You thought I was talking about Christmas, right? This time last year I made my debut as a writer/video blogger for Wow, what a year it has been. Coaches-in-waiting hired, incompetent coaches fired, high powered offense promised, defense and special team meltdowns, conference realignment, ugly divorces, lawsuits and still lots of unanswered questions surrounding this year’s version of the West Virginia University Mountaineers.

I am always reminded of Jack Fleming this time of the year.  Jack managed to be the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers for years, but he always maintained a deep hatred for the Panthers.  I kind of feel the same way.  I don’t hate Pittsburgh…the city, its residents, its “pro” sports teams, but that’s where I draw the line. The Panthers are a different animal.  You cannot spend any meaningful time in Morgantown without it affecting your view of that smarmy little university located in the Oakland district of Pittsburgh.  I spent six years in Morgantown, and two schools I hated before leaving Morgantown were Pitt and State Penn (oops, I meant Penn State).  Nothing has changed over the years.  I look forward to the Backyard Brawl, and I get great joy if WVU beats Pitt (or any other week the Panthers lose).  This week will be no different.

                The Mountaineer offense has been a work in progress.  Will the brilliant glimpses appear this week like they did at times during LSU?  Or will the inept offense of the Syracuse game or Cincinnati games show up in Morgantown this week?  Don’t even get me started on the inconsistent performance of our defense this year, and I won’t comment further on our special teams.  It’s going to take a total team effort on all three phases of the game for WVU to beat Pitt.  Pitt is better than their 5-5 record.  Nothing would please me more than to deny the Panthers’ bowl eligibility with a Mountaineer victory.  Prediction: WVU 31, Pitt 28.  Let’s Go Mountaineers!