Other TSM writers will give you lots of stats and player details. I was the only son with five sisters, so my job at The Smoking Musket is to appeal to the part of our audience that is female or, like me, a male who is way to in touch with their feelings. Britney Griner would like my stuff: masculine enough to dunk in your face or hit an opponent in theirs, yet feminine enough to feel bad about it afterwards. I see myself as the Roy Firestone of TSM.
We venture into the BIG 12 this weekend and I suppose I should FEEL sentimental. To a degree I do, yet my sentimentality gives way to worry whenever WVU is favored over a Top 25 team. I hate to sound like a broken record, but we all can agree that the Mountaineers always come up big when everyone is picking against them. I’d actually feel a lot more comfortable about our chances if we weren’t a double-digit favorite.
Needless to say, after losing bets against the spread these past two weeks, I am not going to be putting any action on this weekend’s game. Baylor lost the most important person in their program’s history when the Washington Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III. Baylor may be a good team, but they aren’t great without him. As well, the Bears are coming into Morgantown on a nostalgic occasion. Translated: West Virginia should be as motivated as they can be and I expect us to win.
I’ll say this about the sports media…they are a fickle bunch. WVU dropped in the Associated Press poll this past week and a team (Kansas State) that these same writers in the pres-season predicted would be a win for the Mountaineers now vaults past us into the Top 10. Ratings don’t mean much at this point in the season, but I’ve learned to ignore a lot of what pundits say about our team, because chances are next week someone else will be the Team de Jour.
"Aren’t you a pundit, Chuck?" you may be asking. Humbly I deny that I qualify for such status. To be a pundit you have to be thought highly enough to get paid to offer your opinions. In exchange for my service to TSM I get a free beer at Smoking Musket tailgates. I’m grateful for the drink, but let’s be honest – not too many people give two drops of Baylor Bear shit what I have to say about anything. Which is why I can say what I want without fear of pissing anyone off. Obscurity and a good pseudonym are precious commodities.
Here’s some good news – Shawn Alston is back in play. That’ll help. Geno had an "off" week and still completed 69% of his passes while throwing for over 300 yards and three scores.
My prediction (and last week I was damn close): WVU – 52, Baylor – 38.