West Virginia University won 3 games in exciting fashion after all but blowing the season at home against Louisville.  Coach Holgorsen has done what no prior coach has done and that is take the Eers to a BCS Bowl game in his first season of coaching.   That was the expectation of the fan base, and though it was a rocky road to get there, he was successful in leading the team to this most important goal.  I see only a very bright future for this team under his leadership.  This team is the best team in the Big East.  They are one of the few teams to begin the season at the top of the conference and end the season there as well.   The Mountaineers are off to face the Tigers in the Orange Bowl on January 4th at 8:30 on ESPN.

    2.  The University of Cincinnati had two hiccups against WVU and Rutgers that did ultimately cost them a trip to the BCS.   No question that losing Zach was costly to this team.  They played the most consistent football throughout the Season and until they faced the Eers at Paul Brown were poised to finish atop the conference standings.  Alas, they must settle for Co-champion with the Mountaineers and the Cardinals.  They were awarded a trip to the Auto-Zone Liberty Bowl for their efforts.  They square off against Vanderbilt on December 31st at 3:30 on ABC.

    3.  The University of Louisville were a surprise Co-Big East Champion this year.  They certainly had a turbulent season wherein they lost to FIU and Marshall but were able to go 5-2 in the Big East with a signature win over WVU at home.  This series of events really stirred the pot in the Big East race, forcing both Cincinnati and WVU to win their last two games to force a 3 way tie.   I would point out that Da Geek had higher hopes for this team than just about anybody else.  In my preseason poll I picked Louisville to finish 2nd in the conference. (My predictions take a hit after that as USF, Syracuse and sPitt underachieved in huge ways while Rutgers and Cincinnati played better than I expected.)  Charlie Strong is to be commended on this season.  He took a bunch of no-names and made them Conference Co-Champs at season's end.  For that success they are awarded the Belk Bowl.  They drew NC State as their opponent and will play this game December 27th at 8:00 pm on ESPN.  

    4. The University of Rutgers played 3 spots better than I thought they would.  An up and down season with this team but the "wood-choppers" played well enough to be a Big East Co-champion up until being dismantled by a game Connecticut team.  This lead to a finish of 4th in the League Standings.  As has been stated on here since before Rutgers became bowl eligible, the Scarlet Knights will be the Big East representative in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.  They will play, the team that cost Oklahoma State a bid to the National Championship, Iowa State on December 30th at 3:20 pm on ESPN. 

    5. sPitt, as is usually the case, underachieved this season.   They took some costly injury hits, but the biggest deficiency of this team was Coach Graham's insistence that Tino be his man at quarterback.  But alas they did what they tend to do, let everybody down.  Well I guess not everybody, because their demise is a good thing in my mind.  For their stellar bowl eligible season they are awarded a trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham Alabama.  They shall face off against Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi at 1 pm on ESPN.

    6.  University of Connecticut finishes the season they way they played all season without a back to back win.  Though, they gave it the ole college try in second half of the game against the Bearcats they simply couldn't get it done.  For their efforts they get an invite to nowhere.  Only a year after being the Big East BCS representative they are not even bowl eligible. Coach P's second Big East go-around is not looking to be as successful as his past efforts, I am not ready to throw him completely under the bus as he has had no time to recruit.  But his first season must be judged as unsuccessful.  As stated before no bowl for UConn. 

    7. University of South Florida.  Wow what a let down of a season.  Skippy just didn't seem to have this team's interest after the win over Notre Dame.  To say that this team underachieved with the athletes they had is a huge understatement.  Several preseason publications picked South Florida to win the Big East this year.  In stead they were able to muster just 1 conference win.  As such they get to reside in a co-chumpion position with the 8th place finisher of this poll.  No Bowl for the Bulls.

    8.  Syracuse aka who cares.  This team lead by Coach M. had high hopes for the season.  For his efforts he was awarded a one win season in the Big East.  As I understand their fans though, as long as it is against WVU the season is a successful one.  You see I was informed by at least two of their fans (that represents what 1/2 of them?) that by beating WVU they are in point of fact better than WVU.  As Iowa State is better than Oklahoma State and countless other examples. It was only after this education in "score-board" rules that I came to understand the Orangefan's elite understanding of college football success.  I believe it was stated after that one conference win that WVU would be playing in Beef O'Brady's Bowl, while Syracuse and its laughing faithful would be playing in a BCS Bowl.  (I guess he meant the other team from West Virginia would be playing in that bowl.  See below.)  Well since they were able to win their October bowl game at home, they obviously were slighted by the Bowl selection committees, and like UCLA deserved a pass for being under 500.  I am sure that the Orangefan(s) of the world will be snickering with glee come New Years when they are watching the Eers play Clemson in the Orange Bowl.  Enjoy. 

    Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of the fact that Marshall is playing FIU in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl,  aka the "we beat Louisville too Bowl."  Congrats to the Herd on this Bowl Bid.  Enjoy your trip to Tampa Herd fans everywhere.  It should be noted that Marshall defeated both a Big East Co-champion and the Conference USA champion.  Doc must have this team going in the right direction. 

    Additional Mountaineer related notes:

    Junior wide receiver Taovon Austin has been named the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week, and sophomore wide receiver Stedman Bailey and senior linebacker Najee Goode have been named to the Weekly Honor Roll for their performances against USF on Thursday night.

    Austin had 208 all-purpose yards, including 141 yards on three kickoff returns, to help West Virginia to its 30-27 win at USF, giving the Mountaineers a share of their record seventh BIG EAST championship.
    He returned a third-quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, giving him two touchdowns on kickoff returns this season. He also had a team-high seven receptions for 54 yards and added a 30-yard punt return for the Mountaineers.

    Bailey had seven receptions for 80 yards, including a pivotal 26-yard catch on fourth down in the game-winning drive, and Goode had seven tackles, a tackle for loss and a key forced fumble in the fourth quarter.

    Da Geek

    Da Geeks End of Season Poll

    1. LSU
    2. Oklahoma State
    3. Alabama
    4. Oregon
    5. Wisconsin
    6. Michigan
    7. Boise State
    8. South Carolina
    9. Clemson
    10. Stanford
    11. Virginia Tech
    12. USC/Houston
    14. Texas Christian
    15. Michigan State
    16.Southern Mississippi
    17. Baylor
    18. West Virginia
    19. Nebraska/Kansas State
    21. Oklahoma/Arkansas
    23. Cincinnati
    24. Georgia
    25. Penn State
    Others receiving votes: Northern Illinois, Rutgers,Wyoming

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Win #700 for the program.

    WVU entered elite company with its win last night. With that exciting-last-second 30-27 win over the Bulls, WVU became one of only 14 teams with 700 wins. Think about that for a second. 700. WVU is also one of only 3 teams to have had at least 9 wins in the last 7 seasons (the other two are VPI and Boise State.) As we are sitting in our favorite seats for tomorrow's game let us not forget what our beloved Eers have accomplished dating back to the time they were referred to as the Snakes. We have participated in 2 Sugar Bowls, 2 Fiesta Bowls, 7 Gator Bowls, and 4 Peach Bowls. We have had wins in all four of those storied games. We have had wins over Oklahoma, NC State, Texas Christian, Georgia, Florida, and Georgia Tech on New Years+ Bowl dates. Though some on here think it is appropriate to continue to disparage the Old Gold and Blue the truth is that our program is in pretty exclusive company when it comes to the 700 win milestone. The members of the 700+ Club: Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Nebraska, Southern California, Alabama, Tennessee, Penn State, Georgia, LSU, Auburn and West Virginia.

    Tomorrow we need all of Eer Nation behind those silly Bearcats. May they acquire their 5th conference win and send us to another New Years Day+ Bowl just in time to begin our next 700 wins.

    Da Geek

    Go BearCats Go!!!

    Eer Nation will have two priorities come Saturday.
    1. Win in Starkville for Hoops team.
    2. Cincinnati getting it done on the field against U-Conn. I am guessing that this game will have a ratings boost from the 1+ million new viewers of interest. TV sets shall be tuned in at noon from all points in WV, as well as the Orange Bowl selection committee all of which are huge and I mean huge Bearcat fans.  
    Things learned from last night.  Tavon Austin is unreal.  Stedman Bailey is a superstar.  Najee Goode is tough as nails.  Tyler Bitancurt has ice flowing through his veins.  I need to buy some stock in cardiac medicine as the entire State of West Virginia is in jeopardy of heart failure as a result of watching these cardiac kids.  Coach Holgorsen now has some time to count his incentive money while watching the Cincinnati, UConn game. 

    More to come Saturday after the Bearcats take care of business.

    Da Geek

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Brief on the Bulls

    Tonight is the night to be remembered according to coach. Unfortunately a win doesn't guarantee an Orange Bowl birth. I wish Cinci played before us. The last thing I would want is to demotivate Cinci with a win or worse, motivate them with a loss. That being said, here's how I think it plays out.

    I fully expect a heavy dose of Darnell Scott. If Daniels plays, he can run. But I don't expect to get beat by either QB.

    Stop the rush of the D line. Turnovers, bad decisions, and no rushing game is the goal of this Def line. To win this game, we must win this battle. D backs are suspect and Geno with time, can have a big game.

    I was surprised watching the Bulls D against Louisville. They looked uninspired. That's not how they usually play us. A prime time game and a shot at a bowl game should be plenty of motivation.

    I look for a close game with some big plays. Deep throws by WVU and a couple of turnovers by the Bulls D. WVU covers the -2.5 and wins by 10 going away.

    Youtube Highlights for South Florida Game

    Big East Champions

    Bruce Irvin

    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?