The first game of the 2011 season for the West Virginia Mountaineers is at home against in-state rival Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall and West Virginia are the state's only D-1 programs. They play one another annually in football and basketball, and recently the West Virginia state legislature passed a bill for the two schools to continue their yearly football matchup in the "Friends of Coal Bowl".
How long this mandatory in-state game will continue is still subject to debate, but one thing is for certain: Give Marshall too many opportunities and they just might squeeze out a win against their most hated rival.
But until Marshall's dream becomes an unlikely reality, lets discuss how this series has played out so far.
1911 West Virginia 17, Marshall 15
1914 West Virginia 20, Marshall 0
1915 West Virginia 92, Marshall 6
1923 West Virginia 81, Marshall 0
1997 West Virginia 42, Marshall 31
2006 West Virginia 42, Marshall 10
2007 West Virginia 48, Marshall 23
2008 West Virginia 27, Marshall 3
2009 West Virginia 24, Marshall 7
2010 West Virginia 24, Marshall 21 (OT)
10-0 is the record WVU holds over Marshall University. All the Herd has to do to make the Mountaineers believe that this series is a true rivalry is beat West Virginia in convincing fashion. 2010 was close, as Marshall nearly pulled off the upset and sent the Mountaineers home crying. But close is not getting it done. As a Mountaineer fan and a West Virginian I enjoy this game and think that if Marshall were to Beat WVU it would make the game more exciting and make this series a true rivalry for both sides. Until then, it is just another game on West Virginia's non-conference schedule.