WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

Tough month for Pacman

First, the former West Virginia cornerback lost the TNA tag team championship belts Oct. 14. Six days later, the manager of the strip club who was paralyzed in the February shooting at his establishment sued Pacman for his alleged involvement. On Oct. 25, USA Today featured the upstart Tennessee Titans and framed it with the premise they do not miss/need the still-suspended Pacman.

“All I can say is we’re happy with the play of both our corners at this point,” Titans secondary coach Chuck Cecil said of Harper and second-year pro Cortland Finnegan. “They need to keep trying to improve and get better every week and maintain and get better.”

Wednesday, Jones learned he was facing another lawsuit for claims he spat upon a woman at a night club in 2005 — and we thought this case was over.

Krystal Webb is seeking the amount on claims of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to a civil suit filed in Circuit Court of Davidson County.

Webb also sued Club Mystic, the nightclub on Sixth Avenue where the alleged incident took place on Oct. 26, 2006.

Jones was charged with assault after Webb went to police, but the charge was later dropped in court when a judge ruled there were too many inconsistencies in the testimony.

Georgia hasn’t enjoyed its games against Florida recently, which is unfortunate because everyone should enjoy the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” no? The Gators had won eight of nine and 15 of 17 since 1990.

And so it was that when the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, they went completely insane. Georgia Coach Mark Richt admitted it was staged — thank goodness his team won or that would have been really silly, as opposed to just silly — and he has since apologized for his actions.

“Two weeks ago when our preparation began for the Florida game, I told the team that we have got to have more energy and enthusiasm in this ball game or we are going to get whipped pretty good,” Richt wrote in his letter to Slive. “I said, as a matter of fact, when we score our first touchdown, I expect you guys to celebrate to the point where the official will throw a flag for excessive celebration. I admit this was inappropriate.”  

If you’re scoring at home, that’s two apologies in two weeks.

That said, it’s a petty, though pretty clever ploy. You know the players were looking forward to the celebration and then wanted to make sure it held up. Richt is getting some support from his peers and one of his better friends in the coaching fraternity, WVU’s Rich Rodriguez, said Monday such things aren’t uncommon.

It sounds crazy, but these are kids and it’s like they need woken up at times. It is such a business and such a drive on them that it seems like some of the kids aren’t having any fun at all despite the TV and the 80,000 fans. Last year, we were halfway through the season and it didn’t seem like some of them were having any fun at all, so I made them all stand up and chest-bump each other and high-five each other before going out. Then they did that during the game, so that was neat.

Not to say Lousiville’s fans are without hope that the surprisingly inept defense won’t contain West Virginia’s offense, but they’re actually looking for help from above.  

I’m leaning toward intense, focused, specific assignment prayer. I think we should each volunteer to pray for a specific player during the game.

Could work. Sure couldn’t hurt.

In all seriousness – they MAY beat you with the pass, but they will beat you with the run. Put 8 in the box and run blitz the hell out of them. That’s the only chance you have. Plug the holes and pray.

Don’t mistake one man’s thinking as isolated sarcasm, either. They’re a little worried in the Derby City about getting their hats handed to them.

The defensive strategy to stop the Eers? Prayer

Where was the trombone player?

Even if you have seen the ridiculous finish to the Division III game Saturday between Trinity (Texas) and Millsaps (Miss.), you need to watch it again. And if you haven’t seen it, enjoy!

Frankly, I was absolutely excited to learn someone covered the game at the the San Antonio Express-News.

“It was the most remarkable play I’ve ever seen in college football,” Trinity coach Steve Mohr said in a telephone interview.

An hour after the game, the Tigers were still trying to figure out how Millsaps failed to make a tackle that began out of desperation at the Trinity 40, with the Majors leading 24-22, and two seconds remaining.

Junior receiver Shawn Thompson caught a pass over the middle from Barmore at the Millsaps 44 and started a series of laterals.

It ended with Curry picking up the final lateral off the turf and running for the score, denying what would have been a conference-title clinching victory for the Majors.

“As soon as I saw (Curry) in the end zone, I fell down and started crying,” Barmore said. “I’m kind of a big baby.”

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Back from New York City and New Jersey with my feet back on the ground and the hands of my clocks back to the proper time. Let’s be honest for a moment: How many of you set their clocks back an hour Saturday night because they thought Daylight Saving Time had ended?

On to the show. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, I’m nothing without you … and your words go nowhere without me.

Joe says:

I hope the Rutgers recruits were impressed by that out-and-out drubbing at the hands of the Mountaineers. I’ve always wondered that if recruits ever say to themselves, “I never considered (Team X), but after watching them destroy (team recruiting me), maybe I’ll go there instead.” This could explain why Boston College is so good now, considering the drubbing they gave WVU in Morgantown in 2004.

Anyway, I think it’s clear that this is the best Mountaineer team ever, which might show why the fans were so mad at the coach after the inexplicable loss to South Florida.

Poor Rutgers recruits had to stand out on the field and watch the game. Many had no wears for the weather and were soaked to the bone by the end of the game, when a few were seen snapping photos of the Mountaineers with their cell phones.

To your point, Ben, I’m trying to figure out the more jaded line of thinking: That this is the “best Mountaineer team ever” or that B.C.’s success is a product of a win against WVU in 2004. My conclusion? It’s a good time to be a WVU fan, yes?  Not only is your team good, but others are better because of your team.

I will say this: When the Mountaineers have a healthy Patrick White, a decisive Steve Slaton, the best five offensive linemen on the field and receivers who can plant their feet and get into defensive backs, that offense is very, very tough. As improbable as it seems after the loss at USF, the win at Rutgers, inspired by a great gameplan, has this team in position to win the Big East and cruise into a BCS game, where it can then prove itself as the best WVU team ever.

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Live from Rutgers

Miserable day in Piscataway, N.J. And it’s raining.

The clouds have opened and closed a few times since about 9:30 this morning and it’ll probably be like this the rest of the day. Still, the artificial turf at Rutgers Stadium looks like it’s holding up. The same cannot be said for the swamp in which they’ve decided to park the media.

Not to say it’s in bad shape, but when I parked and handed the attendant the stub, I got two oars in return.

The Mountaineers are wearing white on white and are 11-5 in that combination since 2000. Rutgers, meanwhile, is wearing black on black — for the first time ever, I think — with red helmets and red numbers. It’s a really sharp look and it’s impressing the Rutgers recruits who are in attendance. They’re lined up on the sideline in a box stretching from the 5-yard line to the 25 and about four rows deep.

They, too, anticipate a big game. And it is big. Not only does Rutgers Stadium have DJ Yoshi — excuse me — the DJ Yoshi working the pregame, but Bob Hertzel — no italics — is here blogging for CSTV.com.

The not-so-big return and a big recruit

The blogcation is over and the balancing act involving the Big East media days for the men and the women, as well as the preparatory work for Saturday’s footall game, is now complete. Leaving NYC soon for Edison, N.J., which is just about two Matt Ryan drives from the Rutgers campus in Piscataway.

(If you need to think of it this way, WVU needed B.C. to win because a Virginia Tech win vaults the Hokies above WVU in the BCS standings and the Eagles wouldnt’ fall below the Mountaineers for losing on the road. With the loss, VT has almost no way of passing WVU, so long as WVU wins out. And yes, that was Matty Ryan’s Heisman Moment. He was everything those final two drives.)

Two things to point out this morning — and there should be at least something coming in the afternoon.

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Timeout

Busy week with both the men’s and women’s basketball media days in New York City this week and a rather significant football game at Rutgers Saturday. It’s been a juggling act trying to pay deserved attention to the three, and it will continue to be that way until Thursday afternoon. As such, the blog will slow down for a few days. The posts will come, though not as regularly. Hopefully we’ll pick up where we left off Friday morning.

Until then, go Rockies!

Cleveland: The new West Virginia? Or vice versa?

Today was not a good day in that it involved waking up knowing my Cleveland Indians were done and that since the “Major League” DVD would be put away for a few more months the giddy, random viewings of Rick Vaughn’s entrance would have to stop.

(Excuse me for a moment … )

Anyhow, I’ve been completely demoralized once again by the Indians. It’s a pattern and, to be completely honest, I’ve learned to know better than look forward to something good happening. It is the most unsettling feeling imaginable to lead the American League Championship Series 3-games-1 and not only fear the absolute worst case scenario, but to expect it and not allow yourself to embrace compliments for how well your team has played or to even wonder what might happen if, for once, you got a break.

And then when that worst case scenario arrives … well, let’s just say I went to the dentist today and actually enjoyed myself. 

I’m pretty much a fan of everything Cleveland, to the point I tout the medical virtues of the Cleveland Clinic when someone will listen (first successful larynx transplant!). Because of this, though, I’m a total pessimist. It’s sad, but it’s true, much the same way it’s sad, but true that absolutely nothing has gone our way in 69 years. Really, LeBron James is perhaps the best thing to happen to us in far too long and we were delighted to see him show up to support the Indians in the division series against the New York Yankees.

Well, until we learned he was an unabashed Yankees fan!

That’s what it’s like. And so for a day, at least, I can sympathize with what I’ve witnessed and called the “WVU syndrome” the past few years.

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Welcome to The O.C.?

No truth to the rumor West Virginia will supplant “Country Roads” postgame with the theme from “The O.C.”

We’ve been on the run,
driving in the sun,
looking out for number one.
California here we come,
right back where we started from.

True, the Mountaineers are always on the run and Saturday they were driving in the sun — at least in the first quarter— as they looked out for No. 1. Yet they looked an awful lot like California’s Golden Bears, which is where the gold-on-blue uniform WVU debuted Saturday started.

Seriously, is this WVU’s Steve Slaton or former Cal star Marshawn Lynch? Nevertheless, WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez was still impressed by the look.

I’m no fashion guru, but I thought it looked good.