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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Thursday (1/12/12) 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 Otter Creek Copper Ale.

The hiring of Joe DeForest to the WVU football staff is impending with only details to be worked out. Brian Stewart is also a leading candidate to join the staff. We have some more on these coaches and the departures of the others. Another day and more way-too-early rankings for next season. All of this and more...

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Thursday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Jeff Casteel and two other WVU coaches have officially left for Arizona, a few mountaineer seniors will be representing WVU in All-Star games and a group of former WVU basketball players will be in Morgantown for the weekend.

Clawges enters order denying Big East's motion to dismiss - West Virginia Record
The judge has yet to rule on another motion from the Big East that asks the court to move the lawsuit to Rhode Island, the conference's home base.

WVU Wins Lambert Trophy - MSNsportsNET.Com
It is only the fourth time the Mountaineers have claimed this once prestigious award, the three prior times coming in 1988, 1993 and 2007.

Football: Four to Play in All-Star Games - MSNsportsNET.Com
Seniors Najee Goode, Julian Miller and Keith Tandy have been invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game to be played on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Also, senior offensive guard Don Barclay has been invited to play in the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m., played at Kino Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

Home crowd energy fuels Mountaineers to play better - Daily Athenaeum
West Virginia may be off to a great start at the Coliseum, but there is a clear discrepancy between the team that plays at home and the one that travels to play.

WVU Pros Exclusive Interview With Steve Slaton - WVU Pros
We caught up with Steve Slaton this exclusive interview, and asked him about playing for WVU, being in the NFL, being a free-agent, and advice for WVU seniors.

Obie's Message to Darwin - YouTube
The beloved mascot of the Orange Bowl has a message for Darwin Cook after experiencing a humiliating incident on national TV at the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.

News of Note:

Stewart Emerging as Top Candidate for WVU Defensive Coordinator - WVillustrated
Stewart turned the Houston defense into one of the best in the country. The Cougars had the second best red zone defense in the nation trailing only Alabama in that category. Stewart also had his defense forcing turnovers helping to guide Houston to the seventh best turnover margin in the country.

Oklahoma State assistant moving on to WVU - CollegeFootballTalk
In what official capacity DeForest will join — the TW reports it could be as defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator — hasn’t been revealed. That announcement is expected Thursday or Friday.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Kirelawich’s move leaves void at WVU - Times West Virginian
Normally, when a coach moves on, it’s worth a handshake, a slap on the back, an offering of good luck and then, like the neighborhood barber, turning toward those waiting for the seat and shouting, “Next.”

Casteel, staff's departure not shocking - Charleston Daily Mail
Yet for the life of me, I can't find the controversy in what happened to the Mountaineers on Wednesday. In fact, the expected reaction is more celebration than calamity.

Search on for new coaches - Charleston Gazette
Casteel, two other WVU assistants officially reunite with Rodriguez at Arizona; Holgorsen expected to announce replacements quickly

No need to be bitter when coaches leave - Charleston Gazette
Hickman's Notebook of gripes, and I agree with 2nd one, COMPLETELY

Luck Thanks Former Coaches - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Shortly after Arizona officially announced the signing of former WVU coaches Jeff Casteel, David Lockwood and Bill Kirelawich, WVU athletic director Oliver Luck released this statement thanking those coaches for their service at WVU.

College Football Top 25 For 2012: An Early Look Toward Next Fall -
#11 here

Loaded LSU, USC, Oregon headline way-too-early 2012 Top 25 - Andy Staples -
#13 here

Three Days Later, 25 for 2012 - Pre-Snap Read
Another early ranking, #15 (with the caveat higher if WVU is forced to stay in BE)

Around the League (and Beyond):

Best and worst from Big East bowl season - Big East Blog - ESPN

What we learned from Big East bowl season - Big East Blog - ESPN

Syracuse 79 - Villanova 66: Philadelphia's New York's College Team - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

Rutgers Dominates At Pittsburgh 62-39 - On the Banks

Fail To Pitt: Panthers Basketball Season Dying A Slow, Uncomfortable Death - Cardiac Hill

Harrison's foul trouble dissipates Storm, St. John's loses 83-64 - Rumble In The Garden

No. 25/24 Marquette 83 St. John's 64 - Anonymous Eagle

Louisville basketball's slide may be start of a dive - Courier-Journal

UCONN MEN: Evolution of Andre Drummond has begun - New Haven Register

Seton Hall Basketball: Freshman Progress Report - South Orange Juice

New Cincinnati AD is everywhere - Cincinnati Enquirer

USF Football's Impending 2012 Schedule Problem - Voodoo Five

What's On Tap:

Men's Basketball: Varsity Club Reunion - MSNsportsNET.Com
Nearly 100 former WVU men’s basketball players and staff will be back on campus Friday and Saturday for the annual Varsity Club men’s basketball reunion weekend.

Huggins Tailgate slated for Tuesday - Register-Herald
Remember the Miners event will feature concert performance

Everybody's favorite off-season competition is now officially open

Video of Interest:

Hey, who's that holding the Sugar Bowl trophy? One of those guys looks familiar.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

As dry and funny Huggs is, well, Frank's just dry...and pissed:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is one of my favorite well endowed Brits. Here's today's gallery of Imogen Thomas (click on the picture).

Otter Creek Copper Ale image via