Chip Shots

Jim Buzzerd

Several points

The West Virginia University Men’s Basketball Team lost its first game of the season last Saturday losing 70-68 to St. John’s in Madison Square Garden. The loss leaves the Mountaineers with a 7-1 record with home games this week against Austin Peay on Thursday and Nicholls State on Saturday. WVU will be favored to win both games, but don’t sleep on Nicholls. The Louisiana school has won on the road at Pitt this season and played tough in road losses at Illinois and LSU. Former Mountaineer D’Angelo Hunter averages 10.3 points a game for the Colonels and scored 17 in their upset at Pitt.
If WVU turns the ball over 22 times as they did against St. John’s Saturday, a lot of potential wins will turn into losses. Twenty-two turnovers and five of 12 shooting from the foul line cost the Mountaineers a win on Saturday, a win they may look back and regret later on. West Virginia follows this week with a game at Youngstown State on the 21st, so a 10-1 record heading into a showdown with third ranked Ohio State on the 29th is probable. Then WVU plays at second ranked Kansas, at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  We should have a better perspective on the Mountaineers by then.
For several weeks it looked like the Big 12 was going to miss having a team in the College Football Playoff, but due to a series of events in Pac 12 Football Oklahoma, who beat Baylor for the Big 12 Championship Saturday ended up in the semifinal as a four seed. The Sooners will meet top seeded LSU on December 28. Second seed Ohio State will meet three seed Clemson on the same day. Word is WVU stands to gain around $4 million from the Big 12 revenue sharing plan.
Going into the weekend Georgia was fourth in the CFP poll and Utah was fifth. Oklahoma and Baylor were sixth and seventh respectively. Since LSU and Georgia were playing in the SEC Championship game logic, not always relevant in these matters, suggested that a Georgia loss would give the Bulldogs two losses and open the door for Utah who was favored to beat Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship game.
When Oregon dismantled Utah 37-15 on Friday night the Big 12 winner was almost a lock to get the fourth spot in the playoff, as long as Georgia lost, and they did 37-10.
Golf has probably been on the back burner for a lot of you, but beginning Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Golf Channel coverage of the President’s Cup from Royal Melbourne, Australia begins. Of course Australia is 16 hours ahead of us in the Eastern Time zone so you’ll be watching Thursday’s opening fourballs matches Wednesday evening.