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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Notre Dame Gameday (2/8/12) 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 Boulevard Brewing's Irish Ale, in preparation of tonight's opponent.

OK, so Memphis is joining the Big East. This is such a blatant move to appease the basketball schools and Rick Pitino it isn't funny. Meanwhile, whatever steps the league took to strengthen the football side has been undone with one fell swoop. THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS, BIG EAST!!! Anyway...what does this mean for WVU? Not much, unless you're Bob Hertzel and you think that the Big Meatball could also use today's announcement to say that WVU is leaving for the Big 12 in the coming academic year. Possible? Sure, but I'm not holding my breath...just yet.

Back on the hardwood, WVU takes on a red-hot Irish team tonight in what could be a huge momentum boost for the Mountaineers. Previews galore are inside. There's also more on KJ's 20 point streak and a few football notes as well. All of this and more...

Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Wednesday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Notre Dame comes to Morgantown, Kevin Jones is on the verge of history and Joe DeForest talks about what the defense will have to prepare for this season.

WVU source: Battle to join Big 12 nearing conclusion - Times West Virginian
Indications were growing that West Virginia University’s battle to leave the Big East and join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season was about to be won, possibly as early as today.

Memphis To Join Big East. What's Next? - College Football News
The latest update and look at conference realignment and expansion.

Holgorsen ready to fill next piece of WVU staff puzzle - Charleston Gazette
"I want to do something this week," Holgorsen said.

Transition to Big 12 easier with key players - Charleston Daily Mail
Coming off an impressive Orange Bowl victory over Clemson, West Virginia needs to get into a much tougher football challenge with a team that can really compete, not one that will be playing in 2013 with a new starting quarterback and no Tavon Austin.

Assistant coach Shannon Dawson - YouTube
West Virginia University assistant coach Shannon Dawson talks about the new wide receivers the coaching staff has added to the roster. February 7, 2012.

Bruce Irvin and Najee Goode Invited to 2012 NFL Scouting Combine - WVU Pros

News of Note:

Preview: WVU vs Notre Dame - BGN
West Virginia has a chance to move up in the Big East standings as Notre Dame visits on Wednesday night.

Irish visit West Virginia on a roll - Register-Herald
In the series between the two clubs, WVU has won two in a row over the Irish and four of the last five meetings. Notre Dame holds the series lead at 25-12 however.

Mountaineers Set For Notre Dame - WVMETRONEWS.COM
“They’re playing great,” said Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins. “Mike (Brey) has done a terrific job with them after losing (Tim) Abromaitis. They struggled initially and now he’s really got them playing.”

Men’s Basketball: WVU vs. Notre Dame Preview - WVillustrated
West Virginia will be looking for a big home win Wednesday night

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU, Irish strikingly similar - Times West Virginian
The comparisons between programs are valid. Entering this season, Abromaitis had averaged 13.7 points and 4.7 rebounds a game, Jones 13.6 and 7.4 rebounds a game.

All Hands on Deck - MSNsportsNET.Com
Caridi's plea to get as many people in the Coliseum tonight and Saturday

Kevin Jones Chasing Mountaineer Legends - WVillustrated
WVU senior looking to extend streak to 10 games with 20 or more points, a mark only players named West and Hundley have done as Mountaineers.

Jones scoring streak in jeopardy against Notre Dame - Charleston Daily Mail
"I'm just not going to force anything. I'm going to let the game come to me. I know I'm going to get my shots. I'm going to play 40 minutes so I'll get my shots here and there. It's a matter of me not forcing things."

Seven Memorable Notre Dame Wins - MSNsportsNET.Com

Big wins put WVU men and women in good positions - Register-Herald
The men now are 16-8 overall and 6-5 in the Big East. The women are 17-6 and 6-3.

WVU Men's Basketball Interviews Prior to Notre Dame Game - WVillustrated
Take a look at what Bob Huggins and seniors Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant had to say about the upcoming challenge Wednesday night.

Video: Basketball Interviews 2/7 - BGN
KJ, Truck and Huggs

Conference Power Rankings: Big East - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
#6 this week

College Basketball Bubble Watch - ESPN
WVU has "work to do"

Seven keys to WVU making the big dance - Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia men's basketball team certainly appears to have made its case to be in tournament, but with seven difficult games remaining, it is very possible the Mountaineers could play themselves out of the big dance.

King's Court turns its attention to Rivalry Week - ESPN
Weekly Column lists WVU "in a funk"

Around the League (and Beyond):

Big East Declares End Of Competitive Football, Invites Memphis To Join League - Voodoo Five
Voodoo Five is the new headline competition leader

As Memphis Steps Up, Big East Steps Back - Pre-Snap Read
Memphis doubles as one of the weakest football programs in college football on a historical level. No conference hardware of any kind since the Missouri Valley championship in 1971 — the Tigers went 5-6 that fall. Zero double-digit win seasons since 1940. A career mark of 43 games under .500.

Is The ACC In 2012 Still An Option? Pitt Seems To Think So. - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
Paul Zeise over at the Post-Gazette has spoken with a lot of folks in the Pittsburgh Panthers athletic department and come to a conclusion. If the West Virginia Mountaineers stay the course and leave the Big East in 2012, they (and presumably the Syracuse Orange with them) are leaving ASAP.

Nova Rallies Behind Pinkston's Career High 28, Beats Providence 74-72 - The Nova Blog

Syracuse vs. Georgetown: Hoyas Bring Rivalry, Sour Grapes To Dome - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

Bearcats eager for St. John's rematch - Cincinnati Enquirer

Johnnies look to bounce back against familiar Bearcats - Rumble In The Garden

Jim Calhoun will be back, but not by Saturday - The UConn Blog

What's On Tap:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN
9 pm tonight from the Coliseum on ESPNU

(11) Georgetown Hoyas vs. (2) Syracuse Orange - Preview - ESPN
7 pm tonight from the Dome on ESPN and ESPN3

Video of Interest:

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins previews Wednesday night's game against Notre Dame at the WVU Coliseum. February 7, 2012.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Hump Day Video of the Week:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is well known around these parts as the future Mrs. WVUIE97. Here's the latest video and gallery (click on the picture) of the most awesome Candice Swanepoel.


Boulevard Brewing Irish Ale image via