CLEVELAND — Here’s the choice you have.
You can walk barefoot across a bed of red hot coals, sit naked in a freezer at minus-10 degrees for an hour, swim across a mile-wide lake filled with hungry piranhas and angry alligators or you can show up for Bob Huggins’ first practice this week.
Not to influence you any way, but I’d take any of the first three choice — maybe all at once — before I’d show my face at Huggins’ practice … and Huggins was the winning coach in Saturday’s 80-78 game at Cleveland State.
If you’re into heroics, in the end it was a layup by Da’Sean Butler — isn’t it always him? — off a pass from Kevin Jones with 1.2 seconds remaining that accounted for the difference, but if you think Huggins was bouncing happily off the bench when his No. 6-ranked Mountaineers went to 8-0 with this victory, you don’t know Huggins.
This is a man who can find something wrong in Christmas, so rest assured when his team plays as badly as it played against Cleveland State’s press, rest assured that his reaction at the end made “Bah, humbug!” sound like “Merry Christmas.”
“I’ve tried dealing with them,” Huggins said of his players. “They’re going to have to start dealing with me.”
That, by the way, was not a threat, just a reality of life as a West Virginia player when you are playing the game the way the Mountaineers are.
And how would that be, you ask?
This is how Huggins sees it.
“We just think things are easy,” he said. “We can’t get five guys playing hard at once. I don’t think we’ve 10 minutes all years where we had guys on the same page. I’ve never had a team give up so many layups in my life.”
CLEVELAND — Here’s the choice you have.
- Bob Herzel
HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism
This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps
A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.
HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters
The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.
WVU, N.C. State to meet in football
Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention
When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.
Holgorsen’s program hits turning point
You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.
Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success
In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Saban, family happy at Alabama
Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations
Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?
WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’
West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
- More Bob Herzel Headlines
- HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism