Random thoughts and wins for Marshall, West Virginia


BUCKHANNON – Some random thoughts this week.

I see where the New York Jets  released the overpriced, under-producing running back known as Le’Veon Bell.

Bell is proof that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Every decision Bell has made since deciding to sit out the entire 2018 as a Pittsburgh Steeler before becoming a free agent, has been just downright dreadful for the Michigan State product.

He played in 15 games, running for just 789 yards for a 3.2 average and just three touchdowns last season, his first as a New York Jet.

This season, he played sparingly as he was placed on the injured reserve due to a hamstring injury.

It seemed that Bell wanted out of New York as much as the Jets wanted to see him go.

The Jets tried to find a trade partner for Bell last season and no one was biting. I really did not see how things would be any different this year with the four-year, $52.5 million contract that he signed last year. No one was going to want to be stuck with that enormous contract.

Good luck Bell to whatever team takes a chance on you, and too bad you didn’t want to stick with a quality organization like the Steelers.

Now for my recap of the NBA…I heard the Lakers won the title…didn’t watch and didn’t care.

Apparently, America didn’t either as it has been reported by numerous agencies that ratings dropped to the lowest ever in the history of recorded ratings.

This with debatably one of the all-time greats and one of the most popular teams in the league in the finals.

I guess the people currently running these pro leagues are smarter than me, but I would say some decisions are going to have to be made sooner or later on how left they want their leagues to go.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already gone on record saying the NBA is going to scale back on the social justice messaging next year. Money talks people and losing money gets people talking even faster. How long will it be before the other leagues follow suit?

Well, regarding last week’s column, WVSSAC executive director Bernie Dolan certainly gave a politician’s answer when asked what the minimum number of games will be to qualify for the state football playoffs.

Paraphrasing his answer last week on WV Metro Sportsline, it was, “probably somewhere between three to five games.”

That seems to be a pretty big range if you ask me considering we are entering week seven of the high school season.

Still not sure why the delay in coming up with that number. What county or better yet, what school are they waiting on?

Last week wasn’t a banner week for either Number One Sales Manager Shea Phillips or me on the Fearless Football Forecast.

I went 3-2 while Shea posted a 2-3 mark.

For the season, I currently own a 19-9 mark while Shea has dropped off with a 16-12 mark.

Now onto our games this week!

North Marion (4-1) at Lewis County (3-3)

I get injuries are a big part of the high school game, but there were no excuses for Lewis County losing to Preston last week. The Minutemen still have only won one game on the field as they have two forfeit wins. The Minutemen wasted a great opportunity last week and it does not get any easier this week. North Marion is ranked fifth in the latest WVSSAC rankings with their lone loss coming to Fairmont Senior in week two. The North Marion offense has averaged 39 points per contest in their last three games.

Duane: North Marion, 39-13; Shea: North Marion, 21-14

Morgantown (0-2) at Parkersburg South (1-5)

After having to wait four weeks to get their first game under their belts, the Morgantown Mohigans have stumbled out of the gate with a 0-2 mark and getting outscored by an 83-29 margin, albeit against two very good teams in Musselman and Wheeling Park. Parkersburg South has struggled this season as well with just one win. Shea and I are split on this game, but I look for Morgantown to get win number one.

Duane: Morgantown, 29-21; Shea: Parkersburg South, 35-31

Wheeling Park (5-1) at University (1-1)

University dropped from first to 17th in the WVSSAC rankings after a loss to Jefferson last Friday. That is how crazy this rankings system is right now with teams having played a different number of games. Wheeling Park has won five in a row after losing to St. Clairsville (Ohio) in week one. Make that six in a row for Wheeling Park after Friday night.

Duane: Wheeling Park, 44-20; Shea: Wheeling Park 14-7

Marshall (3-0) at Louisiana Tech (3-1)

A key game in Conference USA as Marshall is in a tie for first place in the East while the Bulldogs are in first place in the West. The Bulldogs though have nothing close to a quality win and a 31-point setback to BYU two weeks ago on their resume. On the other hand, Marshall has a nice win over then-ranked Appy State back on Sept. 19. I see Marshall moving to 4-0 on the season as does Shea, an alumnus of Marshall.

Duane: Marshall, 31-17; Shea: Marshall, 45-21

Kansas (0-3) at West Virginia (2-1)

Kansas has given up 132 points in their three losses to Coastal Carolina, Oklahoma State and Baylor and enter the West Virginia game as a four-touchdown underdog. Just how awful is the Big XII this year? It appears that Oklahoma State will be the conference’s only legit team of having someone make the play-offs. But back to KU and WVU, this will probably the easiest game we will pick all year.

Duane: West Virginia, 49-14; Shea: West Virginia, 42-21

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