Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n Ready or not, here comes the XFL.
Yeah, I know.
We need another attempt at a spring professional football league, like we need another attempt at a summer professional football league.
Be that as it may, the XFL Draft is Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s right, this week. To bring everyone up to speed, the XFL will consist of eight teams with 71-man rosters.
Oh, yeah, the name of the XFL commissioner might strike a familiar note, too. It’s Oliver Luck, former West Virginia University athletic director and star quarterback.
He’s not the only state connection, either.
In fact, there are 12 players with Mountain State connections that have declared for the XFL Draft.
The list includes six former WVU Mountaineers. They are running back Noel Devine, linebacker Terrance Garvin, safety Kenny Robinson Jr., cornerback Elijah Battle, offensive guard Isaiah Hardy, safety Jeremy Tyler and safety Dravon Askew-Henry.
Then, there’s former Marshall University star tight end Ryan Yurachek, who declared for the draft as a fullback.
Finally, there are four players from the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference. They include wide receiver Fabian Guerra and defensive end Quincy Redman from Fairmont State, as well as cornerback DeJuan Neal and linebacker E.J. Norris from Shepherd.
Ready. Set. Here we go again.
n Seen some of Marshall’s future non-conference football opponents?
The names are somewhat interesting.
Let me put it like this, it’s a mixture of Mid-American Conference schools, service academies and schools from North Carolina, according to FBSchedules.com.
In 2020, for example, the Herd is home to Pitt and Boise State, while traveling to East Carolina and Ohio. In 2021, MU is on the road for games at Navy and Appalachian State, while hosting North Carolina Central and East Carolina.
Next, in 2022, Marshall hosts both Norfolk State and Appalachian State, while hitting the road to Notre Dame and Bowling Green. In 2023, Marshall hosts Navy and Liberty, but travels to East Carolina.
The 2024 slate is incomplete, but does include a home game versus Western Michigan and a road game at Liberty. Next, in 2025, Marshall hosts Army in the season-opener, travels to Western Michigan and, then, hosts East Carolina and Ohio on consecutive week.
Also, Marshall has a game scheduled for the 2026 season at Army on Oct. 10. Then, in 2027, the Herd plays at Ohio on Sept. 11 and hosts Bowling Green on Sept. 25.
The final tally is seven future games versus MAC opponents, seven games against foes from the state of North Carolina and four games against service academies.
Power Five opponents?
So far, just one.
n Don’t look now, but Southern Miss has become the best team in Conference USA.
Veteran Marshall fans should take some pride in that considering Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson and defensive coordinator Tim Billings are former Thundering Herd assistant coaches.
Hopson coached MU’s secondary in 1996-2000 under iconic head coach Bobby Pruett. Billings coached the defensive line, tight ends and linebackers from 1990 through 1999 and also was the defensive coordinator for the unbeaten ’99 team that finished 13-0.
This duo is really coaching Southern Miss up, knocking off West Division rival North Texas, 45-27, last Saturday.
The Golden Eagles are looking more and more like the team to beat in C-USA.
Thanks, of course, to some good roots.