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Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (7/2/15) Edition

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A bunch of football news & notes, a look at the Big 12 and NCAA landscape, and does West Virginia have the best secondary in the nation?

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. It's now officially July, America's birth month, so to celebrate our patriotism we're being brought to you today by Homefront IPA, a special brew from Hops For Heroes.

In Case You Missed It

Mini-Packages & Single-Game FB Tickets on Sale | WVU Athletics
Mini-Packages & Single-Game Football Tickets on Sale Tuesday

Lyons Announces 2015-16 Golf Slate | WVU Athletics
WVU AD Shane Lyons announced the 13-tournament men's golf schedule on Wednesday.

News Of Note

West Virginia AD: Renewing Backyard Brawl with Pitt a top priority | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
New West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said reviving rivalry with Pitt is "one of my top priorities in scheduling."

Tighter Bonds Leading to More Effort (and More Wins?) | EerSports
West Virginia is not just developing bodies this summer, but also relationships - and that could lead to even more wins.

WVU’s first opponent makes preparation a challenge | Charleston Daily Mail
More than two months before the start of the season, West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson has started screening copies of last season’s Georgia Southern games to prepare the Mountaineers for the football season opener.

Newcomers could help West Virginia receiving corps | ESPN
Jovon Durant, Gary Jennings and Ka'Raun White are going through summer workouts with a Mountaineer team that must replace a couple of NFL draft picks.

Confident WVU Secondary Claims Nation's Best | WV Illustrated
Mountaineer coaches like the attitude their veteran defenders are bringing to the field this offseason in hopes that they will back up their words this fall.

Walk-ons report to WVU hoping to make their mark | WV MetroNews
Beckley's Troy Lilly and Westside's Justin Cogar among eight preferred walk-ons enrolled for summer.

WVU football: Seasoned, but how much? | WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
What we discover is the Mountaineers have one of the most top-heavy depth charts in the country, and nobody in the Big 12 has more juniors and seniors in the two deep.

Jimbo’s fishing | WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
They like to play big games early, and they’re aiming to keep that going. They play Ole Miss in Orlando to open next season and Alabama in Atlanta to kick off 2017 and then … West Virginia in 2018?

FURFARI: Emanuel was gridder, lawyer, now serves on WVU alumni board | Times West Virginian: Sports
Charles Emanuel, of Indiantown, Florida, was an outstanding strong safety who earned letters at West Virginia University in football from 1993 through 1996.

West Virginia Pros

Quick Hit: Geno Smith leading Jets through summer workouts | College to Pro Sports
Jets quarterback Geno Smithneeds to do everything right if he’s going to keep his precarious hold on the team’s quarterback job. One thing he’s doing right this

Staten to play with Kings Summer League team | The Daily Athenaeum
After going unselected in the 2015 NBA Draft last week, West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten will begin his professional basketball adventure as a member of the Sacramento Kings’ NBA Summer League team.

Bruce Irvin says NFL loves collecting his 'clean pee' | Sporting News
Having seven drug tests in just two months does seem a bit excessive, but the NFL has a reason to test Irvin. In 2013 he missed Seattle's first four games after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Around The League

Around The Big XII:

Ranking The Big 12 From First To Worst | Crimson And Cream Machine
Trevone Boykin and the TCU Horned Frogs are the team to beat in the Big 12!

Texas Tech's air raid is firing again. Now for some better luck and much better defense | SBNation.com
Bad luck and bad defense wrecked Kliff Kingsbury's second Texas Tech squad, and while neither are guaranteed to turn around, you can talk yourself into a decent-sized bounce back for the Red Raiders.

CLAY TRAVIS: The Big 12 Should Go To 14 Teams | FOX Sports
It's the silly season again, conference expansion talk.

Around The NCAA:

What's your program's brand? What should it be? A look across the nation | SI.com
Every program has its own brand for better or worse. For some, those brands are clearly defined and integral to their success. For others, they're more muddled and perhaps explain why the team has failed to break through. Here's a look at each program's current brand—and what it should be.

Miss Throwdown

Summer just got a little hotter with today's Miss Throwdown. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Irina Shayk.