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Look On The Bright $ide

Photo borrowed from Andrew Dye, JournalNow.com.

Photo borrowed from Andrew Dye, JournalNow.com.

Deep breaths, Mountaineer Nation. Deep breaths. I think what we all need right about now is a black and gold (yellow) silver-lining therapy session.

First, your blogger was wrong. Arkansas State is the class of the Sun Belt. Hats off to the Red Wolves. They flat kicked App’s listless, careless and sloppy rear ends.

Red Wolf WRs seemed to appear WIDE OPEN — I mean, 10-15 yards open — as QB Knighten used his legs and escapability to keep play after play alive. What looked like sure coverage sacks turned into 13-yard gains ALL. NIGHT. LONG. And the lanes A-STATE RBs were running through seemed to get wider and wider ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

/Shakes head so vigorously it aches/

The Mountaineer offense (read: Taylor Lamb and Marcus Cox, its two best players) was too turnover-prone before it was too maimed (read: #BandOfBrothers) to really compete, much less pull off a a big comeback.

Three first-half turnovers and multiple injured OLs, a defense getting gassed and gashed — as its secondary is unable or uncleared to follow Red Wolf wideouts across the field after plays broke down?

Game. Over.

But…this could be a good thing, AppFans. Let your blogger explain…

…As the awesome annoying ESPN-U crew noted with a massive graphic (posted over an equally massive shot of a near-empty Kidd Brewer Stadium): the New Orleans Bowl gets first pick of all Sun Belt bowl-eligible teams.

But The Internet tells your blogger that bowl pays out $500,000. Total. New Orleans Bowl officials, per its contract with the #FunBelt, is not obligated to select the conference champion. In fact, the last four seasons, Louisiana-Lafayette has been its pick. At 3-4, the Ragin’ Cajuns have some work to do to get bowl eligible.

A-State, however, has made one appearance in the Big Easy. Georgia Southern seems attractive, given its fanbase’s willingness to travel and closer proximity to N.O. than Boone.

But forget geography. And, for the long-term good of the Mountaineer program, maybe forget New Orleans.

That’s because that bowl, according to Internet sources, pays out less than two of the conference’s three remaining bowl tie-ins.

The GoDaddy.com Bowl pays around $750,000. The new Cure Bowl is slated to pay over $1.3 million.

/Rubs eyes/

/Whistles/

That’s some serious cheddar. Sure, it has to be divvied up and all, but… The Sun Belt team’s slice of that scrilla could be used to, I dunno, help finance a replacement for a certain outdated end zone field house about 3,333 feet above sea level.

Sure, Thursday’s loss stings. A. Lot.

But, hey, Florida in mid-December sounds…amazing. See y’all in Orlando? It could be, for Doug Gillin & Co., a very important business trip. —The Mandarin (@App_Mandarin)

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