Building A Rivalry: The Moonshine Bowl

West Virginia has been searching for a rival for years after losing Pitt: we have found the solution.

It’s no secret that college football is a flawed sport. Corruption, corporate greed, obnoxious commercials, toxic fanbases, player safety issues and an incredibly flawed postseason all are troubling issues that need addressing. However, I have discovered something that has truly shocked me to my core. 

HOW HAVE WEST VIRGINIA AND APPALACHIAN STATE NEVER PLAYED?

Somehow, the Mountaineers and the Mountaineers have never crossed paths on the gridiron. While I know App State is a new addition to FBS, these teams and fanbases are too similar and too hilarious to not play each other on a yearly basis. 

Plus, since losing the annual Backyard Brawl game with Pitt, West Virginia has been searching for a rival aimlessly like a lost puppy, constantly trying to force rivalries with the likes of Texas and Oklahoma. It’s time for them to face reality and find a proper rival. 

So we at The Schooner Blog are taking some time to make wrongs right and introducing the world to the greatest rivalry never played: The Moonshine Bowl.

First things first: the name “Moonshine Bowl” is not just a name, it’s an element of the game. Sports drinks and water are outlawed. The only approved substances are moonshine and any form of Mountain Dew. It should be noted that the moonshine must come from the hills and cannot under any circumstances be non-flammable.

Every good rivalry is a neutral site one, so in the tradition of OU-Texas, we will play this halfway between the campuses in Boone, North Carolina and Morgantown, West Virginia. Approximately, the middle is a town called Little Birch. Sure, Little Burch has zero NFL stadiums in it, as well as nothing resembling a sports venue. It does, however, have a clearing in the middle of the hills next to their elementary school and post office, two of their several buildings. We’re going Field of Dreams over here. 

Uniforms for the game will take a much more traditional approach. Both West Virginia and Appalachian State must spend the week prior to the game in the hills outside Little Burch trapping and foraging for pelts, which they will then use to fashion their game uniforms. Helmets and pads, while not banned, must be constructed from various pelts and items found in the hills.

Classes for the student-athletes are not canceled by both universities but for the sake of a good ol’ fashion yellabelly pig skin scrum, the players voluntarily skip the week class schedule annually. 

College football is about pageantry and this game will have plenty of it. Of course, we can’t just have App State and WVU bring their full bands: this is the Moonshine Bowl. Both schools can bring their bands on the condition that the only instruments allowed are jugs, banjos and other various bluegrass instruments. 

For the sake of pure authenticity, starting months before the game all players participating in the match are required to halt the shaving of facial hair to garner a “Jeramiah Johnson” type of look. I’m talking full-on Leonardo DiCaprio revenant type of vibe. If one is to call oneself a mountaineer, one must look the part. The removal of teeth is also encouraged but not enforced.

Overall, the Moonshine Bowl isn’t just something college football deserves; it is something it needs. I implore you, dear readers, to take action and contact West Virginia president Gordon Gee at presidentsoffice@mail.wvu.edu and petition him to get this done.

For the sake of all of us. 

Writing Credit to Ford Branan for the Assist

A Look At West Virginia

A familiar face returns to Norman. Will Austin Kendall have revenge? (Spoiler: Probably not)

After a wild Red River, the Sooners return home to Norman with gilded heads and an undefeated record. Now that the Hat is back and OU is midway into another conference title run, the next challenge comes in a familiar foe, with a familiar face, but a very non-familiar style of play.

Meet the Mountaineers

These aren’t your typical Mountaineers. West Virginia is under renovation after the departure of longtime head coach Dana Holgorson. While O’l Dana was an offensive mastermind, Neal Brown brings more of a grounded, defensive approach.

The transition has been…difficult. On both offense and defense, the scheme and personnel just aren’t there yet.

However, doubt Brown at your own risk: just ask LSU how that worked out when he was at Troy.

Who to Watch For:

Austin Kendall, QB #12

It’s pretty fitting this game would be homecoming. Despite early health concerns, Austin “Basic Defense” Kendall will start in his return to Owen Field.

While Kendall was hyped up as a Lincoln Riley disciple, he hasn’t lived up to the hype in Morgantown. With only a 66% completion percentage and seven picks against just nine touchdowns, Kendall might not be the quarterback we thought he was.

However, in a revenge game you can toss out all the records. Kendall is going to come out pissed. Not only did AK’s spot get taken by Jalen Hurts, but Riley initially blocked Kendall’s transfer request.

Austin Kendall has plenty of motivation. We’ll see if he has the talent to keep it interesting.

Why You Should Be Excited

Revenge games are few and far between in college. Getting to watch Kendall try to exact some revenge should be really fun to watch honestly.

Series History (Oklahoma Leads 9-2)

While this series doesn’t have the biggest history, it certainly makes me pretty happy. West Virginia is the only team in the Big 12 to not have at least one conference win against the others: OU is that one. While I should worry about a jinx, I’ve said the every stat every year and nothing bad has happened yet.

The Schooner Pod: Examining the Playoff Picture and West Virginia Recap

After Oklahoma’s big win over West Virginia, the Sooners are in the Big 12 Championship to face Texas. This is part one of two podcasts breaking down the epic weekend ahead for the Sooners. In this pod, Bobby and Jamison break down OU’s 59-56 win over the Mountaineers, the debate between Oklahoma or Ohio State and everything else involving playoff scenarios.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and rate us five stars! If you like our stuff, please consider donating to our Patreon so we can help put out more and better content. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest Schooner Blog and Schooner Pod content delivered right to you. 

Notes from OU-West Virginia

Friday night was a wild time. However, I would be remised if I didn’t give some some more detail notes on what happened in Morgantown.

  • This defense didn’t do much better point wise, but damn did they put in some effort. And honestly, without their performance, OU loses that game. The two scoop and score touchdowns obviously stand out as the highlights, but Tre Brown’s effort gave the Mountaineer receiving corps fits all night.
  • Honestly, the Sooners probably should have won by more. The two takeaways covered for some absolutely frustrating Oklahoma turnovers.
  • Trey Sermon’s injury was and is obviously very concerning for tailback depth, but damn did Kennedy Brooks have himself a ball game. He was the workhorse, going for 182 yards and two touchdowns on a hefty 21 carries. I don’t know if this performance is sustainable, but it certainly was impressive.
  • You have to give the Sooners this; they don’t lose these types of games. This was not an easy one by any means. So many teams would fold after the second half start OU had, but they weathered the storm and responded at every turn. Now that we are in the end game, that experience will be vital.
  • Hollywood Brown, have yourself a game! While Brown has been quiet in the back half of this season (this was only his second 100+ yard game since Texas), he showed out Friday with 243 yards and two touchdowns on eleven catches. Under normal stances, this warrants my weekly MVP nod. However….

MVP: Kyler Murray

Normally, I pick someone different than Kyler because picking the obvious best player on the team weekly is boring. But to not give this guy the MVP nod this week would just be silly.

Murray showed exactly why he’s the best player in the country on Friday. The ability to throw as accurately as he does alone put him in the race, but what he does on the ground makes him the most lethal player I’ve seen in my lifetime. At any moment, the man can pull the ball down and score, no matter where the offense is on the field.

Sure, he turned the ball over twice. However, he always responded and never let the game slip out of his hands when he made mistakes. I think we can let the “questionable under pressure” take die.

As for the stats? Throwing for 364 yards with 111 on the ground and four touchdowns is just overpowered as hell. Give my man his trophy.

LVP: Texas

You don’t want this team right now.

Up Next: The Big 12 Championship against Texas.

And I thought Red River season was over.

Weekend Spread: Week 13

Bobby: 2-6 (48-47)

Jamison: 3-5 (45-50)

Blake: 3-5 (49-46)

Thanksgiving Week is a busy time; as such, our panelists weren’t able to get all the pick analyses in. For record keeping purposes, here are the picks for this weekend.

Last Week

#4 Michigan @ #10 Ohio State (UM -4)

Bobby: Ohio State, +4

JamisonMichigan, -4

BlakeOhio State, +4

#16 Washington @ #8 Washington State (WSU -2.5) {Friday}

Bobby: Washington, +2.5

JamisonWashington State, -2.5

Blake: Washington, +2.5

#3 Notre Dame @ USC (ND -10.5)

Bobby: Notre Dame, -10.5

Jamison: USC, +10.5

Blake: 🤷🏼‍♂️

Baylor v. Texas Tech (TT -6.5)

BobbyBaylor, +6.5

JamisonTexas Tech, -6.5

BlakeBaylor, +6.5

Kansas State @ #25 Iowa State (ISU -13.5)

Bobby: Kansas State, +13.5

JamisonIowa State, -13.5

BlakeIowa State, -13.5

Oklahoma State @ TCU (OSU -4.5)

BobbyTCU, -4.5

JamisonOklahoma State, +4.5

BlakeTCU, -4.5

#14 Texas @ Kansas (UT -14.5) {Friday}

Bobby: Kansas, +14.5

JamisonKansas, +14.5

BlakeKansas, +14.5

#6 Oklahoma @ #13 West Virginia (OU -1.5) {Friday}

BobbyOklahoma, -1.5

JamisonOklahoma, -1.5

BlakeOklahoma, -1.5

The Schooner Pod: Week 13

It’s the last week of the regular season and the boys discuss the Oklahoma defense (shocker), Kyler Murray’s Heisman hopes, the future of the program going forward, take a trip to the ‘Cruitin Corner, look ahead to the massive game this weekend in Morgantown and make their picks for the rest of the big games around the country.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and rate us five stars! If you like our stuff, please consider donating to our Patreon so we can help put out more and better content. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest Schooner Blog and Schooner Pod content delivered right to you. 

Game Week: West Virginia

Friday, November 23rd

7:00 PM, ESPN

It’s here.

Since the schedule came out way back last Fall this game has been circled in red with a double underline. A road trip to Morgantown, on Black Friday, against a high level quarterback and surrounded by a sea of screaming blue and gold fans jacked up on Mountain Dew and moonshine (and not that store-bought swill, either).

Throughout the season, as the Oklahoma defense struggled throughout the season, West Virginia always loomed as the monster under the bed, ready to tear apart this defense like cheap, wet toilet paper. Dread it, run from it, the game against the Mountaineers still arrives.

So here we are. While it isn’t a guaranteed rematch like we once thought, thanks to a Mountaineer collapse last week in Stillwater, the stakes could not be higher. For both teams, win and you punch your ticket to Arlington for December 1st’s Big 12 Championship game against (barring what would be the funniest loss of all time) Texas.

Lose and you are out. No four-peat shot for the Sooners. Another squandered chance at Big 12 glory for the Mountaineers.

Here’s the thing though; Oklahoma thrives on pressure. We live for games like this, mocking Big Game Bob/Little Game Lincoln monikers be damned. The Sooners haven’t lost a true road game since 2014. In the Lincoln Reilly era (2015-pres.), the Sooners are 11-1 against ranked Big 12 opponents, which includes a 56-28 trouncing of West Virginia in a top 10 matchup in Morgantown. When things get tough in the regular season, the Sooners usually show up. With the Mountaineers looking vulnerable against Oklahoma State, there is more than enough opportunity for this OU team get a big win in Morgantown.

will

Meet the Mountaineers:

8-2 (6-2)|AP #12, Coaches #12, CFP #9*|

West Virginia has had a bit of a wild season. The Mountaineers got off to a big start, routing Tennessee 40-14 in Charlotte. This was supposed to be one of two Power Five matchups this season, but their game with North Carolina State was cancelled due to complications due to Hurricane Florence.

In Big 12 play, the Mountaineers have been mostly impressive, with a few significant hiccups along the way. Led by a potent offense, West Virginia has scored 35+ points in all but one game this season. The outlier was a 30-14 loss in Ames where the offense absolutely sputtered under the pressure of the Iowa State crowd. They responded well afterwards, winning an emotional 42-41 game against Texas in Austin behind the heroics of quarterback Will Grier, who ran in the game winning two point conversion with under a minute left.

Up until a week ago, the Mountaineers were ranked 9th with long shot Playoff hopes still intact.

Who to Watch For:

#7 Will Grier, QB

Other than OU’s Kyler Murray, Will Grier has easily been the second best quarterback in the Big 12 and a Heisman candidate in his own right. Armed with a high powered offense, Grier has thrown for 300+ yards in all but one game, all while staying highly efficient. While he is not a threat to run, the Florida transfer is the best pocket passer in the country and is primer to carve up this Oklahoma defense.

#17 David Sills V, WR

As Grier’s number one target, David Sills V is going to be a problem for the Sooners. While his numbers are down from last season, Sills is a dangerous receiver that can break out for big yardage. He isn’t big, but as we saw with Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace and Texas Tech’s Antoine Wesley, elite small receivers are a massive threat to the Sooners. Expect a career day from Sills if things aren’t fixed.

landry.jpg

Series History: 8-2 (Oklahoma)

As West Virginia has only been in the Big 12 since 2012, there is not a very deep history between the two schools. As non-conference foes, OU and WVU split the series at 2-2, with the most notable Mountaineer win coming in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. However, West Virginia is winless against the Sooners as a member of the Big 12 and is the only team in the conference to have not beaten every conference team at least once.

The closest the Mountaineers got was in 2012, where West Virginia running back Tavon Austin ripped off an ungodly 572 all purpose yards between rushing, receiving and kickoff returns. The Sooners led at half 31-17 before the game turned into a shootout for the ages. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones dominated, throwing for 544 yards and a then Oklahoma record six touchdowns, including the clutch game winner to Kenny Stills 24 seconds left in the game on 4th and 3.

With these two great offenses meeting in Morgantown six years later, one has to imagine that Friday’s game might be a shootout much like 2012. While much of the season has been spent analyzing the deficiencies of the Oklahoma defense, there is only one thing that matters: preventing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” from playing after the game.

Now that would be a critical stop.