Mountaineers are still free
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Nostradamus said it? No. It must have been Rich Rodriguez. No again? Then who was it that said, “There is nothing new under the sun?”
They couldn’t have predicted there would be no football at The Ohio State University. Or at The Pennsylvania State University. Or that Ole Notre Dame would be a football-playing member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In fact, there are too many things new under the sun!
But West Virginia University is still figuring to play some college football this fall.
Even after the Big 10 Conference and the PAC-12 Conference saw much confusion and improbability concerning the coronavirus, the Big 12, ACC and Southeastern Conference are currently plowing forward with their intentions to conduct football seasons here in 2020.
West Virginia, as of Aug. 15, has a 10-game schedule that includes a non-conference home game versus Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 12 and five home games among the nine games it has carded in the Big 12. No starting times for any of the games have been announced.
Nothing has yet to be announced about what will be done about attendance at games staged at Milan Puskar in Morgantown. Will the fan numbers be allocated at 20 percent of stadium capacity? Or could it be 25 percent? Not allowing tailgating has already been mentioned. Will the People Mover actually move people to the stadium? Where will parking be allowed? Will transit buses ferry people to the stadium at the prescribed social distancing?
If there is actually a Big 12 schedule attempted, Oklahoma will once more be the favorite to win another league championship. Baylor and Texas will be keen targets of some prognosticator’s championship selections. Oklahoma State — T. Boone Pickens’ favorite sons — will be prominently mentioned. Texas Christian, Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas will be slotted as dark horse candidates. And Kansas State will have its cheering section.
It’s Neal Brown’s second season in Morgantown. He made friends and influenced people in his first year. To influence more people and appear more friendly this season, he will have to win more games. Most of the “moral victories” have been played. Patience doesn’t run as thick as coal seams in the mines of the 1950s in the state. But allegiances to the Mountaineers still run thick.
It’s problematic about any “bowl season” come December or January. The money that rules could push for another playoff to a national championship. But without The Ohio State University?
Nostradamus or Rich Rodriguez can guess away to their hearts’ content. But as of the morning of Aug. 15, there is still football somewhere in the land.