Mountaineers Become Bearcats Fans for BCS - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Mountaineers Become Bearcats Fans for BCS

Posted:
MORGANTOWN -

The last time West Virginia wanted Butch Jones to win a football game this badly was the 2007 Gator Bowl. Only back then, Jones coached for the Mountaineers.

On Saturday at noon, he will be pacing the sidelines at Nippert Stadium, doing his best to turn a tie between WVU and Louisville into a three-way tie that includes Cincinnati.

As excited as the Mountaineers were following their win over South Florida that clinched their share of the conference title, they'd be thrilled to see the Bearcats get fitted for a ring as well.

When it's phrased that way it doesn't sound nearly as good as this: Cincinnati beating Connecticut will create a scenario in which the team with the highest BCS ranking will play in a BCS bowl game. West Virginia would be that team.

"[I] definitely want to go to a big bowl, but regardless, I'm happy with what the team's done and at the end of the season, we pulled through. We'll have fun wherever we go," says WVU kicker Tyler Bitancurt.

Bitancurt's attitude is the right one, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be disappointment on the Mountaineers' side if the Bearcats can't pull out the win.

They've put themselves in a situation where control of their destiny was shared with other teams. A week ago, WVU hoped South Florida would beat Louisville and Cincinnati would lose either of its final games. After the Bulls failed to pull the upset, the Mountaineers instead became fans of the Bearcats winning each of their contests.

Now that WVU has handled its side of the equation, the players on the team are making no secret of their affinity for the black and red that will fill Nippert in a day's time.

So where will the players be Saturday at noon?

"On the couch watching Munchie [Legaux]," Geno Smith says of his fellow Big East quarterback. "Let's get it Munchie."

It's funny that WVU's defense knocked Cincinnati starting quarterback Zach Collaros out for the season in their meeting just a few weeks ago and now it hopes the backup scenario it created can pull through for its own benefit.

Julian Miller hails from Ohio and has plenty of friends on the Bearcats roster. As he understands it, he could head back for the game and support Cincinnati in person, but instead he'll stay in Morgantown and perhaps offer a word of encouragement to the players who now hold his team's fate.

"I want to say something to them, but I don't want to get like, ‘Oh yeah, let's go Cincinnati,'" says Miller. "Definitely, I'm going to wish those guys luck on their senior night. It's their day to go out there and play ball. Of course, I'm hoping they win so the opportunity's there for us. I think we definitely deserve it the way we've played and I'm just going to be out there rooting for them."

WVU fans in Tampa spoke about their plans for Saturday's game, many of them planning to meet with other Mountaineers in the area to watch another meaningful matchup.

They didn't know as they talked about the game in the tailgating lots that it would actually matter, but after seeing a last-second Tyler Bitancurt field goal, their plans are still on track.

Bitancurt himself, though, isn't quite sure he'll be joining anyone at a watch party.

"I haven't decided if I'm going to watch it or not because I'll probably get a little nervous," he said after the win over USF.

Junior cornerback Pat Miller feels differently. Another Mountaineer hero Thursday night with a pick-six, Miller may get a few teammates together for some good vibes at lunch.

"We're all going to be tuned in watching Cincinnati and UConn game and hopefully everything works out right for us," says Miller. "I'm going to be with some of the players like me, Brodrick [Jenkins] and Sted[man Bailey]. A lot of people are going to be together watching the game. We might have a little party, have a little fun for the game."

Dana Holgorsen will be watching, too. He wants to know if he'll be spending Christmas in Charlotte or if he'll have a January bowl game to prepare for. As a football coach in the Big East, Holgorsen would have watched the game anyway, but the added significance makes it a must-see event.

"Cincinnati's a good team, they're well-coached, they're a good team," says Holgorsen. "They don't need our words of wisdom to want to win the game to be co-Big East champs as well. I think they'll be playing pretty hard."

Butch Jones has expressed many times how much his opportunity at WVU meant to him, how his son was born in Morgantown and the family still holds it in high regard.

For the first time since that Gator Bowl over Georgia Tech, Jones has a chance to win one for West Virginia. And he'll have its support every step of the way.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Buchanan Nominated for ESPY Award

    Wednesday, June 21 2017 6:33 PM EDT2017-06-21 22:33:24 GMT
    WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU defender Kadeisha Buchanan waves to the fans following an NCAA Tournament win in Morgantown. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

    For the first time in program history, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team will be represented at The ESPYs.

  • Cramer Drafted by Nationals

    Cramer Drafted by Nationals

    Wednesday, June 14 2017 6:32 PM EDT2017-06-14 22:32:42 GMT
    WVU senior Jackson Cramer hugs his head coach, Randy Mazey, after playing the final game of his collegiate career at the NCAA Regional. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU senior Jackson Cramer hugs his head coach, Randy Mazey, after playing the final game of his collegiate career at the NCAA Regional. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    With the No. 1063 overall pick in the 35th round of the MLB Draft, Jackson Cramer was selected by the Washington Nationals.

    In the 35th round of the MLB Draft Jackson Cramer was selected with the No. 1063 overall pick by the Washington Nationals.

  • Davis Selected in MLB Draft

    Davis Selected in MLB Draft

    Wednesday, June 14 2017 5:09 PM EDT2017-06-14 21:09:42 GMT
    Kyle Davis waits for his turn to enter the batter's box during an 8-5 win over Maryland. (PHOTO Geoff Coyle)Kyle Davis waits for his turn to enter the batter's box during an 8-5 win over Maryland. (PHOTO Geoff Coyle)

    Outfielder Kyle Davis was selected with the No. 451 overall pick in the 15th round of the year's MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

    Outfielder Kyle Davis was selected with the No. 451 overall pick in the 15th round of the year's MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.

  • FootballFootballMore>>

  • Simmons, Haskins To Join Mountaineers

    Simmons, Haskins To Join Mountaineers

    Sunday, June 25 2017 6:05 PM EDT2017-06-25 22:05:21 GMT
    WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia University football team added a few roster additions over the weekend.

    The West Virginia University football team added a few roster additions over the weekend.

  • WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

  • Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WVU Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released

    WVU Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released

    Monday, June 26 2017 3:04 PM EDT2017-06-26 19:04:37 GMT
    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The 2017-18 men’s basketball non-conference schedule was released on Monday afternoon.

    The 2017-18 men’s basketball non-conference schedule was released on Monday afternoon.

  • Update: 2 People, Including DOH Worker, Killed in I-79 Crash, Roadway Reopens

    Update: 2 People, Including DOH Worker, Killed in I-79 Crash, Roadway Reopens

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:40:05 GMT

    At this time, dispatchers say that two people have been killed, and two others were injured.

    At this time, dispatchers say that two people have been killed, and two others were injured.

  • Simmons, Haskins To Join Mountaineers

    Simmons, Haskins To Join Mountaineers

    Sunday, June 25 2017 6:05 PM EDT2017-06-25 22:05:21 GMT
    WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia University football team added a few roster additions over the weekend.

    The West Virginia University football team added a few roster additions over the weekend.

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.
  • Wayne suspect arrested for credit card fraud

    Wayne suspect arrested for credit card fraud

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-06-27 17:33:27 GMT

    WAYNE, WV - Police with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on Friday, June 23rd, 2017, in connection to reports of stolen credit cards and other personal items. According to a criminal complaint, deputies arrested Corey Lee Harless, 39, of Wayne, after matching his vehicle to the description of one seen at a crime committed in the Lavalette area earlier in the week. Harless was found at a gas station in Wayne after attempting to use two credit cards that belonged to a ...

    WAYNE, WV - Police with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office arrested a man on Friday, June 23rd, 2017, in connection to reports of stolen credit cards and other personal items. According to a criminal complaint, deputies arrested Corey Lee Harless, 39, of Wayne, after matching his vehicle to the description of one seen at a crime committed in the Lavalette area earlier in the week. Harless was found at a gas station in Wayne after attempting to use two credit cards that belonged to a ...

  • Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Officially eligible, Will Grier "can't wait for Virginia Tech"

    Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Will Grier prepares for his WVU debut against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

    Mountaineer quarterback prepares to handle the hype in his return to the field after missing more than a year of football. 

  • WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    WATCH: WVU Football Video Interviews

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Coaches and Players as they met with the media today regarding summer preparation for the upcoming season.

  • Vehicle Strikes Pole in Eastern Kanawha County

    Vehicle Strikes Pole in Eastern Kanawha County

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:31 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:31:45 GMT

    CLENDENIN, WV (WOWK) - One person has been injured after a vehicle struck a pole in eastern Kanawha County. The single vehicle accident occurred around 7:45 p.m. on the 500 block of Spencer Road just outside of Clendenin Tuesday evening. One person was transported to the hospital. It is not known what caused the accident at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

    CLENDENIN, WV (WOWK) - One person has been injured after a vehicle struck a pole in eastern Kanawha County. The single vehicle accident occurred around 7:45 p.m. on the 500 block of Spencer Road just outside of Clendenin Tuesday evening. One person was transported to the hospital. It is not known what caused the accident at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.