Effective today, I am taking a leave of absence from my duties as a featured columnist covering the West Virginia University football Mountaineers for Bleacher Report.
I fully intend to return soon, as my only reason for the leave is to complete the screenplay about college football in the 1960s that has been burning in my soul.
In a writing sense, there have been few things as rewarding as being in the flow of 2009 college football and sharing the experience with you. Thank you for all the reads and the comments, whether they were through the expressions of your undying loyalty or the tarred, burning effigies you hung.
Just so there are no misconceptions, allow me to tell you where I stand here in the mid-December West Virginia chill:
* I've always been told the game is much bigger than its participants. Well, someone better remind Bobby Bowden and the Gator Bowl committee. While you're at it, figure out how to repay all the Clemson and Miami athletes they're screwing over.
* To West Virginia boosters: Drop the notion that Nick Saban is going to swoop down and save your national championship fantasies.
* More advice to West Virginia boosters: Before you pull on your Fraudriguez shirt again, reexamine the part a sometimes incompetent athletic department administration played in encouraging Coach Rod to look elsewhere.
* Sorry, boosters, can't leave you alone: Next time you feel the need to bitch about Bill Stewart, ask yourself why that as of the fourth quarter of the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, Ed Pastilong had made zero—that's zero—progress in hiring Rod's replacement.
* One more thing, boosters: Ask yourself how a fine coach and leader of young men is placed on the hot seat after compiling a 19-7 record because you don't like the way he handles the media.
I'm piling on, WVU boosters: Too many Fighting Irish mega-boosters were concerned about Lou Holtz's speech impediment. Result? National championship, 1988.
* Can't leave Bill Stewart out of this, either: Step it up, Stew. Maybe the boosters have a point. You pull in 800 K a year. You're CEO of the multimillion-dollar West Virginia football enterprise. I think you can afford to work on your image without losing yourself.
* Finally: Big-time university presidents, you're jumping over dollars to chase pennies. A 16-team college football playoff would be bigger than the Super Bowl.
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