WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

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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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.

Friday feedback

An unprecedented number of comments this week … and only a few were from friends and family. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Cleveland Indians fans and both tantalized and terrified by the American League Championship Series, but I’m reminded of a line from “Major League” when Lou Brown is with his pitching coach as the Tribe begins its run.

“It’s starting to come together, Pepper.”

Well, Pepper, let’s get to the Friday Feedback, cowbells recommended. Comments appear as posted.

JX says:

Joe Alexander is, like, a more athletic Rex Chapman…or is he a taller Brent Barry??

And, seriously, how does Micheal Jordan ‘curtain jerk’ the Huggy Bear tribute video?? I mean…for godsake….how does he end up edited into that slot and CLARK KELLOGG is the ‘closer’??????

Who put that video together?? The one human in the WORLD who doesn’t realize how amazing it is that THE GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER EVER agreed to be filmed giving a shoutout to Huggy Bear??? I can’ wrap my brain around this one, Caz….I just cant.

Phew, where to begin. I’ll go with Brent Barry for the dunking, but I’ve heard from people IN THE KNOW there are some Luke Walton comparisons. As for Jordan starting off the tribute video at Mountaineer Madness, I couldn’t agree more. The crowd was startled. By the time everyone had stopped tingling, Clark Kellog was blowing our mind and we missed everything in between.

Also, expect Nich Lachey to be among the Mountaineer Maniacs this season.

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About USF…

Since you’re wondering, South Florida’s loss last night doesn’t change the outlook for West Virginia too much other than if the Mountaineers needed the Bulls to lose twice, the Mountaineers first needed the Bulls to lose once. All it really means right now is that only one team can finish unbeaten in Big East play … and I’ll come out and say Connecticut won’t do it. 

So the BCS spot for the conference champ is still in play, though a lot still hinges on what USF does. It’s convoluted — if WVU beats Rutgers, which beat USF, and WVU and USF finish 7-1, USF is the Big East champ – and too early to begin to decipher. WVU’s best chance for the BCS is to win out accept an at-large invitation. Trust me on this.

As for the Bulls, let’s just say a lot of people are happy to see them knocked down a notch.

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