WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

A.D. for a day

Ed Pastilong is out sick today (not really) and you’re put in charge (again, not really) and to make the most of the opportunity, you actually make the hire to replace Rich Rodriguez. So when you step up to the podium tonight at the Puskar Center, who is it that you introduce to the world as your new football coach?

A few rules:
1) Let’s be real (Pete Carroll isn’t walking through that door).
2) Money matters (Marion County native Nick Saban isn’t leaving Alabama and $4 million a year).
3) Be practical (Paul Johnson just took the Georgia Tech job; other coaches/coordinators might listen).

…what are you waiting for? Get to work! I’ll be playing the part of President Mike Garrison and will address your suggestions.

Terry talks…SIRIUSly

SIRIUS sent forth a transcript today of Terry Bowden’s radio show today and the comments he made regarding his interview at WVU. Bowden and Doc Holiday appear to be the favorites for the job opening created by Rich Rodriguez’s resignation(s).

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Got an interesting e-mail Tuesday night …

I went to the St. Albans Festival of Lights this evening and on the way saw a replica of Coach Rod being hung from a tree in someone’s front yard.  It was really neat.  I don’t know the address, but it is directly on the route leading to the Lights on the right side of the street in plain view with a spotlight on it.  It would make an interesting story.

Indeed it does. (Best part of the e-mail: It was really neat.)

Moving on, it appears WVU will make a move soon, likely before the end of the week and perhaps even today. There are aparently five serious candidates, whatever that means, and that in some semblence or order it is Doc Holliday, Terry Bowden, Butch Jones, Tom Bradley and Rick Trickett. Holiday is the leader and maybe soon enough your leader.


Rodriguez resigns (officially this time)

Statement from West Virginia University: 


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 18, 2007) — WVU Director of Athletics Ed Pastilong
informed the University administration late Tuesday that Head Football Coach
Rich Rodriguez has advised him in writing that his resignation from WVU is now
effective at 12 a.m. (midnight) Dec. 19, 2007.

Pastilong has also received a letter of resignation from Assistant Football
Coach Tony Gibson, effective at the same time.

Pastilong has named Bill Stewart as Interim Head Coach, and Stewart will
conduct all bowl preparations for the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 against

WVU firing back

So the picture became a little more clear today as to what may have led to Rich Rodriguez’s resignation Sunday with revelations you’ll find here and especially here, a piece filled with, shall we say, very informed statements.

These things did not go over well with WVU and word is that a rather direct rebuttal will come shortly.

UPDATE: It’s out and it’s what you’d expect.

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The first collection of readings following an early review of the web.

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This is getting ridiculous

WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown is a candidate for the opening at … all together now … MICHIGAN!

Families will move, too, and not only has Rodriguez left his alma mater for Michigan, but he follows former men’s basketball Coach John Beilein, who made the same move in early April.

Worst yet for Garrison, Pastilong and the Mountaineers is they might not have suffered their last loss.

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.

Happy reading

It probably still hurts — actually, it might not; I honestly sense people are happy with the way things turned out — but Rich Rodriguez is gone. If you can bring yourself to reading about it today, I have just one suggestion:

Read between the lines.

Players, coaches and administrators will be saying a lot of things that a sublte eye will catch.

Rodriguez will be introduced at 9 a.m. today and you can catch a live video stream here. It’s your our only chance to get his side of the story.

I’ll be back here throughout the day to send along some things I think are worth reading. The reaction and revelations in the media ought to be interesting.

Speaking of interesting … laughter is the best medicine, yes?

Rodriguez/Michigan headquarters

I’ll try to update with stuff I find or learn as often as possible. Buckle up everyone. You know how this goes.

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Begging to differ

There’s no way getting around the fact West Virginia’s nonconference schedule was abysmal early on. I’d say Prairie View and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore were among the worst opponents ever at the Coliseum. Yet the strength of schedule is No. 102, which isn’t awful when you consider Prairie View is No. 283 and UMES is No. 311. That’s a hell of an anchor.

Anyhow, Auburn was a nice test and Duquesne is going to win in the Atlantic 10. We also hear that Saturday’s opponent, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, is not to be overlooked, that according to ESPN.com’s Weekly Watch, which put WVU on upset alert!

• Saturday: Maryland-Baltimore County over West Virginia, 4 p.m. ET
The Mountaineers are transitioning into the Bob Huggins style of basketball and are off to a good start. They had SEC favorite Tennessee on the ropes before losing, 74-72. Guard Alex Ruoff leads the team in scoring (16.5 points), and forward Joe Alexanderis the top rebounder (7.0 boards). Tough defense and attacking the rim on offense has been the formula for success for WVU. UMBC has gained confidence through early-season success with wins over three A-10 schools (at LaSalle, at Richmond and GW). Coach Randy Monroe has scoring balance with four players Brian Hodges (18.8 points), Ray Barbosa (16.2 points), Darryl Proctor (14.8 points) and Cavell Johnson(14.3 points). Senior guard Hodges leads$ the attack, and transfers Barbosa (James Madison) and Proctor (Coppin State) are eligible and contributing. Johnson, another James Madison transfer, was named to the preseason All-America East first team. The Retrievers may have the experience and confidence to give the West Virginia faithful something to worry about.

…or not.