So you think this is the quiet time, the weekend before the 73 bowl games in 21 days start. The only noise is the sound and the fury from Detroit’s empty blighted urban canyons, echoing off the desolate shores of Lake Michigan, the sounds of Detroit Free Press reporters and bloggers still claiming that your favorite big-headed blue eyed nutjob of a coach is still heading to north to his beer-soaked mistress and her Big House.
And then all hell breaks loose when the coach of the team that you make mighty fun of, but whose game you still love attending, has had a secret meeting in Toledo, Ohio. And then the next you know, the echoes from the frozen north take on a different tone, because they are now tinged with arrogant triumph instead of the embarassed near desperation of the week before:
From the overjoyed Wolverine (world’s largest weasels!) Nation at mgoblog.
Meanwhile, something like a statewide psychosis has broken out in the home of the BCS Division (formerly Division 1-A) Mountaineers. Now would be the time I would mock, poke fun, and generally giggle about West Virginia’s coach abandoning them for the richer, greener and more frozen pa$ture$ of the Big House and the Big Ten Plus One, but I think I’ll refrain, just in case some random Mountaineers find what I’m saying and bombard me with personal attacks. But in all honesty, I feel awful for them. The fact that Rich Roddriguez was from West Virginia was a tremendous source of pride to them, whether they would admit now or not. Let’s face it: “genius” and “West Virginia” are not two terms that often go together (and I know all about the long list of famous West Virginians people, including Homer Hickam and John Nash, who are geniuses, so calm down), but Coach Rod really is, football wise. (If you don’t believe me, I would direct you to the 1998 Tulane Football team, which finished the season at 12-0. The kids on that team all had to know how to read to get in. I even had football players in some of my classes.)
Coach Rod made WVU football relevant again, not just on the outskirts of Big Ten Plus One country, but nationwide. He maximized the talent he had and got the state and university positive press. Mountaineer fans thought they had a man for the long haul after he turned down Alabama last year. I’m sure that last year, heck, I’m sure that on November 23, 2007 at about 7 p.m., the sky seemed like the limit for West Virginia University. (Ask Virginia Tech what a consistently good football team can do for your school. Might want to ask them where they found Frank Beamer, as he seems like a rare breed these days).
But BCS Mountaineer fans ended the season on a spectacularly bad note, losing to a team that has been breathtakingly awful this year. One favorite son, (REDACTED) (met his cousin the other evening) is coaching in the conference that Big East fans believe to be their nemesis. Now they have discovered that they did not in fact have a loyal son who would never leave. They had a mercenary who was waiting for the right job to come open ( BTW, I think he may have just as soon as bolted for LSU if Coach Miles had left. It’s nothing personal. It was just business.) Coach Rodriguez, genius and pioneer of the spread told the nation’s number one recruit, his team, and last and least, his bosses at WVU he was leaving. In that order. He screwed the university over royally.
Welcome to the big time, West Virginia.
Now go and make some other school feel the same agony.
As an LSU fan, I have to admit that I’m happy. The distractions that ESPN and media outlets from the frozen north were creating were starting to cause concern; our boys have enough to do healing, working on not getting 150 yards in penalties, and dealing with the departure of one assistant coach. The constant questioning on if/ when Coach Le$ was heading to Michigan could not have helped in game prep.
But that’s over now. To quote a little Cecil B. DeMille:
So let it be written, so let it be done.