Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.
The West Virginia football team gets to double down on old Big East nostalgia this fall. Not only is WVU finally playing its true rivals Pitt and Virginia Tech again, but it will also face both opponents on Thursday nights. Both of these non-conference games are on the road.
Weekday games were more common for the Mountaineers before they joined the Big 12 Conference. Playing on Thursday nights in the Big East gave the program extra national exposure to help build its brand and popularity in the 2000’s. Having Pat White, Steve Slaton, and other WVU legends helped, too.
The Mountaineers will also host a Thursday night game against Baylor. That means that 25% of WVU’s regular-season games will be on weekdays.
While having the college football spotlight on those nights seems fun and presents an opportunity for head coach Neal Brown to show how his team is improving, it also presents challenges for fans. Many Mountaineer fans are planning on making their way to Pittsburgh and Blacksburg for these games, but traveling during the week is more difficult than the typical Saturday football journey.
So, are these Thursday night games good for WVU and its fans or more of a burden? I say that any chance for the Mountaineers to play their traditional opponents like Pitt and VT is a good thing.
Longtime West Virginia assistant basketball coach Erik Martin is leaving WVU to become the head coach at South Carolina State. Martin played for head coach Bob Huggins at Cincinnati and had been a part of his Mountaineer staff for 15 years.
Fifth-year senior Madisen Smith of the West Virginia women’s basketball team is attending the first-ever Student-Athlete Summit. The WVU guard will have an opportunity to learn from NBA and WNBA coaches and executives at the event.
The West Virginia baseball team gained a commitment from a versatile in-state player from Chapmanville Regional High School. Brody Dalton can play catcher, first base, the outfield, and pitch.
For the ninth year in a row, West Virginia tennis has been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team. There were also six Mountaineers that were individually selected.
Around the Big 12
For the first time in Big 12 history, Baylor is the favorite to win the conference’s football title.
Texas running back Bijan Robinson has been named the Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, while Kansas State defensive lineman Felix Anudike-Uzomah was selected as the league’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Around the NCAA
The Pac-12 Conference is accelerating its media rights negotiations and is looking to potentially expand with Big 12 and/or ACC schools, now that UCLA and USC are leaving for the Big Ten.
Wheeling native Mike Florio has become one of the country’s top professional football analysts. Florio joined Tony Caridi and Brad Howe on “Three Guys Before The Game” to discuss his “Pro Football Talk” (PFT) website.
Have any tips, suggestions, or requests for what you want to see in The Shotgun/Throwdown? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.