Do you get the idea that the West Fairmont Polar Bears may be a team of destiny — losing two of their first three games of the season and then compiling a dazzling nine-game winning streak to take into Saturday’s third round playoff game at Martinsburg Saturday. ... Coach J.L. Abbott has done a wonderful job with the Polar Bear football program, but quarterback Kyle Allard praised assistant coaches Mike Mainella and Jarrod Furgason for a couple of big offensive plays in the 35-28 win over Nitro Saturday.

By coincidence, it was Furgason who held many of the Polar Bear passing records that Allard has broken this year as he zeroes in on the Kennedy Award. But he’s been a big help to Allard, we understand. ... The Charleston Gazette-Mail headline read “Fairmont QB picks apart Nitro” after the Nitro game. ...

Cliff Nichols says that the so-called “experts” on the Internet have West Virginia playing in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl and Sun Bowl. Rutgers’ loss to Cincinnati was not good for the Mountaineers should they win out as that would leave WVU and Louisville with identical records but Louisville would have the edge for the BCS bowl by having defeated WVU. Rutgers was never in that game with Cincy. Really disappointing. ... WVU can’t be looking ahead to Rutgers, despite the Scarlet Knights’ loss. South Florida brings a 7-4 record to Morgantown Saturday. ...

It’s outstanding from one viewpoint but not so in another when a school has not one — but two — legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates. There was considerabe talk earlier in the season about Steve Slaton beng a legitimate candidate. And he certainly is. But quarterback Patrick White certainly has legitimate credentials also. With writers having two strong candidates from one school, that would probably hurt both of them because the vote would be split. ...

It appears that Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith will be the hands-down winner this year for the Heisman, but White and Slaton (or Slaton and White) will be leading candidates next year. ... We do NOT want to see a rematch between the Buckeyes and Michigan in the national championship game....

Deacon Duvall says that WVU’s Patrick White seems to have that rare quality of elevating his talents to another level when needed, such as in the battle with Pitt last week at Heinz Field. He says that Martin “Sonny” Bartic had that ability on defense when he played for Deac at Fairmont State on that memorable 1967 national championship team. ...

There was a time, back in the 1960s, when Central State of Ohio was the best small college team in the country. That’s the school that defeated Fairmont State in the 1968 NAIA championship game in Kansas City, 51-48.

Now, almost 40 years later, Tim Murphy’s FSU squad travels to Central State tonight in what should be a tough contest following two fairly impressive Falcon victories in last week’s Tip-Off Classic. ...

The “resignation” of Bobby Bowden’s son Jeff from the Florida State coaching staff has apparently been a hard blow for the senior Bowden to take. Jeff Bowden didn’t just resign. We understand he was bought out by an alumni group for $537,500. ... “I don’t know if it was tough or a relief,” Bowden said about his son’s situation. “It might have been a relief. Jeffrey should be relieved.” The 77-year-old Bowden said that “Jeffrey’s as good a coach as them,” referring to sons Terry Bowden, who coached at Auburn in the 1990s, and Tommy Bowden, currently Clemson’s head coach.

West Virginia Wesleyan players, we undertand, really like coach Bill Lilly, son of longtime Glenville coach Jess Lilly, who passed away a few years back. Lilly is in his second year at the Buckhannon school and before that was diretor of basketball operations for John Beilein at WVU. ...

Ben Roethlisberger, intercepted three times in the first half to extend his league worst total to 17, had an amazing fourth quarter Sunday at Cleveland. Big Ben throw for 224 of his game total 272 yards in the final period — as the Steelers (4-6) avoided a defeat that would have made it almost impossible to get into the playoffs. Time of possession favored the Browns in the first half by an overwheming 20:36 to 9:24. But the Steelers were dominant after intermission and finished just five minutes behind — 27:47 to 32:13.

Freshman Keri Brand finished just four seconds behind WVU front-runner Marie Louise Assein from Canada in the Mid-Atlantic cross country event last week in Lock Haven, Pa. She’s the former two-time state champion from North Marion. WVU was fourth in that meet.

E-mail John Veasey at jcveasey@timeswv.com.

Trending Video

Recommended for you