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Mountaineer Morning Links: Independence Day (7/4/14) Edition

Here's a few bits of news and notes (including the standard rundown with WVU Pros, Big 12 roundup and the fun towards the end) to peruse on this, my favorite holiday.

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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 Founding Fathers Lager Beer.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Friday, July 4 - WV MetroNews
Clint Trickett talks about his focus for the 2014 season plus we hear how this summer is going for Nick Kwiatkowski.

Ranking The Programs: #9 - BGN
West Virginia's women's volleyball program has risen from the depths to become at least a decent competitor, but there's still a long way to go before it can compete with the upper division of the Big 12.

WVU's Smalls Continues to Serve His Country - WVU Athletics
At 51, Freddie Smalls continues to serve as Army chaplain.

News of Note:

WVU’s Biggest Motivation: Alabama or Last Year’s 4-8? - WVillustrated
Motivation is rather easy to find within the West Virginia football program this year.

Fireworks Show -
In honor of the Fourth of July, is looking at the four most explosive athletes on the WVU football roster. Just like the big time American fireworks show, WVU is hoping these athletes create big time fireworks this fall.

Staten Receives Invite to LeBron James Academy - WVU Athletics
The event features the Top 30 collegiate and Top 80 high school players from around the country

'All the bad is gone' - BGN
For stretches of the 2013-14 season, the West Virginia basketball team looked as if it was getting closer to becoming a team worthy of getting back in the NCAA tournament.

Wheeling’s Walter Promoted by Oakland A’s - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
Former Wheeling Park and West Virginia University pitcher Corey Walter fared so well in his debut with the Oakland Athletics organization that he is already onward and upward.

Hertzel Column: Every day should be 4th of July - Exponent Telegram
Today Bob transcribes Jack Fleming’s introduction to the 1986 renewal of the West Virginia-Penn State football game

Pro News:

Geno Smith: Is the New York Jets' starting quarterback the NFL's worst? - WVUPros
If you go by his peers in the National Football League, the former West Virginia Mountaineer and current New York starting quarterback is worse than any other

Around the League (and Beyond):

Baylor prepares to awe recruits with nearly complete McLane Stadium - Waco Tribune

Could this be the best offense in the Paul Rhoads era? - Des Moines Register (autoplay)

Most Crucial Jayhawks: No. 23 S Cassius Sendish - Lawrence Journal World

Kansas State projects $5.65 million increase in athletic budget - Wichita Eagle

Dorial Green-Beckham Brings Just As Many Questions As He Does Answers To Oklahoma Football - Crimson And Cream Machine

Big 12 schedule analysis: Oklahoma State Cowboys - ESPN

The big 2014 Texas football guide: Longhorns are a mystery in Strong's first year -

TCU’s quarterback derby, led by local high school stars Matt Joeckel and Trevone Boykin, should be fascinating - Dallas Morning News

Tech's depth chart for QBs and RBs - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

What's On Tap:

Single-Game FB Tickets on Sale Monday - WVU Athletics
Single-game tickets and mini-packages for the 2014 West Virginia University football season will go on sale to the public on Monday, July 7, at 9 a.m.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Tickets on Sale - WVU Athletics
Tickets for West Virginia’s appearance in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game are now on sale through the Mountaineer Ticket Office

BT Entertainment Presents WVU ATLANTA KICKOFF

WVU’s Countdown to Kickoff: Day 57 Kevin Koken - WVUPros
Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 58, the number once worn by WVU center, Kevin Koken.

2014 WORLD CUP: Schedule and Standings - Cowboys Ride For Free
Complete schedule, standings, results, and highlights of the 2014 World Cup, updated daily.

Video of Interest:

Coming off a freshman season in which he registered 45 tackles, CB Daryl Worley and the rest of the secondary are working hard this off season.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an American model in patriotic garb. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Tami Donaldson.

Happy 4th of July!!

...and please be safe