Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia football and basketball programs are in very different places. While the basketball team is prepared to compete for a national championship right now, the football team is still climbing, still building towards one.
In Neal Brown’s first season as the Head Coach of the Mountaineers, West Virginia finished 5-7 overall and 3-6 in conference play, but it was clear that there was considerable progress made throughout the season.
Although expectations are still somewhat low for the Mountaineers in Brown’s second season, this is a team that can and likely will cause some major problems for many Big 12 Conference teams. There will be upsets and it’s very possible that the Mountaineers could get 7 or 8 wins this season. Going from 5 wins last season to 7 or 8 wins this season would be enough for West Virginia to be the most improved team in the conference and earn Neal Brown the Big 12 Coach of the Year award in his second season.
On the basketball side, Bob Huggins enters his 14th season as the Head Coach of the Mountaineers with his most talented, deep team since he’s arrived in Morgantown. Huggins, who won the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year in the 2014-2015 season, is due for another one and has the team to make it happen.
Unlike the football team, expectations for the West Virginia basketball team is at an all-time high. Many, including myself, expect the Mountaineers to not only compete for a Big 12 Championship but also for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament with a potential national championship.
Like assistant coach Larry Harrison said, “It’s national championship or bust this season.”
A conference championship would almost certainly mean a Big 12 Coach of the Year award for Huggins; a national championship would guarantee it.
West Virginia has two of the finest coaches in the country in their respective sports and it’s time for them to get the recognition and accolades they deserve.
Neal Brown and Bob Huggins, Big 12 Conference Coaches of the Year.