It is game day in the state of West Virginia. As always, follow me @dougsmock and I’ll serve up my irreverent 2 cents on the game, 140 characters at a time … unless the Civic Center becomes the place where data go to die … and that’s very, very possible. I have a love-hate relationship with that building.
I get a good dose of radio in the morning during the mundane task of delivering my offspring to two different schools, and sometimes it’s too interesting. For instance, a few fans were interviewed about the separation of the women’s game into a separate day, and those were opposed to it. They said the women’s game drew a better crowd when it was the opener of a doubleheader.
Ummmm, no. Except for those women’s games that went over, time-wise. I covered Tuesday night’s game, and the crowd was much more credible.
By the way, credit MU coach Matt Daniel for getting his troops to annoy WVU as much as they did. WVU coach Mike Carey clearly wanted a 40-plus-point victory, and he sounded like he lost by 40. But boy, Daniel really has a task ahead with that Thundering Herd program.
This is the first December game since 1996, and it is was funny to hear the “debate” over when the game should be played. If you like it played now, thank Mr. Bob Huggins. His deification (Coach emeritus? Really?) allowed him to successfully lobby to get the game out of its role as a joint-lobbying tool for the Legislative session. (Please don’t tell me the Big 12 wouldn’t accommodate their new member on an out-of-conference rivalry game in January. Stop it.)
It’s great in one big way: Both teams can schedule a creampuff for the next game, thus compensating for the potential (likely?) letdown. Wait … WVU scheduled Virginia Tech for Saturday? Oh, well, Marshall has scheduled Coppin State, 1-7 against an ambitious early schedule.
An issue I’ve got half an eye on: The quality of Marshall’s opposition. As you know, the Herd did a pretty good job of scheduling itself into a higher RPI rating, one that nearly landed it an NCAA berth. (Ultimately, 9-7 in the conference sent the Herd to the NIT.)
Coach Tom Herrion and Co. tried again, but aren’t having good luck. It seems that most or all of the nonconference opponents are underperforming. Your first example is WVU, 174th in the CBSSports.com RPI. Kentucky is 88 and Villanova is 130.
Marshall is 232. Lot of hard pedaling to do there.
Finally, we call can agree we don’t want to see the 64 fouls of two years ago. But keep this in mind: The No. 1 cause of a lot of whistles is …
A lot of fouls. Just ask Morehead State.
Enjoy the game.