West Virginia University's basketball team began last week ranked 22nd in the country. The Mountaineers were coming off an impressive 92-66 road win at Seton Hall, with an 11-2 record and a date at home with fifth ranked Connecticut looming. After UCONN, the Mountaineers would travel to 18th ranked Marquette on Saturday. The opportunity was there for WVU to make a statement.
A couple weeks ago this space presented a scenario favored by this writer to replace the current method of determining a national champion in Division 1 football. While the current system of using the regular season to select two teams to play for the NCAA championship is favored by a few, many more want something else.
Oklahoma will play Florida for the college football championship on January 8 in Miami. Each team is 12-1 and obviously have a great argument to be in the game. They did, after all, finish one and two in the final Bowl Championship Series poll and that is all that is required. As an impartial observer I tend to agree Oklahoma and Florida belong in the game. Both won their conference championship games and are playing at a high level.
Well, the regular season is over and West Virginia University's football team finished 8-4. That is a far cry from the possible undefeated season and a shot at the national championship some people had predicted for this team. The Mountaineers held on last Saturday to beat South Florida 13-7 in the much ballyhooed Whiteout. The win earned WVU a berth in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte on December 7. The Mountaineers will face North Carolina at 1 p.m.
It is unclear just how organized this event will be, but there is a move afoot to have a Whiteout at West Virginia University's home football game this Saturday night. The idea is for Mountaineer fans to wear all white to the game to honor Mountaineer quarterback Pat White. It is hardly even debatable that a WVU football player has ever been more worthy of such a tribute.
Once upon a time, way back in April, I went on a golf trip to Birmingham, Alabama. There were eight of us on this trip, six from the state of Maryland, but there were six who regularly attend West Virginia University football games. I mention this because while we were in Alabama we encountered numerous Auburn football fans. Of course Auburn is West Virginia's opponent in this Thursday night's ESPN football game in Morgantown.
Things are becoming interesting around the West Virginia University football program. Even though WVU has rebounded from a 1-2 start and is 4-2 heading into next Thursday night's showdown with Auburn, the fans are not very happy.
West Virginia University's football team received good news last week when the NCAA ruled defensive tackle Pat Liebig would be eligible for the upcoming football season. The ruling amounts to a sixth season for the Florida native.
Last week in this space there was some discussion about the West Virginia University football team's running backs. Specifically who would be able to back up starting tailback Noel Devine. In Saturday's scrimmage Terrence Kerns looked like he may have emerged as the early favorite.