THE NEW VIEW
I’ve been writing about it for years.
It’s time for WVU coach Bob Huggins to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It’s way past time he be inducted.
I’ve looked into it. I’ve prodded Mountaineer officials. I’ve explained the process. (There are screening committees. There is a Board of Trustees. It’s complicated.)
However you cut it, though, Huggins should be in. This year. He’s been announced as a nominee. The finalists will be unveiled Feb. 14 as part of the NBA All-Star weekend. Then the class will be announced in early April during the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. Enshrinement takes place in Springfield, Mass., August 29.
We shall see.
While on the topic of Huggins, I had a chance to watch his team in person on Saturday. And, yes, the Mountaineers can be maddening offensively, but they are also fun to watch. There’s that anaconda defense. But, moreso, you have to love their hustle, their fight.
On Monday, Miles McBride was deservedly named one of two Big 12 Newcomers of the Week. The freshman guard – a three-star recruit keep in mind – looks to be special. And, of course, that other freshman, Oscar Tshiebwe, is also a player to behold. If you don’t believe so, look at his stat line from the Texas Tech game. He had seven points – and 17 rebounds with four blocked shots.
I realize it’s still early in the season, but Hall of Fame aside, Huggins should be considered for national coach of the year honors.
I happened to check Jeff Sagarin’s college basketball computer ranking and saw the Big 12 is No. 2, behind only the Big Ten, today. (WVU rests at No. 5 in team rankings.)
While that’s all good, however, I wonder about the Big 12’s football reputation. Specifically, I wonder how the postseason outcomes will affect the ability to get in the College Football Playoff going forward – at least for the immediate future.
In case you didn’t notice, the league – a major conference – was an underdog in every single bowl game and finished 1-5. The only victory was when Texas whipped then-No. 11 Utah.
Then there was Oklahoma’s face plant in the College Football Playoff. LSU ran roughshod over the Sooners. The final: 63-28.
One has to wonder if that – paired with OU’s 0-4 record in CFP games – will hurt future considerations. Remember, committees are making the call on participating teams. They want to appear to make the right calls, especially when deciding on that fourth participant.
And on Monday, talking head Paul Finebaum uncorked this: “Let’s face it, Oklahoma was probably the fourth or fifth best team LSU faced this year.”
If you haven’t examined the rules twists from the XFL, I urge you do. Some fun stuff being uncorked by commissioner Oliver Luck and company.
The kickoff is different. Punts are different. Double forward passes are allowed. Overtimes will feature five “rounds” a la NHL shootouts or MLS penalty kicks.
Then there’s my favorite. Those points after touchdowns? Coaches will have the option of running a play from the 2-, 5- or 10-yard lines, worth 1, 2 and 3 points, respectively. You must run an offensive play. NO KICKING PLAYS ARE ALLOWED.
If that doesn’t put a smile on your face on a Monday, nothing will.
Have a great week.
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Mitch Vingle covered sports in West Virginia for 38 years. Follow Mitch on Twitter at @MitchVingle and be sure to check out the rest of Wheelhouse Creative’s website for your marketing and advertising needs. If interested, call us at 304-905-6005.