I hate this football game.
It serves absolutely no purpose in my mind, except to give the eleven Marshall fans in Charleston an excuse to wear the shirt they bought at Steve & Barry's before it went out of business. Other than that, it has no positive effect on West Virginia University, the only entity I care about in this equation. I don't care if you say it's good for the state -- very debatable, by the way -- it doesn't do WVU any good.
But, of course, that doesn't change the fact that it will be played tonight. And, thankfully, it's only an hour drive. Then again, the drive is to Huntington, which means I will have to avoid multiple car-jackings once I get there. Either way, I'm game enough to put my life on the line in Little Detroit to make the journey. So, what do I expect to see once I get there?
Glad you asked...
WVU will win this game, and handily at that.
Marshall fans refuse to believe this, spouting nonsense about how things are now different with Doc Holliday (as if you couldn't tell after getting waxed at Ohio State). And maybe they will be different, I don't know -- Holliday is a heckuva recruiter, no doubt about that. But as I heard someone say, "Coming to West Virginia to play football at Marshall instead of WVU is like driving all the way to the Grand Canyon just to take a picture of a pothole." And I really couldn't have said it better myself. So, it's going to be an uphill battle, but even if he succeeds, it certainly hasn't happened this quickly.
Marshall is still a team that has little to no identity on offense, lacks playmakers on both sides of the ball, and has continually both coughed up the football and allowed WVU to run all over them in each and every meeting. Overreaction to WVU's performance in a scrimmage-like Coastal Carolina game has raised spirits, but the prior sentence still rings true regardless. WVU can outclass Marshall is every aspect of the football game, and while it might not happen from second #1, it will occur over the sixty minutes.
The current line on the game is 12.5, and while the Herd may look the threaten that at times, I can't see them coming within a touchdown of covering in the end. WVU simply has too many weapons -- on both sides of the ball -- and that usually wins out in the end. It will tonight.
So, in the lead-up to this game, let them talk about their national championships and try to stomach their nonsensical smack talk (quick note: In my high school, those that either 1) couldn't get into WVU; or 2) lacked ambition went to Marshall. That was about it. Now, I have to listen to Marshall fans calling WVU fans hillbillies? Riiiight.). In the end, this state is painted gold and blue throughout, and any assertion to the contrary is just a lie. We are both the flagship university and sports team in this state, and tonight, we have to make sure little brother knows his place. It's just unfortunate it has to happen in Huntington.
Just in case, I'm packing the kevlar.