What I learned on Signing Day you ask? That Riverside City College just straight ripped the Bengals uniforms like I’ve never seen before. Every part of it down to the striped B on the neck that they just turned into a R. I thought we signed Andy Dalton out of the NFL yesterday when I was watching highlights. Then I realized that Skyler throws to his own team and it definitely wasn’t Dalton.
That’s right I’m still not over it Dalton.
PS – Changed my mind since the game. Dalton is the qb of the future. I would however like to see him start throwing to his own team that would be good.
PS2 – I don’t assume anyone came here expecting signing day coverage this year. If you did sorry about that.
CBSSports.com – One Steelers fan was so upset with the entire situation that he decided to file a motion in Pennsylvania court saying the Chargers shouldn’t be in the playoffs. The man is seeking a ‘temporary emergency injunction’ calling for the NFL to suspend the playoffs for seven-to-10 days so that this issue can be resolved. The man says the officials were ‘negligent’ and ‘fraudulent’ when they missed the call.
Oh hey Steeler fans don’t look now but you might be in the playoffs still. Simple solution this guy has proposed why don’t we just suspend the playoffs completely, don’t worry about TV contracts or the Super Bowl being one of the biggest events of the year we could just change that date too…because the refs messed up one call in the final regular season game that mattered to Steeler fans…yeah because of all that we need to stop the playoffs and make this whole thing right. So incredibly Steeler fan of this guy.
PS – If this means that they would let Bengals back in to play the Steelers if they win then I was just kidding that call was horrible and we need to start the entire playoffs over.
PS2 – Thinking to yourself…can’t believe he hates the Steelers so much that he would jump on and write a blog after the site’s been pretty much shut down for months…yeah I know it’s sort of a disease I have I think.
As another 4th quarter lead was melted away, and the final pass in overtime was short of the endzone in a 52-44 loss to Iowa State, the reality of a 4-8 was realized. We all knew it wasn’t going to be amazing this year, but I doubt many of us honestly believed it would be this awful.
Instantly we have split into two groups. The “Fire Dana Now” group and the “Its not really Danas fault” group. As far as firing Dana now is concerned, it’s not going to happen. Unless Dana is found drunk at a crash site snorting coke off the body of a dead hooker in his trunk, he will be the WVU coach in 2014. You can debate if he DESERVES to be the coach next year, but there is no debate on IF he will be the coach next year.
As far as it not being all Dana’s fault, there is some merit there. As pointed out by many, and Dana himself, we don’t have the depth that other Big 12 teams have. We don’t have the facilities that other Big 12 teams have. We don’t have the recruits that other Big 12 teams have. It was a rebuilding year anyway. We had too many injuries throughout the season. We were oh so close to being a 8 win team with a few breaks in a few games.
I’ll admit, many of those are true. The being close to winning 8 games, I said that myself just a few weeks ago. It’s the truth, a break here or there and we win many of these 4th quarter close games. But we didn’t. We didn’t win those games. You shouldn’t get credit for something you almost did. Depth, facilities, recruits, injures, all true. All a problem for us, but injuries for one, are not unique to West Virginia. Everyone has injuries. You deal with it. No excuse for injuries, it happens.
Rebuilding year? Yes, West Virignia ranked 109th in the country in returning lettermen. That is low, but look at our FBS opponents this year and where they ranked in returning lettermen:
Everyone outside of Texas and Texas Tech were young and rebuilding this year. Everyone. Look at that list. We lost to 3 teams (Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State) who were actually ranked WORSE than WVU in returning players. Not unique to WVU. No excuse. Being young doesn’t explain losses to Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas and it certainly doesn’t explain a 37-0 loss to Maryland. Doesn’t explain it. Is it true that we were young and rebuilding? Yes. Doesn’t explain 4-8.
At the start of the season I wrote an article, mainly in support of Dana Holgorsen, called “The Signal and the Noise”. The point of the article was to point out that what we as fans dream WVU to be, often isn’t the reality. We are a tiny state, with not a ton of money, with no recruiting base, and no major television market. It is a near miracle we’re a major football program at all. When we were running past coaches out of town for not winning National Championships, it was a severe lack of self-awareness. It is HARD to win at West Virginia. We are at a natural disadvantage. Not because of trying, but because of DNA. We’re a 5-11 guy who can’t jump trying to play in the NBA. Do all the improvements to your game you want, genetically you’re at a disadvantage.
That brings us to the depth, recruiting, and facilities. Everyone who says we lack in these areas is absolutely correct. We are not at a Big 12 level in these areas. Some try to say these are the main reasons why we are struggling. I doubt they’re the main reasons, but contributing reasons? Sure. Here’s the problem. We will never catch up to the top of the Big 12 in those categories. Never. Ever. Unless another Zuckerberg comes out of WVU and decides to Boone Pickens the school up. We can improve in those areas all you want but we will never ever ever ever ever be able to compete with Oklahoma and Texas in depth or recruiting or facilities. Not in the same hemisphere with them. We’re a long distance away from Oklahoma State too. Baylor, Texas Tech and TCU have a recruiting and a market edge on us. We’re at a genetic disadvantage.
That’s what we’re dealing with here. If we need great depth, and elite facilities, and excellent recruiting classes to win in the Big 12, then we’re never going to win in the Big 12. Those things aren’t happening. We can IMPROVE those things, but we will still be way behind our counterparts. That’s why Dana shouldn’t get a pass. He can gripe all he wants about fighting with one hand tied behind his back at WVU, but that’s the situation. That’s the deal. It’s hard to win at WVU. It is. We need a coach who can take all these disadvantages and STILL win. Not make excuses about the things WVU doesn’t have. Win. Despite everything. Win. Dana needs to do a better job with what he has, and worry less about what he doesn’t have. Don’t have the recruits? Tough, find a way. Don’t have the facilities? Tough, find a way.
“Tough, find a way” is how most West Virginians must live their day to day lives. No excuses, valid or not, matter. And they do it. They find a way to get it done. Now it’s time to quit making excuses and ask the same from our football team and Dana Holgorsen.
Loved this exchange last night felt like posting it.
Made me laugh. Combine a black and white joke with being startled that Stockton didn’t make someone furious for once was good humor.
I didn’t just post this for that exchange though more importantly because Stockton’s original point which yes was shockingly something nice is actually pretty on point. He went on to complain about last year at the same time because that’s what Stockton does but point being Huggins did have a tremendous offseason with this team and it’s showing quickly. I’m not nearly as hard on the coaching from last year as Stockton likes to be the way I saw it Huggs probably coached them the way he’s coached for years and it seemed like nobody listened and the season was somewhat disastrous. I guess you can blame that on coaches but at the same time I don’t know how you fix it. Well other than blow it up and start over as best you can and that’s what we did.
I’m not going to sit here and say how good our record will be and how many more games we will win because I have zero clue if that’s the case but I think we all can agree that this team just seems to look better out there. They don’t seem as frustrating as last years team which always seemed to drive fans nuts for good reason. There is still plenty to improve on this year and if they do that I really do think the wins will follow.
Speaking of wins following is that what has to happen to get people to go to games? It’s a little difficult to hear WVU fans go on and on about how good our fanbase is then we start breaking attendance records. Negative attendance records. Coliseum was legitimately empty last night. I know the team we played wasn’t very good but if we can’t get 5,000 people out to the Coliseum then we have no business pretending we have a good fanbase at all. Pitt had almost 10,000 people show up to watch them play Lehigh. That’s just disgusting to be worse than Pitt at anything. I know our fans are better than that…get to the games.
PS – Yes I realize the picture I used is extremely old but if we don’t start having people come out to the games Oliver will probably sell our scoreboard for a profit and put that old one back up and make us deal with the Lite-Brite board again.
Had to come and redeem my gambling self this weekend. I didn’t get to the end of Stockton’s podcast to hear his picks so hopefully we don’t have the same on any, although if we do you should probably bet it. I just got to the part of the podcast where he said I had “something personal” going on and thought to myself….did he just say that to make me missing it sound important or by “personal” is he referring to the fact that I was drunk when he called and forgot to call back a “personal” problem? Either way probably right. On to the picks…
(Winners in bold)
North Carolina +1 @ Pitt
Pitt isn’t covering two weeks in a row. You want more of a reason than that? I don’t have it I just don’t think Pitt can cover two weeks in a row.
Florida +13 @ South Carolina
If you decide to go against me on any this may be the one. Everything I read says to take South Carolina but I’m not buying it. 13 points is a lot to give up to a team full of talent against a team who doesn’t really blow people out anyway. South Carolina has only beat one team by 20 all year I don’t think Florida will be the next. Then again Florida kind of stinks so there is that but I don’t buy it. 13 is too many.
SD State -5 @ Hawaii
Hawaii hasn’t won and I don’t think they are going to start now. SD State isn’t all that bad. Probably a reason it’s only 5, but I think that’s just me being paranoid because I lost every game I picked last week.
Miami -3.5 @ Duke
If Duke wins this game they have a very real chance of winning their side of the ACC. Again I have no real reason for saying that won’t happen other than that just doesn’t seem right. I don’t like to go against what seems right. Miami is the pick.
Syracuse @ Florida State Over 56
I’m not an over/under person usually but this one seems easy. Cuse gave up 49 to Clemson and 56 to GT. I think Florida State puts up 56 by themselves.
So there you have it…back from a few days off with my personal problems (drinking) to make sure you are aware of my personal problems (bad gambling.) Have a fun weekend and don’t go broke.