The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

July 9, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- With ‘Luck,’ rivalries can be renewed

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia has renewed its rivalry series with Virginia Tech, albeit only on a two-year basis and not until 2021, but that may be the first step in setting up a very creative way of keeping all the Mountaineers’ football rivalries intact.

Athletic Director Oliver Luck, who with Tech A.D. Jim Weaver put those games together, admits he talked just recently with Pitt about finding a way for the Backyard Brawl rivals to get together, even though WVU now resides in the Big 12 and Pitt in the ACC — and isn’t that hard to say for both schools.

Nothing near completed on this, but then the date of any games may be in the future.

Then this past week in the Harrisburg Patriot-News it was revealed that Penn State is looking to add some national appeal to its football schedule and it has been reported by Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com that the Mountaineers are working on a potential agreement with Penn State.

They used to play on a yearly basis, of course, with Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions dominating, but it would be a great legacy for Luck if he could put these two back together, especially with his emphasis on local rivalries.

Here’s the deal though.

WVU already has Maryland as a local rival and an important one, a game that allows them to play games either at Maryland or a neutral field in Baltimore, which has become a key recruiting area, is easy to get to from Morgantown and easier for alumni from the Eastern part of the state.

However, playing nine Big 12 games leaves you only three non-conference games, which makes numerically impossible and a huge burden on your final record to try to play Pitt, Penn State, Maryland and Virginia Tech in the same season.

Besides, it’s crucial for a team these days to have a money game, such as this year when they face both Georgia State and William & Mary, teams that take a guarantee to give them a softer game than a conference game to work out the kinks early in the season.

But what if Luck could arrange something where WVU plays Maryland every year, a softer school every year with the third game alternating between Virginia Tech, Pitt and Penn State every two years?

Who knows, might even be able to work a network deal to carry that particular game on a yearly basis, which would make it even more valuable.

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Bob Herzel
  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU punter turns heads at linebacker

    They call him “Huey the Punter.”
    His real name is Houstin Syvertson. His real position is not punter. Not anymore, anyway.
    To be honest, until Saturday’s spring game, not many people following West Virginia football knew the name or the nickname. They know it now.

    April 13, 2014

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