Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n Curious about the outlooks for West Virginia University and Marshall University’s football recruiting classes on Wednesday?
Fortunately for the Mountaineers and unfortunately for the Thundering Herd not much has changed since the early signing period.
Oh, sure, there will be some obvious additions for both programs when National Signing Day dawns on Wednesday. But the new signees aren’t expected to change the recruiting rankings.
WVU’s class, for example, still is ranked an impressive No. 4 in the Big 12 and No. 37 nationally by the 247 Sports recruiting web site. The Mountaineers are listed with five recruits that already have enrolled at WVU, 13 who have signed letters of intent and another two that are hard commits.
The only Big 12 schools ranked ahead of WVU are No. 1 Oklahoma (ninth nationally), No. 2 Texas (11th) and No. 3 TCU (29th).
The news isn’t nearly as good at Marshall, however. The Thundering Herd’s recruiting was ranked lowly after the early signing period and hasn’t gotten any better.
Marshall is listed with 15 recruits that have signed letters of intent, six who are hard commits and one transfer. The latter is Brian Cavicante, 6-foot-1, 225-pound inside linebacker, who is transferring from Delaware State.
Overall, the Thundering Herd is still near the bottom among FBS programs with a lowly national ranking of No. 100. Marshall was ranked only No. 9 in Conference USA’s recruiting by 247 Sports.
Leading the way was Louisiana Tech (No. 71 nationally), followed by North Texas (No. 74), FIU (No. 79), Southern Miss (No. 82), Florida Atlantic (No. 87), Charlotte (No. 90), Middle Tennessee (No. 91), UAB (No. 99), Marshall (No. 100), Rice (No. 107), Western Kentucky (No. 108), UTSA (No. 121), Old Dominion (No. 126) and UTEP (No. 131).
Having nearly half of its members ranked No. 100 or lower is a clear indication of how Conference USA’s football is regarded on the national stage.
This is merely another example of how the state of West Virginia’s two FBS programs occupy opposite ends of the spectrum.
n If it seems like the Marshall men’s basketball team keeps taking one step forward and two steps backwards, there’s a reason for that.
It’s because it is true.
The proof is in the Thundering Herd’s winning streaks.
As in, lack thereof.
Marshall’s longest winning streak of the 2019-20 season is a mere three-game skein. The Herd had consecutive wins over Bluefield State, 86-50, in the Cam Henderson Center; Morehead State, 89-62, on the road; and, then, Eastern Kentucky, 90-72, at home.
Otherwise, Marshall has won two consecutive games once and that’s all.
After a loss at Northern Iowa, 88-80, ended the three-game winning streak, Marshall notched consecutive wins over Duquesne, 83-61, and Rice, 89-69.
But, then, the Herd lost to North Texas, 67-64, at home. That started the current spree which consists of Marshall winning one game and, then, losing the next two contests.
For example, MU defeated Middle Tennessee, 79-75, but then lost at UAB, 61-50, and at home to Charlotte, 77-75. Next, there was a solid 68-67 win over Old Dominion in “The Cam.” But it was followed by consecutive losses to Western Kentucky, 64-60, at home and 91-84 on the road. Next, MU defeated FIU, 84-74, but, of course, lost at Florida Atlantic, 91-73.
That doesn’t bode well for MU’s home game versus Southern Miss on Thursday.