The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

January 4, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Poll: Marshall would have beaten WVU in football last fall

MORGANTOWN — Do you think Marshall University would have beaten West Virginia University had the two state rivals met in football last season?

The Wheeling newspapers asked readers that question a week or so ago, and those who responded voted “yes” by 69 (to 31) percent. I would have guessed the margin might have been somewhat greater.

Marshall, under popular head coach John “Doc” Holliday, posted an impressive 10-4 record. That was capped with a 31-20 victory over Maryland in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md.

That was the same Maryland team that handed Dana Holgorsen’s Mountaineers their worst beating of the 2013 season in a 34-0 shutout.

The Thundering Herd, which wound up as runner-up in Conference USA, enjoyed one of its finest seasons. It’s really a shame Marshall was not on the football schedule, as it remains in both men’s and women’s basketball as well as in baseball.

The last time Marshall won as many as 10 games was in 2002 when Bob Pruett was the head coach.

WVU, as the college football world is aware, finished a deeply disappointing 4-8 last season. The school’s string of 12 consecutive bowl appearances was snapped as a result.

It’s only the fifth time in Mountaineer football history that a team suffered as many as eight losses.

In case you might be interested, I am not only a graduate of WVU, but took two courses at Marshall while working for The Associated Press at Huntington in 1942-43.

So this writer hereby takes upon himself to declare Marshall the clear-cut state champion of football for the State of West Virginia.

What’s more, I hope Doc Holliday will be elected as West Virginia College Coach of the Year. That honor goes to only one head coach in any sport annually.

Holliday, a native of Hurricane, W.Va., was an outstanding linebacker as a Mountaineer player in the late 1970s. Eventually, new head coach Don Nehlen hired him as an assistant coach. That turned out to be an historic hire.

Holliday became known as the “father” of what developed into WVU’s Florida recruiting lifeline.

The thought herein is that Doc Holliday is benefitting from that well-established “feed” himself now. Who could blame him?

Hopefully, Marshall will be returned to West Virginia’s football schedule eventually.

That series dates back to 1911, and Marshall has yet to win in a mere 12 games.

However, the 2010 Mountaineers required overtime to eke out a 24-21 victory at Huntington. There also was interest in some of the other meetings, too.

Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney wins 100th Sprint Car race

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest to you:
    • Dale Blaney, the all-time great West Virginia University basketball star, has achieved another historic notch in his athletic career as a Sprint Car racer. He posted his 100th career riding in the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio last weekend.

    April 12, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- What a wonderful evening with Dr. Stanley ‘Coach’ Kandzari

    This column really is not about sports, per se. But, more importantly, it is about a widely known medical doctor whose nickname happens to be “Coach.”

    April 8, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Turnbull endured many tragedies growing up

    Coach Craig Turnbull, the latest head-coach victim of Oliver Luck’s shocking series of firings at West Virginia University, had generally enjoyed what many rate as an outstanding career not only in athletics but in life.
    Like the present, there also were some very difficult times for him as a youngster.

    April 6, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: All-time WVU great QB Bernie Galiffa dies at 63

    It was very sad to learn that Bernie Galiffa, one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in West Virginia University football history, had passed away.
    The three-year letterman for famed coach Bobby Bowden died last Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 63.

    April 4, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Is $106 million in facilities updates really key to WVU sports success?

    You may have heard or read that West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning to spend $106 million for major projects.
    According to published reports, that is to improve athletic facilities, including Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum (yet to be named for a rich donor).

    April 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Who’s next on Oliver Luck’s hatchet list?

    Who’s going to be next on Oliver Luck’s sad house-cleaning list as West Virginia University’s athletic director?
    Craig Turnbull, the outstanding head coach and builder of the Mountaineers’ wrestling program for 36 years, was notified on Friday afternoon that Luck shockingly announced that his contract will not be renewed on June 30 for next year.

    March 30, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU

    Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men’s basketball.
    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard performed admirably under coach Gale Catlett’s direction.

    March 29, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads