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Chuck Landon: Holgorsen laid back about game against MU

Jul. 02, 2011 @ 12:22 AM

Rivalry?

What rivalry?

That appears to be the mindset of new West Virginia University football head coach Dana Holgorsen as it pertains to the annual Friends of Coal Bowl, which features a matchup between the only two Football Bowl Subdivision programs in West Virginia.

Namely, Marshall vs. WVU.

The next installment on that rivalry is scheduled on Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Mountaineer Field at Morgantown. It will be televised nationally by ESPN.

Besides that game being the debut for the controversial sale of beer inside Milan Puskar Stadium, it also will be the controversial Holgorsen's coming out party as a collegiate head coach.

How ironic is that?

The beginning of beer sales at the very same game as the debut of a rookie head coach who was ejected from a casino in Cross Lanes, W.Va., recently for allegedly being intoxicated is the epitome of coincidences.

What a compelling paradox.

Yet, Holgorsen seems blissfully oblivious to the scenario. Why, even Alfred E. Neuman has more worries than him.

Perhaps, that's because Holgorsen appears to be putting an extraordinary lack of emphasis on both his debut and his Mountaineers' first opponent.

In a recent interview with a Charleston sports columnist, Holgorsen made some interesting comments that are certain to raise more than a few eyebrows among Marshall fans.

"It's kind of coach-speak," Holgorsen was quoted, "but the only thing I'm concerned with is getting better in camp.

"It means nothing to me who our first opponent (Marshall) is. It means nothing to me that it's an in-state game. It means nothing to me it's a rivalry. It means nothing that they're green or mean green. They're not even Mean Green; that's North Texas.

"All I'm concerned with is lining up and playing well."

Wow.

I've seen and heard more intensity from a head football coach over a two-minute live period at the end of a daily practice.

Holgorsen appears to be the very definition of laid-back.

Well, at least, outwardly.

Or maybe he saves his intensity for big games.

Obviously by his comments, Holgorsen doesn't believe Marshall falls into that category.

BIG LEAST: Columnist Jim Weber had an interesting comment recently on the web site Lostlettermen.com.

While writing about the recent controversy involving the WVU football and Holgorsen, who went from being the coach-in-waiting to the new head coach, Weber offered an intriguing evaluation of the Mountaineers' schedule along with a no-holds-barred comment on the quality of the Big East Conference.

Everybody ready?

He actually believes the Mountaineers could be a dark horse candidate for the BCS championship game.

"Yes, it's a little far-fetched," wrote Weber. "But with the Big East looking like Conference USA entering this fall, WVU should be favored in all but two contests -- Sept. 17th at Maryland and vs. LSU the following week.

"And West Virginia has absolutely owned the Terrapins in recent years while LSU will have to win in Morgantown in what will most likely be an extremely intoxicated night crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium."

Hmm, Big East resembling C-USA?

Now, that's an interesting premise.

Somehow I don't think he was referencing the fact that new Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham came there from Tulsa.

Just a guess.

Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827. Email him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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