Monday, December 31, 2007

Don't Be This Guy Tonight

Hat tip to Erik @ Deep South Sports for posting this gem.

Have fun tonight! But for God's sake don't kill yourself, because I have a great post lined up for tomorrow that you're going to need to be alive to read! M'kay?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bob Huggins does not like wasted beer.

What's more embarrassing: being a fan thrown out of a close ballgame on the verge of OT or having a state civic center still equiped with a 1972 Radio Shack microphone?

Regardless, OT has just begun a WVU is finally taking charge of this ballgame.

I'm sure someone will post more later.

Update: yeah, that part about WVU taking control of this game... not so much.

Friday, December 28, 2007

This Week in Subscriptions:12/28/07

This week in subscriptions is a randomly obvious look at things we can't see without a subscription. And since I'm a cheap bastard (damn, I should change my name) I'll be opining on what could possibly be behind the firewall of money.

One Size Doesn't Fit All- The John Holmes Story. Wow, this is going to be easy!

Stewart's Stamp- In his spare time, WVU interim head football coach is a stamp collector. He once met Elvis and was a driving force behind the post office issuing the Elvis collector's stamps.

WVU Loses Two Players to Academics-I just have to call BS on this one since everyone knows it's Adam Bednarik and Mike Bilokonsky. Do you get the juicy details on what questions they missed on their finals?

City of Palms: Day Two Rundown- Great! The International Masturbation Association is having it's yearly convention.

Schools Begin to Emerge With Bajok- More on the the masturbation convention. See also: Majok on Display in the States, Circle City Classic Recap, and Fit at Both Ends.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lazy Mountaineer Links

I sympathize with everyone out there that is just plain tired of waiting and worrying about who the next coach will be. I'm so tired of thinking about it or trying to come up with the next angle on it. If the administration is thinking about holding off on an announcement until after the bowl, how's bout throwing the dog a bone? We'd all like to get back to our lives, or get back to selling our beard.

Josh Jenkins has withdrawn his commitment from WVU. That doesn't mean that he isn't going to end up signing for WVU, but until a new coach is named he's playing out his options. We'd all like to think that he would stay with West Virginia no matter what, but he shouldn't be criticized about it. He has a bright future ahead of him, and this is going to be a big decision for him. If I had my way, I would stay as far away as possible from the flesh merchant world that is college football recruiting.
But Jenkins is a little special since he is a WV native.

Pat White intends to be back at WVU next season. Just in case you needed a reason to smile. Steve Slaton is testing the waters, and should. Not that I want him to leave, but if he has a chance to be drafted where he wants to be drafted he needs to grab that gold while it's out there. So yeah, I hope there are a lot of stupid general managers out there that don't see a great pick when they see one. Speaking of that, Owen Schmitt is "hoping" to be drafted. If you watched the Maryland-WVU game when the announcers were telling Ray Lewis how much Schmitt could lift and seeing the surprise on Lewis's face, you knew it meant something. There's still a need for a fullback that can line up at tight end in the NFL.

West By God has stayed on top of the Jones interviews/withdraws/retraction of withdraw story by Sporting News. I have to say that I was impressed with Central Michigan last night. Not that I think Perdue is anything special, but bringing the team out the way he did for the second half was most impressive. My only question, what happened in the first half that he had to whip out the mother of all pep talks?

Angry Eer has a message for Rodriguez.

Did you ever wish you were somewhere else?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


But I didn't say fudge when I found out that Jimbo Fisher wasn't going to be the new coach of the Mountaineers. No, I used the big one! The F--- word! Mainly because if Jimbo Fisher would have been named the coach, that would mean that Terry Bowden would not be the coach. And that would have made me happy. I probably would have used the same word, but it would have had a completely different meaning. But now chances are much better that I will be using that word again. Because Terry Bowden's chances are much better to be our next coach.

I still say that WVU is crazy not to at least look at Bud Foster. Screw the fact that he coaches at Virginia Tech. In all this race to get a "West Virginia Guy" we've forgotten that we just lost a "West Virginia Guy." Foster is a proven commodity. There is no question that he can teach, and there is no question that he is a motivating force on that team.

It's about time that we quit being afraid that someone is going to leave us, because it just happened. Let's get the best guy for the job. And if he leaves, we get the best guy for the job. There is a pretty rich talent pool of able coaches out there year after year. If we get someone that people want to steal away, that means we're pretty good!!! Let that sink in for a second. Now say it with me, we want to be good more than we want to have the same coach for the next twenty years.

I liked Don Nehlen. He was great for West Virginia. Not just WVU Football. But he also used to drive me bat shit crazy with his lack of confidence. Playing not to lose. Lack of control of the team the night before the Sugar Bowl. And on and on and on.

We should be looking for someone that is motivated to make themselves eligible for other, higher paying jobs. Not someone that wants to retire here upon taking the job. And that tells me all I want to know about Terry Bowden. I'm sure he's a heck of a guy, but that's not necessarily what I want in a coach. I want someone here that is looking to make a name for themselves, not living off their father's.

But hey, I just wrote a song called Mercenary for Hire. Don't listen to me.

Merry Christmas Mountaineer Fans!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Congrats Huggy Bear!

Huggy got his 600th win today. More to follow asap.

Family commitments and a shortened work week (without shortened hours) have prevented me from providing you with valuable insight into Huggy's 600th win. I apologize for this. This Saturday the Mounties meet Oklahoma in Chucktown. I will not be in attendance, but will be taking in the sights from tummystick's couch. Regular roundball updates should resume at that point.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Battle lines

Mike Puskar has come out and publicly sided with Pastilong/Parsons in the whole Rodriguez and his booster vs. the athletic department feud.

“It seems the boosters want to run the program,” he began, when reached at his office on Wednesday. “That’s not the way it should be. You should give money if you feel you should and stay out it. It just isn’t good for the boosters to be involved in running things. That’s when you run into trouble. I’ve never seen a program where the boosters got involved where it did not fall apart.”
Governor Manichin appears to have fallen in with the Ps as well.
"If they have concerns, let's sit down and look at them," the governor said. "If you have concerns and input, there should be an avenue for you to be heard. With that being said, you have to trust the people in charge."
These two along with the possibility that Garrison joined up doomed the power play by Rodriguez from the start. Why is Manchin joining with Puskar against his good buddy Rodriguez? Maybe loyalty to the state. Or maybe because his daughter has gone from a data entry clerk to the COO of Mylan in which she banks $500,000/year with a bonus of up to $375,000 and stock option for 100,000 shares. And if that isn't political enough for you check this out, she may have also falsely acquired an MBA from WVU according to the Post-Gazette. Which if it is true means that Manchin and Puskar are controlling a lot more than the athletic department. Let's hope this gets 1/10th of the moral outrage of Rodriguez leaving or his boosters or the athletic department's faults.

Finally, not to make Rodriguez or his side look to clean in anything we should point out that he may have made things even worse than fans thought. According to the Charleston Gazette Rodriguez called WVU recruits before announcing his resignation and talked to them about switching over to Michingan. This is bad enough, but it gets worse. The calls were placed during a "dark period" which is a time when a school can only place one phone call per week to a recruit. Since RR had not made an announcement yet, he was technically calling on behalf of West Virginia University and WVU officials cannot call until next week. This means that WVU recruits heard from Rich Rodriguez last week while he was pressuring them to switch to Michigan and they could not hear from anyone else for a week from WVU to reassure them that WVU still was interested and stable. Ouch.

Oh and Rodriguez was a dick to the Michigan assistants too.

Pre-Christmas Links

Governor not involved in WVU coaching search- See also, I was born with one leg, Barry Manilow Rocks!, smoking promotes healthy lungs, and of course, Christmas is really about praising the lord.

WVU recruits rethinking their options- Josh Jenkins will not be going to Michigan, but not so sure if he will still be coming to WVU.

Puskar speaks- Maybe other booster should follow his lead.

How to win friends and influence people- The Rich Rodriguez Story.

Mountaineer bballers feel football teams pain- And then quickly put their hands back in their pockets.

Maybe Barwis isn't going to Michigan- We can only pray!

Oh yeah, I'm on a podcast again

More update goodness with

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doc Holiday: I know the name, but....

Yeah, with my blood lust to welcome Bud Foster as the next head coach at West Virginia I was kind of put out that D0c Holiday already has the inside track. Mainly because I just don't know that much about him off the top of my head. While I've seen Bud Foster's defense at work for a very long time. And I've always been impressed no matter how many times I farted in their general direction.

But if Holiday is to be the next coach. I thought I would look around and see what I could find out about him. And yes,that picture you see in the post below this one is the only good photo I could find. And yes, I am scared! How would you like to have a one on one interview with that? I mean, damn! Those eyes will stop you in your tracks and make you beg for mercy. Maybe that's his big secret to recruiting.

Look into my eyes! Repeat after me, I want to play for WVU

Yeah, all your recruitz belong to us now! Seriously though, OS will like this, he was born in 1957. So if things don't work out, OS can pay him a visit and talk him out of football. But he did play linebacker for WVU in the Frank Cignetti days and immediately became a grad assistant when he finished with school.

Time out, they are doing a special presentation for Darrius Nichols. I bring this up because West Virginia is on the road tonight playing Radford. I have never heard of a school doing a special presentation for an opposing player. Nichols is from Radford, Va. So, thats damn classy of you Radford! The next round is on me.

Back to our story: Holiday was an assistant with West Virginia for 20 years where he was the receivers coach from 83 to 90. And coached the linebackers from 90 to 92 until going back to receivers coach in 93. And in 1995 he was named assistant head coach while still coaching the receivers. In 2000 he moved to NC State, and was associate head coach with Chesty McSunglasses.

And then he went to Florida in 2005 to be associate head coach and safeties coach. More importantly, he was recruiting coordinator for Florida.

So what does West Virginia need? Are we looking for someone that is going to move right in and work the defense and allow someone with a good understanding of the spread offense to run things? Or are we looking for an offensive minded coach? Either way, the coach is going to have to be a recruiting demon. So that makes me like Holiday a whole lot more. I still lean a little toward Foster, just because I really really enjoyed the few times West Virginia has had a dominating defense. Canute Curtis yaw! You know what I'm talking about!

Finally, about this buyout thing. I saw this post over at The Wizard of Odds. And I thought our legal mind/s could tackle this a bit if they thought it was on target, or post worthy.

Round of Reubens

Coaching news edition:

Former WVU coach Rich Rodriguez is now officially former after moving up the resignation date to midnight last night. Then rumors started saying that boosters were trying to force out Pastilong and bring back Rodriguez at the last minute. It would have worked, however, no one could find a white horse for Rich to ride into town on.

Michigan fans can celebrate, just not in West Virginia. The link is to a DJ in Charleston that is a Michigan grad and felt it appropriate to play the Michigan fight song four times in one morning. He was suspended.

Back in Morgantown Bill Stewart has been named as the interm coach for the Fiesta Bowl. The coaching search continues or at least the facsimile of a search continues. It appears as though only candidates with WVU or West Virginia ties are being considered. So despite practically begging for an interview, Bud Foster remains on the sidelines watching. The most common names brough up at this point are Terry Bowden and John Holliday. Looks like the old boy network is alive and well with Pastilong to bring in someone he can control. My source (that is right just one source, but he was right about Beilein a month before anyone heard anything) has stated that Doc is going to get the job by the end of the week. I am not jumping up and down on that news. More to follow if/when it is made official.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

OS is back from 1957... maybe

Just in case no one noticed, and I doubt they have, I haven't posted in about 2 months. Tummysticks and johnny have done a damn fine job covering the current situation (without resorting to simply making shit up).

In September, Mrs. Option Spread decided we were going to participate in a time travel experiment. On November 1st, we traveled approximately 50 years into the past and I now live on a farm, drive a tractor, tend to animals and other such associated miscellany. The biggest adjustment, unfortunately, is that no internet exists in 1957.
Fortunately, my smart phone, which I took with me, was specially equiped to communicate with those living in your times. Blogging, obviously, is particularly cumbersome by phone. However, the events which have transpired this past weekend at WVU have compelled me to deal with these Tic Tac sized keys and get reinvolved with the blog.

But its getting late and this took forever to type out. Hopefully this posts correctly and confirms that I can again contribute to the Bastard Sons of Pinfal Marks.

It's going to get ugly

And pretty damn fast. This whole situation is going soap opera in the he said/she said aspects. ESPN has reported that Rodriguez is going to contest the buyout. Not a surprise, but that means the dirty laundry is going to get aired.

Ken Kendrick, a primary West Virginia athletics donor and close friend of Rodriguez, said Tuesday he had knowledge of lawyers' intentions to contest the buyout.

"I will be a witness to any and all proceedings that occur," said Kendrick, who is the managing general partner of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. "They baited and switched him. Rich was boxed in by a university and athletic department that was arrogant, mean-spirited and intellectually bankrupt.

"How can someone like me now commit money to this university?"
Meanwhile the University has fired back for the first time through the Board of Governors.
"The University and the Board listen to their suggestions, as we listen to students, alumni, faculty and staff," Goodwin said. "People who are successful in other areas of life often have important insights into how we operate, how we are perceived, and how we can improve the University.

"At the end of the day, the University is governed by its Board and its President, and the people they appoint to positions of responsibility. Making donations to a public university does not entitle anyone to dictate policy or personnel.

Want some more? Here you go:
The statement also said that West Virginia went "to the ends of the earth" to keep Rodriguez, pointing out that:

His salary increased by 70 percent.
His assistant coaches had their salaries increased.
A $2 million academic center was built for the football program.
Construction has started on a $6 million locker room renovation.
Goodwin said "very minor issues" were raised by Rodriguez to the administration and "people were working on them."

Goodwin also said Rodriguez "clearly was looking for (an) excuse to leave -- he looked last year and again this year."
This will get worse before it gets better. Both sides are making black and white arguments while the truth is probably very gray. The administration is engulfed in smoke and there has to be fire in there somewhere. On the other side Rodriguez went behind WVU's back for a second straight year and would probably continue to do so. To pretend that either side is an innocent victim is delusional. Rodriguez is going to continue to launch bombs via his booster friends and lawyer while the school can keep releasing statements but the mud is being flung fast and furious. All the while WVU has no coach and the prospective coaches have to be taking notes. Other successful coaches on WVU staffs should probably turn their phones off now unless they want calls from all over the country asking if they may want to run a different program.

What does this mean?

It took me all night to digest the article below and what it may mean to WVU. First of all don't think that the article lets Rodriguez off the hook for his faults in this mess. He played Alabama for a raise and improvements a year ago and was willing to do it again this year with Michigan. At some point the athletic department was going to stand up and say no. As in many game situations it appears that Rodriguez had never contemplated a plan B. The plan was keep bulling ahead on the same gameplan which meant throw a fit and leave.

However, it is crazy for WVU fans to continue to vilify coaches as they are fleeing like rats off a sinking ship without ever stopping to wonder why so many want out. Beilein was a crook that hated West Virginia. Rodriguez was a money whore. But what about Shelly Poe, or the swimming coach, or Nikki Izzo-Brown, or Whit Babcock? These were all successful coaches and administrators that were willing to get out of dodge ASAP. Izzo-Brown was the only soccer coach ever for WVU women. You think she just decided that she wanted to move to Michigan because of the night life? Each of these situations are different, but all ended the same; with a WVU job search. Hell, this blog is less than a year old and this will be the fourth coach of WVU men's major programs we've covered.

From what I can gather the Beilein and Rodriguez sagas both ended in very similar manners. First it is no question that both have huge egos. However, most D-I coaches are funny like that. I think it is the power and the worship from fans. Maybe. Anyway, both ended with the coaches basically in a non-communication with the athletic department after many confrontations. Both ended up leaving for a wash money wise after the buyouts. According to most fans it was completely the fault of both of them. Yet here's the thing with Rodriguez. He left over some very small things. He also tried to hold the athletic department hostage for a second straight year only Pastilong called his bluff this time. Rich may not always be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but isn't that saying something about the relationship, or lack thereof, that Rodriguez was doing this again a year later? If there is no relationship, no give and take, then Rodriguez is going to follow his gameplan win or lose as we have seen over and over. He isn't going to start passing in the fourth quarter against 10 men fronts when he hasn't all game and he isn't going to quit fighting for what he wants including going to the well of "I'll leave." Good or bad that is who he is.

The other troubling aspect of that article besides all the people leaving the athletic department is that donors are speaking out and speaking about withholding donations. The money guys like to stay quiet. But they also REALLY know what is going on. For them to speak out means they think something is rotten in Denmark. The other aspect is that WVU doesn't have hundreds of bigtime donors. Losing 5 millionaires that love sports isn't a big deal for Ohio State, but it is for WVU.

This is actually the first test for the Garrison administration as it's been pretty smooth sailing up until now. Hardesty took some heat from the Alabama flirtations last year as he was an easy scape goat since he was on the way out. Not so easy now. And Pastilong and Parsons aren't going down without a fight even if that is the way Garrison would lean. Pastilong has been at WVU for almost 30 years and if you know anything about the state it's that he didn't get where he is without some damn good connections. Taking out the AD or Mike Parsons might be more than Garrison wants to bite off right now even if that is something he wanted to do. However, if there aren't going to be any shake-ups in the athletic department than some fences better get mended pretty quickly and someone needs to keep Mike Carey, Marlon LeBlanc, Craig Turnbull, Sean Cleary, and Linda Budette out of the state of Michigan for the foreseeable future.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Good God

Chuck Finder of the Post-Gazette has interviewed many of the big time donors for WVU and to put it lightly they are not happy. This doesn't look good. Here are some of the lowlights, but read it yourself.

First up is Bob Reynolds his bio is here:

"I've had calls from at least six major contributors to the program, and they're all done [donating] because they know the Mickey Mouse things that have gone on there," Mr. Reynolds continued. "I've been in business 36 years, and it's the worst business decision I've ever seen. I've been the COO of a 45,000-person company. When somebody's producing, you ask, 'What can I do for you to make your life better?' Not 'What can I do to make your life more miserable?' They have no idea how big this is. It's frightening."

Mr. Reynolds declined to discuss it, but one source said he informed university officials yesterday that he planned to withdraw $12 million in donations he pledged to the school.
Next up Earl G. "Ken" Kendrick Jr.

"I'm severely disappointed in leadership. I'm discouraged by the decision-making and lack of judgment. And the lack of respect for key employees -- because this isn't just about Rich, he's just the most high-profile one. It's a sad story. It's compelling to me as somebody who's given emotional and financial support to the university. And it makes it questionable to me as I go forward."

Finally, Dean Harley:
"It is frustrating to me that when push came to shove, we weren't included in a possible solution," said Wheeling, W.Va., lawyer Dean Hartley, who last year donated toward VIP seating added to Mountaineer Field. "We were not asked to do anything that would bridge the divide that had developed obviously between the administration and Rich. Over the weekend, I've just been bitter over the way it was handled, especially knowing that it wasn't about Rich getting a raise."

According to the article the negotiations were over the following:

• Allow at least an additional $100,000 in bonus money for his assistants.

• Allow scholarship players to retain possession of textbooks at the end of each term, which meant they could have sold them, as apparently happens at other programs.

• Waive a $5 ticket fee for each high-school football coach attending Mountaineer home games, a fee that generates an estimated $5,000 for the university each season.

• Hire seven graduate assistants and a new recruiting coordinator, to ease the duties performed by secondary coach Tony Gibson.

"You could do them in 15 minutes," Mr. Reynolds said of the wish list.

WVU officials did not act because they felt the Michigan offer was forcing their hand despite boosters wanting to pick up the tab since most of the demands were in the original contract negotiations from last year.

And the final tally thus far:
Mr. Hartley said he found it "amazing" that in the last year, WVU lost its basketball coach, John Beilein, to Michigan; the head of the Mountaineer Athletic Club, Whit Babcock, who was instrumental in last December's rally that kept Mr. Rodriguez, to Missouri; the swimming coach, Sergio Lopez, after winning the Big East title, to a Jacksonville, Fla., high school swimming program; and women's soccer coach, Nikki Izzo-Brown.
These are richter scale type revelations because these guys don't go on record unless...

Round of Reubens

Rumors and innuendo edition:

The Post-Gazette has added some fuel to the speculation about the athletic department/Rodriguez deterioration of relationship fire.

One promise, made when he signed the contract in August, about facility improvements was already being withdrawn, he felt. Rodriguez supposedly never asked to revisit that contract or his financial terms Saturday, but he invoked that August promise along with additional requests such as increased pay for assistants. Yet Garrison and the others rebuffed his requests.

The Daily Mail's Mike Casazza has a blog in which he has revealed that WVU women's soocer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown has interviewed for the job at Michigan.
Sources say women’s soccer Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown interviewed with Michigan this month to be the next coach there. Izzo-Brown could not be reached for comment Sunday.
WVU has officially asked the last coach out of the athletic department to turn off all the lights.

Head coaching candidate names are flying fast and furious. You can always judge the rationality of a fanbase by the names that start floating around when a coaching job opens up. Here's a name. Darth Vader. One hell of a disciplinarian, but known to switch sides so might jump Michigan.

Moving Forward

Rich to Michigan happened pretty damn quick and may have caught the athletic department off guard. Especially considering Pastilong didn't even know there was a meeting. However, given Beilein last year and Alabama last year they better have an emergency list of coaches on hand at all times that they are breaking the glass on now.

As of now the athletic department has not even named an interim coach. The reason is probably due to the resignation letter of Rogriguez in which he wrote that he would step down on January 3rd, after the Fiesta Bowl. The thinking is that if an interim is named then WVU would breach the contract and forfeit the buyout. I am not an employment lawyer, but I would assume this is a non-issue. The reason? Common sense. If I tell my company that I'm quitting in a month and then immediately fly out to California and start working for another firm I believe they can hire another person to my position. The contract is over due to the actions of Rodriguez even if he states he is still working. Another analogy is that if I hire you to paint my house and you accept but start painting another house during the period I am paying you then you aren't working under my contract. Besides I don't think Rich is allowed to recruit for Michigan if he is still technically the WVU coach.

This brings up the bowl game. WVU is in a BCS game and has no coach. In addition Calvin McGee and Tony Gibson are gone and Rodriguez has hinted at more defections. McGee is offensive coordinator and Gibson the lead recruiter and head of recruiting. This means WVU has no offensive coordinator for a BCS game. Maybe Pat White can call the game himself, he may even throw a few passes.

Losing Gibson and Rodriguez during recruiting will be the biggest impact. Rich has stated that he will call the WVU recruits, despite the public shaming of Rick Trickett last year for doing similar things after going to FSU. Pryor is gone, Jenkins will likely follow. Most of the Western PA kids have looked away from WVU in the last few weeks and that won't change now. All WVU commits are now open game and if not to Michigan than everywhere else.

This brings up the urgency for a new coach. A new coach is needed in order to patch the holes in recruiting. In addition the new coach is going to have to deal with possible transfers and kids leaving. Top rumors include Slaton gone, White to baseball and Devine to transfer. Of all of those only the Slaton one seems legit. But the right coach could change that as well, remember Kragethorpe had one great victory last year and that was keeping Brohm. And say what you want about Louisville's hire of Kragethorpe, but they knew who they were dealing with in Petrino and had a short list available at all times. Hope the WVU administration is similar.

Which brings up the last talking point. The WVU athletic department. Even with a reduced buyout, which is possible due to Beilein precedent WVU stands to make some more cash from this. Between Beilein and Rodriguez Michigan coaches and boosters will probably pay WVU at least $3 million over the next several years making them some of our biggest donors. The Colosseum is to be renamed Wolverine Stadium.

But maybe Garrison and the WVU administration need to take a look into the athletic department as a whole. Two coaches left in two years. Both tried to leave the year before. Both have had rumors swirling about problems within the athletic department. The name Mike Parsons is constantly brought up. Two coaches took programs that had fallen far and had success pretty quickly. In seven years WVU had an Elite 8, Sweet 16, and NIT Championship to go with two BCS games and 4 Big East Championships. WVU was unable to keep either. Fans can blame the coaches and there is definitely some fault there, but the administration needs to make sure there isn't something systemic going on within the athletic department.

In better news WVU still has Bob Huggins (for now).

Rodriguez Press Conference Highlights

The press conference should be archived here.

I guess highlight might be a bit of a stretch for WVU fans.

Rich and Rita will look for a house this afternoon because he wants to set roots as every job should be taken as your last.

Rich makes the "I was an education major" response for the 1,000th time, 1st at Michigan, in response to the $4 million buyout. He'll let the lawyers handle it which means he doesn't want to pay either.

Rich brings up Shaun King in reponse to not being able to pass with the current athletes at Michigan. I think he may have mentioned Rasheed Marshall as proof of passing at WVU which may be a little bit of a stretch.

Rich wants WVU to make the decision on the bowl game, an attempt to get out of the buyout (more on that later), but he'll be here as much as he can to help out. Then makes the "Lion King" it's in the past reference. Damn he has a script and stays on it. I've heard all of these before and I have rarely heard his talks.

Takes a shot at the WVU athletic department stating that Michigan was underway in many facility programs and were open to starting other programs he wanted.

Rich likes fast players that play fast and hard.

When is the right time to leave a program? When it is time. There never is a good time according to Rich. I'd say that before a BCS game and in the middle of recruiting probably isn't a great time. He then notes he will probably be taking more coaches from WVU. He has contacted some of the recruits as well and will call the ones that were "thinking about going to West Virginia." Nice.

Rich MAY bring the odd-stack as well.

He wants to thank his staff for being so loyal and mention all his loyal friends at WVU that have stayed his friends because they are so loyal. Loyal.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

MSN is all over this!

Bueller? Bueller?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

RRod Open Thread

A lot of things seem to be up in the air regarding whether Rich Rodriguez is staying or not. Sadly, I've wasted most of my day watching for something concrete, but it hasn't happened to this point. The latest news I've seen comes from Mitch Vingle that we should know something very soon.

For the Michigan side of things.

I've got to step away for a bit, but leave your comments as you see fit. I'll update as I see fit.

12/16 Update: Apparently very soon is a term that is being used very loosely. I can't confirm it, but supposedly Rodriguez was given 48 hours to make a decision by UM. If that's the case, we should hear something by this afternoon. But as tight lipped as everyone on the inside seems to be we might not know anything today. Now get back to watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

2pm: Two sources inside West Virginia are reporting that Rodriguez has made a decision to take the Michigan job. Here and here.

While it's peanut butter and jelly time in Michigan, it's probably time to cue the crying children here in WV.

Friday, December 14, 2007


As per the comments and message boards everywhere it appears as though Michigan is talking to Rich Rodriguez. This comes a month after Rodriguez laughed when asked about the job stating he just signed a new contract. Apparently, according to the Sporting News, Rodriguez and agent are in Toledo today to negotiate with Michigan AD Bill Martin. Rodriguez has had his contract changed twice in the last two years and is now slated to make $1.8 million this season on a contract that runs through 2013. He made $50,000 for going to a BCS game and would have made an extra $150,000 for a national title. Rodriguez reportedly turned down a $12, six-year offer from Alabama last year. There is a $4 million buyout for Michigan, but that didn't seem to stop Beilein from making the move. As of last week the Rodriguez name was off the radar on all rumors.

"I'm not in it now, not that I know of," Rodriguez said. "Sorry but you all are stuck with me here."

Athletic director Ed Pastilong was glad to hear that Tuesday.

"We made a strong commitment to Rich and our coaching staff and commitments are important both ways," Pastilong said. "Our future looks very good."
WVU has more than doubled Rod's salary in the last two years. Meanwhile the Beilein fiasco and Alabama rumors of last year have left everyone a little skittish when it comes to coaching security. Hopefully this will not drag on for ever like those rumors did as a state with this much obesity can't take the strain on the emotions year after year for months on end.

Louisville loses again

Petrino is back in college for at least a month or two before he leaves to become a karate instructor in Van Nuys, California. Kragethorpe may not quite be Vince Lombardi. And Brian Brohm is gone for next year. Also leaving will be Anthony Allen. Allen has been granted a release to transfer to any school other than one playing Louisville in the next three years OR Arkansas. Allen led the Cardinals in rushing and set a single game rushing record for the school against Middle Tennessee State, however, he finished the season going backwards in rushing yards with only 118 yards over his last 7 games.

And speaking of Louisville and Petrino. Anyone who hasn't seen the cult-like press conference in Aransas is missing out as even the media had to perform the school cheer. All that was missing was some goose-stepping, or a burning cross, or some kool-aid to make this more surreal. Welcome to the SEC Bobby.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mountain Links

New WVU President Mike Garrison just won me over saying that he is not in favor of continuing the Coal Bowl. Governor Manchin is still 100% behind the series between WVU and Marshall and will probably hold on for dear life, even after the point of it not being funny anymore. A la "West Virginia Open For Business", or what ever the hell those signs said. I don't feel one way or the other about Manchin as a governor, but I wish he would just let this go. If it was anything special at all, the game would have been moved by ESPN to prime time. Instead, the game started at 1130 in the am. It's just not that important of a game, and never will be as long as Marshall is committed to sucking. I notice this at WV Mountaineer Sports after I started writing this post. So we're looking at the same thing.

Pat Liebig is not coming back to WVU. When it was announced after the Gator Bowl that he was leaving the team I was very concerned about the depth on the defensive line for this year. As it turned out, this years d-line held their own quite nicely. But I can't help but think how much better they would have been with Pat. However, family comes first and we wish Pat all the best. His presence has helped his father out and there is no way that football could or should compare to that.

Ryan Stanchek makes third team All-American AP. I only bring this up because he kind of got left off the Big East all-conference team.

WVU has a pretty decent recruiting class built up so far. 18 by my count, but I've been drinking so don't hold me to that. Most notable on that list is Parkersburg's Josh Jenkins, who has been courted by Urban Meyer and Rick Trickett this week. With both making trips to meet with the offensive lineman. All I can think is that I really blew a perfect chance to ask Trickett if he was ready to come back or if Meyer really does practice that pointing stare thing in the mirror. And Tressel is coming sometime soon. In the old days, WVU would have had someone posted around Jenkins 24-7. If you haven't, read "It's My Story, and I'm Sticking To It" by South Charleston native Alex Hawkins. The story about South Carolina coaches sneaking in his back door to talk to Hawkins is priceless.

I haven't talked much WVU basketball, and probably won't until football season is over. But I've really been impressed with this team. I admit that I wasn't all that excited when Huggins took over as coach. But I also said that I knew at some point I would let go of what ever bad feelings I had about him because I'm never going to stop rooting for the Mountaineers. And at some point you just have to let go, and get on board with the program. So that time is now. Welcome home Bob!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Petrino to Arkansas?

According to ESPN Sports Center, Bobby Petrino just gave the Falcons the "dirty bird" and will be announced as the next head coach at the University of Arkansas.

How does this relate to WVU or the Big East? Not a whole lot, but I would have to imagine that our "friends" in Louisville wish they had $3 Million to pony up for their ex-coach. A) to get rid of Steve Kragthorpe, and B) to get the guy back that put them where they were before the beginning of this season.

As far as him going to Arkansas, surely there are better jobs out there for him. Michigan, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan, or even Michigan. I've never been on campus at Arkansas. I've barely set foot in the state. But it just seems like the kind of place that would wear on you as a head coach. Plus, no one else that has been contacted by Arkansas has seemed to excited about going. Butch Davis, Tommy Tuberville, Tommy Bowden, and Jim Grobe have all turned the Razorbacks down, we think.

As for Petrino, I can understand why he wants to leave. He's been without the guy he went there for all year and will never get him back. Atlanta has a whole lot of fixing to do. Unlike when he took the job. Maybe I've read him wrong, but Petrino has always seemed a little abrasive in a Bill Belichick kind of way. And I wonder how well he will get along with a fan base that expects to be in the championship every year even though they haven't sniffed it in a while.

Then again, maybe ESPN is full of shit and they needed something to grab your attention.

Update: Apparently, ESPN isn't full of Shit. Not at all.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Basketball Sweaty

Don't make Huggins go this far to get you to the game students.

Speaking of basketball

At the quarter mark

If you haven't seen the WVU basketball team yet you've missed over 25% of the regular season. That is a little shocking. The Mountaineers are off to a 7-1 start and have three more winnable games (UMBC, at Radford, at Canisius) before the schedule starts to toughen up. WVU will play Oklahoma in Charleston on December 29th and then the Big East schedule begins and the Mountaineers don't leave conference play again with the exception of Marshall on January 23rd. A few notes for those that haven't seen the team yet this year.

Defensively the team is playing man to man although not pressing much yet. The team looked a little wobbly early in the season with some difficulties on weak side rotation and stopping the backdoor cuts, but it's getting better each week. Duquesne wasn't able to penetrate without help arriving and the backdoor only worked a couple of times. The Mountaineers have been going small early getting Butler, Flowers, Smith, Jacob Green, and Alexander playing the big men which has worked so far, but may be a problem against some Big East teams (see Georgetown). The athleticism has forced turnovers, WVU is forcing 13.4 turnovers per game, and sped the game up a little as help defense is coming quick and recovery is also quick as the team is more athletic without a true center. Also without a true center playing many minutes (Smalligan is neither a true center nor one that plays many minutes) WVU is still blocking 6.4 shots per game.

Despite constantly going to a small lineup the biggest surprise of the season has been rebounding. Not sure if it is the added beef, the added attention to rebounding as a detail with Huggins, or added athleticism on the court but WVU is outrebounding opponents by a +5.6 margin. As BSR has noted the 1-3-1 wasn't really set up for rebounding with Darris Nichols manning the low box. It was more predicated on turnovers and forcing quick shots. The man defense has controlled the glass and WVU has only given up 5 or so offensive rebounds on a foul shot which was 50-50 last year at best. WVU has only been outrebounded twice with those games being New Mexico State and Auburn, but to be fair Auburn had the advantage of having seen themselves shoot before so they knew the crazy angles their misses might be taking.

Another change is more of an uptempo style of play on offense. WVU ran the last few years, but always had a methodical half court offense. The offense waited for a breakdown to lead to a backdoor layup or a three. Those playing good defense could often force the offense to become stagnant relying on long threes as the shot clock wound down. The hybrid Beilein/Huggins offense has had some growing pains, most notably the Tennessee game, but has managed at least 70 points in every outing. The offense still moves the ball well and everyone can handle, but there is more isolation when the team has a mismatch. Huggins also has installed the patented drive and kick he is known for. This calls for the same spacing needed in Beilein's offense. Against Tennessee the driver kept kicking to the spot he had left which made it easy for the defense, that seems to have been corrected.

Overall the team is still shooting threes (making twice as many as opponents) and outscoring the opponent by over 30 a game. WVU is averaging 86.8 points and has an assist too turnover margin of +1.4 while opponents only have +.4. This team has has shown the ability to defend, run, and handle the ball. Those who haven't seen this team yet will be pleasantly surprised as there is a little bit of everything. Even something for the ladies as they can look at Alex Ruoff's arms as he flexes runs down the court. Besides if you don't watch them Huggins will write a letter calling you out, and you don't want on Huggy's bad side.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Exercise Ball Fun

My lady friend has one of these balls. It is pretty easy to knock someone down.

Mounties roll Dukes 92-68

Huggy bear's letter to the students seemed to have struck a nerve. The student section was more crowded and more alive than any other game to date since the start of the Huggins' era. Total attendance was 10,071- it was pretty crowded in the Coliseum, but there were enough empty seats to give me a jacket holder. Everyone in attendance got to watch the Joe Alexander show. -picture seen here not from Saturday-

Joe set a career high with 26 points. The turn around off the glass was his bread and butter, with a big two hand jam and a couple deep jumpers in the mix as well. One of four Mountaineers in double figures, Joe joined Da'Sean Butler (18 pts) Alex Ruoff (15 pts) and John Flowers (13) in an offensive display slowed more by the referee's fondness for the whistle than the full court man to man press employed by Duquesne.

All hail Lord Smalligan, ejected less than three minutes into the game, earning him a second straight game with fewer than 3 minutes played. I personally missed the blow that got him ejected. I only saw the flop and slide from the Duquesne lady. Like Chief Smalligan would knock anyone that hard. Sheesh. Before making his exit he did record a steal, an assist, and a turnover. Nice job.

Wellington Smith led the effort on the glass with 9 boards, followed by Butlers 8, then Alexander with 6. It is so refreshing to see the Mountaineers hit the boards. Maybe the 1-3-1 defense employed the past few seasons won't be back for a long time. Michigan can keep it. WVU outrebounded Duquesne 35 to 21. Sweet.

I am becoming more and more a fan of John Flowers. He cuts smoothly to the rack. He rebounds, and he came up with an impressive little dunk as well. Should we be so lucky to have him put on weight like Joe did this past off season, he could be even more of a force to reckon with.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Round of Reubens

First of all a review of the Big East All Conference selections for WVU. Pat White was player of the year for the second straight season. Of course everyone knows by now he missed out on the trip to NYC this weekend, but he was also named 1st team quarterback as a unanimous selection. Mountaineers joining PW were guard Greg Isdaner on offense and DT Keilen Dykes and Safety Eric Wicks on defense for 1st team honors. WR Darius Reynaud, Center Mike Dent, RB Steve Slaton, Kicker Pat McAfee, DT Johnny Dingle, and LB Marc Magro all made the second team. The conference defensive player of the year was George Selvie from USF and LeSean McCoy was the Rookie of the Year. Brian Kelly was named coach of the year for the conference which he will use to pry open a door to another school ASAP.

In basketball Bob Huggins has challenged the students to show up. In doing so he has written an open letter to the students and made some threats that if the students don't want the 4,000 student seats they could be sold off to the public. The letter ends:

If I wanted to coach at schools where the arenas are half full, then I would coach there. But this is my home. I've wanted to be here since I was a little kid. Morgantown, the entire state and this University have always meant so much to my family and me.

To the 400-plus students who were here on Tuesday, thanks for your support and we'll see you again on Saturday. To the rest of the students, bring your ID for free admission and I look forward to seeing you throughout the season.
First up for the Huggy challenge will be Duquesne which is coming off of a 68-73 loss at home to Pitt. The Dukes are led in scoring by Junior Guard Kojo Mensah with 15.4 points per game and have 4 players averaging double digits. For more on this matchup head over to the Duquesne blog Dukes Court for a preview much better than I am capable of here. As that column states:
Smalligan originally a transfer from Butler, plays an average of 14 minutes per game for WVU and is basically just a body down low. I've seen Smalligan play before and he doesn't really do much, he is big though.
Those are fighting words Jamie. No body talks to you like that...except for everyone other than BSR.

On the Podcast

I know I'm late with this, but I was on the CFB Weekly podcast again this week to describe the pain and the road to recovery after last weeks game with Pitt. Subtle reminder that we are 10-2 and going to a BCS bowl, and the thought process behind the idea that I would rather break every instrument in my house than re-write Country Roads. Many thanks to Aaron for having me back on and linking up to us.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Don't be THAT guy

It appears that the Pitt loss has now hit the next level for some WVU fans. And that level is Darwin Awards stupidity. Some people have sent Pat McAfee death threats over his two missed field goals last week as his Dad told Metro-news.

He told the state-wide radio network that in addition to vehicle damage, his son had been threatened online, and via text and phone messages. He said fans gathered outside his son's off-campus residence following the game to voice their frustration.
These are the type of fans that give "mouth-breather" a bad name. Now some are probably students and for that we can all blame Jersey. However, if any are over the age of 20 it is time to do the right thing and shuffle off this mortal coil. You want to say something about Rodriguez, at least he gets paid millions for his work. You want to make an observation like, "Slaton isn't good anymore." Go ahead, your wrong and an asshole, but you can do that. You want to send a player a death threat then it's time to do the right thing and check out before you reproduce. And if you have unfortunately produced an offspring stay away from it so it has a chance at a real life. If you are so mad over a college game that you'll send a 20 year old a death threat than you have no excuses, you are a piece of shit. It is in no way funny no matter what your other cro magnon friends told you. Besides those shelves aren't going to stock themselves and my fries aren't going to magically cook themselves and jump into the bag. So get back to work.

That was cathartic

It's been a rough week for WVU fans. During the holiday season we were the school that kept giving even after it hurt and to all the teams we hate as well. Dave Wannsteadt never beat WVU, USF, or Rutgers before? Don't worry we'll take care of it. Pitt need a win to make you feel better after three straight horrible years? We got that for you. Ohio State want to play for a national title? No problem. VT want to almost sneak in the backdoor? We'll do our best. Penn State need something to make you feel better after a season of despair and arrests? Laugh it up on our account. Marshall...nevermind you still suck.

After all of that last nights bloodletting of Auburn sure felt good. Maybe not guitar-smashing good, but pretty damn good. Besides I only own a guitar hero guitar and if I broke it the wifey would beat me. Once again, just like last year, a football letdown has been tempered by the basketball team playing better than expected. Last night Auburn took the brunt of an 88-59 beating that at least made me feel a little better. Now I won't go too far because I don't think Auburn is going to be making any tournament runs, unless to the fridge to grab a drink is considered a run or they eat too much of OS's meat soup, but this combined with the win over Winthrop are at least quality Ws early in the season. I'm going to go out on a limb and state that if the team can shoot over 60% from the floor and almost 50% from three (last night 61% and 47.5% respectively) WVU will win many games this year.

Alexander Ruoff put on a show going 10-12 from the floor and 6-8 from three for 28 points. He would have added more, but wanted to save something for some preacher curls after the game. Joe Alexander has begun dunking on heads, which is nice, and added 17 points. DeSean Butler and Wellington Smith have also shown some more athletic ability than last year. Jamie Smalligan added two minutes of playing time which ended up three less minutes than Jonnie West. It felt good.

Can Someone Help Me Out With A New Guitar?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week 15 Blogpoll Ballot

Still not much to say other than I feel sorry for Hawaii. Evil Richt is probably going to rear his ugly head for this one.

1 Georgia 2
2 LSU 4
3 Virginia Tech 1
4 Oklahoma 4
5 Ohio State --
6 Southern Cal 1
7 Missouri 6
8 Kansas 1
9 Florida 1
10 West Virginia 8
11 Illinois 1
12 Arizona State 2
13 Hawaii 3
14 Boston College 3
15 Kentucky --
16 Cincinnati 1
17 Clemson 7
18 Tennessee 5
19 South Florida 1
20 Brigham Young 2
21 Texas 5
22 Auburn 1
23 Arkansas 2
24 Virginia 2
25 Texas Tech 2

Dropped Out: Wisconsin (#19).

The Tailgate

Bad weekend for football and futbol for WVU as all three teams in the national title hunt lost with the Pitt loss being the coup de grace. The game may have been a disaster, but the first annual Bastard Sons Tailgate was a success. There were more Australians at our tailgate than in the rest of the state combined. After worries about fumbling this down our leg the tailgate ended up with over $150 in food and more beer and booze than we could finish.

OS used seven pounds of hamburger to make a chili in a turkey fryer that looked more like a meat soup but ended up working out for everyone involved as I have spoken to everyone who ate a bowl and there were no causualties.

At least from the chili. During the game some of the tailgaters had their difficulties. I personally had some difficulties focusing during the first half, much like the team, but unlike them I rallied in the second half. One person who didn't was Chutta. Much like WVU's season he went down hard. Wolf at a wedding hard. After losing a fight between his face and the cement steps he was politely escorted from the game. Sad. But something that isn't. Harold.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007