Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
- The sports television networks couldn’t have found a better time frame?
I mean, really?
ESPN and the CBS Sports Network just had to telecast season-opening football games involving the state of West Virginia’s only two NCAA Division I football programs at the same exact time on Sept. 4?
WVU’s game at Maryland game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. in College Park, Maryland and be televised by ESPN.
Meanwhile, a mere 32 miles away in Annapolis, Maryland, Marshall will begin the Charles Huff era when the Thundering Herd’s new head coach makes his debut against Navy at 3:30 p.m. in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on the CBS Sports Network. It will be the first meeting between Marshall and Navy.
So there we have it. Both of the Mountain State’s Division I football programs opening the 2021 season on the road in the state of Maryland in stadiums a mere 32 miles away and playing at the exact same time.
Want to see my surprised look?
The scenario was too ignorant not to happen.
- At first glance, Marshall’s loss of wide receivers Broc Thompson and Artie Henry to the transfer portal within days of each other is troubling.
After all, they both were valuable wideouts. Henry stepped up when injuries occurred at the slot position and caught 22 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns in 2020, and Thompson contributed 14 catches for 228 yards in only four games before a fractured shin ended his season.
Thompson has already signed with Purdue while Henry is still undecided.
So now what?
It’s time to drop the other shoe.
According to reliable sources, Marshall already has signed a pair of wide receivers from the transfer portal, and they are expected to improve the Herd’s speed at the wideouts.
- While we’re on the subject of bolstering positions, that’s what WVU has done by signing junior college defensive back Caleb Coleman.
The Mountaineers have been hard hit in the secondary by the transfer portal, but the addition of the versatile 6-foot-2, 185-pound Coleman should help. The safety played at highly regarded Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College, making 20 tackles during a delayed spring season. Coleman also intercepted three passes with four breakups as Hutchinson compiled a 7-0 record.
If that’s not enough good news, here is some more. Since Coleman was a full qualifier from Smith’s Station High School in Alabama, he will have four years of eligibility at WVU.
- It was a great spring season for Marshall’s Olympic sports.
Besides the unprecedented event of the men’s soccer team winning an NCAA national championship, the Herd track and field team also enjoyed breakthrough success.
During the indoor and outdoor seasons, Marshall captured one Conference USA event championship, 10 all-conference honors and four spots in the NCAA East Preliminaries. Seven school records were broken during the 2021 season.
“I’m really proud of our entire team and of our coaching staff,” said head coach Jeff Small. “We broke at least one school record, sometimes multiple records, at every meet this outdoor season, which I have never seen before.
“We will definitely miss our seniors but we have a very young group of great athletes in all our event areas so I believe that the future will be bright.”
- Just when we thought Conference USA couldn’t make any worse decisions …
Well, they tricked us again.
In the recently concluded C-USA baseball tournament, officials actually allowed a game between Southern Miss and Western Kentucky to begin at 12:15 a.m. It didn’t end until a grand-slam homer triggered the 10-run rule at 2:59 a.m.
I can’t even make this stuff up.