I REALIZE the college football season just ended. (For a while I was concerned it would bump into March Madness.)
The BCS title game (note I didn't put national championship; there's this detail called "TCU") was wonderful. It truly was a joy to watch.
Now, however, I'm looking forward to next college football season, or at least one game within that season: Pittsburgh's scheduled visit to Morgantown for the annual Backyard Brawl.
See, you can forget gas. Plutonium has been thrown on the fire that is the rivalry.
Those who read this column probably know new Panthers coach Todd Graham was an assistant at WVU in 2001-02. He served as the co-defensive coordinator during that time.
But that fact is a mere sparkler in what sets up as a fireworks display.
First, Graham is hiring Calvin Magee, Rich Rodriguez's former right-hand man and offensive coordinator both at WVU for seven years and for the last few at Michigan. Magee initially endeared himself to Mountaineer fans for sticking around to call plays for the early 2008 Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma. He stuck around for the game after Rodriguez bolted. He did not, however, endear himself to the WVU administration when he and agent Mike Brown claimed he was not considered a possible replacement for Rodriguez because he is black.
Also, former Mountaineer assistant, fan favorite and Van native Tony Gibson is joining Graham in the Steel City.
The big boom, however, will come from Graham and West Virginia coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen.
Put simply, the two aren't exactly bro-friends.
The distaste goes back a couple years. Graham, who moved to Pitt from Tulsa, and his Golden Hurricane team played host to Houston (one of Holgorsen's previous stops) at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The Cougars downed the Hurricane in a wild 46-45 Conference USA shootout.
After returning to Houston, where Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator, the new Mountaineer coach accused Tulsa of having its defensive players fake fourth-quarter injuries to stop the clock and slow the Cougars' offense.
On Houston's KGOW AM-1560 radio, Holgorsen said of Tulsa: "Yeah, they were cheating. ... We've got some inside information on how they do it."
He didn't stop there.