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Mountaineer Morning Links: Friday (1/2/15) Edition

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Football notes, hoops power rankings, AD search, WVUPros news, Big 12 bowl guide & roundup, plus more.

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Bad Frog Beer, in preparation for tomorrow's Big 12 opener.


What You May Have Missed:

Handful of candidates bubble to top of WVU AD search - Charleston Gazette
Those within the circle say Gee would like to make a call in the next two weeks and that he has the list of candidates pared to "three or four." They also say Luck has been helping.

AD Candidate Emerges - WVSports.com
Sources confirmed to WVSports.com on Thursday, current University of Alabama deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer Shane Lyons is a leading candidate for the job.

Gym Blog: Mountaineers Take the Bahamas! - WVU Athletics
Senior Lia Salzano recaps the team's trip to the Atlantis Crown Invite.

FURFARI COLUMN: Dale Wolfely loved WVU so much he came back - Times West Virginian
Dale Wolfley, who grew up in Orchard Park, New York, was offered a football scholarship from both Penn State and West Virginia University.

Faux he’s a jolly good follow - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
WVU has, I think, terrific parody accounts for Holgorsen and Bob Huggins, and losing one meant for lighter laughter.

Kentucky, Duke and Virginia lead SI's college basketball power rankings - SI.com
17. West Virginia

News of Note:

Mountaineers' defense still has plenty of improving to do - Exponent Telegram
"Just bad football," was the way Gibson summed up the performance by his defense. "I would never have expected they would have scored 45 points."

WVU defense improved, but still has room to grow - Register Herald
West Virginia finished the recently-completed football season ranked 73rd nationally in scoring defense (27.6 ppg) and 65th in total defense (399.4 ypg), and it gave first-year defensive coordinator Tony Gibson a three-year, $2.1 million contract extension, making him one of the nation’s highest-paid assistants.

Thompson looking like WVU's go-to target next year - Exponent Telegram
The littlest Mountaineer may stand tallest in next year’s offense.

WVU may be facing offensive overhaul - Exponent Telegram
Losing Trickett, White, Alford leaves questions to be answered.

Mountaineers' offense has key holes to fill in 2015 - Register Herald
Yardage, completions, touchdowns and records were supposed to come with Dana Holgorsen when he was first named offensive coordinator and soon after head coach at West Virginia University prior to the 2011 season.

Was WVU’s Football Season A Success? - BGN
Success is noted to be fleeting. It is, apparently, also an ever-evolving ideal that changes with the circumstances and tangibles surrounding it.

FURFARI: WVU gridders close the year losing another miserable game in bowl - Times West Virginian
There are those football fans who figure West Virginia’s Liberty Bowl game last Monday certainly was winnable, despite the absence of quarterback Clint Trickett.

Recruiting:

WVU and NC State stick out to 2016 RB - 247Sports
"Definitely West Virginia," McKoy said when asked which one jumped out at him. "I knew they were recruiting me a little bit but I didn't know they were going to offer. I like the way they play."

Pro News:

Colts P Pat McAfee sweet-talks Adam Jones on Twitter - CBSSports.com
Colts punter Pat McAfee has one idea how to convince Adam Jones not to return any punts when Indianapolis plays the Bengals.

WVU football taught Jeff Braun all he needed to be successful - WVUPros
Coming from the town of Westminster, Maryland, Jeff Braun was an underdog.

Around the League (and Beyond):

2015 Cotton Bowl Final: Michigan State stuns Baylor 42-41 - Our Daily Bears

ISU Easily Routs MVSU - Wide Right & Natty Lite

Trustworthy: Freshman Oubre delivers after Self keeps him on floor - Lawrence Journal World

Mueller ready to tackle UCLA - HDNews.net

OU shakes off slow start, beats George Mason - Oklahoman (autoplay)

The Cactus Bowl is just the Cactus Bowl...or not. - Cowboys Ride For Free

Charlie Strong axes Les Koenning and Bruce Chambers - Barking Carnival

More Than A Bowl Win: TCU's Peach Bowl Victory Is Just The Next Step - Frogs O' War

Texas Tech Hoops | Time for Big 12 Games to Begin - Viva The Matadors

What's On Tap:

(17) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. TCU Horned Frogs - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from DMC on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh

(11) Kansas State Wildcats vs. (14) UCLA Bruins - Preview - ESPN
Alamo Bowl, 6:45 pm today from the Alamodome on ESPN/ESPN3. Cats are getting 1.5.

Washington Huskies vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys - Preview - ESPN
Cactus Bowl, 10:15 pm today from Sun Devil Stadium on ESPN/ESPN3. Pokes are getting 6.5.

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a lovely lady from the small country of Slovenia. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Iris Kavka.