At first, it was kind of sad. Now it's just hilarious that Marshall University's preeminent beat writer has nothing better to pontificate on than the WVU-Marshall series. I guess that's what you get when your team is irrelevant by the end of September every year and the only chance you have to garner any attention whatsoever is to continue playing a series that benefits your school at the expense of WVU, the State of West Virginia, the national debt, and a small orphanage somewhere in Liberia.
In case you missed the article (which you may have, considering it was too irrelevant to even make WVUIE97's expansive link dump in the morning S/T), everyone's favorite Huntington Herald-Dispatch sportswriter Chuck Landon is back on the streets -- magnifying glass and fingerprint powder in hand -- trying to figure out just how, and why, WVU is trying to put its series with Marshall out
of its misery to an end. I still can't figure out exactly what ol' Chucky is trying to get at, so I decided to call him up on his batphone and engage him in some serious debate:
Country Roads: Mr. Landon, what are your thoughts on the recently announced game between WVU and BYU set for FedEx field in 2016?
There is one reason the Mountaineers chose to sign a game with BYU for the 2016 season. WVU is doing everything it possibly can to book non-conference games for the 2014 season and beyond.
CR: Well, that's true, Chuck. Considering WVU has one opening left for 2014 and two each in 2015 and 2016, it would help WVU to actually play a full schedule of games during those years. You see, WVU can actually win the games it schedules, which helps it earn money and gain national prestige. But what do money and national prestige have to do with a school like Marshall?
There is nothing the Mountaineers would like better than to be able to shrug their collective shoulders and say, "Sorry, Marshall, there's no room in the Mountaineer Inn."
CR: Actually, there are a lot of things the Mountaineers would like better than that. For example, winning the Big East, being ranked in the Top 25, attending Bike Week in Morgantown, and eating an entire Husson's extra large pizza. But yeah, I'd like to be able to say that to Marshall too. So how does WVU go about pulling off such a devious scheme?
That philosophy is so obvious one source with knowledge of the situation characterized WVU's mindset as "actively looking" for non-conference games to schedule.
CR: By jove, you're right! I can't believe I never saw the link before. Actively looking to schedule non-conference games and screwing Marshall at the same time! Genius! I wish WVU would have dreamed up this philosophy earlier so we could have been actively looking for non-conference games more often! I'm sure actively looking is a foreign concept to you, though, Chuck. When you want a date, you just sit back and relax while the women flock to those gold, flowing locks of manliness draped of your shoulders. But the rest of us, we have to actively look for women to date. I guess that says something about WVU, that it would need to actively look for games to play, rather than wait for teams to line up at its door for a home-and-home. What's a poor, helpless school like Marshall to do when its dream date is actively looking for other games??
And with each passing day it becomes more and more obvious that only one person will be able to bring equitable closure to this controversy.
CR: Who can the righteous people of the world call upon to right this intolerable injustice?
CR: Wait, you mean . . . Joe "Superman" Manchin? The Great Negotiator? The one person who can see right from wrong and yet has the sheer political will to make certain that the stubborn, selfish, irrational leaders in Morgantown like Oliver Luck and Jim Clements don't get away with trying to make WVU football better? Certainly he has better things to do with his time than worry about a piddly little series of football games!
It's a shame that cooler, more reasonable heads won't prevail in this Marshall-WVU series renewal saga. That's the way it should be done, instead of the governor of West Virginia having no choice but to get involved.
CR: A crying shame! To think that such an important matter---one that takes precedence far and above environmental regulations, tort reform, and balancing the budget---cannot be resolved by the parties whom it involves and demands the intervention of the great political forces of our state. If WVU could only see the benefit it could reap by eschewing marquee non-conference games against quality opponents that garner money and prestige, how much better off we would all be.
Frankly, it's inconceivable to me how a school could be so selfish as to want to maximize its potential while allowing---nay, oppressing---its poor little orphan brother to be left by the wayside, unable to fill its stadium, gain national exposure, or fill its coffers without WVU's help. And if WVU isn't going to voluntarily hold itself back from greatness because it views Marshall as a charity case, justice demands that the governor step in and make sure that those (like Marshall) who can't or won't earn their way to respectability be given a hand by those (like WVU) who can and have. If Marshall is going be average, everyone else should be forced to be average along with it. The masses demand mediocrity! Power to the people of Marshall!
Viva la revolution!