Friday, March 30, 2007

Another reason to party

Celebrate that NIT championship with a little extra flair tonight. Noel Devine, the Internet legend and possible number 1 running back in the country has picked WVU as his school and officially signed a letter of intent. It is not clear whether the incoming phenom will go to Hargrave for a year or be eligible this year, but either way Devine has decided to try and officially make WVU "running back U." This signing and Pat Lazear, who hasn't been arrested since signing, will probably bump the recruiting class into the top 15. And with running backs Terrence Kerns and Jock Sanders joining athlete Branon Hogan WVU has the best incoming class of running backs in it's history.

Most D'Cordinators WVU faces may have this waiting at the half this year.
Defensive coordinators around the Big East should take tonight and have a drink to steady their nerves. I suggest lots of Jack. Straight. You can drink like a man and maybe not seem scared in front of the team for the next meeting when thinking about WVUs backfield for the next 4 years.

Devine mentioned that he signed for two reasons: 1. He really loves the Black Eyed Peas and couldn't find another program still using that to fire up the crowd before the game; and 2. He fell for that Cotton-Eyed Joe song. Just really got in his head during his visit and he loves watching white people get all excited and dance away to it. Anyway, time to celebrate a good week.

They wouldn't misspell Michigan

Dude, I think your shirt says. . . nevermind.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

You still get a ring

'If I stay that tailgate better f'n rock'Every 65 years WVU wins the NIT. Like clockwork. In 1942 it could be argued that it was for a National Title. This year it was against a group of teams that felt they deserved NCAA bids. In 2072 people will fly their cars and tell their robot housekeepers about another WVU team on the verge of another NIT title. Unless those damn dirty apes get here first.

If the NIT is the tournament for the 66th best team then WVU emphatically answered that they are that team. If this was John Beilein's last game as coach of the Mountaineers it was a signature win for him in a swan song. The game was played by WVU exactly how Beilein draws up the game plan. You could have a virtual pickem of game MVPs. Frank Young scored 24 points on 7-10 shooting including 12 on 4 threes in the first half to build the lead. Darris Nichols would have thrown up a double double if the dogs weren't called off. He scored 13 points and had 9 assists. Da'Sean Butler scored 20 and pulled down 7 rebounds. Smalligan added 8 points and 7 rebounds and Rob Summers set a bunch of picks. This definitely was Frank's last game and he played great as he did the entire tournament. It was also Summers last game. His defense, rebounding, passing, toughness, and ability to set a pick will be missed. But, not as much as the line beard. That will be impossible to replace.

Clemson made a run in the last few minutes to close the gap for Vegas, but the game was over much earlier. WVU shot 12-20 from three (Frank was 6-7) compared to Clemson shooting 6-22. WVU also outrebounded the Tigers by 6 for the game.

This tournament was a great building block for the young kids on the team. Except for Joe Alexander. Hopefully he can regroup in the offseason as his game simply regressed over the last few regular season games and into the Big East and NIT tournaments. He seems so aware of his shooting difficulties that he became tentative with the ball and it really effected his defense as well. However, now he has 6 months to dunk on everyone at the Rec Center to get his confidence back. In the meantime we can look forward to the continued maturation of Ruoff, Butler, Smith, and Nichols. Hopefully Michigan doesn't call until Beilein gets back to Morgantown. Cell phones don't necessarily get good reception here. Especially when Beilein is kidnapped and living in Option's basement for the next three weeks. Don't worry, if he gets bored Option has promised to take him to the wall.

Tailgate Getting Better

For those of you who may not read the comments as religiously as the posts themselves, I will herein share the news I broke as a comment to the story about our ads, and our big plans for spending the profits.

It is my understanding that we are at least $0.18 closer to the 40 oz. and Snickers fun pack we promised readers at our free tailgate. Date and time TBA. Well, I will go on record with my commitment to up the ante. Upon the arrival of the date and time TBA, I will supply the tailgate with one whole case of COLD Natty Light. Thats right Bastard fans, ice cold natty. I encourage my fellow contributors to pony up something equally as nice.

Hate, hate, hate

The Detroit News is reporting that Beilein may be the front runner for the Michigan job. Only they aren't so sold on Beilein with this as the headline:

Would U-M be settling for Beilein? Martin seems to be courting West Virginia coach, whose credentials aren't overwhelming.

The message is clear to them that Beilein is a "safe" choice, but an expensive one after his $2.5 million buyout and over $1 million in salary. Another point of contention for Michigan faithful is the lack of recruiting prowess Beilein has shown.

The writer of maizenbrew hates the idea of Beilein.
I have serious reservations about Beilein's ability to recruit. Looking at his teams, they are stacked with 6-10 white guys who shoot three pointers and can't play in the post. He relies on three point shooting and a Princeton offense that does manufacture points but can stifle creativity. Beilein's recruits are system guys. He's never recruited the midwest well and all of his contacts are on the East Coast. . . A good recruiter can sell a herpes vaccine to a nun. I refuse to give him a pass on his recruiting record because he works in Morgantown. The next response is he "does more with less." Yeah, but it's his less. It's not like he intentionally passes on 4 and 5 star recruits.

The local AAU coaches are pushing for Karl Hobbs of GW and Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois over Beilein. But despite the anti-Beilein Michigan fans and writers organizing to fire a counter attack against the hire it appears it that the only man who counts, Bill Martin, is still seeing hearts when looking at Beilein. And only love can make it rain.

So tonight's NIT Final has the added intrigue of possibly being Coach Beilein's last game at WVU. If it is you can't expect to go out with anything more. And Eddie really can't play basketball.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Know Thy Foe

Needed: Longer Necks

Tonight in the NIT Final, the Mountaineers take on Clemson. The Tigers entered post season play with a 21-10 record. That's 21-10 after starting 17-0, so they went 4-10 down the stretch beginning with their loss to Maryland on January 13th. Apparently planning to create some rivalry with WVU fans, Clemson lost twice (freaking twice!) to Maryland. Clemson also had two losses to a Duke team inciting much praise from Billy Packer and penis love by Vitale. But hell, at least they beat the Polytechnical University of Virginia (a result foretold by the tribe of locals who worship Beamer's thing and predict events based upon the color thereof).

In a scheduling move with which some of us may be familiar, the Tigers boosted their early out of conference schedule with a few, well, rec league teams. During their impressive 17-0 stretch, the Tigers had big victories over Monmouth (12-18), Furman (15-16), the hippies of Appalachia State, the mighty Bucs of Southern Charleston (8-22), some Golden Golphers (9-22), perenial opener for WVU football, Wofford (10-20), Georgia Southern (15-16), Western Carolina (11-20), and Georgia State (11-20). Against teams with a full 5 players (and coincidentally winning records), the Tigers went 11-11 (er, 12-11 if you count the hippies).

They are led in scoring by the 6'5", 210 lb sophomore guard K.C. Rivers. Rivers has been building momentum in the NIT scoring 17, 12, 29, and 19, respectively, while shooting 49% from the field. They may also rely upon the 6'9" James May down on the blocks. Mays is the tema's second leading scoring averaging 12.5 points per game.

Clemson also employs the strategy occasionally adopted by the Mountaineers - just chuck it up and hope for the best. They were second in the ACC with 623 attempted 3s converting at 33.9%. (Compared to WVU's Big East leading 894 attempts and our lofty 36.7% conversion.)

According to one sports book, Clemson is favored by 1 with an over/under of 136. Expect another predominantly WVU crowd.

Truth in advertising

Make me a bicycle, clown!This was a post that was supposed to wait a few months, but has to be pushed up. Some of you more observant readers may have noticed ads appearing on our blog. Some have even commented on them. After talking to the family members who know me well enough to accuse me I found out they were innocent. That means it was someone else. Well I ask you readers if you can't trust a someone posting under the name letsplaytummysticks that you have never met then who can you trust? Only Ron Burgandy can describe my pain, "I am hurt and shocked and offended and. . . and hurt." Well, yes I could use the money to buy nice things like a Fletch jersey.However, we didn't start the blog to make money. For god's sake we aren't good enough writers to deserve any compensation if anything we should be paying you to read us. So when we realized we actually had a few readers and could make some money we had to decide what to do. Stay pure or sell out for a reason.

There are many good reasons to sell out. We didn't want any personal compensation so we had other choices. Give money to WVU hospitals or the Ronald McDonald house. Donate to the Mountaineer Athletic Club. Cash it in and leave it in an envelope in Coach Beilein's mailbox. We decided to go with the most altruistic cause we could think of; a kick-ass party. The promise from us is that any proceeds made from the blog will be given back to the readers in the form of a free tailgate which will be determined later in the year. Details will follow after parking passes are issued and the money is gathered. Right now we are on track for 2 forties of Hurricane and a funpack of Snickers for the Pitt game. So in a sense we are paying you to read us. It worked for us making friends not getting beat up daily in high school.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Never in doubt

Let's see Federer do this.After any WVU miracle those are the first words I always say to my Dad. Louisville in O.T., Rutgers in O.T., tonight in the NIT Final Four v. Mississippi State. Anyone who thinks the NIT doesn't matter wasn't watching the game with a WVU fan or didn't observe the crowd's reaction to Darris Nichol's three to win the game with 2 seconds left.

The Mountaineers jumped to an early lead that anyone interested missed due to ESPN showing Pennis. State battled back by using the offensive strategy of drive to the rim which seemed to confuse WVU for the remainder of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half. Once WVU remembered to STOP THE BALL, the offense became pretty stagnant for Miss. State. WVU overcame 37% shooting from the field and 62.5% from the line to advance to the NIT finals. Nichols lead WVU the entire night and ignited the comeback with drives for scores or dishes leading to layups for others. Nichols scored 17 points, Frank had 16, and Ruoff had 10 for the Mountaineers.

However, this night will be remembered, by those who care, for Nichol's shot through the heart of Mississippi State. WVU had missed three shots from Young, Smalligan, and Butler the previous possession and Nichols had a three fall short and off a Bulldog with the clock down to 2 seconds to set up the shot. The play was a simple fake a pick and fade to the open spot then hit an impossible fadeaway. Only no one bothered to tell Darris that the shot was impossible. I don't think it matters to a single Mountaineer fan what the importance of the NIT is at this point. This team has been a joy to watch during this run and we are all thankful they got to keep playing and played to win instead of sulking over the NCAA snub. And to channel Will Ferrell "Good night doctor. . . and it feels good."

Here is a replay of Nichol's shot:

Here is Ferrell on Sportscenter:

Still Going

If Pacman or Henry shot fricken laser beams out of their eyes we'd all be in trouble.Like that Energizer bunny the game of career suicide chicken between Chris Henry and Pacman Jones just won't end as neither will blink or back down. At this point it is almost admirable that they just won't let the other one win this thing. As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tries to implement a player conduct policy that will include suspensions for off the field problems both Pacman and Henry rush to see who can be the first to be suspended.

Las Vegas police will seek felony and misdemeanor charges against Pacman for his role in the triple shooting outside a strip club last month. The charges would be a felony of coercion and misdemeanor threat and battery charges.

Not to be outdone Chris Henry answered the Pacman volley with a return of his own. Henry had his car impounded and was ticketed for driving on a suspended license, failure to use turn signals and a seat belt violation.

If Henry is convicted of any crime in Hamilton County, the Kenton County Attorney's Office would seek to revoke his probation in Kentucky, said chief prosecutor Ken Easterling. Henry could have to serve the remaining 88 days on his 90-day sentence.

Goodell has already scheduled some hearings for next week in New York. From ESPN:

Many in the game believe Goodell will reserve the right to suspend a player for an entire season, with that player then forced to apply for reinstatement, but only after meeting tough criteria. Jones, who has been arrested or questioned by police in 10 incidents since he came into the league in 2005, could be the poster boy for Goodell's get-tough policy.

Pacman and Henry really only have two options right now: (1) cock fight to the death, winner gets reinstated; or (2) both just go out like Tony Montana. You know they have the blow and Tank Johnson could get them the guns.

Bama loses again

He wanted Bryant to be riding a bear, but didn't have the extra $100 necessaryMerely a day after an Alabama blog celebrated a recruiting victory over WVU for a kicker with all the class of:

I wouldn't really care, except that West Virginia native Nick Saban totally pwn3d Rodriguez by stealing this kid away. And that makes my schadenfreude-fueled heart all warm.
Well it didn't take long for WVU to smack 'Bama back down again. From the school paper of West Chester University on the 21st of the month.
It is rumored that West Virginia and Alabama are among the teams courting Lewis, who will lose one year of eligibility should he decide to transfer.
And now yesterday.
First team All PSAC East outside linebacker Jimmy Lewis is trading his purple and gold for a new blue and yellow uniform.

Sources close to the situation have informed The Quad that Lewis has finalized his decision to transfer to West Virginia. Lewis will be forced to sit out next season due to NCAA eligibility rules regarding transfers.
Lewis has completed his Junior year so he will sit a year to play one. But that one year won't be at Alabama.

This guy might want to talk to Manchin

It appears as though a Pennsylvania State Sen. John N. Wozniak has decided to throw his hat into the ring of fire that is college football scheduling. This used to be as sure a political win as kissing babies. However, the tides are beginning to turn away from government mandated games. From Wozniak:

I believe the time is right to bring back the healthy and historical rivalry of these fine Pennsylvania institutions,” Wozniak said. “The economic gains, not only for State College and Pittsburgh, but for the entire Commonwealth would be tremendous

Where have we heard that before?
In his letter, Wozniak suggested that the schools resume their annual home-and-away series, with both schools splitting the proceeds.

If I were another State legislator I would not touch this with a ten-foot pole. Why? It is possibly political suicide. When the NCAA expanded to 12 games the thought was that it would create better non-conference scheduling. Instead the big schools went on a money grab to get the smaller schools at home. The result was a bidding war for the big schools. WVU has lost two opponents in two years due to other schools offering more money. Every home game lost is millions of dollars lost for a greedy athletic department. The solutions to this dilemma are much better explained here. It may not be wise to force Penn State and Pitt into this game at this time especially. The Big 10 is proposing a 9 game conference schedule for a majority of teams. This means it is theoretically possible that Penn State could play 5 road conference games and @ Pitt in the same year. That leaves only 6 games in Happy Valley. The Nitters would riot. Just imagine Wozniak in the middle of this:

At least Penn State and Pitt have a history. WVU and Marshall didn't even have that before Manchin railroaded WVU into the game. For all of the pretend "rivalry" aspects such as naming it the Coal Bowl and having a trophy, it turned into any other opener versus an overmatched team within two possessions. I actually felt sorry for Marshall fans near me who thought they had a chance. And I will always hold Gov. Manchin directly responsible for the worst thing he has ever done. Not forcing WVU down to the high school stadium this year, not the millions in lost revenue this year, not watering down the schedule with another cupcake, but for making me feel sorry for a Marshall fan. For shame Gov. Manchin, for shame.

Go Sooners.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Round of Reubens

I'd probably rather have the sandwich than this 'Reuben Award' if I were a cartoonist.Get ready for Michigan to put the full court press on Beilein as soon as the NIT is over. From the website Mlive

This search isn't Beilein or bust, but it's close.
Close enough that it's hard to imagine Martin finding someone who's a better fit.
And even harder still to find someone who's a better coach.

OK that's fine, they like him. Now tell us what you think of WVU and Morgantown.

If he's such a good coach, why doesn't he recruit better?

"Have you ever been to Morgantown?'' the Big East assistant asks. "It makes Pittsburgh look like Miami. Nobody has ever - or will ever - recruit four-star (recruits) to Morgantown.''

Another former Big East assistant now working in another Division I league offered similar thoughts on the West Virginia coach earlier this week.

Ouch. Well I have very few contacts at WVU's athletic department, but one of them has stated that there is no current negotiation to extend Beilein and it is Beilein that is not talking. He may want to get out. We still have the option we've been asking for here and apparently is catching on. The Charleston Gazette on Marshall's coaching search including the aptly named Gregg Marshall from Winthrop:

Marshall could become available in a few years, after he gets his schnoz busted at South Florida. But for now, he seems bent on getting in the top six conferences, even if he has to take America’s most impossible job. Winthrop is going all out to keep him — even naming the court after him, according to one report.

Speaking of recruiting, Alabama is claiming a much needed victory over WVU. They got a kicker.

One was from West Virginia and the other was from Bama. Smith, who was the No. 2 kicker at the combine and was all-state as a kicker and punter last season, spurned coach Rich Rodriguez and the Mountaineers to make the trip south to Tuscaloosa.

I wouldn't really care, except that West Virginia native Nick Saban totally pwn3d Rodriguez by stealing this kid away. And that makes my schadenfreude-fueled heart all warm.

Awww, they really do care about us. Finally, WVU baseball fans got their moneys worth this Saturday as WVU swept a double header from Seton Hall. The first game went 13 innings. 22 innings for the price of one. What a country.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Quickly. . .

These balls don't look all that old. Tubby Smith bailed on Kentucky meaning another job opening is available for the rumor mills. In this case Beilein's name is mentioned lower on the wish list than with Michigan. It seems that Kentucky is in search of a bigger name or younger/hotter coach. Well if hot is what they are looking for maybe Kentucky should know Coach Beilein has special balls. For $40 you can have one of the Coach's balls.

Also in case anyone didn't know Joe Alexander can really jump. I mean high.

This is why people are so infatuated with him. White dudes that jump like that aren't all that common. OK, black dudes that jump like that aren't all that common either.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wolfpack Boobies

I just returned home from watching a little of the Kansas game at my favorite bar and wingery. Those of you familiar with Motown will know the one with the bowling alley attached. Anyway, while there I heard rumors concerning the extracurriculars of the NC State basketball team and coaching staff on the Monday night prior to the NIT third round game this week.

A local gentlemens club (rhymes with bummers) played host to a number of patrons on Monday night. Among them, as the story was told to me, was a young bartender employed by my favorite wingery and some of her friends. At least a portion of the team and what appeared to be most if not all of the coaching staff and trainers- purportedly wearing NC State gear- were also in attendance.

As this story was unfolded to me- and she did admit to being a little intoxicated- another patron sitting a couple stools down from me chimed in. "Oh yeah, my roomie works there. He said the whole coaching staff, and the "head athletics guy" was there. There were a bunch of them." Now I have to assume he meant the athletic director when he said "head athletics guy"- but that seems a little far fetched to me.

I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the tale as it was told by my primary source. Why would a girl out with her friends lie about seeing NC State guys at a titty bar? But that is not the end of the story. After leaving the gentlemens club, she said she stopped into her place of employment for an off-duty drink. Moments later, members of the NC State team, and assumedly with coaches again in tow- showed up here as well. This particular bar is a haven enjoyed by mountaineers fans, and supposedly some of the players were met with less than warm greetings. They were alleged to have made short remarks to my source as they exited the bar, to which she replied- "See ya tomorrow- on the bench." I don't know if that burn hurt anyones feelings, but she was pleased with herself.

Again, no telling what degree of truth applies to this rumor. I would be surprised if it were total bullshit though. Too many people with nothing to gain seemed confident in its truth. Just thought I would pass on the rumors as I hear them floating around Morgantown. Enjoy.

Mountaineer Baseball

WVU baseball is going to get more media attention if I can help it. I think this is a picture of a rug. woot.

Collegiate baseball traditionally takes a backseat to both football and basketball. No shit you might say… and deservedly so. Football and basketball bring in ridiculous sums of money to the university. They both, and football in particular, go a long way to bringing in new students- not just student athletes. Being in the top 25 nationally makes a school more popular.

But here is a dose of reality for you all. The NIT is nearly over, helluva show so far- keep it up fellas, and following the Easter weekend spring game, you enter the football Sahara. Where does that leave you? I am gonna be fine. I love baseball more than any other sport, and have since I was very young. I will opt to save my argument for a later date, but rest assured it is not only the national pastime- I regard it as the greatest game ever played.

The West Virginia Mountaineers began the 2007 season on February 16th in a three game series against Cleveland State. They won the season opener 5-1, and won on day two 6-3 before being shut out 3-0 to close the series.

Here is the season to date in a nutshell: a loss to NC State, wins over UNC Wilmington, Marist and Rhode Island, a loss at Coastal Carolina, then we spanked Hartford in a four game set- the last two games were both 11-1 wins- then we dropped one 12-14 to Duquesne on 3/13, only to rally back two days ago in a 12-1 smashing of St. Bonaventure. We played them again yesterday afternoon, and I cannot find a score. So we are 10-5 not including yesterday.

The Mounties open conference play tomorrow in a three game series with Seton Hall here in Morgantown. Weather provided I plan on making it out.

The Mountaineer lineup does include a few hot bats. Adam White leads all hitters with a .446 average after 15 games. Three players- Justin Jenkins, Tyler Kuhn, and Jordan Yost share the HR lead so far with 3 each. On the mound, Kenny Durst and Levi Maxwell each have three wins to account for 6 of the 10. Durst boasts a 1.72 ERA through 31.1 innings pitched. Nice.

For anyone interested in learning more, most of my research I owe to MSN, which I linked to through the WVU Baseball page,

I have contacted Coach Van Zant, and hope for a positive response. We Bastards would like to get more personally involved with all the WVU athletic programs, and welcome all the free stuff we can get. Look for more about WVU baseball in the near future, and go see the team for yourself- a ticket to Hawley Field will only run you $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and minors; and killer deal of $2 per person for groups of 10 or more. I may try to plan a Bastard Sons outing to the ballpark taking advantage of the group deal. Maybe a nice Bastard Sons pre-game tailgate is in order. Let me know what you think. Lets Go Mountaineers!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Video Proof

For those who haven't seen Old School you probably won't like this site anyway. For the rest here is the Frank the Tank dance I spoke about earlier.

Compare the video around the 17 second to go mark with this around the 2 minute 10 second to go mark.

I don't have any clue if Frank Young went streaking, but he could bring his green hat and KFC should always be open.

Thank you Frank

Frank hugs his imaginary friend 'Sammy' after hitting another three.Frank Young set the school record for threes in a season last night, scored 14 straight points for WVU during one stretch, 25 points overall, and performed the "Frank the Tank" dance Will Ferrell does in Old School after the game. The game was sloppy early and rocky throughout due to inconsistent officiating. The referees couldn't decide whether to let the kids play or start calling everything and just alternated in between. The crowd was less than pleased.

When the NIT selections were announced we knew we'd get at least one more home game, but it was the NIT and not the Big Dance we thought we deserved. I made it to two of the three games (including last night) and will always be happy we went to the NIT for one reason alone; it was a chance to give Frank Young a proper goodbye. Frank has scored 17, 31, and 25 in the NIT. He has hit numerous big shots the last two games alone including two back breaking threes last night when NC State finally took the lead. If any player for WVU in the Beilein era deserved another goodbye it was Frank. He is the player I respect the most over that time.

Frank Young played in 24 games as a freshman averaged 1 point per game and shot 22% from the floor. During that time Frank looked scared when he got in the game and just wanted to get a quick score to settle down. Unfortunately, often the first couple of quick shots missed and he was done. Not much changed as a sophomore until the Big East tournament. With Tyrone Salley unable to play due to illness, Frank was forced to play over 20 minutes a game. He scored 14 and 12 in much needed tournament wins and then 8 apiece in the finals and first round of the NCAAs. Last year Frank was the forgotten starter. He scored 7.4 per game and played over 20 minutes per game, but it was always the five seniors that were mentioned together. This was Franks year to shine, but on a team picked to finish 12th in the Big East.

Watching Frank play you see a player that could have been elite if only he didn't have old man legs. Frank has a lack of explosion that keeps him from being able to consistently create his own shot or elevate over a defender. At times it actually looks painful for Frank to get up and down the court. In fact the two times I've seen Frank dunk live not only did the crowd go crazy, but the bench exploded like I've yet to see again this year. However, the biggest flaw in his game simply humanizes Frank. It forces him to become relatable to everyone watching as he must consistently outsmart a defender to get a shot off. Whether it be coming off a screen, fading to the side or backwards, or shooting on an odd rhythm, Frank has to constantly change his offense. Frank has overcome the lack of explosion by become a deadly shooter if he can get his feet set. This is always the chess match within the game for Frank and his defender. Frank has averaged 15 a game and shot 44% from the floor often winning the match.

However, the thing I respect most about Frank's game is the heart he shows. Frank is 6'5" and in our defense is constantly checking the power forward of other Big East teams. Meaning Frank is playing a guy with 2-5 inches on him and a better athlete. Yet I can't think of teams really being able to attack Frank all year. He is also .1 rebounds/game behind Joe Alexander and Rob Summers as our leading rebounder. Also he is constantly throwing his old man legs all over the floor after any lose ball. And if there is a big shot in the game everyone knows Frank is going to take it. He still manages to get the shot off somehow.

Congratulations Frank, you deserved the two straight threes last night to put WVU up 2 after trailing for the first time in the second half. You deserved the 14 straight points and the Frank the Tank chant. You led a team to 9-7 in the Big East, a win over UCLA, and two over NC State. You deserve a bigger stage than the NIT, but instead of pouting you have led the team back to NYC where you've scored 21 and 19 in your Big East Tournament games this year. So congratulations Frank and thank you for everything.


No, not the game last night. That was nice, but I was limited to watching the first half of the game on a 20" television in a bowling alley and the second half until 3 minutes to go on's 30 second update GameCast. So, I'll leave actual game analysis and reporting to someone who actually watched the game. Now to the patheticism...

While making my daily morning blog tour, I stumbled upon EDSBS's posting of Dropkick Murphy's covering "Oh, Boston". The Murphy's kick ass, as do bag pipes. So, I says to me-self, "Self, there's gotta be a some decent Country Road covers out there." Well, I had to expand my definition of "decent".

First up: American Idol. How is this show still on the air?
Second up: Hermes House Band. Ugh.
And finally, the cover that made me chew off my own arm:

For the love of God, if anyone has a clip of that Morgantown jam band that played at Mutt's and 123 (request to BSR for band name) covering Country Roads, please post it and let us know about it. We need something redeeming to come out of this. But as everyone knows, no one covers Country Roads better than 60,000 Mountaineer fans in almost unision.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring practice continues

the least intimidating pirate flag everSome notes from all over from spring as the weather continues to be crazy manic depressive bi-polar inconsistent:

The Daily Mail reports on one of the potential impact players of the coming season, JT Thomas. JT's father was a great Mountaineer linebacker and his signing was a big deal around Morgantown. JT is seeing playing time at outside linebacker this spring with John Holmes being moved to the other outside linebacker and Reed Williams moved to inside. We could start seeing the speed on offense being replicated on the defensive side of the ball. WVU will be younger at linebacker this year, but mistakes will be made by guys flying by in a blur. Add Mortty Ivy and returners Bobby Hathaway and Marc Magro (who doesn't like tobacco) into the mix the linebackers could be interesting this year.

Jacob Messner has an article on Pat White's baseball skillz:

A pitcher and outfielder, White was Alabama's Mr. Baseball in his senior season at Daphne.

He posted a .487 batting average, 12 home runs, 29 stolen bases, 48 RBI and 51 runs scored from the leadoff spot. He also compiled a 6-3 record with a 1.55 earned run average and 62 strikeouts compared to 14 walks in 58 innings on the mound.

Pat could have played minor league baseball over the summers for $400,000, but decided to bypass that to be a leader for WVU. That is either the definition of dedication or insanity, but there's only a hairs difference between the two anyway.

MSNsportsnet reports a new goal line formation used in a scrimmage over the weekend.

Rodriguez introduced one goal line formation on Saturday that included 260-pound Owen Schmitt at tailback, 285-pound defensive tackle Scooter Berry at fullback and 305-pound defensive tackle Chris Neild at wingback. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Derek Hayes was a second tight end along with Mike Villagrana.
“That was to give the defense a better look on goal line,” the coach said.

Upon reading about that the common response from Big East defensive coordinators was:
There is a reason we are the 'Bastards,' I mean this guy is a friend.

Getting to know Michigan Basketball

I hope the millions in the NBA and Tyra Banks helped Chris get over this.The rumors of Beilein to Michigan continue to gain momentum on the front page of Rivals and the message boards for both Michigan and WVU and even the mgoblog and aol's fanhouse. While the season is still ongoing there will be no comment from Beilein and likely nothing after the season if last year was any indication. Any job offer or infatuation will only be known through rumors until Michigan announces a new coach; Beilein or not. So let's take this opportunity to learn about Michigan basketball. Michigan has over 1,100 all-time wins as a basketball program, which is considerable, but less than WVU. The Wolverines have a national title from Glen Rice's 1989 team and 6 Final Four appearances. Michigan also has 11 conference champions under it's belt and one Big Ten Tournament title.

However, two of the Final Four's, and the Big Ten Tournament victory have been removed due to scandal. Boster Ed Martin gave $616,000 to Chris Webber and others during the 90's which required Michigan to remove any mention of Webber, Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor, or Louis Bullock from the school's history and all banners and wins were also deleted. The news put the basketball program into a tailspin and currently Michigan is 9 years removed from the last NCAA tournament appearance.

So in what ways is this job better or worse than WVU? Keep in mind that John Beilein is 54 years old and will have been a head coach for 30 years next year.

1. If he is looking for one big payday Michigan will certainly have deeper pockets than WVU. WVU should be looking to give Beilein a raise after Rodriguez got one anyway, but can't get into a bidding war with Michigan.

2. Recruiting would be much easier at Michigan. WVU is hurt by the fact that there just isn't a lot of in-state talent and what little there is (Patrick Patterson, OJ Mayo, etc.) seems intent on leaving ASAP. Michigan, meanwhile, can draw on Detroit, Chicago, etc. While WVU has been recruiting better the last few years, how much of that is WVU and how much kids wanting to play in Beilein's system? I think most would have followed him anywhere he was coaching and Michigan is just a deeper pool to begin with.

3. Reputation. Coaches have egos. Big egos. I have long thought Beilein would love to coach at a UConn, Syracuse, Duke, UNC, etc. type place where he is the man. That is why NC State was appealing. Here he plays second fiddle to football. That would actually be worse at Michigan. The conferences are about the same in terms of t.v. time. The only reputation advantage for Michigan would be the size of the school and the fact that it is Michigan. Meaning there are more graduates/fans of Michigan than WVU. However, if Beilein were to stay at WVU he could be known as an all-time great here.

4. Other factors are whether Beilein wants to stay in West Virginia and more specifically Morgantown. Maybe he wants to be in a bigger city (a rumor that has been out there for years) that is away from the Pittsburgh airport where he has had problems before. Also the youth of the current team could come into play in a decision to stay. Otherwise it comes down to whether a non-West Virginian with no real WVU ties before coming here considers this the best job he can have for the rest of his career.

Michigan is not the biggest concern in this offseason for Beilein's services, just the first. I truely believe a big-time basketball school that makes a run could be more dangerous. However, if Beilein just wants out of West Virginia or more money then Michigan would be as good a place as any to run. In which case the only chance for WVU may be to name the floor after a fifth year coach, get Jerry West involved somehow (maybe put a Beilein statue on the neck of West's statute riding it like a horse), or get Beilein's youngest son on the team stat. If Beilein does leave though at least Dan Dakich may be available again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

That time of the year

These heads are stuffed with the new cash smell of a buy-out.With the success of the mid-majors such as Southern Illinois and Butler (2 straight years) some big schools are looking around and starting to grow impatient. When that happens a few things are sure to follow. Heads will roll, check books will open, and John Beilein's name will be mentioned. From ESPN about the newly vacant Michigan job and the candidates:

According to's Andy Katz, some of the names up for consideration to replace Amaker include Washington State's Tony Bennett, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery, former Golden State Warriors coach Mike Montgomery, UNLV's Lon Kruger, West Virginia's John Beilein, Xavier's Sean Miller and Cal's Ben Braun, as well as ESPN analysts Rick Majerus and Steve Lavin.

Katz also reported that Kentucky coach Tubby Smith could be a candidate, if he's available.

I left the Kentucky part of the quote in because if God closes a door he opens a window. If Kentucky were to fire Smith it could eliminate the Michigan job, but also open up Kentucky. As shown in the state W2, Beilein makes at least $850k per year here. So why is he constantly in the rumor mill? Well he is a great coach that is in the twilight of his career in a great basketball conference; only WVU will always be a football first school. You don't think he has an ego and wants to be the GUY just once at a big school? He could make more, have more exposure, he isn't from West Virginia, and almost took the NC State job last year. In addition, Beilein doesn't talk about the job offers for better or worse fueling the paranoia. The other side is that WVU is extremely patient with coaches so he could be here for life and the recruiting has started to pick up. He would be returning a young team that has shown flashes of greatness (UCLA) and should only improve.

In a way it is flattering that so many other schools are interested in our coaches all the time. I mean it's way better than constantly talking about firing an inadequate coach, but just like the guy that married over his head it does begin to grate after a while. It's cool that you think my wife has a killer rack buddy, but please quit staring at it in front of me all of the time. I mean C'mon.

Round of Reubens

This Ruben should have just stayed in and watched Skinamax.The Maryland basketball championship drive stalled this weekend. The Terps fell to some white dudes from Butler that may have had a little help from the referees. At least on the charge call on D.J. Strawberry at the end. The result of the first week is that my brackets are in flames. There is no real underdog this year, UNLV is the lowest seeded team to advance with a 7-seed. I guess it was a bad year to take Long Beach State to the Elite 8 and Texas/Louisville aren't going to make the runs I thought they were.

One of the main questions this spring with the football team is whether Adam Bednarik can return and ifso can he get those guns on the field? The Charleston Gazette catches up with the former starting QB, now third string and speculates where he would go if he changed positions. The conclusion from the Gazette is wide receiver. That would not make a lot of sense considering the size and speed of Bednarik, but his shoulder problems could preclude the move to TE which would seem more appropriate. The Gazette believes that a move to defense is out due to the stress involved in trying to learn that you are trying to keep people from scoring instead of trying to score.

WVU women have a rematch tonight versus LSU in the NCAA tournament. The two teams played in the first game of the season with LSU sqeaking out a 64-25 win. The 11th seeded Mountaineers have already defeated Xavier in the tournament and another win would probably ruin the majority of the five women's brackets in existence (currently all being played by female gym teachers in the mid-west having fem-mullets and carrying a whistle at all times). The team has rebounded well this season after losing Meg Bulger for the second straight year with the same ACL injury. Meg is currently rehabbing both the knee and her wet hair at Kegler's.

WVU plays NC State in the NIT on Tuesday in a 9 pm game. This game is also a rematch from earlier in the season, WVU won in Charleston 71-60 earlier in the year. The winner goes to Madison Square Garden for the final four. The loser is somewhere around the 74th best team in the nation.

Friday, March 16, 2007

WVU rolls through NIT 2nd Round

I put up 31 against UMass, but could have had more with help of a delivery pet penguin. Waa waa boys and girls.The Mountaineers looked strong last night before a Coliseum crowd of just over 7,000 fans. Attendance was up from the Delaware State game on Tuesday, and all those in attendance were able to enjoy a masterful display by both Frank Young and his goatee. (The goat isn't quite as glorious as it was midseason after having been trimmed considerably.)

Young put up 31 in the 90-77 win over UMass, a career high for Frank the Tank. His six three-pointers brought him to a tie for the WVU record for 3s in a season with 101, set by Chris Leonard in 1992.

Joe Alexander showed signs of picking up- going to the basket well, but still struggling from long range, he scored 9 on four field goals and a free throw. Darris Nichols chipped in 14, and Butler broke double digits with 10.

The game could have run a little smoother had the officiating not been so eager, whistling 35 total fouls. I will say that most of the fouls they called needed to be. They weren't whistling what I would call ticky-tack girly fouls, but something is up when you reach the double-bonus with more than nine and a half left in the second half.

Minuteman guard James Life gained no friends last night with a little unnecessary taunting of the Tank, and some bumping-not-quite-shoving-as-I-try-to-run-by-you kind of bullshit. Seriously, if I were Frank Young and you clap like that getting in my face- and I weren't in the Coliseum but rather in say... Long Beach (NC), with PW and Lala and prison numbers, I might have made pub mix out of him. Life put up 20, 9 over his average, and did drive well to the hole. He played well despite coming off as a jackass. But who am I to judge?

Mountaineers play winner of Marist and the Wolfpack on Tuesday in Morgantown. See ya there.

Round of Reubens

This Ruben made $1.5 million for 170 ABs in 2005In late game NIT action, WVU continued to be impressive with Frank Young playing the best game of his career. Frank scored 31 points on 11-15 shooting including 6-8 from three. The six makes ties Franks for the school record of 101 made threes in a season. The team shot over 50% for the second straight NIT game with 54.4% shooting (12-28 from three, 43%). It looks like this team is hitting it's stride just in time for the Big Dance.

Speaking of the Big Dance, Stanford proved all the doubters wrong. We way underestimated how bad they sucked. Stanford rallied from a 26 point half time deficit to get nipped at the end by 20 against Louisville. The same team WVU almost beat in regulation and the 1st overtime less than a week ago. Stanford shot a blazing 41% from the floor and were very crafty with the ball. Only 21 turnovers for the Cardinal. The NCAA selection committee should be ashamed, especially given how WVU and Syracuse are still playing. Stanford would have had a better chance letting the drunken tree play. Today all eyes should be on the other controversial selection of Arkansas. Maybe they can crap the bed as well.

And finally in community college/crapping the bed frequently news Marshall is going back on probation soon. Marshall Reynolds was banned in 2001 from any contact with the athletic program as part of his paying athletes for not working for him job program. His probation is over and he was just named to the committee to find the new basketball coach. So congratulations Marshall for doing what you do best; cheating and getting caught.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It is nice to be a VIP...

Not gonna lie to you, I am a big fan of the Sportsline NCAA March Madness on demand. Those of us who can't be at our favorite sports bar because we are stuck in the office are grateful. Despite having to go to a meeting at 1pm, and thus missing most of the second half- I was pleased to watch the Terps put Davidson away- I was nervous when I left my desk. That is as close to a live blog as I will ever get- I promise.

The Boss Button feature is nice. Much of the crap on my computer actually looks pretty much like the pseudo spreadsheet. Excellent touch.

Enjoy the madness.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NIT - Why does it hurt so bad?

So the therapist says, 'I can clearly see your nuts.'

It officially took 3 days and a smashing of Delaware State to recover from my shame. Ever since WVU finished 4-4 down the stretch, I suspected we would be left out of the big dance, so none of this came as a big surprised. But why did it hurt so bad? A few short years ago, we were grateful for an NIT birth, simply because there would be more opportunities to see our Mountaineers. Then, of course, things changed: Back-to-back sweet 16 appearances in 2005 and 2006. So yeah, this is a bit of a let down. But was it always so?

The NIT began in 1938, one year prior to the NCAA Invitational Tournament. That year, the NIT field was filled with modern day powerhouses (record entering tournament): Bradley (18-1), Colorado (14-5), Long Island (23-3), NYU (15-6), Oklahoma A&M (24-2) and Temple (20-2). Temple went on to win in a knee-biter over future Supreme Court Justine Byron White and his Buffs 60-36. I think that was the first year the Owls were coached by John Chaney. But then again, coaches weren't allowed to talk to their players during games in 1938, so its pretty much irrelevant. The low score by the Buffs was attributed to two reasons: 1) the all night stripper rape the night before and 2) the fact the circumference of the ball was changed to 30 inches from the very specific "eh, anywhere between 29 1/2 and 30 1/4 inches is cool with us" rule.

Even though the NCAA began the "Big Dance" the following year, the NIT paralleled inner city elementary schools by continuing a separate but equal existence well into the 60s. Interestingly, a few of the exceptional teams actually played in both tournaments, i.e. CCNY and Kentucky. During that time period, WVU's first appearance came in 1942 where the Mountaineers went on to win the tournament upending Western Kentucky 47-45. During the next 3 years, '43-'46, the winners of the two tournaments met in a unofficial game in Madison Square Gardens to benefit the Red Cross, which by that time was busy patching holes in the Greatest Generation. The NCAA winner won all 3 games (Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma A&M, respectively).

West Virginia also participated in the NIT, while it was still relevant, in 1945 (lost first round to DePaul), 1946 (lost semi-final to Kentucky) and 1947 (lost in a semi-final nail biter to Utah). No appearances in the NIT during its relevancy by Pitt, Virginia Tech or Maryland. Pitt first showed up in college basketball postseason play in 1941 when it lost in the NCAA East Finals to Wisconsin 36-30. During the same time period (between 1938 and 1960), WVU also appeared in the NCAA tournament 6 times (1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 when we finished runner-up and 1960) while Pitt showed up thrice (1941, 1957 and 1958). [All facts from Wikipedia and Infoplease.]

Eventually, money, corruption and ESPN came along. Increased field size and expanded television coverage began pushing the NCAA tournament to the forefront. Rumors exist that the NCAA also bullied invited teams into foregoing the NIT in favor of the NCAA Tournament. In 1974, a third national tournament, the Collegiate Commissioner's Association Tournament came along further diluting the NIT field. The CCAT, though, was as well conceived as the XFL, and died in just 2 years. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and the NIT has now been relegated to the tournament for 66th place.

But hell, at least we get to see our Mountaineers play a few more games, Alexander might find some shooting rythm, Patrick Beilein and Mike Gansy can film some more Lotto commercials and we can go on reporting on the basketball team. Afterall, we're facing the Sahara with a single Blue and Gold oasis between here and September 1st.

Round of Reubens

Behold the power of the orange shirt and C-level fameWent to the NIT last night and if I'd have known I had seats in the second row there would have been lots of cheerleader pictures today. WVU shot 55.6% from the floor and held Delaware State to 36.7% shooting. The key to the good shooting was ball movement and cuts as WVU shot only 20 threes making 7. The lead was 39-13 at the half. The only concern last night was the play of Joe Alexander. If WVU had made the Big tournament and he played as he did last night they may not have won a game. Joe played only 20 minutes last night and was 0-3 from three point range. His shooting slump is effecting his entire game as he seems disinterested and tentative in all areas of the game after missing a shot. Hopefully he can get it straightened out during this tournament. On the other end of the spectrum, Jamie Smalligan shot 6-6 against a team that had one player over 6'5" and he was only 6'9". WVU plays former A-10 foe UMass on Thursday, plenty of good seats still available.

The Charleston Gazette details the differences between Greg Frey at line coach and Rick Trickett who left for Florida State. No one on the team is bad-mouthing Trickett yet, but the consensus is that the linemen seem much happier. For any future line coaches out there just yell obscenities and try not to act too smart and you are half-way there.

Some guys are quiet and more cerebral, but I don’t know many line coaches who are that way. Not that he’s not cerebral, but Greg’s a typical offensive-line guy. He’s loud and he’ll get in your face.

MSNsportsnet has an article detailing the construction projects being undertaken this spring. Six projects will cost about $5 million to complete. Fortunately none of the projects include getting longer shorts for the women's volleyball team. Giggidy giggidy.

And finally, the Charleston Daily Mail details the switch from safety to linebacker for John Holmes. From Coach Rodriguez about Holmes, "He has grown in size," and Holmes himself is just worried about getting back in the groove. Of course he is.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A historical perspective

Go get your Uncle Saddam a smoke.Every family has that one person that causes unneeded embarassment. Whether it be an incompetent criminal, a child molester, a Nazi sympythizer, or a Marshall graduate there is always someone that causes the family shame. Our family is no different. We have a Maryland apologist. While other family members try to ignore the problem or pretend they aren't related I feel that the best way to deal with something like this, which is so painful, is to attack it head on. While he may never overcome his dimentia, at least I can say I tried to show him the way with "facts." And in the every cloud has a silver lining category I discovered a couple of new and interesting links while looking for historical facts on WVU and other schools in basketball and football.

The above links will take you to all time records in basketball and football respectively. I was pleasently surprised to discover that WVU is currently 26th all-time in basketball and tied for 15th in football. The only team in the top ten in both is God's America's NBC's team Notre Dame.

Some schools relevant to WVU fans:
Pitt is unranked in basketball (top 50 all-time only) and 21st in football;
Louisville is 23rd in basketball and 96th in football;
Penn St. unranked in basketball and 6th in football;
Virginia Tech is unranked in basketball and 22nd in football;
Marshall is unranked in basketball and 62nd in football; and
Maryland is unranked in basketball and 36th in football.

Now the all-time wins doesn't neccessarily correlate with a better program as Vanderbilt has more all time wins (football) than both Miami and Florida State and Fordham is number 35 in all time basketball wins, but it is interesting to see where your school ranks historically when compared to recently.

Another aspect of the football database is that if you go to Div I teams individually you can look at historical records vs. oppenents. For instance WVU is 28-22-1 vs. Virginia Tech, but 0-1 vs. Mahoning Cycle Club (OH) and we got beat 26-0. Those biking bastards.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sound Advice

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

Now I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I've done everything, but I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on, and a man would have to be some kind of FOOL to think we're alone in THIS universe.

Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says, "Give me your best shot. I can take it."

NIT '07- Path to Glory

Well, at least we nabbed a one seed. My own stab at the Mountaineers path through the bracket is as follows: (1) crush Del. State by double digits (2) top 'Bama by 4-6, yeah they beat UMass (3) squeak by OK State, sorry tummysticks- I think they will take the wolfpack, (4) on to Michigan, another close one (they will take Fla State, then Miss. State in a slight upset) Go Blue! (5) finally- we take the Orange in an all Big East NIT Championship.

Very little research went into this prediction, and naturally the Mountaineers win. This is how my NIT bracket looks, so if I am right I should be close to the winners circle.

The photo you see herein is a glorious pic I stole from EDSBS- it is very nice. Her friend closely resembles my trusty sidekick, only with longer hairs. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shit Weekend...

The following is a synopsis of my complaints over the weekend. Friday night could have gone better, I was pressured into retiring early for the evening- which might be more fun than watching purses, not sure. Saturday all in all was a wash. Sunday saw the Mounties get passed up for the big dance, two ex-mountie roundballers were picked up in a lotto spot by several blogs and were then mocked, one ex-mountie known for his legal troubles was accosted in a bowling alley, and I am still at work on Sunday night trying to forget all this.

Why couldn't they just let Pacman roll? Why did the WV lottery go that route? Why did the hour I lost seem to only enhance the hangover I just shook off? Why the hell are we NIT bound? At least Syracuse is there too. I was gonna be livid if they got in and we did not. waa waa.


WVU joined Syracuse, Florida State, and Kansas State (coached by WVU grad Bob Huggins) as some big conference schools missing the dance. Some matchups of interest for teams we know:

Maryland landed a 4-seed and could have Butler in the second round. Butler has beat Notre Dame, Indiana,Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Purdue this year already.

Pitt received a 3-seed and could play Duke in the second round. I've always said nothing can make me root for Duke, this will put that theory to the test.

VT got a 5-seed. One 5 seed always loses to a 12 seed, here's hoping Illinois is that 12.

Villanova has a first round match-up with Kentucky. A Big East team versus the team that is rumored to be enamored with Coach Beilein.

Louisville has Stanford and possibly then Texas A&M. They have also requested the referees from the game with WVU to have all of their remaining games. Forever.

Georgetown has a 2-seed and either Bobby Knight or Boston College in the second round. Either way I'm a Georgetown fan for the first week of the tournament.

Good luck to everyone with their brackets unless they are in a pool against me. But then if your against me you don't need it since I'll lose 3 of my Final 4 picks in the first day as usual.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Who's the best?

WVU's elimination in the Big East Tournament gave me some extra time and Mom always told me that idle hands are the devils playground. So I kept myself busy with another research project. This project is to find the best programs in both Football and Men's Basketball for the new millennium. Using final poll numbers I looked at the last 6 years of both football and basketball and eliminated all schools that did not have at least TWO teams in each poll over the six year span thus forcing some consistency in both sports. So USC is gone due to lack of basketball (sure to change in upcoming years if Smokedog Mayo can be as good as advertised and stay away from Snoop) and UNC for lack of football (Butch Davis may change that as well). The numbers were compiled as follows: 25 points for 1st, 24 for 2nd, down to 1 for 25th.

The results:

1. Texas--183 points (11 total placings out of 12 polls).
2. Oklahoma--167 points (11 total placings out of 12 polls).
3. Florida--141 points (10 total placings out of 12 polls).
4. LSU--132 points (7 total placings out of 12 polls).
5. Ohio State--108 points (7 total placings out of 12 polls).
6. Maryland--104 points (8 total placings out of 12 polls).
7. Wisconsin--88 points (7 total placings out of 12 polls).
8. Louisville--85 points (7 total placings out of 12 polls).
9. Tennessee--66 points (7 total placings out of 12 polls).
10. West Virginia--63 points (5 total placings out of 12 polls).
11. Boston College--55 points (6 total placings out of 12 polls).
12. Pittsburgh--52 points (5 total placings out of 12 polls).
13. Notre Dame--49 points (5 total placings out of 12 polls).


SEC--3 teams
Big East--3 teams
ACC--2 teams
Big 10--2 teams
Big 12--2 teams

It is interesting to me that only 13 schools qualified, I would have guessed more schools made the final poll in both at least 33% of the time.

Friday, March 9, 2007

yeah, just three girls making out

West Virginia native Bob Starkey is now the active coach of the LSU womens basketball program after Pokey Chatman was forced to abruptly resign this week.

From the Daily Mail:

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported on its Web site Thursday that the resignation was prompted by the school's discovery of alleged inappropriate conduct between the 37-year-old Chatman and one or more players. Later, reported LSU had found out about an alleged improper sexual relationship between Chatman and a former player.

Excuse to post a Pearl Jam video

So far everything is quiet on the football front regarding spring practice. With the success of the offense over the past couple of years everyone is turning their heads to the defensive side of the ball. In the upcoming season the defense will be constantly under the microscope. The big question is whether the 3-3-5 stack will be consistent enough against the pass to allow us to shut down good passing teams. The linebackers may be on the hot seat the most as the pass rush has been the biggest concern the last few years in big games. The next step in this defense has to be getting pressure on the quarterback or covering up the receivers. The coaches feel as if the defensive scheme should allow this to happen if the players step up. While that may sound like oversimplification, just remember the quantum leap the offense took when Slaton and White took over. Big results can occur from small changes although it takes time. However, if the defense doesn't posses the ability to make the necessary changes it may be time to go a different direction. Adapt to survive or get past by. It's evolution baby.

Our Hodge-Podge Page

This post is just to comment on the eclectic nature of the beast that is Pinfall Marks. As you scroll down this page, you are taken on this journey- from a dog shitting to a sweet ass, then to some NASCAR action (why?), followed by some bullshit about Borat, some yummy Pub Mix, a reubens reference (also yummy), penguin waa waa, an actual sports bit, a pic of Pryor, and finally back to the Penguins waa waa.

I dunno why we can't be full-time bloggers. This is all encompassing shit here. I will not even begin to consider addressing the pearls of wisdom contained within the comment threads. woot. Oh yeah, the animal you see pictured- as if you did not know- is a yak.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


The RPI is 59 and falling. Poop. That game isn't worth a good swear word, just a half-hearted little kid swear. The reason? We could sit and bitch about the lack of starting the clock at the end of regulation or the fact Sosa took three steps or Ruoff getting thrown to the ground at the end of the first overtime, but I prefer to think about the heart this team showed. It's disappointing, but not soul-crushing like Texas last year.

Another slow start for WVU in both halves created some huge holes to dig out of, but the team kept coming. Louisville shot 46%. Not terrible defense, but they did shoot 60% from two. It would have gotten ugly if WVU hadn't forced tricked Louisville into thinking they could shoot threes at about the 15 minute mark of the second half. Darris Nichols played FIFTY minutes. Frank Young scored 19 in 45 minutes. Butler scored 17 in 32 minutes and Smalligan 13 in 36 minutes. The difference in this game was Ruoff and Alexander. Sometimes we forget how young they are. Everyone waited for Alexander to have a breakout tournament and become a star. He played young. 0 for 6, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in only 25 minutes. Ruoff struggled too. 2 for 13 from the field. In the second overtime the team was on fumes as the five on the court had been there for both overtimes and the last 5 minutes of regulation. Louisville scored the first 9 points off of simple drive and dish as the man to man defense couldn't slow down penetration. Committing 11 turnovers while forcing only 12 was a major difference and coupled with the lack of three makes (7-32, 22%) caused us to die by the sword. But I'll be damned if WVU hasn't been fun to watch again this year and that is a surprise. Everyone would have been happy with the NIT before the season, but now? Poop.

An Argentinian Friend of the Bastards...

As the Cars Turn - Pilot Edition

Tony Stewart, still convinced that the world is out to get him and still faking his "nice guy" persona, is heart broken that one more person has turned his back on our poor Number 20. Bruton Smith, owner of the Las Vegas and Texas Motor Speedways, reconstructed the speedway in the Sin City to include more steeply banked turns and a therapist center in the infield. Bruton insists he made the changes to improve racing at the oval, but Tony has other ideas. "He just hates me! I've performed so well at that track and that mean old man just wants to see me struggle. You like me right? . . . Well, at least I still have my 36th birthday celebration coming up in May. Its going to be great! Jimmy [Johnson] said he would come and bring some friends. He's so dreamy! I just hope he doesn't bring Jeff with him. It got ugly last time Jeff came to a party. He drank a few Zimas and started pinching some other drivers' butts. I thought Martin was gonna pummel him."

Jimmy Johnson later told me he would not be attending Tony's birthday bash. "I have way too much pootang to hit to go to that sausage fest. Tom [Brady] is up 2-0 right now. I've got to put some more effort in. But hey, I think Jeff's going, which is good because its hard to pick up chicks when your teammate is sitting on your lap all night."

Dale, Jr. told me he plans to continue faking mechanical issues and spins as further punishment to his evil stepmother. We all remember how unfair it was when she refused to hand over a majority interest in DEI, Inc. to Dale, Jr.

The feud between Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya continues to spiral out of control. Angry that JPM did something Pruett has been unable to do in stock cars, specifically: win a race, Pruett called JPM's driving "dirty, dirty, down right dirty driving" or something like that. JPM laughed it off like Peyton Manning laughing off a critique by Sean Salisbury. Angered further by this disrespect, Pruett conspired with border agents to block JPM's return to the states. JPM was last seen being chased by Minutemen in the Arizona desert.

Will anyone commit to Tony's birthday bash? Will Montoya get to Vegas in time for the race? Tune in next week for the next installment of As the Cars Turn.

Mountain State in Moviefilm

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, released on DVD Tuesday, contains among the special features a deleted scene purporting to take place in West Virginia. The scene depicts Borat in an animal shelter seeking to adopt a dog that can be easily trained to attack the Jew.

He smells a dogs ass at close range for about 30 seconds, and instructs the lady working there to hold her fingers against her head like horns and say "shalom" just before he asks how long he must cook the dog before sex.

Long story short, the opening of the scene credits "Denton County, West Virginia." I have never been to, or for that matter even heard of a "Denton County" but I have seen it on the screen- so it must exist. I checked the interweb just to make sure, and they have not heard of it either. I am still pretty sure it is out there though. Woot. Let's Go Snakes.

Look what LaLa brought me

When snowed in yesterday there was nothing to do but watch basketball all day. Watching sports all day can be very tiring, so you need to stock up on snacks. With the roads a mess the idea of pizza and wings was out due to undergrad delivery guys slamming into ditches at an alarming rate. So I went with the new snack of champions. Pub mix. Whether with beer, liquor, or just a Dew if you are not inclined to the adult beverages there is nothing better. You can't find a better snack that will fit in LaLa's backpack and still have an aroma pleasing to a dog's snout. Oh, and we will only beat Louisville tonight if either Joe Mazzulla or Da'Sean Butler have a career game (just a hunch).

Oh and in other Penguin news according to the AP:

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins owner Ron Burkle traveled to Las Vegas to meet with the mayor and discuss the possibility of relocating the team there.
Burkle, who lives in Los Angeles, led a delegation in talks with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, according to Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan.
Meanwhile, Burkle and co-owner Mario Lemieux all prepared to meet with state, county and local officials on Thursday in Philadelphia to try to resolve differences over plans for a new arena in Pittsburgh.Elena Owens, a spokeswoman for Goodman, confirmed the meeting with Penguins officials.

Round of Reubens

David Teel, whoever the hell that is, has deemed WVU unworthy of a NCAA bid unless they can pull off the upset tonight:

Some believe WVU locked up a bid with Wednesday's victory over Providence. Not me. That's only the Mountaineers' fourth top-100 victory, far fewer than other bubble squads, including Old Dominion (six). A win in today's Big East quarters gives WVU a much better case.
Meanwhile, these guys think we're in:
The Mountaineers' RPI is 58 with a strength of schedule of 121. Those aren't good numbers. But they also have a signature win over UCLA. Not to mention on Wednesday night, West Virginia made a Big East tournament-record 17 3-pointers and beat Providence in the opening round of the Big East Tournament. "When we shoot like that we're a tough out," WVU coach John Beilein said. "I think the best idea for everyone in the country is just to keep winning," Beilein said. "I know the NCAA selection committee does a terrific job, but we just need to keep winning and not worry about any of that." Verdict: Should be in now.
AwfulAnnouncing, a blog fundamentally more in support of live-blogging than us, is having a vote to see which game, surprise, they'll live blog tonight. WVU-Louisville is one of the selections. May be worth checking in on occasionally tonight. I normally wouldn't have posted this, but AA posted a picture of my dad earlier:

Nate Sowers has officially been moved to starting wide receiver. Tummysticks is all for it. (I can't find the link anymore.)

Tom Brady has knocked up his second world-class beauty in a span of 2 months.

Kurt Angle, of WWF WWE fame, has been implicated with (Gasp!) anabolic steroids.

And finally, I think WVU might have a bit of a big game tonight.

Waa waa. Waa.

Here you see yours truly doing his best to score a job fetching beers, booze, pub mix and delicious sammies for some unsuspecting family in need of a messenger penguin. Waa waa.
I also thought this would be a nice chance for a wise-ass comment contest. Waa waa.
I am afraid to post any analysis of tonights match-up. Louisville is scary. I think about Smalligan and try to assure myself everything will be fine- but then I think about being a #1 seed in the fuckin' NIT and I get a little pissy. Waa.

Updated Big East Bracket

I'm pretty worthless right now... well, actually most of the time, but exceptionally worthless right now because I'm too busy trying to get in billable hours. But I'm pretty quick with MS Paint, so here's your updated Big East bracket. Click to zoom.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I aint dead yet

Richard Pryor had a tribute named after him with the above title. Why did I use Pryor? Because if WVU keeps playing this type of defense I'm going to need some crack.

Efejuku (again?) and Hill started fast for Providence, WVU missed some threes and started in a hole. Then when all hope seems lost WVU went on a 19-4 to end the half as the threes started falling. 8 of 17 from three in the first half.

The circle and stand with arms in the air defense worked well at the end of the first half and in the beginning of the second half. Unfortunately, Providence eventually realized that they are allowed to dribble or jump and that defense is spent allowing Providence to creep back into the game.

Frank picks up number 4 with 9 minutes to go. In a four point game the five on the floor: Rob Summers, Wellington Smith, Alexander Ruoff, Darris Nichols, and Da'Shawn Butler. I need LaLa to bring me shots. Immediate 7-0 run, who knew? Putting that group together in the key stretch of the game = huge balls; getting it to work = great coach. Of course if it doesn't you're an idiot, but in this case it worked.

Some quick stats. Providence shot 51% from the field; made all of their free throws and shot 62% from 3, out rebounded WVU, and still lost by 13. How? Tonight we won by the sword. We hit 17 of 32 threes(53%) and WVU outscored Providence by 21 from beyond the arc. I don't think we can keep this up without a little bit of defense though. One more win and we are in, in the meantime I'm going to have a talk with Mudbone.

I need that!

It snowed a bunch here earlier today. I was looking at leftovers in the fridge with both distaste and distrust, but the roads were too bad go out and get anything. Then I remembered LaLa. I wish I had a penguin that would go to Sheetz for me pulling a cart he could load up with beer, hotdogs, and darts for the Aussie. I tried to get the little dogs to go but Fredo wouldn't even leave the porch to pee and Vedder can't walk further than 3 feet if there is snow on the ground before she starts limping. Plus penguins make that cool noise, waaawaaa. Or at least every Penguin in the Batman movies/shows/cartoons made that noise. I'm sure they were accurate in their depiction of the bird, I mean all penguins smoke and carry umbrellas too, don't they?

Round of Reubens

According to this article in the Daily Mail, WVU needs to attempt fewer three pointers in this game versus Providence. Really? I mean last time when we shot 41 you don't think that was good? Our reaction to that game was here.

March 15-17 seven WVU wrestlers will compete in the NCAA tournament at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit. I don't know if having a wrestling tournament, even without Stone Cold Steve Austin, in Detroit is the smartest idea. I did see that whole Ron Artest Brawl. Anyway, from the Daily Mail:

Rogers, a heavyweight, and 157-pounder Fryling join automatic qualifiers Mark Anderson (133), Brandon Rader (141), David Jauregui (149), Kurt Brenner (174) and Jared Villers (197). All earned automatic bids at the Eastern Wrestling League Championships this past weekend.

Good luck and watch out for any wrestlers with managers, those guys always seem to get involved somehow and the ref never sees it, it's crazy

WVU may have also picked up another late recruit for the 2006 season. The post signing day boon seems to continue (they must have seen the recruiting video or the girls kissing, probably the girls kissing) as Alric Arnett of Butler Community College for a year and Scottsdale Community College for a year has signed on to play for the Mountaineers. Alric (whose name is pronounced like the Chinese restaurant singers in "A Christmas Story" trying to say Alex) led his team with 10 catches for 100 yards last year and is considered a speed receiver. 10 catches led the team? Either Scottsdale REALLY likes to run the ball or had a rash of severe accidents/deaths at the quarterback position this year.