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This notorious repost from a Pitt or Volunteers fan is amazing [thread]:
There's a change in the air. The Butch funk is gone. The Pruitt era begins. For better or worse, we have a new reason to be hopeful and believe that Tennessee will soon again be matching on-field results
with our blue blood traditions. Pruitt's defense dominated last night, and hes on the verge of securing a Top15 class in a transition year. Vols have a lot to be excited for in 2018, which we start off against the University of #WestVirginia.
A team we've never met head to head on the gridiron; and with the game brings encounters with a fanbase we've never experienced. The University of W. Virginia #Mountaineers and their cocaine fiend of a coach #Dana #Holgorsen.
As I often do before we're playing an opponent, I took some time to cruise various message boards to see what the opposition is expecting of the matchup. I'm not going to link specific boards or posts, just know they're out there.
Usually there's a little bit homer-optimism, a little bit pessimism, and a little bit reality. I'm going to be honest, this fanbase has taken me by total surprise, and provided the inspiration to make this TLDR thread.
The hubris exhibited by their online contingent is only rivaled by their notoriety as one of the dirtiest, most hick fanbases in all of sports. If I didn't know better, I would expect that we were playing the New England Patriots, not a misfit Big12 program that is destined
to finish 7-5 or 8-4, despite their consistent assurance that they are a playoff favorite, and have a 10 win worst case scenario team. Yet here we are. I decided to investigate how this came to be, as we didn't have any heated history with this team.
It seemed odd to me that they'd have such unwarranted vitriol. Why is this fanbase so arrogant? I see them knocking #Tennessee a lot for living in the past and clinging to our previous 6 national titles.
That's pretty ironic for a program whose greatest team ever lost to S. Florida and a 3-win Pitt team in the same season. But as I read on their message boards several times, 10 years after the fact, that same team would have killed Ohio State if they met in the title game.
I certainly can't remember a period in my lifetime where W. Va #wvu had a dominant team, let alone any dynasty years strung together like we've had in the past. They had a couple of years in those waning days of the Big East [-Miami, -VT, -BC]
Their player Mount Rushmore would look something like Pat White, Major Harris, Pacman Jones, and Chris Henry. Two of those guys weren't good enough to make an NFL practice squad and the other two are societal outcasts.
Their most famous NFL connection might be that Andrew Luck is the biological offspring of their previous athletic director. Ok, so they're not cocky because they have had a wealth of talent. In fact, in comparison to Tennessee we have 45 NFL first rounders to their 12.
We have 39 consensus All-Americans to their 11. A whopping 337 NFL players to their 186, but you get the point. They never have much talent, and people they put in the league have the highest bust rate of any P5 program. Tennessee ranks #1 in the SEC.
Perhaps it was because they win a lot of games? It is important to consider this would be a skewed metric since they were in the SoCon, big east, and now a very watered down Big12-4. I decided to do some further digging anyway since many of their posters so blatantly despised us.
It didn't take long to find that too much winning wasn't the reason they stuck their chests out so far. An all-time winning percentage of 0.599 is below mediocre. Furthermore, I dug into their historical records against Power 5 programs. (9-48) vs. Penn State. (3-17) vs. Miami
Granted those are 2 institutions in a different stratosphere of college football brass than West Va. Even still, among their peers:
(27-33) vs. Syracuse
(8-11) vs. Kentucky
So where are these 744 all-time wins coming from? Ok, so they are-
(40-61) vs. their biggest rival Pitt
That is not horrible although still well below 0.500 , and they have a-
(28-23) advantage over the Virginia Tech hokies who only started trying to compete in football in the 1980s. I couldn't believe what I found.
29 wins over W.Va Wesleyan(D3)
27 wins over Washington and Lee(D2)
21 wins against the Richmond Spiders(D1AA)
Here's the kicker, this doesn't even include their 200+ wins against teams recently moved to the Big East void such as S Florida, Cinci, and Temple.
Well over 500 of W. Virginia's claimed 700 wins are against non-power 5 opponents. Which essentially means, they don't win anything important. I know what you're thinking, everyone counts those games. Sure, but West Virginia's win total in this category is twice that of any other
This highly contrasts Tennessee's history, which is as blue-blood as it gets, being a founding member and second most decorated program in the SEC (which is now going to win 10 of the last 13 titles regardless of next Monday).
Despite our recent decade of ups and mostly downs, we still have the 2nd winningest program in the country in the AP era(1936-current), a few games behind Oklahoma.
Needless to say, I was ready to move on to my next theory of this unwarranted mountaineer arrogance. When I started this team profile as a response to a particular post on TOS, I was well aware I wasn't dealing with our average high roller SEC opponent.
The more I dug the more I began wondering if we were dealing with more of a Vanderbilt type fanbase that has long suffered from injecting itself with little-brother-syndrome steroids. More threads about Pitt, a team they haven't played in many years.
Marshall comparison threads with heavy regularity. Lost their bowl game due to refs. Seems to fit the Vandy bill, quite honestly. Multiple topics and posts with a theme of how next year's team will look good for the perception of the state of W. Va. Ok, what?
Why would it look good for the state of West Virginia if the mountaineers performed well in college athletics? The only thing West Virginian about their athletics is that they've tricked the poverty stricken local populace into funding a P5 program through ticket sales and taxes.
Their good football players? Out of state kids that were too troubled or academic risks for their school of choice. Their good basketball players? Out of state kids that were too troubled or academic risks for their school of choice. Hello Roid Grier the Cheater
According to the institution's website demographics, the school's student body is predominantly white and out of state. "Repping the state of W. Va?" Give. Me. A. Break. Their team is composed of people that don't look like them (or people they even like, apparently)
As stated by none other than #ClayTravis: how many people in #Morgantown could point you to the Shenandoah River or the Blue-ridge Mountains that are praised in the song #CountryRoads ? #WVUfootball
Ironically, the song is more fitting for their rival at Virginia Tech. Something tells me VT was smart enough to know that John Denver sucks, Enter Sandman rocks, and it's way more fun to privately poke fun at your neighbor that lacks basic education in geo and self awareness
Relating back to their Pitt Panther posts, which seemed to come up daily as I was watching their boards,which i found very odd considering they never play each other, several posters thought it was high comedic value to reference the quantity of fans at Pitt games.
Keep in mind, when the mountaineer's stadium fills up to capacity, we're only talking about ~55,000 people. How do you take shots at crowd factor with a stadium that small?
These people:
are making fun of these people:
And they may not fully comprehend why that's hilarious.
This blew my mind. This is literally blue and yellow Vanderbilt syndrome minus the whole academic prestige thing (West Va. is actually the lowest ranked P5 University in academics, somehow below both Miss St. and Ole Miss). As the old Mississippi adage goes: "Thank God for #WV "
Secondly, Pitt gets to play in downtown Pitt in the same stadium as the Steelers which doesn't sound ideal, but it doesn't sound terrible. I'm not one to be overly elitist, but the West Va. stadium is a dang dust bowl literally sitting beside multiple trailer parks. MULTIPLE.
I also learned that it is not actually called Mountaineer Stadium, but indeed named "Mylan Puskar Stadium". At UT, we are blessed to have our historic stadium named after an all-time great, perhaps the greatest ever, and nationally respected college football icon.
So, who was Milan Puskar, and what did he do for W. Virginia football? Trick question, the answer is nothing. Fittingly, there are no statues of anyone football related in front of this dilapidated venue, but there is a statue of this pharmaceutical rep.
This game in Charlotte is scheduling genius by UT. A home game would have opened our iconic venue to these lesser than's. At least we'll maintain our visibility in Charlotte, that's been beneficial.
The biggest stage they've ever had for their football program, hosting LSU in 2011, likely resulted in them not getting an invite to the SEC. LSU fans were largely critical of the experience and culture in Morgantown, including this incident
At this point of my profile digging, I went from wanting to respond and enlighten these internet trolls, to feeling genuinely bad for them. I started to understand the mentality. They didn't root so die-hard for W. Va because they thought it was such a great football program.
They didn't have insanely inaccurate views of UT football and tear us down because they hated us, our rich traditions, or our beautiful city.
It became clear to me that this wasn't even about football. West Va. Football is just the catalyst they used to cope, to hope, and to feel relevant in something that wasn't completely terrible like the rest of their state.
So, remember this write-up in Charlotte. And when you have the chance, be nice to a West Va. fan. They dont have a whole lot to be happy for, and maybe if they're lucky, they'll even have the opportunity to scrape up some pennies and make a trip to their 2018 December bowl game L
Educate them on college football when needed. Explain that big boy football is played on CBS prime time, not Thursday night ESPN. Let them know of the greats that have dawned the orange. Al Wilson, Reggie White, Jason Witten, Johnny Majors, etc.
It's as close as they'll get to the big time, and make their trip that much better. Enlighten them on the static noise of Neyland during a Florida game, the royalty of the Vol Navy, and the overwhelming orange-out that descends on the strip every Saturday in the Fall.
Realistically we should lose. Year 1 of the Pruitt era versus Holgorsen in year 8 with the best talent WVU has ever assembled. Be patient. Win or lose the game, we win anyway - we return to Knoxville - they return to Morgantown.
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