Baylor-WVU game

On Saturday, Becca and I drove down to Waco, TX, for the West Virginia-Baylor game. This was an anniversary gift from her.

I never knew how high school-ish Baylor games were though. From the PA announcer to the band to everything else in between. It came across as a high school game more then a major college game to me. Hopefully once Baylor opens their new stadium next year, that will all change for them.

Also, what is it with Big 12 teams and hand gestures. Baylor has the bear claw, Texas has the long horns. I’m sure there are others out there. I guess WVU’s is just flipping people off when they try to show the state outline on their hand. Ha.

While the blow out score was not something I wanted to see, it was great getting to see my Mountaineers in person again.

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WVU Stays Number 8

Saw the recent AP Poll for College Football. WVU is still at number eight. Good spot for them really. I watched most of their season opener against Villanova.

I liked a few things:

  • The offense really clicked for most of the game.
  • Pat White had 5 TDs…all in the air and none on the ground, probably something we will have to get use to seeing here this season.
  • Despite a lousy start the defense played fairly well, forcing a couple turnovers that lead to points.
  • Pat McAfee still has a solid leg.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Other than the third quarter and a couple turnovers the defense got ran over by a I-AA school. Yikes.
  • Noel Devine had next to nothing on the ground in the running game, which in all respect I kind of liked because this wasn’t the game to let him run for 200 yards.

Also, loved some of the new video boards at Mountaineer Field. They looked good on TV and will come across even better once they are all finished.

Eastern Carolina is up next this weekend. Boy am I ever nervous for that one.

Fiesta Bowl Champs!!

Sorry for the lack of writing, been busy since I returned to the Big D.

But I couldn’t resist posting a video of last night’s bowl win for WVU over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. What a game!!

Enjoy!

(Quick) Post-New Years Bowl Picks presented by Sony

Its the new year and I almost forgot to post the rest of my picks. Since a game is already going I will make them quick.

Current number of bowls played: 21

Current number of bowls picked correctly: 15

Outback Bowl Winner: Tennessee

AT&T Cotton Bowl Winner: Auburn

Toyota Gator Bowl: West Virginia

Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin

Rose Bowl: USC

Tosititos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma

FedEx Orange Bowl: Lousiville

Allstate Sugar Bowl: LSU

International Bowl: Cincinnati

GMAC Bowl: Ohio

BCS National Title Game:  Ohio State

Best/Worst of 2006

So its the end of the year and I figure it is a decent time to reflect on what has transpired in the past calendar year. Amazing to believe and think that 2006 is almost over and that 2007 is just a jump away. Anyways…I have no real order to this list. Some things are life, sports, and just random stuff in my head. I will try to go month by month, if I can. If not, then sue me.

January – Best – Sugar Bowl: The year got kicked off with a major bang as WVU beat Georgia in their own dome to win the Sugar Bowl. For one, it was a great time. And for seconds, WVU actually won a bowl game! Yes, for the second time, no maybe third (I will have to check), WVU actually won a bowl game. Wow.

Best – Rose Bowl – now that was a game…one of the best I've seen in some time.

Worst – No snow in January – seriously, one of the mildest winters I have ever lived through and it was not the coldest of winters either. 

Best – Steelers win Super Bowl – Okay, I had trouble putting "best" beside this one but it was a good thing. Bettus got his ring, the entire psycho Steeler nation got their "one for the thumb" and I believe it shut them all up for at least 10 more years. Again, both my team (the 49ers) and some cryboy team in Texas would like to congratulate you on becoming a member in the 5 rings club. 

Feburary – Best – My 21st – sure becoming legal to drink is one thing but the random looks from other states when they see the id is always a laugh

Worst – Winter – okay the cold finally came as it normally does…the only bad part was standing in line at the Coliseum for games….

Worst – Mountaineer Manics – its a damn cult really. Peoplpe getting in the building early to save seats. Not just one or two but I am talking like 4 or 5 rows. It was horrible and totally wrong for the people out in the cold.

March – Best – George Mason's run – alright, nothing like a bracket buster pal. I loved it though.

Worst – Cold spring breaks – maybe that is why people go south for those things…

April – Best – Moving into new place – out with the old and in with the new…place…okay that was cheesy but it worked. Got a new townhouse here in town and got rid of an annoying couple who lived together but didn't live together. Oh, and their dog was never fed either.

Best – Honda Civic – getting a new car is always nice…don't ya think?

May – Best – Starting a new internship!!! – Dallas for the summer was great! Seriously…

Alright, I am sorta tired of the month by month thing…so whatever. After summer was fall semester and you have read what has been good and bad in the fall semester. Football, soccer and a girlfriend – good….school, school, and school – have been not soo good.

Here are some final lists that I made up. All mostly sports related I believe.

Male Athlete – Tiger Woods 

Female Athlete – Amelie Mauresmo

Best Championship Team  – Italy World Cup soccer …so I am biased on the sport…it was the only World Champion on the list really…

Coach of the Year –  Jim Larranaga, George Mason basketball

Rookie of the Year – Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

Best Game – USC 41, Texas 38 (Rose Bowl)

Biggest Disappointment – Bode Miller

Biggest Disappointment (Team) – New York Yankees

Most Overrated Story – (Tie) Barbaro and Kobe scoring 81 on the Toronto Raptors

Best Story – "J-Mac" – Autistic kid Jason McElwain scores 24 points in final three minutes of a game

Biggest Goat – Zinedine Zidane

Funniest Movie of the Year – Talladega Nights 

Alright…there is my list and best/worsts of the year…you may want to add this list to that but I don't care. I was bored and I thought "why not".  

Post Christmas Bowl Picks…presented by Dell

So far so good for my bowl picks. Seven games and seven correct picks. Are my picks destined for greatness or will the post-Christmas games lead me to some sort of weird doom. Who really knows, all I do know is there is a bunch of games coming up so I may keep some of these shorter. 

Bowl Games to date: 7

Correct Games Picked to date: 7

Motor City Bowl – Middle Tennessee State vs. Central Michigan – I know, I am already yawning at the subject of this bowl. I do know very little about each team. I know MTSU gave Louisville a decent quarter of a game and that Central Michigan isn't too shabby of a team since I believe they won the MAC. Not to mention CMU is almost the home team in this game (game is played in Detroit for those who don't know where the Motor City is…and Detroit is in Michigan…)

Winner: Central Michigan

Emerald Bowl – Florida State vs. UCLA – FSU has stunk up the place all season, while UCLA showed glimers of hope against Notre Dame before upsetting USC. I like UCLA in this mainly since they have to travel a couple hours and FSU only has to travel the country to get there. Not to mention FSU could practically care less about playing in this game. Their pride is on the line because you know they don't want a losing season (they are currently 6-6) but I am not one to say they will be able to win. UCLA has been playing well as of late and look to wrap up their season in a good manner.

Winner: UCLA

PetroSun Independence Bowl – Oklahoma State vs. Alabama – Now I will save any Alabama/Rich Rod stuff for another day. The fact of the matter is Bama is still in need of a coach and are about to play in a bowl. That doesn't work well my friends. OK State isn't the best of teams but they will show up and play well I believe. I just don't like Bama's chances in this game unless they had hired a coach by now. That peice to the puzzle just doesn't work for me.

Winner: Oklahoma State

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl – #19 California vs. #21 Texas A&M – This is probably one of the better bowl games that is before New Years. Okay…I am lying, it is probably the best bowl game before New Years. Why this bowl game isn't before New Year's is beyond me but still it matches up two up and promising teams. It is a tough one to pick. I am basically taking out a pennie and flipping for it. Believe me it should be a fun one to watch.

Winner: California

Texas Bowl – #17 Rutgers vs. Kansas State –  How bad does it suck to be Rutgers. Okay, that is a mean and harsh joke of the past but still it has shown it's ugly head again. One win away from a BCS game and you lose and your prize is a trip to Houston for the Texas Bowl, which at one point (before deals were worked out) couldn't be seen on your local TV (game is on the NFL Network). I like Rutgers to get their first ever bowl win against KSU. Don't get me wrong the Wildcats are a solid team but have no right to be able to beat Rutgers. The only way they will win is if they catch Rutgers crying about being in Houston. After seeing Rutgers play in person this season, that won't happen.

Winner: Rutgers

Gaylord Hotel Music City Bowl – Clemson vs. Kentucky – My heard and almost my head were telling me to pick UK in this one. I know Clemson is good but they have stumbled into this game and I really don't like the looks of them these days. But, they should be able to run all over a bad UK defense. This one has been tough to pick because I believe UK can pull this one out and win but I just believe deep down Clemson will show up again for the first time in two months.

Winner: Clemson

Brut Sun Bowl – #25 Oregon State vs. Missouri – I am very thankful that the Gator Bowl picked WVU and didn't pick a Big 12 team this year. Playing a Pac-10 team would have been interesting but not this year. Anyways, for some reason I am going with Mizzu. Something deep down is making me pick this game and I am running with it. 

Winner: Missouri

Alamo Liberty Bowl – Houston vs. South Carolina – Another tough one. For one I am confused at the name of the Bowl. At first I am thinking oh, the Alamo Bowl…then I see Liberty behind it. Nonetheless, it is the Liberty Bowl. Anyways, the ol' ball coach will coach up the Gamecocks but honestly I like Houston. Their offense is exciting to watch. USC should have won a few games and I just don't see them winning this one. It will be close, but I like Houston.

Winner: Houston

Insight Bowl – Texas Tech vs. Minnesota – I forgot about Minnesota this year. So judging by that statement I am not picking them.

Winner: Texas Tech

Champs Sports Bowl – Purdue vs. Maryland – Wow. I am honestly bored with this game. Please, Maryland just pull it out and help WVU look decent.

Winner: Maryland

Meineke Car Care Bowl – Navy vs. #23 Boston College – If you can't tell I am getting tried of all these games. I wonder if George Foreman shows up to this game since he is a spokesman for Meineke. Navy took a Big East bid, probably away from Rutgers from going to a better game and also from Pitt from going to a game at all. And then BC left the Big East for "greener pastures" in the ACC. BC just got a new coach and I want to jump on that bandwagon for a game. 

Winner: BC

Alamo Bowl – #16 Texas vs. Iowa – Texas should blow Iowa out the water. SHOULD. But, they may not. Iowa can and probably will keep it interesting but I am taking the home side. The Alamo Bowl is just down the road from Austin. I like my chances with a "home" team.

Winner: Texas

Chick-fil-a Bowl – Georgia vs. #14 Virginia Tech – I always feel weird picking VT in any game. But I just don't trust Georgia, even in their "home" dome. We blew them out there last year and I think VT will too. This is and should be a spring board game for VT for next year. I wonder if the winner gets a bunch of chicken in the bowl (it used to be a bunch of peaches but they dropped the peach from the bowl name). 

Winner: Virginia Tech

MPC Computers Bowl – Miami vs. Nevada – This one makes me laugh. Mainly because Miami has to go to Boise, Idaho for their bowl game on New Year's Eve. Oh, that just makes me laugh real hard. I like Nevada too in this one. Like FSU, Miami could honestly care less about this game and playing in a cold place like Boise won't be the cure to their answers.

Winner: Nevada 

Alright, I am done until New Years. 

Pre-Christmas Bowl Predictions presented by the West Virginia Team Shop

There are seven wonderful bowl games before Santa comes to town. Okay, they aren't really wonderful at all really. They all have funny names though (I will get to that in a second) which is the best part of the early bowl season I think. I believe this is how I will be predicting the bowl season as well…in short stages. The pre-Christmas stage, the Pre-New years stage and the Post-New Years stage…three in all, which should nicely break up the 32 games. 

Now to the picking…

San Diego County Credit Union Poinesttia Bowl – # 24 TCU vs. Northern Illinois – I must say this is one of my favorite bowl names. Take the town its located in, add a weird sponsor, and then some random flower. Next thing you know you have a weird and wacky bowl title. Six titles in all before the word 'bowl' in this one. Ah but to the game. I must say the bowl season kicks off with a nice matchup. Garrett Wolfe is one of the best running backs in the country but his team is from a weak conference (MAC) and then you have TCU who has a strong 10 – 2 record on the season but they too come from a weaker conference (Mountain West). TCU lost both games in the state of Utah while UNI struggled in the state of Ohio. I don't know what that means for either team in this game but I like the Horned Frogs. 

Winner: TCU

Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl – #20 BYU vs. Oregon – Does anyone find it funny that a Mormon school is going to Vegas? I don't know, maybe that is just me. Anyways, BYU hasn't lost since mid-September and Oregon seems like they haven't won since then. I am taking BYU…but don't be surprised to see the Pac-10 play well in the bowl games. Something tells me they will this year.

Winner: BYU

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Rice vs. Troy – Yawn. A game that I know no one will tune into unless you go to these two schools. This, like many bowl games are reasons why people complain about the amount of bowl games. Both teams are 7 – 5 on the year and both got beat by Florida State. Though Troy did make that game interesting. So based on that I will go with Troy.

Winner: Troy

Papajohns.com Bowl – South Florida vs. Eastern Carolina – This game excites me. Two teams that I saw this season against WVU, one beat us and one played us really tight. USF has the potential to be really good for the next couple years and really so does ECU. This is one of the better bowl games that won't get a lot of press since it is a pre-Christmas Bowl game. For South Florida this is a prize for beating WVU at the end of the season. If USF wins this game, I would be shocked if they weren't ranked going into next season. Loads of potential with this team. 

Winner: USF

New Mexico Bowl – New Mexico vs. San Jose State – A home game for New Mexico, obviously. But I am not sold at all with this 6-6 team. I like San Jose State just a little more even though they are only 8-4. The Lobos may be home but I just cannot pick them. Expect good defense in this game though, two good defensive coordinators at both schools. And another side note, this is SJS first bowl game in 16 years.

Winner: San Jose State

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Tulsa vs. Utah – This may be the best bowl name of all time. What was once the Fort Worth Bowl (since the game is played in Fort Worth, TX) is now some Helicopter Bowl. So I will call it the Helicopter Bowl. Other than the name, I really don't care about the game itself. Two teams that really don't excite me at all. I may be going out on a limb but I will go with the Utes.

Winner: Utah

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl- Hawaii vs. Arizona State – Nothing like going to Hawaii on Christmas Eve for the Sun Devils. How nice is that? You had a sub-par season, yet your reward is a trip to Hawaii. Must be nice. You'd think they would put the Hawaii Bowl as a big time desination for bowl games with bigger teams and all. Instead it is a worthless bowl that just gives one west-coast team a chance to party up their sorry excuse for a season. In the game I will take the home team, Hawaii. A heck of an  offense there and I know ASU just doesn't have the firepower to keep up with the Rainbow Warriors. 

Winner: Hawaii

There you all have it, my Pre-Christmas Bowl picks. I don't have a weird sponsor but it wouldn't hurt since all of these bowl games have bad sponsors. So how about the Epp6.com Pre-Christmas Bowl Picks presented by The West Virginia Team Shop. Eh? Sounds good to me for now. haha 

Rod-gate…some people get what they want while leaving others to point the blame

For the past couple weeks the mood in town has been a weird
one to say the very least. Reports for the last couple weeks have been that
head football coach here at WVU; Rich Rodriquez would be offered and at some
points would become the next coach at the University
of Alabama.

 Bama basically didn't get their first choice, or the second…and
some would say even their third before turning to Coach Rod. Now, they have to
turn to someone else yet again.

I have been on both sides of the fence with this situation
over the last couple weeks. At times I thought and felt that Coach was staying
put just because of certain things like how good of a team he has here compared
to the team in Bama and the fact that he would have a greater chance of winning
here than he would ever down there. Not to mention I never felt comfortable
saying that he would leave because of all the problems that Bama has had in
recent years with coaches.

The glove just didn't seem to fit correctly for him I thought.
And now more than ever it appears he doesn't even need to try it on.

And then I felt at times that he was good as gone. Not so
because of all the reports flying around the internet and on the news but more
so because of his actual words and expressions in news conferences and interviews.
His mood just didn't strike me as one of a coach who really wanted to stay and
was seriously looking at another team. I wasn't thinking this because he had a
terrible season. No, it was more so because he refused to answer the now two
million dollar question. Are you staying or are you going?

It was a simple question that just turned this whole
situation over on its back.

Now he is staying because for the lack of a better term, he
was a better poker player than most people will begin to give him credit for. He
never had a serious offers before and once he finally did it made him think
long and hard about his own situation here at WVU. A good situation but a
situation that many in the country felt he was underpaid. A situation that
others also believe needed to get a little better in terms of facilities.

Rod did what many good poker players do, put on a good face
and tried to up the ante as much as he possibly could to get what he wanted. And
he did just that with probably just a 3 of spades and an 8 of hearts. Nothing special,
but enough to get what he wanted. In a weeks time money poured in to get the
facilities he wanted and to get a contract with a little more dough.

Can you seriously blame him? No, but there is some patch
work to be done now. A lot of credibility and respect has been lost with fans
around the Mountain State.
And a lot of credibility and respect has been lost with the media around the
entire country. You can blame Rod for getting what he wanted and looking like a
total jerk in the process but at the end of all this you have to point blame
the media for everything in this situation. Not even a high percentage of the
reports were even remotely accurate during this whole situation.

Reports were correct about the offer of the contract and the
meeting between the sides and the fact that the two sides were interested in
one another. But the rest was erroneous. Dozens of newspapers and news
organizations reported last night that Rod had accepted the job while others
said he was going to be on his way to Alabama
to do so in person today. And other reports were said that he wouldn't even
coach in the team's New Year's Day bowl game with Georgia Tech.

The media showing was mostly pathetic with a story changing
every five minutes because someone got something wrong with initially. Even
ESPN can to be at blame because they too had false reports from some of their columnists
and reporters.

At the end, WVU gets to keep a good coach, not a great coach…a
good coach. WVU is shown to not be a stepping stone while Alabama
is shown to be a bargaining chip. Alabama
is now left feeling empty since they seemingly went all in with Rod.

Who will they turn to? Someone else or will they keep
trying? Who knows, but for now we do know what is certain. Coach Rod is
staying.

Updated Bowl Projections

With some teams (like WVU and Texas) losing this past weekend, the whole bowl landscape changed. Not in an overly dramatic way but in a more stuttle way. We have a new number two in the land (USC) and one team (Michigan) is still hoping for a rematch.

Without further adu, I will present my second round of bowl projections here. I hope I don’t project one team to two bowls again like I did with Ohio. Some bowls changed, while others remained the same.

Again, teams in bold have accepted the bid.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
(Mountain West vs. At-large) : Utah vs. Northern Illinois
Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas
(Pac-10 No. 4 vs. Mountain West) : Oregon vs. BYU

R&L Carriers New Orleans
(Sun Belt vs. C-USA) : Troy vs. East Carolina

Papajohns.com
(C-USA vs. Big East) : Southern Miss vs. South Florida
New Mexico
(WAC vs. Mountain West) : Nevada vs. New Mexcio

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
(Mountain West vs. C-USA) : Rice vs. TCU

Sheraton Hawaii
(WAC vs. Pac-10) : Hawaii vs. UCLA

Motor City
(Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC) : Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
Emerald Bowl
(Pac-10 No. 5 vs. ACC No. 7) : Arizona vs. Florida State

PetroSun Independence
(SEC No. 8 vs. Big 12 No. 7): Alabama vs. Texas Tech
Pacific Life Holiday
(Pac-10 No. 2 vs. Big 12 No. 3): Cal vs. Texas A&M

Texas
(Big East vs. Big 12): Rutgers vs. Oklahoma State
Gaylords Hotels Music City
(ACC No. 5 vs. SEC): Boston College vs. Kentucky

Brut Sun
(Pac-10 No. 3 vs. Big 12 or Big East): Oregon State vs. Nebraska

AutoZone Liberty
(C-USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6): Houston vs. South Carolina

Insight
(Big 12 No. 6 vs. Big Ten No. 6): Missouri vs. Minnesota

Champs Sports
(ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4/5): Maryland vs. Purdue

Meineke Car Care
(Big East or Navy vs. ACC): Navy vs. Clemson

Alamo
(Big Ten No. 4/5 vs. Big 12 No. 4) Iowa vs. Kansas State
Chick-fil-A
(ACC No. 2 vs. SEC): Virginia Tech vs. Georgia

MPC Computers
(WAC vs. ACC): San Jose State vs. Miami

AT&T Cotton
(Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC): Texas vs. Auburn

Outback
(Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC): Penn State vs. Tennessee

Toyota Gator
(ACC No. 3 vs. Big 12 or Big East) Wake Forest vs. West Virginia
Capital One
(Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2): Wisconsin vs. Arkansas

International
(MAC vs. Big East No. 4 or 5): Western Michigan vs. Cincinnati

GMAC
(C-USA No. 2 vs. MAC): Tulsa vs. Ohio

Rose
(BCS vs. BCS): Michigan vs. LSU

Tostitos Fiesta
(BCS vs. BCS): Oklahoma vs. Boise State

FedEx Orange
(BCS vs. BCS): Georgia Tech vs. Louisville

Allstate Sugar
(BCS vs. BCS): Florida vs. Notre Dame

BCS Championship Game
(BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2): Ohio State vs. USC

Again, I hope I didn’t use a team twice but with 32 bowl games and lots of differnet directional colleges in Michigan, Ohio and everywhere else inbetween, it can be tough to put one in twice or leave someone out. But that’s the way I am reading into things right now. One more week of football and we will have a greater understanding of where things will offically stand.