The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

May 10, 2008

COLUMN: No. 1 jersey an issue at Michigan

MORGANTOWN — For a sports writer in this neck of the woods, Rich Rodriguez has become the gift that keeps on giving.

This is the slow time of the year around here, finals week, graduation, a time when a sports columnist has to wrack his brain — or what’s left of it after dealing with the likes of Pacman Jones and Chris Henry — to come up with a story idea.

Not this year.

Rich Rodriguez has seen to that.

It’s like they say about the weather. Don’t like it? Wait a minute; it will change.

Don’t have anything to write about? Wait a minute; Rodriguez will come up with something.

You may recall that when Rodriguez coached at West Virginia, very little from the past was left untouched. He needed new uniforms, a smoking helmet, a new offense, a new defense, a new introduction into the stadium.

If they huddled in the past, he didn’t huddle. He had a new offense, a new defense.

He controlled everything, except the line of scrimmage against Pitt.

Now he’s at Michigan and nothing’s changed with him, although you expect everything to change with Michigan.

It has begun already as he has already begun messing with tradition and, in the process, teed off not only one of the school’s all-time great players, but one who is the anti-Pac-Man.

Rich Rodriguez has given the revered No. 1 jersey to a defensive back, after almost three decades of it belonging to a wide receiver.

Braylon Edwards, now with the Cleveland Browns and a man who has established a $500,000 scholarship fund for what he thought would be the receivers who carried on the No. 1 tradition, is upset.

There aren’t many athletes around like Braylon Edwards. He followed in his father’s footsteps at Michigan and, when given the big money that comes with being a No. 1 — there’s that number again — draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, he put it to good use.

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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.

    July 27, 2014

  • 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.

    July 26, 2014

  • 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.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg 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.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 18, 2014

  • 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?

    July 18, 2014

  • 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.

    July 16, 2014

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