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BLOX Chuck Landon.jpg

Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are the opinions du jour.

n What’s everyone’s reaction when an electrical outlet stops working? Hit the reset button.

Welcome to Neal Brown’s world.

After losing three consecutive games by double-figure margins and having a bye this week before playing at Baylor on Oct. 31, that’s what West Virginia University’s first-year coach decided he needed to do.

“I’m treating this as kind of a reset button,” said Brown, during the Big 12 teleconference on Monday. “We’ve got five games left in our season and we’re going to reset it.

“We’ve got to get some things figured out on our end. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got our best personnel on the field at all times. We’ve got to do a better job.”

No. 1 on Brown’s to-do list comes as no surprise. It’s the Mountaineers beleaguered No. 124-ranked rushing offense.

“We’re going to focus on trying to get our running back on track,” he said. “We’re going to try some different things, try some different personnel, try some different schematics. Different presentations, run game-wise. We’ve got to get our reps on defense and improve. We’ve got to find some answers there.

“So, for the first part of the week for sure, we’re going to focus on ourselves.”

Push that button, Neal.

n Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin will have to put his money where his tweet is.

That’s because the irrepressible Kiffin posted a photo last weekend, which had been bouncing around the internet for about a week, of three members of a football officiating crew wearing dark glasses, carrying canes and walking with seeing-eye dogs.

It was an obvious commentary on what Kiffin believes was controversial officiating during Florida Atlantic’s 36-31 loss to Marshall University last Friday night.

And FAU’s coach actually might have gotten away with it, except for one thing. He tagged Conference USA in the tweet.

Commissioner Judy MacLeod wasn’t amused.

“Conference USA has specific rules and standards regarding sportsmanship which have been adopted by our membership,” said MacLeod in a statement from C-USA. “We have an obligation to enforce our rules, including the prohibition of public criticism of officiating.”

So, MacLeod fined Kiffin $5,000.

His reaction?

“I sent what I thought was kind of a funny tweet,” Kiffin said during his weekly press conference on Sunday evening. “Guess they didn’t think it was as funny as I did.”

Kiffin reportedly later added, “I guess there’s not freedom to tweet around here.”

It depends on the tweet.

So, was the officiating really that controversial? Yes and no. On the first play of the game FAU was called for pass interference. On the third play, FAU was called for a face mask infraction. On the sixth play, FAU was called for another pass interference.

But Marshall also was called for two pass interference penalties as well as two unsportsmanlike infractions during the contest. And, yes, on the first unsportsmanlike penalty Marshall coach Doc Holliday had to be physically restrained on the sidelines because he was so enraged with the officiating.

Obviously, the officiating wasn’t very good or very consistent.

But did it cost Florida Atlantic the game? No. Marshall running back Brenden Knox’s 220 yards rushing with two touchdowns and the Herd’s 460 yards total offense were the real culprits.

And they didn’t wear striped shirts.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at

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