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.