Conference play continues for the Sooners, who remain undefeated against Big 12 foes. In case you were thinking about getting complacent, we're here to remind you exactly why we hate all the teams in our conference. So read up, take to comment sections across the internet, and don't let anybody tell you to calm down.
This week, the Mountaineers host Oklahoma in the “great” state of West Virginia. This is why we hate them.
Their fans are the worst
Don’t take my word for it; that was Chuka Ndulue’s opinion when he was asked in 2014 about the Mountaineer fan base. He also described them as “loud” and “rude.” Former receiver Durron Neal called them “disrespectful.” Neal added that part of what makes them so mean is that they research players to learn specific things about them to incorporate into insults. Neal didn’t connect the dots, but the only reason to do that is to make sure you can say the most mean thing possible. To college kids. Who aren’t getting paid. Who probably don’t want to be in West Virginia in the first place. Nice! During basketball season, they’ve also been known to throw things onto the court. They actually hit Pitt’s coach in the face with a quarter. That really happened.
Their fanbase is also one of the few who have a reputation for burning couches. It got so bad that last year, the Morgantown had to actually pass a law to ban outdoor furniture. Why ban furniture? Because banning the fires was already a crime, but it clearly didn’t work. Every morning I wake up and give thanks that I don’t live somewhere so crazy that they had to ban patio furniture.
Unfortunately, it appears the city has banned belts, as well. For shame, West Virginia. For shame.
Tavon Austin? No, haven’t heard of him...
Oh you mean that guy.
I believe it was Barry Switzer who said “Patrick Mahommes doesn’t know what it means to embarrass Oklahoma’s defense. Tavon Austin invented it.”
The above video is a recording of the embarrassment of the Sooner defense from a few years ago. Austin rushed for 344 yards, had 82 yards receiving on four catches, and added 146 yards on kickoff returns. It probably would have been even worse, but since the game ended 50-49, there were no punt return stats recorded. He had almost as many rushing yards by himself against Oklahoma as the whole West Virginia squad recorded as a team in the terrible 2008 Fiesta Bowl.
Interestingly, Oklahoma actually won what some have dubbed the “Tavon Austin game.” I had to verify that fact on two different websites, because it sure as heck felt like a loss to me. To watch your team tackle so poorly and be so thoroughly demolished by one player is beyond frustrating, and made the OU defense a bit of a national joke there for a while.
For all his college success, though, the universe finally got back at Austin, who is currently serving an extended sentence on the roster of the Los Angeles Rams. It doesn’t take away the sting of that performance, but it helps a little.
The Mecca to Morgantown
The Big 12, for you non-history buffs, is the final form of the Southwestern Conference. Back when times were simpler, that meant that all of the teams were from the southwest region of the United States.
After the departure of some Big 12 teams a few years ago, the conference needed to add some teams to remain what we will generously describe as “competitive” with the other big conferences. TCU was an obvious addition, located in Fort Worth, TX. A less obvious addition, at least from a geographic point-of-view, was the West Virginia Mountaineers. They are, oh-so-predictably, from West Virginia.
The Big 12 extended as far south as Austin and as far north as Des Moines, but all the teams were in a neat little vertical line (with the Red Raiders being slightly out of position—cue joke about their defense). Here’s the current map of the conference.
(Note: Yes, the map above has an A&M logo instead of a TCU one, but that doesn’t kill the point)
The “Report a problem” button on the bottom right of the image doesn’t actually do anything, but don’t let that fool you. This makes travel for everyone involved quite brutal (at least relatively). Norman, Oklahoma is more than 1,000 miles away from Morgantown. Lubbock is almost 1,500 miles away, but we discussed earlier that we hate the Red Raiders also, so that’s actually fine.
West Virginia joining the Big 12 is a symbol of a larger problem: with a desperate need to add teams (revenue), conferences are willing to ignore geography and go with whatever they can find. Never mind that it can have a negative impact on the television market, since the typical Big 12 base probably doesn’t care what’s happening over in that part of the country. Never mind that at least three states separate every other school from West Virginia. West Virginia is, pretty literally, an outsider in the conference. Were the Big 12 to ever actually go through with expansion, it’s been rumored that West Virginia is pushing for another team out in its region. That might make sense for WVU, but it doesn’t make sense for any of the other nine teams in the conference.
When the Big 12 teams do make the journey, what do they find?
The dream of the 90’s may be alive in Portland, but the dream of Davy Crockett appears to be surviving in West Virginia. No thanks.
This week, mountain man & co. will be trying to keep Oklahoma from the most improbable playoff push in the history of the College Football Playoffs. For all these reasons, no matter how catchy Country Road might be, we hate you.