Marshall plays eight of its next 10 games in either Huntington or Charleston, with short road trips to Kentucky and Ohio. Next up is Morehead State, 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cam Henderson Center.
Morehead will welcome first-year coach Sean Woods back to the bench, the same Woods who went ballistic on point guard Devon Atkinson for fouling out during the Eagles' near-upset of Kentucky. Reviewing the video, I would say Woods delivered something between a slap and a shove to Atkinson's back.
I found the tirade unacceptable, even without the contact. Woods deserves his one-game suspension, which he will serve tonight against Norfolk State.
So the question lingers: Does Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy before giving his first interview? Maybe not - according to a CBS Sports blog, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says, "We'll have a plan for him to be available next week."
Well, isn't that just benevolent of ol' Kev? Good to see him in the holiday spirit.
Sumlin, whom I wasn't terribly fond of in the first place, has a blanket policy of not allowing freshmen to speak to the media all season. That's bush-league in itself, but much more so after the school launches a Heisman Trophy website in a freshman's honor (johnnyfootball.aggieathletics.com).
What a marriage of modern-day college coaching paranoia and hypocrisy. I am not impressed.
My view on that subject is very straightforward: If you can't handle a few cameras and recorders, don't play big-boy college football. Go play in Division II, where the toughest question you'll hear is "what's up, man?"
If you're a major-college quarterback, you need to face the public on a constant basis. You're an aspiring leader, on and off the field, and you need to learn how to carry yourself. At Marshall, Rakeem Cato has benefited from being exposed to the limelight from his first game, his first preseason camp.
Personally, it has been gratifying to watch him grow.
So what to do with Manziel and my Heisman ballot?
Voters must name three players in order, and there is no way I am leaving Johnny Football off my ballot. I may be forgetful here, but I don't think I've seen a freshman make that much of an impact on the sport since Herschel Walker.
But gosh, I hate to encourage Sumlin here. In the last decade, I've seen college coaches become more and more paranoid, more inclined to ban fans from practice, to be vague or lie about injuries, to push for lighter schedules that rob their fans of quality football. I guess it's a product of those exorbitant salaries that university presidents refuse to rein in.
I've got a week to get over all that and give Manziel his due. It's the right thing to do.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.