Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which … sheezus, this time next week we’re in the second day of football practice? Yes, please. No matter how big a meal we tend to make out of things like Tier 3 rights and vinyl graphic banners, no matter how much we like picking at those platters, the real stuff is the real deal. Can’t wait.
Already, I’ve got the first several days tentatively planned out before we’re allowed to speak with freshmen, but invariably the plans get jumbled and what I plan for the third day ends up on the third-to-last day. Things develop, freshmen arrive, depth charts settle and the next thing I know I’m wearing a mauve sweat suit trying my hardest to keep pace.
I will tell you Thursday’s sports front and Friday’s sports front are keepers. Those guns were in holster for a while, but the season is here and I see the whites of your widening eyes.
I’m dipping out this weekend for the Liverpool v. Tottenham match in Baltimore, where I’ll make around 40 references to the Wire, get into disputes with my wife about Tristan Wilds being better in the new 90210 and promptly regret not having a friend named Omar that might have come with me. I have next week off until Thursday morning, though I imagine I’ll make a cameo and maybe even share tales about the time my name was in the streets.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, buckle down.
Jeff in Akron said:
“He caught his second-best receiver, Wayne Porter, cutting class before the bowl game and had to bench him.” Add that to the list of things that, “You probably couldn’t get away with that today.”
Carlen was the coach when I was old enough to be a Mountaineer fan. Ironically, Carlen may be the coach that started the preoccupation with a coach leaving for a “better” job after a successful tenure in Morgantown. Thankfully, that was finally put to rest last year when he visited WVU with Bowden and Cignetti. A gathering that was probably more significant than most realized at the time.
Rest in peace coach! Would it be considered in poor taste if I continued to make fun of Carlen’s preoccupation with WV roads?
He was an original and a pioneer and at a pretty significant time for WVU and for the country. He’s on the Hall of Fame ballot, and though he probably won’t make it, he really does deserve more attention than he has. Accomplished coach at three schools, administrator, bowl winner, Heisman Trophy coach, engineer, humanitarian … these are good things to have on the resume. And for the record, though I do like Carlen’s credentials, Sol Metzger is my man. I’d love to cover that guy.
I love you, Doug:
Imagine installing a new system in the handful of weeks leading up to a bowl game today. Granted, the wishbone is kissing cousin to the veer but imagine trying to “install” a pro-style offense in a spread team in December in today’s rocket-science, don’t-disrupt-the-practice, maximum-number-of-practices-allowed environment. It’s just CRAZY!
Indeed. Let’s not undersell it. Not to get too X and O here, but positioning a halfback as a fullback and using that fullback and scheming to block for the fullback isn’t easy. I say that based of what I would expect today. Imagine the circumstances 40-something years ago without the same practice availability, film technology, time with players, so on and so forth. It’s still pretty sweet subterfuge.
just from reading your piece, i don’t think it would it be overstating things to say he ushered in the modern era of wvu football. definitely have a greater appreciation for his contributions. strong work.
Eh, that’s why I’m here. Glad the point was conveyed, though. A lot of people feel very strongly about the point we were trying to make.
Mr. M said:
I had no reason to think much about Coach Carlen’s contribution until, unfortunately, now. And looking up a few things about our Mountaineer history, it becomes obvious that we do indeed owe homage to him.
1949 seemed like a long time ago in 1969 — and it was, especially considering it had been that twenty year interval between bowl wins. And there had only been two(!) bowl appearances during that time — the ill-fated Sugar and some indoor “Liberty” Bowl in Atlantic City on a short field in front of 6000 fans. Losses, as indicated.
So, in Carlen’s final game with WVU, he not only helped a pleased Peach Bowl group draw over 48,000, he gave us a big win. We have to remember that we fans had to content ourselves with the occasional victory over Pitt as translating into a successful season during that period. Coach Carlen gave us three winning seasons in a row. That hadn’t happened with any regularity in the history of the program, last happening with a six-win stretch ending in 1957.
But perhaps the most significant impact of Coach Carlen’s efforts, though, center around the Peach Bowl — and not just his, but later ones. In an environment when the Bowls weren’t as tied to their choices as they are now to pre-determined league standings, I think we can say with confidence that the 1969 WVU fan participation led to that Bowl’s three additional invitations to us during the following ten years. Our next appearance (in 1972 — our only loss during the 4 game appearances) resulted in a crowd of 52,000+.
So, yes, considering we probably would not have received those invitations to the Peach Bowl (or anywhere else) during that time — which culminated in the big win against Florida in 1981 — Ollie Luck’s final game as a Mountaineer. We take bowl appearances as standard issue now — and granted there are more of them — and certainly we enjoy the sixteen opportunities during the past twenty years (ten in the last ten years). But considering the bleakness of our post seasons during the twenty years prior to Coach Carlen, we indeed owe him a lot of consideration.
So, sure, THANKS JIM CARLEN! RIP
I love you, Doug said:
For your football, but mostly histori-cultural, viewing pleasure, please enjoy the 1969 WVU football highlights. Dig the crazy organ music, brother!
This is just terrific.
I think we need to curb our enthusiasm just a tad.
Everyone is still hovering around in the afterglow of that unbelievable OB wipeout of Clemson.
However, I remember ugly losses to Syracuse and Louisville, and by-the-hair-of-our-chinny-chin-chin wins over Cincinnati, USF and Pitt
The point is the Mountaineers barely made it to BCS, and without that stage are we feeling so good about ourselves heading into the wild blue yonder of an initial Big 12 campaign?
Well, someone said it. I think if we’re all being honest, we acknowledge the aforementioned. It absolutely exists. Not sure anyone has to be less enthusiastic about a pretty exciting time, but maybe “less entitled” is a better choice of words. Clearly, though, we get the point because while the Big 12 is a great place to be, it is also a dangerous place to be.
WV always seems to do better as under dogs than front runners. I agree that hopes may be too high with a young and unproven defense.
OK, so we’re being honest and realistic now? Good. Good.
The underdog role is behind us unless we take a big step back this year.
Most of the country sees WVU as a quality football program that can compete with anyone…….it is time WVU fans take this attitude. We belong and we will kick your tail given the opportunity.
As for losses vs SU and UL, it was the first year for a first time head coach who had only been named HC a few months prior. Holgorsen did what he needed to do to win the BE BCS bid 6 months after taking the HC job and he won in style. To find shortcomings or failure there is a bit nit picky, IMO.
Hmm. I’ll allow it, if only because I remain impressed by the way Dana grew within the season. He coached and called plays differently late in the season and they had a fantastic December before the bowl game, when he was able to apply a lot of the things he learned before then. So, sure, some bad moments before all of that can be explained. I just happen to think it could be a long time before WVU is THE favorite and not an underdog in this league. Even now, I suspect people think it’s mostly hype.
I remember all of the posts on here during last year’s games about how bad WVU was. I also remember saying, “Let’s copy and paste these to the blog when the 2012 season is about to start and we’re back to thinking WVU walks on water.” I definitely don’t think a great season is inevitable like I did when Pat White and Steve Slaton were returning for their sophomore years (which, by the way, did not even result in a Big East championship).
OK, I’ll ask. Has WVU ever played a harder schedule? I can’t find one.
I’m glad Rhoads shaved his offseason beard before Media Day; otherwise it would be impossible to dislike him with the intensity a 12/1/07 villain deserves.
Oh, absolutely. People were distraught he shaved and then doubly disappointed when they learned he’d done it that day. I don’t think you would have garnered any company in your battle against Iowa State if he’d kept it. What a beard. I’m so proud.
So you go to Dallas and reintroduce us to five people: Paul Rhoads of 13-9, Wally Burnham of the Yankee cap game, Rich Rodriguez of 13-9 and the Yankee cap game Kevin Sumlin of 48-28, Bill Stewart of where to begin?, and in so doing you teach us about the interconnection of all lives?
Well played, sir. But for real, isn’t it strange how things work out so many years later?
The “huckleberry” reference is apt; as far as I’m concerned, Paul Rhoads and Frederic Chopin have the same middle name.
Uh, what is that middle na — never mind.
Pitt did a great job making tackles in that game and much like the USF games, RR had no answers other than repeatedly running the same plays and hoping for someone to break out.
Book! OK, not really, but I re-watched the game when I was writing and I was really struck by how well Pitt played, in general, on defense. They didn’t miss tackle because they didn’t overrun plays or go to the wrong spot or lean or lunge. It was just very solid. I think you can argue that whatever P-Rod tried, Pitt nabbed it just by being very fundamental. Over time, that would have to drive a coach crazy. And when the stakes are what they were that night? Must have been agonizing.
What great feat of defensive coaching caused Pat McAfee to miss two chip shot field goals?
Now that I would argue was a feat of head coaching. I’ll never understand why The Product didn’t just go for it on the first drive after Pitt declined the delay of game. Also, credit where credit is due: Rhoads made no tackles that night. That was a triumph by the players.
Jeff in Akron said:
Holgorsen referred to “the conference we were in last year” many times during his press conference without ever naming said conference. Is that the same as “those we don’t speak of”?
I have a hard time believing there are accidents with Dana. I have an ever harder time believing there are three accidents.
Mr. M said:
Good to see Coach Dana sporting our school colors: Canary “Twitter” Yellow, Blue, and Old Gray.
Hey! No black! His shoes were brown.
oklahoma mountaineer said:
I have a question somewhat related to this news conference. Why would we not be trying to pick over Penn St for a few transfers. We are under the 85 scholareships, have a need for D line players, and are one of the few schools in proximity in a big conference who say that.
I know you don’t advertise that you are looking, but behind the scenes, we have to be looking, don’t we?
Very good question, but word and deed are different things — and Dana really couched it by saying a transfer had to fit a need. Now, if WVU does get a Penn State transfer, he can explain it away as a need and really not come off as a bad guy. Charlie Weis, I thought, was a little different in his approach, though he gets points for honesty. The game is the game today and if a number of coaches are going to be a bad guy and gain off of it, what are you going to gain by being a good guy? The A.D. might not remember that one little gentlemanly decision from July 2012 when you miss the postseason for the third time in five years. Also, I believe there is a need on defensive line and there is someone who has at least been contacted, perhaps through an appropriate backchannel. But truthfully, there’s a time and a place for everything and I don’t think that was the time or place for coaches to enthusiastically say they were ready to poach Nittany Lions. Someone tweeted me and asked why we weren’t asking Holgorsen about Penn State transfers and, honestly, I felt a little dirty. Also, let me do my job.
Do we even have any scholarships left to hand out?
Sure. Remember, they weren’t near 85 last year for a variety of reasons. They’re much closer to capacity now, but Lebbie (definitely) and McManus (reportedly … but also, definitely; Chris Anderson nailed it to the wall) are off to a prep school and no one has given me any indication Dee Joyner will make it. Burney, I don’t know about for sure, but, obviously, it doesn’t look good. That’s one linebacker, two receivers and a running back. I think you could easily explain “need” now. The wonder about McManus is that a little more than a year ago there was a thought he might enroll in January 2012.
is efforting a real verb? I guess it depends on the meaning of “is”….
maybe that’s how they talk in Big 12 Country…
Anyway, the Grammar Police are so happy we’re out of the Big
East that they’re giving you a pass on this one.
Let me stop you at the question mark. Yes. Yes it is.
Everyone that always WAS, that IS, and WILL ever be a MOUNTAINEER FAN said:
Iowa State will never be a rival!!!! Why are the media and other trying to manufacture a rival for West Virginia?!?! Our rivals are PITT, VT, Penn State, etc. Just because Iowa State doesn’t have a true rival in the Big 12, doesn’t mean we will become rivals. Games must be played. History must be played out. Please drop this idea Mike. This idea of a “Riot Bowl” is stupid. MARSHA…I MEAN IOWA STATE IS NOT A RIVAL OF WEST VIRGINIA!!!!!
OK BUT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THERE’S no WAY I’ll drop it now, RIGHT? Those schools you mention aren’t walking through that door. It’s like putting 29 cent stamps on an envelope because that used to be the postage. Time to change.
I heard that Iowa State’s uniforms are made of dead puppies and they have us on their schedule as “Western Virginia.”
I have not heard that … I’ve seen that.
So having now caught up with Mike’s B12 exploits on his “Working title” page, I am left with one question and one observation.
Question: Who the heck is Rick Ross?
Observation: Having a BC fan emphasizes (again) the unique quality of this blog, which I surmise is possible, in part, because of the tight rein with which Mike undoubtedly moderates it. If Mike decides to write a second book, I hope he includes a sampling of all the interesting submissions that he had to exclude from public consumption. Maybe also the tweets and TFGD.
Still waiting on the fella from Boston College who was with my cousins in Dallas and at least feigned amazement his audience was related to me. Also, the blooper reel for my first book would be a great second book. Assuming, of course, pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. You should see how I met my first deadline.
How can you say it was announced yesterday/today when I’ve known it was going to be Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) for months and I’ve simply gone by what I’ve seen online?
You mean the Iowa State game? How about because I cover the team and had no idea and people I know at the university also had no idea. I’d even had conversations about the Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday football/basketball string fans could enjoy that week. Yes, you and literally hundreds of others got the road ticket form in the mail. Not everyone else did and surely not the people who made plans to fly out Friday for the Saturday game. But disregard all of that and answer me this: If that was on paper months ago — and it was because I have since seen in — why hadn’t the university announced it?
ISU game is 3:30 EST, 2:30 CST on ABC, so that will be a good day if we beat Marist.
I’m waiting on official word from WVU. And that has to come from the Big 12. And that appears to be on hold until the television contract is finished. Honestly, and perhaps obviously, that’s the issue here. WVU, and no one else, for that matter, wants to step out on the Big 12.
Love your writing, but you whiffed big-time saying WVU had never played a regular season game vs current Big 12 schools.
1982 Oklahoma!! Still one of WVU’s all-time great wins, arguably the opening shot of its move into the limelight. Which was actually the 3rd all-time regular season meeting between the two schools, OU having won in 1978 and once earlier also.
WVU won, yes, won AT TEXAS circa 1956. Ok, yes, that was a 1-9 UT team, but hey.
If the other Chstn paper’s opponent preview for WVU vs K-State is correct then WVU and K-State met two years in a row, circa 1930-31. Then again their opp. preview story for Texas Tech had a Freudian-typo gaffe of its own. They listed TTU as having defeated “Open” 37-31 last year. Given TexTech’s defense of a year ago, that is quite believable…
If I whiffed, then how did the ball end up over the fence? The Big 12 started in 1996. All the games before then were not against Big 12 teams. Sure, there is a brief list of games against teams that are in this current Big 12, but experiences against teams in the Big Eight or the Southwest Conference don’t do me any good in a column about experiencing the Big 12.
I love you, Doug said:
“Longtime rivals.” Brilliant. As the great William Shatner said, “If you say something enough, you believe it.”
Die, Cyclones. Die.
Enjoy the weekend!