The Sock 'Em, Bust 'Em Board Because that's our custom

Same deal as last week. These ran in today’s paper and I will usually post them on Friday before the games, but travel threw a wrench in that plan and pushed it back to now.


Last week against North Carolina State, West Virginia showed it has some weapons at receiver, like redshirt freshman Sam James, who are more than capable of making big plays in the passing game for the Mountaineers. Kansas, meanwhile, has been decent in defending the pass, but far from great. KU has two interceptions for the season so far, including one by senior cornerback Hasan Defense, but both of those came in the opener against Indiana State.



KU senior quarterback Carter Stanley had one of the best performances of his college career last week against Boston College, completing 20 of 27 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns along with an interception. There have not been many three-touchdown games in his career, and the Mountaineers have been pretty good against the pass. WVU ranks 29th nationally in pass defense, led by a pair of standout senior cornerbacks in Keith Washington and Hakeem Bailey.




West Virginia was much better at running the ball last week against North Carolina State, especially with senior Kennedy McKoy, but the Mountaineers still rank among the worst rushing teams in the country this week. Kansas hasn’t been great at stopping the run, allowing 182 yards on the ground per game to opponents. KU allowed a 150-yard rusher last week at Boston College, but senior linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie has done well to get into the backfield with a team-high three tackles for a loss.



West Virginia had better pack a snack for Saturday because it could be a long day for the Mountaineer defense trying to contain Kansas running backs Pooka Williams and Khalil Herbert — who both topped 100 yards on the ground at Boston College. WVU’s defensive front, however, has been one of its strong points with junior Darius Stills five total tackles for a loss causing a lot of problems for opposing offensive lines.



West Virginia has come up big on special teams a few times so far this season, with fullback Logan Thimons blocking an NC State punt last week to help WVU put the game away. The return game for WVU, however, has not produced any memorable moments, but there also have been no major mistakes by the Mountaineers in that department. Kansas has a weapon in junior punter Kyle Thompson, who was a preseason All-Big 12 first team selection by the media.



West Virginia’s Neal Brown coached his butt off in last week’s win against visiting NC State, and the Mountaineers feel like a team with some good momentum going into Lawrence this week. On the other side the same could be said for the Jayhawks after their win at Boston College. First-year head coach Les Miles has been around the block a time or two, and the KU fan base appears fired up after the big win last week. Throw in a rare KU home field advantage and it could be tough for WVU this week.


The WVU men’s basketball schedule for the upcoming season was released in full on Wednesday afternoon. It is below this, and below that I’ll share some thoughts.

Format: Date/opponent/time/broadcast

Friday, Nov. 1 — vs. Duquesne (exhibition), 7 p.m., AT&T SportsNet

Friday, Nov. 8 — vs. Akron, 7 p.m., AT&T SportsNet

Friday, Nov. 15 — at Pitt, TBD, TBD

Monday, Nov. 18 — vs. Northern Colorado, 7 p.m., AT&T SportsNet %

Friday, Nov. 22 — vs. Boston University, 7 p.m., Nexstar %

Tuesday, Nov. 26 — vs. Northern Iowa, 8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network &

Wednesday, Nov. 27 — vs. South Carolina or Wichita State, 6/8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network &

Sunday, Dec. 1 — vs. Rhode Island, 2 p.m., AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, Dec. 7 — at St. John’s, Noon, FS1 ^

Thursday, Dec. 12 — vs. Austin Peay, 7 p.m., Nexstar

Saturday, Dec. 14 — vs. Nicholls, 2 p.m., AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, Dec. 21 — vs. Youngstown State, TBD, TBD $

Sunday, Dec. 29 — vs. Ohio State, Noon, FS1 !

Saturday, Jan. 4 — at Kansas, 4/8 p.m., ESPN+*

Monday, Jan. 6 — at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m., ESPN2*

Saturday, Jan. 11 — vs. Texas Tech, 6 p.m., ESPN/2/U*

Tuesday, Jan. 14 — vs. TCU, 9 p.m., ESPNU*

Saturday, Jan. 18 — at Kansas State, 2 p.m., ESPNU*

Monday, Jan. 20 — vs. Texas, 7 p.m., ESPNU*

Saturday, Jan. 25 — vs. Missouri, Noon, ESPN/2/U#

Wednesday, Jan. 29 — at Texas Tech, TBD, ESPN+*

Saturday, Feb. 1 — vs. Kansas State, 2 p.m., ESPN/2/U*

Wednesday, Feb. 5 — vs. Iowa State, 7 p.m., ESPN2/U*

Saturday, Feb. 8 — at Oklahoma, 2 p.m., ESPNU*

Wednesday, Feb. 12 — vs. Kansas, 7 p.m., ESPN+*

Saturday, Feb. 15 — at Baylor, 4 p.m., ESPN+*

Tuesday, Feb. 18 — vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m., ESPN/2/U*

Saturday, Feb. 22 — at TCU, 2 p.m., ESPN/2/U*

Monday, Feb. 24 — at Texas, 7 p.m., ESPNU*

Saturday, Feb. 29 — vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m., ESPN2/U*

Tuesday, Mar. 3 — at Iowa State, 9 p.m., ESPN2/U*

Saturday, Mar. 7 — vs. Baylor, 1 p.m., ESPN+*

March 11-14 — Big 12 tournament in Kansas City

% Cancun Challenge, Morgantown, W.Va.
& Cancun Challenge, Riviera Maya, Mexico
^ Big 12/BIG EAST Scheduling Alliance at Madison Square Garden
$ Covelli Centre, Youngstown, Ohio
! Cleveland Classic at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
# Big 12/SEC Challenge
* Big 12 Conference Game

Not really much to it until I really get the chance to dig in here, but a few things did stick out:

  • Opening Big 12 play at Kansas on the ESPN+ streaming service seems like a cruel joke to Mountaineer fans
  • Opening Big 12 play with back-to-back road games seems like a cruel joke to Bob Huggins. I know he prefers the Saturday/Monday split on these trips, but opening conference play AT KANSAS on one seems less than ideal to me
  • I reckon Huggins has some thoughts on the consecutive road games at TCU and Texas late in the season. Again, Huggins likes the Saturday/Monday split but the timing of WVU’s two sets back-to-back road games seems not great imo.
  • No time or broadcast plans announced for the game at Pitt. *eyes emoji goes here*

VIDEO: WVU football coach Neal Brown, Kansas week

Once again, thanks to the folks at WVU who upload this to their YouTube account each week.


By now you are probably aware that West Virginia’s game on Saturday at Kansas is being shown on ESPN+ as part of the league’s new “Big 12 Now” platform.

What does that mean? Well, for starters that means the WVU-Kansas game will not be shown on a traditional cable or satellite broadcast. There is no channel on your TV provider that will get this game. The only way to watch the Mountaineers take on the Jayhawks is by streaming the game, and it requires a monthly subscription to the ESPN+ service.

Continue reading…

All photos by our pal Sean McNamara

This week’s Associated Press Top 25 college football poll is out in a few hours, but you can get a glimpse at how I voted now.

Tom Bragg’s ballot

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Louisiana State
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Michigan
  9. Auburn
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Texas
  12. Utah
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Florida
  15. Oregon
  16. Washington
  17. Virginia
  18. Penn State
  19. Iowa
  20. Washington State
  21. UCF
  22. Boise State
  23. Oklahoma State
  24. Arizona State
  25. Iowa State