Monday, April 23, 2012

Big 12 Orientation, Week 1: West Virginia Football.

This is West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen.  He likes to get fucking DRUNK.

WVU At-A-Glance:  
  • Overall record of 701-457-45.  
  • 0 National Titles.
  • Have won 15 Conference Championships between the Southern Conference and the Big East, most recently last season.  
  • 31 Bowl appearances with an overall record of 14-17.  
  • Boast one of two Division 1 rosters only featuring players lacking adequate dental care.  The other?  Colgate, shockingly.
School Mascot:  A coal covered miner smoking a rock of crystal meth with a fistful of green stamps and a stomachful of fatherless children.  Think Rowdy, but less smiley, more frowny.

History with TCU:  The two teams met once in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl with WVU pulling out a 31-14 victory.  You remember, the one where TCU stud RB Kenneth Davis was held to just 19 yards rushing and TCU's defense gave up over 500 yards of total offense.  A game like that would make Gary Patterson the second TCU head man sent to a premature grave on the sidelines, but fortunately no coaches were harmed during the making of that rout.  A performance like that would be utterly unrecognizable from the teams GP has cultivated over the years.  The score was 31-7 at halftime with TCU adding a stat-padding TD in the third quarter to make the margin closer than it looked.  Unless TCU's current players - none of whom were born when this game took place - hold bizarre, 28 year old grudges against non-rivals, I think it's fair to say "REMEMBER 1984" isnt' going to be GP's war cry this season.

Recent History:  When we last saw the West Virginia Mountaineers they were in the midst of blowing up the scoreboard in the Orange Bowl against Clemson to the tune of 70-33, capping a 10-3 season.  You read that correctly.  Outside of a very curious scalping from Syracuse, things could not have gone much better under first year head man Dana Holgorsen, even though he wasn't prepared to wear the headset last year.  You'll recall the WVU Coaching fiasco:  After foolishly hiring ex-coach Bill Stewart in a knee jerk, feel good move, WVU football had become a bit stagnant, so Holgorsen was brought in as OC/Coach in waiting before this past season to spice things up.  The only problem?  Stewart wasn't on board, and to show his dissatisfaction, began asking local media members to dig up dirt regarding Holgorsen's late night casino exploits in order to discredit his new assistant.  Unfortunately for Country Bill, this whole plan backfired miserably and resulted in his premature ousting.  In the long run this was a good move because you can't imagine WVU would've had the success they did with Stewart and Holgorsen at each other's throats; in the short run it made WVU look every bit as dysfunctional as the residents of the state the university calls home.  The program has flirted with national prominence throughout their existence but ever since Rich Rodriguez took control of the program in 2001 they've mostly stuck to the national spotlight, notching six Big East titles and 3 BCS bids, all victories.  In fact, in Rodriguez' last year they were one win away from playing for a national title before falling to then-lowly rival Pitt in a move known around these parts as "SMUitis2005"  Let's just say the Mountaineers are a much, much better fit with the winning tradition of the Big 12 than aggy ever was.

WVU 2012 Outlook:  When the last impression you have a team is of them putting up 70 points and nearly 600 yards on a team in a BCS bowl game and realize that both the QB and leading WR from that game are both returning, that's kinda spooky as an opponent.  Yes, Geno Smith - by many accounts the most talented QB in the Big 12 next season - and Tavon Austin will be back in Morgantown for year one, as will leading rusher Dustin Garrison and overall team leading receiver Steadman Bailey. While learning a new system on the fly, last year's offense ranked 6th in overall passing yards at 346.8 yards per game and 13th in points scored at 37.6, so having 8 total pieces back and an extra year under their belts is troubling, to say the least.  Defensively, the Mountaineers aren't going to put too many scares into anyone, returning  7 starters from a unit that gave up 27 points per game last year, but in a Big 12 league where the object is simply to score a bit more than the other team, they should fit in just fine.  Oklahoma will be the favorite, but you'd have to imagine WVU is 1B to their 1A with the Frogs being a slightly lagging 2.  The Mountaineers have a favorable schedule as well, getting Oklahoma, Kansas State and TCU in Morgantown with an early October trip to Austin being the biggest road hurdle unless you count OSU, which you really shouldn't.  My favorite part of their schedule, though?  In the "must win" scenario of scheduling a homecoming game, the Mountaineers chose, you guessed it, the Baylor Bears.  Well played, WVU, well played.  Many have marked their calendars for the first weekend in December and the TCU/OU game for deciding the Big 12 title; truth be told, WVU may have had their say in the matter well before then.  

Miscellania:  You might be familiar with Dana Holgorsen's on-field reputation- he is of the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach "Air Raid" tree starting at Valdosta State and riding the rails with Leach at Tech before jumping to Houston and then Oklahoma State.  You also might be familiar with Holgo's off-field rep, namely the events at the Mardi Gras Casino last spring where he apparently stayed up past his bedtime and he was not interested in hitting the sack, resulting in a forced removal.  Come on, pigs - you can't interrupt a hot roll!!  But it gets better;  in the ultimate act of shitting where you eat, non-Petrino division, Holgorsen was reportedly banned from the bar at the hotel where he was living in Morgantown.  If you can't drink in the confines of your home home, where CAN you drink? And it gets worse as Holgorsen reportedly had five previous alcohol related run-ins with Johnny Law prior to that, including one when he was coaching Houston but was in town for a game, although most of them are casino related.  Seriously, Rain Man, get your act together.  It would appear that Holgorsen has grew up a bit after he was given the keys to the castle, but you have to imagine given the tenuous circumstances under which he was given control, Andrew Luck's dad was a bit concerned with his hiring choice.  That shows you just how little faith they had in Bill Stewart.  Also, WVU once employed Bobby Bowden before he foghorn leghorned his way down to Tallahassee.  The more you know....


Bill Lumbergh said...

Holgorsen looks like a mix of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey

danders said...

BC & Doug Flutie are still saying "Remember '84!" The '84 Mountaineers were all over the map - beating #4 BC and losing to the likes of Rutgers and Temple. I think they took out a few frustrations on the Frogs in Houston!

RicketyFrog said...

The stat about WVU holding Kenneth Davis to 19 yards is misleading. Davis was carted off the field and didn't return with an injury in the first half. The wind was let out TCU's sails after that.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

ahhh, thanks RicketyFrog. I was 1 when the game was played and had a hard time finding a thorough recap.