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Gettin' loose on shine and arson: a Q&A with our West Virginia buds

Blog Talk, y'all.

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I sat down with Matt Kirchner from the exemplary SB Nation West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket to talk shop, ball, and Big 12 first impressions.

You can chew on my answers to his inquiries here if you'd like.

GBH: So you're now married to our ex-wife. The Big ol' 12. What do you think of her? What do you like best? What annoys the shit out of you? Who do you hate?

Musket: It's been a fun change from the sinking ship that was the Big East. Though, that doesn't mean it's not sort of awkward. We're playing Iowa State during Rivalry Week and while the Riot Bowl is fun, there's no emotional investment. 

However, getting to be around fan bases that care is a very welcome change from the Big East. Never would have made any road trips in that league outside of Pitt, but I want to go pretty much everywhere in the Big 12. Except Lubbock.

As for what annoys the shit out of me? Boomer Sooner.

GBH: Major bummer about Clint Trickett. What has he meant to the West Virginia program? I loved watching that dude play. So much grit. What should we expect from Skylar Howard?

Musket: The Clint news sucks. He's a great football player with a ton of smarts and confidence and knowing that he was going through that kind of health issue is absolutely awful. However, the most important thing is his health and I'm glad he's sitting from that perspective.

That being said, since the second half of the KSU game, Skyler Howard has given this team the best chance to win. He has the arm to make all the throws, and his mobility adds something to Holgo's offense that we've not seen before.

Though he's not anywhere near this level yet,  I see a lot of JFF in Howard's game. Next year's QB competition between Howard and William Crest should be fun to watch.

GBH: What's the vibe around Holgorsen these days? He's seems to be a good fit with y'all, but I'm sure you're ready to start competing for 'ships.

Musket: He made a ton of headway this year, even though the regression at the end of the year wasn't what you want to see. Add this year's bounce back with a great incoming recruiting class and I think Holgorsen's future is really bright at WVU.

A new AD can change all that, though.  We really can't regress next year,  because the new guy will not be married to Holgo like Oliver Luck was.

GBH: Explain the Pitt rivalry to us. Do you wish you played annually? Mark May - world's smuggest asshole?

Musket: Pitt is 90 minutes north up I-79. It's not called the Backyard Brawl for nothing. Proximity (and frankly, major cultural differences between the two sides) breeds a great rivalry that needs to come back and be played yearly.

You'll have two new ADs at WVU and Pitt next year so hopefully the first order of business is getting this game back up and running. We've done a good job at getting teams like Penn State and Virginia Tech back on the schedule and need to do the same with Pitt.

5. How do you see this game shaking out?

Musket: Points on points. I'm really excited for this game because win or lose it's sure to be a lot of fun.

I think that Kevin White and Mario Alford pose HUGE problems for the Aggies and that may be the difference in a 45-38ish kinda game.

Bonus: Is getting cranked on shine and burning couches as fun as it looks? I'm rather envious how y'all give zero fucks.

[This answer has been redacted for legal reasons.]

Big thanks to Matt. I think scheduling a OOC series with WVU in the future would be a damn delight. Gig 'em.