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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Monday (10/17/11) Edition

Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's nationally recognized best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest.

Mountaineer Madness kicked off the basketball season unofficially Friday night and the new look Mountaineers certainly put on an athletic display. We have lots of pictures, videos and articles covering the event for you to enjoy if you weren't able to make it in person.

Back on the football side of things, today we have lot's of mid-season grades/evaluations to peruse. WVU checks in at #15 in the initial BCS rankings. Moan and complain if you will, but if the Mountaineers do what they are capable of, the ranking should be very nice by the end of the season. Oh yeah, there's the little matter of Big East voting today to increase the exit fee. Whether or not it's approved may not be the major story. Who and when it affects, as well as the 27 month waiting period may be the more telling stories to follow. On with the show...

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Monday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Tony Caridi breaks down the Syracuse Orange, Chip Fontanazza looks back at what went wrong in last year's Syracuse game in Morgantown and WVU forward Deniz Kilicli talks about how all of the new players are doing on the Mountaineer basketball team.

West Virginia lives with an uncertain conference future - PPG
"It's almost like watching a poker game. You wonder what cards they're holding and where they're seated at the table," said David P. Synowka, professor and head of the department of sports management at Robert Morris University.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Could Luck save the Big East? - Times West Virginian
The bigger question is: "Does he want to? Would it help WVU?"

Will WVU remain in Big East? - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Let's hope not

2011 NCAA College Football Polls and Rankings for Week 8 - ESPN
#15 BCS, #11 AP, #14 Coaches

SN Power Rankings - Sporting News
#12 here

P.S.R. 1-120: Week 8 Re-Ranking - Pre-Snap Read
#15 here

2011 College Bowl Projections and Schedules - ESPN
Orange here

Big East bowl projections: Week 7 - Big East Blog - ESPN
Orange here too

West Virginia Profile -
Bearly Doug put this page together over the weekend

Dick Vitale's Preseason Top 40 - ESPN
The bald, loud one lists WVU at #29

Men's Soccer: WVU Drops Tough Match - MSNsportsNET.Com
On a blustery Saturday night at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis., a 79th minute goal from Sebastian Jansson led Marquette to a 2-1 victory over No. 18 West Virginia.

Miller Nets Winner At UConn - MSNsportsNET.Com
Blake Miller’s second half goal and a stingy defensive effort guided No. 20 West Virginia to a 2-1 victory at Connecticut Sunday afternoon at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.

Rifle: WVU Opens Season with Win - MSNsportsNET.Com
The No. 3-ranked West Virginia rifle team opened its 2011-12 season with a 4664-4587 victory over No. 9 Air Force

Rifle: No. 3 WVU Defeats No. 12 Nebraska - MSNsportsNET.Com
The No.3-ranked West Virginia rifle team defeated No. 12 Nebraska, 4667-4610, today at the NU Rifle Range, in Lincoln, Neb.

Jerry West reveals lifelong depression - Charleston Daily Mail/AP
Jerry West says he has battled depression since childhood, when his father would beat the future Hall of Famer, causing low self-esteem that has plagued him despite a successful career as one of the NBA's biggest influences.

News of Note:

Offense not meeting Holgorsen's expectations - Charleston Gazette
Relatively speaking - relative to last year, that is - it has been spectacular. Yet in Dana Holgorsen's mind, it has been, well, just OK. If that.

Dawson expects more from WR corps - Times West Virginian
"They need to understand that. They are not doing anything Superman-like. Are they good? Yeah, they are on track to have a good year, but there’s a lot of things we’re not doing right," Dawson continued.

Despite reduced role, Starks still showing up - Charleston Gazette
"I think each and every day in practice they're getting more comfortable with me,'' Starks said. "They're putting me in places to make plays. ... I can't complain. I'm out there playing and doing what I can do to help the team out.''

WVU football: Gillespie critiques, praises Garrison - Charleston Daily Mail
"He's a very humble kid and doesn't come from much. He's had to work hard for everything he has. There's no doubt in my mind he's not going to let this distract him, either."

WVU defense evolves into stingy unit - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
West Virginia's defense is hitting its stride at the season's midpoint and looks to improve throughout Big East play.

Carrier Dome's been friendly to Mountaineers of late - Charleston Gazette
Hickman's notebook

Mountaineers Take Top Spots in Phil Steele's Midseason Honors - WV Illustrated
Phil Steele's Midseason All-Big East Team came out Friday with the publication's picks for the top players in the league. The first team rosters are full of Mountaineers.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Mountaineers (mostly) make the grade - Times West Virginian
Hertzel's mid-season grades

Jed's Midseason Grades: Offense - MSNsportsNET.Com

Jed's Midseason Grades: Defense - MSNsportsNET.Com

Jed's Midseason Grades: Special Teams - MSNsportsNET.Com

Midseason Superlatives - BGN
With half of the season gone and another half to play, West Virginia's off week comes at a perfect time to simultaneously reflect back and look ahead. That's exactly what staff writer Tony Dobies and editor Patrick Southern did in compiling this list of thoughts and opinions at the halfway point of the 2011 campaign.

WVU Football Opponents Lose Desire to Play - WV Illustrated
"I was actually able to look at number three (of UCONN), I'm not sure what his name was, but I just looked at his eyes and I could tell he really didn't want to play anymore," Outside Receiver Stedman Bailey said.

Mike Dorsey, WVU Cut Up in Team Barbershop - WVillustrated
Mike Dorsey, a sophomore safety for the WVU football team, is known as the guy to see if anyone needs a cut or a quick shapeup.

Basketball/Mountaineer Madness:

Youth Takes Over At Mountaineer Madness - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Article, video and gallery

Mountaineer Madness kicks off 2011-12 season for West Virginia basketball teams - Daily Athenaeum
"It's great to be here," Huggins said. "We have a great bunch of guys. They've been good so far, and I fully expect they're going to continue to be good. We have a great tradition to follow here. We just want to keep hanging banners."

Madness gives look into WVU’s future - Daily Athenaeum
One thing that is pretty easy to figure out is that this team will be much different than the last few teams WVU has put out on the court.

WVU Kicks Off Season With a Slam, but No Bang - WVillustrated
Mountaineer Madness is a great idea, but at WVU, it continues to fall flat of the excitement that some other programs in the nation generate.

WVU's Got Talent - BGN
West Virginia’s men’s basketball team showed off a good bit of athleticism at Mountaineer Madness Friday night in the WVU Coliseum.

Video: Mountaineer Madness - BGN
Basketball season began Friday night in Morgantown with the annual Mountaineer Madness event, and was there to video some of the highlights from the festivities -- including the dunk contest, scrimmage and Deniz Kilicli's performance of "Country Roads."

WVU Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins Expects a lot from his Returning Players - WVillustrated
"We don't really have positions but I'd really like for [Truck] to have the ball less," Huggins said.

Seniors Expect Freshmen To Learn From Mistakes - WVMETRONEWS.COM
"All of the freshman and all of the new guys have done a good job of accepting criticism and that’s going to be the main part of us getting better is everybody accepting criticism," explained Jones.

PHOTO GALLERY: Mountaineer Madness 2011 - WVillustrated

PHOTO GALLERY 2: Mountaineer Madness 2011 - WVillustrated


Conference Concerns Cloud WVU Recruiting - WVillustrated
Many of the recruits you ask say they don't pay attention to it, knowing that the information they hear is constantly changing. But the truth is it matters to them. If they're considering a team in a conference that could potentially lose its automatic BCS qualification, they'd like to know that.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Expansion: Big East to Vote on Exit Fee Increase Monday - Big East Coast Bias

Syracuse University football team has major flaws to correct in second half of season - Post Standard

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Connecticut 16, USF 10 - Voodoo Five

Defense Stands Out As UConn Defeats South Florida, 16-10 - Hartford Courant

Second-half struggles continue as Louisville loses to Cincinnati 25-16 - Courier-Journal

UC Bearcats rally to down Louisville, 25-16 - Cincinnati Enquirer

Winning ugly: Rutgers survives Navy 21-20 - On the Banks

Pitt offense stalls in loss to Utah, 26-14 - PPG

SEC's Options for 13-Game Schedule Aren't Promising - Team Speed Kills

College GameDay Final: Week 7 - ESPN

Video of Interest:

It's been a week, I know, but they finally posted video of President Clements State of the University address:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Guy on a Buffalo, Part III

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is yet another Brazilian hotty. Click on the picture below for today's gallery of Emanuela de Paula.

Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest image via