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  #281  
Old 22.07.2017, 04:17 PM
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Day -20: West Virginia Mountaineers



Location: Morgantown, West Virginia

Mountaineers: The name comes from the nickname for West Virginia "The Mountain State".

Introduction: Started play in 1891, they became a Division I Independent in 1909. They remained an Independent until joining the Southern Conference in 1950. 3 years later the ACC was formed, significantly weakening the Southern Conference, but WVU remained in the conference until becoming Independent again in 1968. In 1991 they joined the Big East as founding members. In 2012 they joined the Big 12 alongside TCU, to replace the recently departed Texas A&M and Missouri, their departure was the death knell for the Big East as a football conference.

Biggest achievement: 1922, they fielded an undefeated team, going 10-0-1, including a victory in the San Diego East-West Christmas Classic vs Gonzaga. It was the final of two SDEWCC games. It remains their only undefeated season in school history.

1937, they fielded a 8-1-1 record, and went to their first bowl game which still exists, the Sun Bowl, a game they won vs Texas Tech.

1953, in the first year of Southern play of the post ACC era they went 8-2, 4-0 in conference, winning the conference championship, their first, and finished #10 in the AP poll, their first ranked finish.

1988 and 2005, both 11-1 finishes, they would finish ranked #5 in both seasons, their highest to date. 2005 would see them win the Sugar Bowl vs Georgia, in the process West Virginia would become the final team to defeat an SEC champion in a bowl game until Alabama defeated LSU in 2011.



Biggest failure: The Frank Cignetti era, he was responsible for the joint longest streak of losing seasons, 1976-1979, a period during which they went 17-27. He is the only HC in WVU history to post a losing season every year he coached. Interestingly (well to me), after being fired by WVU he went onto coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Division II), for 20 seasons, a period which would see him have enough success to be inducted into the college football HoF. His son is the current QB coach at the New York Giants and was the last ever offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.

Rivals: Pittsburgh, "Backyard Brawl", located 77 miles away, the two first meet in 1895, from 1938-2011 the two meet every year, however with WVU's switch to the Big 12 and Pitt's switch to the ACC the two have not meet since. as of 2011 Pitt lead the series 61–40–3, the series will resume with four games running from 2022–2025.

WVU's most faced Big 12 opponent is Oklahoma, 2017 will be the 10th meeting between the two.

Mascot: The Mountaineer, a student dressed in typical mountaineer clothing. They receive a scholarship for their year of duty, along with a coonskin cap and rifle. In 1990 Natalie Tennant became the first female Mountaineer (one other woman has also played the role, in 2009).

Traditions: Take Me Home, Country Roads, the John Denver song became the school's official song and has been played before every home game since 1972.

Head coach: Dana Holgersen, former Iowa Wesleyan (Division III) player. He started coaching in 1993 as QB/WR/ST at Valdosta State (Division II). In 2000 he got his first job at the FBS level as Inside Wide Receivers coach at Texas Tech, whilst at Texas Tech he worked his way up to OC. He also served as OC at Houston and Oklahoma State. In 2011 he was named HC at WVU. In 6 seasons he has a 46-31 record, including one Big East and Orange Bowl title (70-33 over Clemson).

West Virginia has 11 All Americans:

Ira Rodgers, B, 1919, college football HoF.

Bruce Bosley, L, 1955, college football HoF.

Darryl Talley, LB, 1982, college football HoF.

Mike Compton, OL, 1992, academic All American

Todd Sauerbrun, P, 1994, 2 time first team All Pro.

Other players of note:

Chuck Howley, LB, 5 time first team All Pro

Joe Stydahar, T, 4 time first team All Pro, 1930s NFL All Decade, pro and college football HoF.

Sam Huff, LB, 2 time fist team All Pro, NFL 1950s All Decade, number retired by WVU, pro and college football HoF.

Rip King, B, 2 time first team All Pro.

Stadium: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, opened 1980, 60,000 capacity.

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  #282  
Old 22.07.2017, 04:23 PM
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Traditions: Take Me Home, Country Roads, the John Denver song became the school's official song and has been played before every home game since 1972.
also the strangest/best tradition in sports

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  #283  
Old 22.07.2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_T View Post
also the strangest/best tradition in sports

Strangly their official website doesn't mention that .
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  #284  
Old 22.07.2017, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_T View Post
also the strangest/best tradition in sports

What is that? (or what was it)......
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  #285  
Old 22.07.2017, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardCunliffe View Post
What is that? (or what was it)......
It was a couch, which is now a felony under West Virginia state law.

Edit: The burning, not the couch, although all outdoor furniture has been banned from Morgantown.
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  #286  
Old 22.07.2017, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kw13 View Post
It was a couch, which is now a felony under West Virginia state law.

Edit: The burning, not the couch, although all outdoor furniture has been banned from Morgantown.
What's the story behind the furniture hostility? I'm guessing it's got nothing to do with Mountaineers?

Troublesome pyromaniacs! I'll look forward to 2022.
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  #287  
Old 22.07.2017, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardCunliffe View Post
What's the story behind the furniture hostility? I'm guessing it's got nothing to do with Mountaineers?

Troublesome pyromaniacs! I'll look forward to 2022.
I don't think anyone knows how it started, but it's more common than you'd expect. The university has tried to do stuff to prevent it, but a tradition is much like a fire, once it takes hold there's not much you can do but watch it burn.
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  #288  
Old 22.07.2017, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCunliffe View Post
What's the story behind the furniture hostility? I'm guessing it's got nothing to do with Mountaineers?

Troublesome pyromaniacs! I'll look forward to 2022.
It's just been a thing since like the 70s they are also known for how much they like to party but I'm sure that's unrelated
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  #289  
Old 23.07.2017, 09:35 AM
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Day -19: Nebraskas Cornhuskers



Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Cornhuskers: In their early history Nebraska went through a number of nicknames including "Hawkeyes", "Antelopes", the "Old Gold Knights", the "Bugeaters" and the "Mankilling Mastodons". Cornhuskers first appeared in 1893, after an upset of Iowa, but in that instance it was used to refer to Iowa rather than Nebraska, in 1899 it was used by a writer for the Nebraska State Journal, this time to refer to Nebraska, and it stuck by 1900.

Introduction: Played their first season in 1890. By 1900 they were a Division I Independent. In 1907 they became founding members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. They played the 1919 and 1920 seasons as Independents, before rejoining the MVIAA, which went onto become the Big 12. In 2011 they departed the conference for the Big 10, becoming the first member of the Big 6 to depart the conference, Colorado who turned the Big 6 into the Big 7 would leave the same year, and Missouri another founding member of the Big 6 would leave the following year.

Biggest achievement: Nebraska claims 5 national championships

1970, under HoF HC Bob Devaney they would field an undefeated team, going 11-0-1, winning the Big 8 and the Orange Bowl vs LSU to finish #1 in the AP poll, their only tie would come at the hands of Southern California, who finished #15 in the AP.

1971, a perfect season, 13-0, with another Orange Bowl win, this time over Alabama, and again finishing #1 in the AP poll.

1994, 1995 and 1997, all under HoF HC Tom Osborne, they would go undefeated (13-0, 12-0, 13-0) in all three seasons, winning the Orange (Miami (FL), Fiesta (Florida, in a game Florida fans still often list as the most embarrassing performance by a Gators team) and Orange (Tennessee) bowls. 1997 would see them finish #2 in the AP poll behind 12-0 Michigan.



Biggest failure: The 1940s and 50s, despite finishing #7 in the AP poll in 1940 the period would see them field 15 of their 22 losing seasons (with two more coming in 1960 and 1961) for a combined 72-115-4 record. After the 1961 season they wouldn't field another losing team until 2004.

Rivals: Nebraska has a number of defunct rivalries due to their departure for the Big Ten, of their currently active rivalries only one has more than 50 meetings, Minnesota, "$5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy", the two first meet in 1900, and have played every year since 2011. Of the 57 meetings Minnesota leads 31–24–2.

The trophy originates from Twitter "banter" (Wikipedia's word not mine) between the Minnesota mascot, Goldy Gopher, and a Bo Pelini parody "Faux Pelini".

"Hey @FauxPelini, how about a friendly wager for this weekend's game? Team that gets the most points gets a conference win? Seem fair?"

"OK how about if we win you give me $5, if you win I get to smash a wooden chair over your back"

And thus the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy was born.

Unfortunately in 2016 Nebraska lost the trophy.

Mascot: Herbie the Husker

and Lil' Red


Colours: Scarlet and Cream

Traditions: Red Ballons, after the first touchdown of every home game thousands of balloons are released, the tradition nearly stopped in 2012 due to a global helium shortage.

Wearing corn on their heads (think of Green Bay's cheeseheads).

Head coach: Mike Riley, former Alabama DB, he started coaching in 1975 as a GA at Cal. He got his first coordinator job as DC at Linfield (Division III). In 1987 he became HC of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL and in 1991 the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football. He got his first FBS job as HC of Oregon State in 1997. After 2 seasons he was named HC of the San Diego Chargers, where he was fired after 3 seasons. After spending a year as DB coach with the New Orleans Saints he returned to Oregon State, where he spent 12 seasons, before leaving for Nebraska in 2015.

He has an all time coaching record of 173-166, 108–91 at the FBS level and 15–11 at Nebraska.

Nebraska has 48 All Americans:

Guy Chamberlin, E, 1915, one time first team All Pro, 1920s NFL All Decade, pro and college football HoF.

Ed Weir, L, 1924 and 1925, college football HoF.

George Sauer, B, 1933, college football HoF.

Sam Francis, B, 1936, #1 overall selection of the 1937 NFL draft, college football HoF.

Bob Brown, L, 1963, 5 time first team All Pro, 1960s NFL All Decade, number retired by Nebraska, pro and college football HoF.

Wayne Meylan, DL, 1966 and 1967, college football HoF.

Larry Jacobson, DL, 1971, Academic All American.

Rich Glover, DL, 1972, college football HoF.

Johnny Rodgers, E/WR, 1971 and 1972, 1972 Heisman Trophy Winner, was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft, but went to Canada for the money where he was a 3 time All Star, college football HoF.

Willie Harper, DL, 1971 and 1972.

John Dutton, DL, 1973, one time first team All Pro.

Dave Rimington, OL, 1981 and 1982, college football HoF. He gives his name to the Rimington award, given to college football's top centre.

Mike Rozier, RB, 1982 and 1983, 1983 Heisman Trophy Winner, college football HoF.

Irving Fryar, WR, 1983, #1 overall selection of the 1984 NFL draft.

Will Shields, OL, 1992, 2 time first team All Pro, 2000s NFL All Decade, pro and college football HoF.

Trev Alberts, LB, 1993, college football HoF.

Tommie Frazier, QB, 1995, college football HoF.

Grant Wistrom, DL, 1996 and 1997, college football HoF.

Ndamukong Suh, DL, 2009, 3 time first team All Pro.

Other players of note:

Eric Crouch, QB, 2001 Heisman Trophy Winner.

Mick Tingelhoff, C, 5 time first team All Pro, number retired by the Minnesota Vikings, pro football HoF.

Verne Lewellen, B, 4 time first team All Pro.

Pat Fischer, DB, 3 time first team All Pro.

Link Lyman, T, 2 time first team All Pro, pro football HoF.

Kent McCloughan, DB, 2 time first team All Pro.

Stadium: Memorial Stadium aka "Sea of Red", opened 1923, 86,000 capacity. The stadium holds the active NCAA record for most consecutive sell outs at 354 games (dating back to 1962).

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  #290  
Old 23.07.2017, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_T View Post
also the strangest/best tradition in sports

Quote:
Originally Posted by kw13 View Post
Strangly their official website doesn't mention that .
I was going to say "what, no couch burning" when I got to the end of the WVU article. I see you guys had it covered!
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