Football Notebook


CAMPUS CONNECTION
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
January 02, 2013 03:44 PM

It looks like Pat White’s NCAA record for rushing yardage by a quarterback could fall because of a technicality.

Michigan’s Denard Robinson ran for 100 yards in yesterday’s Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina, giving him 4,495 yards rushing for his career – 15 more than White’s career total. However, all 100 of Robinson’s rushing yards during yesterday’s game and an additional 156 over his final two regular season games came with Robinson lined up at tailback.

All 4,480 yards White gained during his outstanding four-year Mountaineer career from 2005-08 came from the quarterback position. WVU football sports information director Mike Montoro correctly pointed this out to the folks at the NCAA, who are now in the process of determining whether or not Robinson’s record will stand.

If it does, it will certainly be an injustice to White and calls into question the growing number of specialty stats the NCAA now recognizes.

Here is what the LA Times had to write about the controversy earlier today … http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-denard-robinson-20130102,0,7151608.story

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Speaking of White, his NCAA record four consecutive bowl victories by a starting quarterback was tied by Florida State’s E.J. Manuel after the Seminoles defeated Northern Illinois in last night’s Orange Bowl. Ironically, one of Manuel’s four victories came against West Virginia in the 2009 Gator Bowl.

In addition to West Virginia and Northern Illinois, Manuel’s other two bowl triumphs came against South Carolina in the 2010 Chic-fil-A Bowl and against Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl.

White’s four bowl wins were against Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl, against Georgia Tech in the 2007 Gator Bowl, against Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and against North Carolina in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

***

West Virginia can now add its name to the list of Big 12 schools that have lost Pinstripe Bowl games. In 2010, it was Kansas State falling to Syracuse in frigid conditions, and last year, it was Iowa State going down to Rutgers. In two of the three contests, the thermometer failed to reach 40 degrees at game time, including this year’s sub-freezing snowstorm the two teams played in last Saturday.

In 2011, the Pinstripe Bowl was played in comparatively balmy conditions with a game time temperature of 50 degrees at kickoff.

Poor weather forced West Virginia to conduct one of its practices in the hotel ballroom while Kansas State also encountered similar weather issues when it played Syracuse three years ago. Last year, Rutgers chose to remain on campus and practice in its indoor facility before traveling to New York City to face Iowa State.

It will be interesting to see if the Big 12 will continue its relationship with the Pinstripe Bowl when its current agreement expires.

***

Speaking of northeastern bowl games, the Liberty Bowl frequently dealt with poor weather conditions during the six years it was played in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J. before founder Bud Dudley opted to take the game south in 1965.

At the time, Dudley’s Liberty Bowl was sometimes referred to as the “Masochist Bowl” or the “Are You out of Your Mind Bowl?”

West Virginia appeared in the only Liberty Bowl played indoors in the Atlantic City Convention Center against Utah in 1964. It was also the first indoor bowl game in NCAA history.

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The Big 12 is now 4-3 in bowl games with two games still remaining. Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma State have all won their bowl games while West Virginia, TCU and Iowa State lost theirs. Kansas State will face Oregon Thursday night in the Fiesta Bowl while Oklahoma will take on Texas A&M in Friday’s Cotton Bowl.

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Consider this … Last year West Virginia was 10-3 and coming off a 70-33 victory over 14th-ranked Clemson in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl, and this year, the Mountaineers ended the season with a 7-6 record while falling to unranked Syracuse, 38-14, in the Pinstripe Bowl.

However, if you subtract four points from a 24-21 win at Cincinnati, one point from a 21-20 home victory against Pitt and four points from a 30-27 win at USF – all three games that went down to the wire - West Virginia would have finished the 2011 campaign with 6-6 regular season record instead of its 9-3 mark and the Big East’s BCS bowl bid.

So when you really think about it, how much different was last year’s team from this years? That just goes to show you how razor-thin the margins can sometimes be in college football ... and also how carried away some people can get.

***

I’m sure many of you remember Ronald Reagan breaking the Tippecanoe Curse by surviving his presidency despite being elected in a year divisible by 20 (Perhaps wife Nancy and astrologer Joan Quigley had something to do with it). Well, in 1995, Mountaineer football snapped a dubious streak as well.

That year, the Mountaineers began the season preseason ranked only to end the year completely out of the polls. The prior three times that happened in 1970, 1990 and 1994, each occurred in even-numbered years. Since then, however, the even-year trend of starting in the rankings and finishing out of the polls has continued in 1998, 2004, 2010 and, of course, this season when the final rankings are revealed after next week’s national championship game.

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By my count, there are four former Mountaineers still alive in this year’s NFL playoffs: Adam Jones with the Cincinnati Bengals, Pat McAfee with the Indianapolis Colts, Bruce Irvin with the Seattle Seahawks and Donny Barclay with the Green Bay Packers. The last Mountaineer player to win a Super Bowl ring as a regular player on a team roster was defensive back Mike Logan with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. Mike Corley informs me that Kay-Jay Harris earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the New York Giants practice squad in 2008.

Hope your New Year is off to a great start!

Check out Antonik's new book The Backyard Brawl: Stories from One of the Weirdest, Wildest, Longest Running, and Most Intense Rivalries in College Football History now available in bookstores. A portion of the sales benefit the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Also, be sure to "Like" the new Backyard Brawl Facebook page and tell us your personal WVU-Pitt story.
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