Mountaineer Football is a storied program — everyone knows that. However, one statistic released today by Fox Sports puts into perspective just how successful the program has been over the course of its history. https://twitter.com/cfbonfox/status/1295411869432209410?s=21 According to Fox, WVU ranks third in the Big 12 in all-time AP Poll appearances with 306. Texas is ahead of them in second with 731, and Oklahoma is in first with 847. The most mind-boggling revelation on this list is that Iowa State ranks last behind Kansas. Way, way behind Kansas. The Jayhawks have 58 more all-time AP Poll appearances than the Cyclones. Quite the wild statistic considering how horrendous the last decade has been in Lawrence. WVU currently sits 15th on the all-time wins list among FBS teams with 755, also behind only Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12. Considering the rich tradition of solid football that the Big 12 Conference has, ranking third in these categories behind two of the most storied programs in College Football history isn’t too shabby.
https://twitter.com/profootballtalk/status/1330267972171165705?s=21 According to multiple reports, former WVU safety, Kyzir White, has been place on the Los Angeles Chargers’ COVID-19 list. It was unclear if White tested positive for the virus, as the team did not elaborate on his status when making the announcement on Saturday. White has one sack to go along with 68 total tackles in 2020.
(Photo by WVU Athletics) Morgantown, West Virginia - Neal Brown just hasn’t got it done in Morgantown. This team is in shambles, and the next athletic director will act quickly to get it on the right track. With that being said, here are the personal preferences of who we want to be WVU’s next head coach. Brown should be relieved of his duties in the coming weeks, and the Mountaineers will then take off with a national coaching search. Clark Johnson, Senior Writer, Voice of Morgantown Here are my personal TOP-5 CHOICES to replace Neal Brown at WVU: Tony Gibson (NC State DC) - Tony Gibson has found a lot of success since leaving WVU. Though he has yet to jump at a head coaching opportunity, his chance will almost certainly come his way sooner than later. What better opportunity would he have than leaving the Wolfpack for the Mountaineers? He knows the program, he’s a West Virginian, and he understands what it takes to be successful here. Not to mention his players absolutely adore him. It wouldn’t be popular among some fans, but this one is a no-brainer to me. Jahmile Addae (Miami DB Coach) - Though many fans may not like him much right now, I think Addae would be a terrific fit in Morgantown. He can recruit well, his players love him, and WVU had the nation’s best defense when he was a co-coordinator. This would also likely be a dream job for him, so there wouldn’t be much worry about him leaving. You may not like the fit, but I do. Matt Rhule (Former Panthers HC) - After going 11-27 with the Carolina Panthers, Matt Rhule has found himself unemployed. His name will be tossed around for the Nebraska job, but Rhule does have West Virginia ties via his wife. This would be a slam dunk hire for the Mountaineers. If anyone could get WVU turned around in a hurry, it would be Matt Rhule. Paul Chryst (Former Wisconsin HC) - If WVU wanted to really change things up, they would bring in Chryst. The former Wisconsin Badgers head man has spent time in Morgantown. He began his coaching career at WVU in 1989 and 1990. The style of play he brings with him would also finally give the Mountaineers an identity. Rich Rodriguez (Jacksonville State HC) - As much as I hate to add Rodriguez, his success with Jacksonville State this year has really changed my mind on him. Rodriguez led the Gamecocks to a 9-2 record, which included an ASUN Conference Championship. The former WVU head coach has established success at each of his previous stops, with the exception of Michigan. I believe he could be a solid fit with some of the talent on WVU’s roster. Honorable Mentions: Ja’Juan Seider (Penn State RB Coach), Jamey Chadwell (Coastal Carolina HC), Willie Fritz (Tulane HC), Jon Heacock (Iowa State DC), Hugh Freeze (Liberty HC) Brad Smith, Publisher, The Voice of Morgantown Deion Sanders (Jackson State, Head Coach) - Sanders seems like a major reach and an impossibility, but if he's having real conversations with USF and Colorado about their coaching jobs, West Virginia would be crazy not to reach out and pursue Sanders too. Bringing Sanders to Morgantown would be a risk - he would likely use the school as a stepping stone and could make the program a complete circus - but the national attention and talented recruits that he would bring to West Virginia makes him a risk worth taking. Hugh Freeze (Liberty, Head Coach) - If West Virginia can get him, Freeze is a no-brainer for the Mountaineers. He's a proven winner at the highest level and would instantly make West Virginia a threat to win the Big 12 Conference. He has worked wonders at Liberty and I believe West Virginia would win 9 games in his first season with the team. Although he signed a big contract extension at Liberty, the buyout is only $2.5 million if he leaves for a Power 5 school. Freeze to WVU makes too much sense if he's interested, and I think he is. Rich Rodriguez (Jacksonville State, Head Coach) - Regardless of your personal feelings of Rich Rod, he took West Virginia to unprecedented heights and he wants to return home. An opportunity like this seems almost too good to be true and what an incredible story it would be! Imagine Rich Rodriguez with Garrett Greene/or Nicco Marchiol as his starting quarterback with a lot of returning talent. West Virginia is a Top 25 team and probably much more next season with Rich Rod returning home. Tony Gibson (NC State, Defensive Coordinator) - Incredible recruiter, proud West Virginian, highly-respected defensive mind. Gibson would be an excellent choice if West Virginia can't land a proven coach like Freeze or Rodriguez. If Gibson could bring a great group of assistants - saying, Pat White as the team's offensive coordinator and Jahmile Addae as the defensive coordinator - this could be an ideal situation for West Virginia. Curt Cignetti (James Madison, Head Coach) - Not a super splashy, sexy candidate, but he's 40-8 at James Madison, he's a former assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama, he's a former West Virginia quarterback and he just might be the exact right head coach to step in and turn the football program around.
The Mountaineers did what they had to do in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, and are now sitting at 3-0 with another trophy in their case. Though there is reason to celebrate right now, the fun is really just starting for West Virginia. The Gold and Blue now turn the page to a difficult December ahead of them. To start things off with a bang, West Virginia goes right to the top and will play Gonzaga, who is the top ranked team in the nation. The Bulldogs are currently 2-0 on the season, winning both of their first two games handily - including a 102-90 win over fellow Big 12 member, the Kansas Jayhawks. West Virginia will then hit the road for their first true road game of the season to take on the Georgetown Hoyas. Though this isn’t your typical grandfather’s Georgetown squad, they always have talent, and this road trip will be tricky for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers will finally get three winnable home games back-to-back-to-back against Robert Morris, Richmond, and Iowa State before their toughest road trip of the season. On December 22nd, West Virginia will travel to the Phog to take on the Kansas Jayhawks, a place they have yet to leave victorious since joining the Big 12. To close the month of December, West Virginia will host Buffalo on the 29th. The last time the Bulls visited Morgantown, they emerged with a 99-94 upset victory over the then 13th ranked Mountaineers. If West Virginia hopes to have a magical season, they have to navigate this rigorous early schedule. How they perform in the month of December will determine just if the championship hopes can be met in Morgantown this year.
The Climb is still on in Morgantown. College Football News, an outlet dedicated to the sport, recently revealed their record predictions for the 2021 Big 12 Football season. West Virginia, being a member of the conference, was included on the list. The outlet gave the best-case scenario, as well as the worst-case scenario for each team. The Mountaineers seem to have been given a solid outlook from the outlet, indicating that there is faith in the "Climb" outside of Morgantown. Here is what the outlet predicts for WVU: Best-Case Scenario: 9-3 Worst-Case Scenario: 5-7 2021 Prediction: 7-5 Of course nobody wants the worst-case scenario, but as for the other two potential records, they are honestly both solid for what will be the third year under Neal Brown. Here are the outlet's projected standings for the Big 12 (including records): Oklahoma (11-1) Texas (9-3) Iowa State (9-3) Oklahoma State (8-4) Kansas State (7-5) West Virginia (7-5) TCU (6-6) Texas Tech (6-6) Baylor (5-7) Kansas (1-11)
(Photo by Gus Schlomer - Voice of Motown) Today, the West Virginia Mountaineers (14-9, 3-7 Big 12) travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma looking for the regular season sweep of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-12, 4-7 Big 12). The first meeting between these two squads this season took place all the way back on January 11th. In front of a Tuesday afternoon crowd in Morgantown, the Mountaineers were able to conquer the Cowboys by a final score of 70-60. On Tuesday night, West Virginia finally snapped their long seven-game losing streak in a home contest against the Iowa State Cyclones, 79-63. Taz Sherman, who returned after suffering a concussion against the Baylor Bears, scored 16 points and tallied 8 rebounds while seeing the floor for 31 minutes. If Bob Huggins’ squad want to put together a small winning streak here late in the season, Sherman’s presence will be of the utmost importance. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has struggled just as much if not more than West Virginia this season. Currently sitting with an 11-12 record, the Cowboys have dropped six of their last seven games, and will be looking to right the ship in a winnable game for both squads. The game is scheduled to broadcast on ESPN2. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
Moments ago, Chrisdasson Saint-Jean, an offensive lineman prospect from Orlando, Florida, committed to West Virginia. https://twitter.com/chrisimpel12/status/1597287684741148672?s=46&t=aKPehTncF9xQ1NUuXr1ppA Saint-Jean is a 3-star prospect, according to 247Sports. Coming in at 6-feet-7-inches and weighing 310 pounds, he will be a massive addition to the Mountaineers. He hold offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, and Marshall among several others.
(Photo by WVU Athletics) Mountaineer running back C.J. Donaldson has a bright future in Morgantown. After storming onto the scene in 2022, the Florida native will have a chance to make a huge splash in 2023. As expected, many assume that Donaldson will be one of the best players in the Big 12 if not the nation. Mike Farrell Sports recently revealed their rankings for the top running backs in the Big 12. Donaldson, who ran for 526 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2022, was included on the list. Checking in at number three behind Devin Neal of Kansas, and Richard Reese of Baylor, here is what the outlet had to say about Donaldson: “The massive back missed time last season and is still learning the RB position, but he has the highest ceiling of all.” Fans will have their first chance to see Donaldson in 2023 at the WVU Gold-Blue Spring Game on April 22nd. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will broadcast on ESPN+. Tickets are still available for $10 on WVUGame.com.
The Mountaineers have added SEC experience to the coaching staff. Morgantown, WV - The Mountaineers have added an important piece to their coaching staff for the 2023 season. Neal Brown has turned to SEC experience for his new general manager and director of scouting. According to Doug Samuels of FootballScoop, Drew Fabianich, former general manager for the Auburn Tigers, has been hired by Neal Brown. https://twitter.com/CoachSamz/status/1682406212833255425?s=20 Fabianich also spent two decades in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by WVU Athletics)
Neal Brown will be coaching for his job in 2023. What does he have to accomplish to win back the trust of the university and the fanbase? Morgantown, WV - Neal Brown is squarely on the hot seat going into the 2023 season. Sitting with a 22-25 record (14-21 Big 12), many believe he should have already been replaced as the head man in Morgantown. However, new Athletic Director Wren Baker has decided to examine him for one season before making a decision on which direction the Mountaineer Football program will go. While many expect West Virginia to “bottom out” in 2023, there is still the possibility that Brown can turn things around. With one of the toughest schedules in the nation, it will not be easy, but also not impossible. Today, we are going to lay out FIVE THINGS THAT MUST HAPPEN IN 2023 for Neal Brown to save his job, and likely his career. Keep in mind, however, that these are simply our opinions and not what the university will base their decision off of. Keep it close in Happy Valley - If Neal Brown wants to make a statement to the nation, playing Penn State close would go a long way in proving he’s still got it. Make the Nittany Lions sweat it out, and you put the Big 12 on notice. A blowout loss, and well, same ole story. Beat Pitt - Losing to Pitt two years in a row would simply be inexcusable for Brown. This is the game that will everyone have scheduled, and it will have a primetime ABC audience. A loss here will make the fans extremely restless, and be detrimental to attendance for the remaining home games. Beat all four Big 12 newcomers - Losing to any of the newcomers would also be unforgivable for Neal Brown. The Mountaineers are the more seasoned conference members, and obviously the biggest program of them all. Dropping a game to Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, or BYU proves that they are ahead of you. Brown cannot allow that to happen. Finish with 7 or more wins - A 6-6 season could get Brown fired. He has yet to win more than 6 games in a season in Morgantown. Even a 7-5 mark will show improvement for a relatively young roster. Finish with a winning record or face the consequences. Make staff changes, if needed (and don’t hire more of your friends) - If the Mountaineers struggle in any area in 2023, Brown has to show that he is serious enough about winning that he makes change. Should he have to make change, hiring more of his “buddies” also cannot be accepted. Neal Brown has to prove that he is willing to make the hard decisions. (Photo by WVU Athletics)
(Photo by WVU Athletics) Former West Virginia receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton went undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft. It didn’t take him long, however, to find a new home as he has now been rumored to have inked a free agent deal. According to NFL Rumors on Twitter, Ford-Wheaton has signed with the New York Giants. https://twitter.com/nflrums/status/1652475239543046144?s=20 During his five season in Morgantown, the North Carolina native notched 143 receptions for 1,867 yards and 15 touchdowns. He graded out as one of the best receivers in years at the NFL Combine, but his inconsistent play prevented him from landing in the draft.
With spring football now in full swing all across the Big 12, it is time to assess where each team currently stands. Here are The Voice of West Virginia’s spring power rankings for the Big 12 Conference: Oklahoma: Despite losing Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb, it is hard to not put the defending Big 12 champions at number one. Lincoln Riley and company should not miss a beat on offense as the talented Spencer Rattler will step into the starting quarterback role. Expect more improvement on the defensive side of the ball under second-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. The Sooners should find themselves back in a fourth straight conference title game in December. Oklahoma State: Spencer Sanders and Chubba Hubbard will be potentially the best QB-RB duo in the nation. Expect Gundy’s offensive and defensive units to be business as usual. After a brief two-year down period, expect the program to resurge back to where it was with Mason Rudolph under center. Iowa State: Could this be the year Matt Campbell’s squad finally breaks through? A lot of this will rest on the shoulders of quarterback Brock Purdy. Proving himself to be a top-3 signal-caller in the Big 12, the team will go as far as Purdy will take them. The defense will be solid as usual thanks to the odd defensive scheme. The Cyclones will contend for a spot in the Big 12 title game into late November. Texas: The Big 12’s mascot for underachieving and mediocrity. Will Tom Herman ever get this program back to prominence? Sam Ehlinger returns for one last ride in Austin. His presence alone will keep the Longhorns in the Big 12 title race. After what should be another 8-4 season, expect Herman’s seat to heat up. Baylor: Despite the departure of Head Coach Matt Rhule, this will still be a solid squad. Head Coach Dave Aranda will being another element to defense in the Big 12. Expect the Bears to have a top defensive unit in 2020. Quarterback Charlie Brewer should have an outstanding final season in Waco. West Virginia: Potentially a sleeping giant in the Big 12, the Mountaineers will look to be one of the most improved teams in the Big 12. A disruptive defensive line and Jarret Doege should be enough for the WVU to return to a bowl game in 2020. Neal Brown has his squad trending in the right direction. TCU: Max Duggan appears he will be the starter at the beginning of the season, but will he maintain his spot? After a below average 2019 for Duggan, Patterson may have a short leash on him. The defense will be stout as usual, but continued mediocre offensive outputs could hinder the Horned Frogs once again. Kansas State: Losing the offensive line starters they did in 2019 will kill the Wildcats in 2020. Expect Alex Thompson to be running for his life the majority of next season. After a surprise 2019 season, expect the Wildcats to fall back to earth. Texas Tech: The success of this team will fall squarely on the shoulders of the health of Alex Bowman. If he can remain healthy, this could be a surprise season for the Red Raiders. If not, it could be another long season in Lubbock. Do not expect them to make a bowl game either way. Kansas: Les Miles has the Jayhawks trending in the right direction, but it’s still Kansas. This team will finish 0-9 in the Big 12 and fail to make a bowl game for the first time since 2008. This program may never get itself together.
(Photo by WVU Athletics) Coach Brown, It seems like yesterday you were being announced as the head coach of my childhood team, the West Virginia Mountaineers. Coming in with so much momentum from Troy, you were undoubtedly the perfect fit in Morgantown. You said all of the right things, you have represented this great state and university well, and you have set a great example for all of the young men in the Mountain State. You’re a family man, and do everything with grace and class. I’ve wanted you to succeed from the word go. It didn’t take long for me to start trusting the “climb.” Proving quickly that you care about this program, you have attracted some great talent to West Virginia University. Fans can’t thank you enough for the fantastic foundation you have put in place moving forward. However, with the conclusion of the 2022 season coming tomorrow, so might your tenure as West Virginia’s head coach. Though things off the field have been great, it hasn’t translated to the gridiron for whatever reason. Should we fall to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, this would put your record at 21-26 at WVU. While I understand programs aren’t built overnight, many want instant results in today’s College Football. Nobody knows what the future will hold, but I want to thank you for your time with the Old Gold & Blue. Being a small town kid from West Virginia, I know that my impact on the greater scheme of things won’t be to the magnitude of many. You hold one of the most important jobs in this great Mountain Mama of ours. Many in your position wouldn’t take the time to interact with fans the way you have. It meant the absolute world to me when you stopped during the Mantrip against LIU to take a picture with me last season. Lord knows the majority of College Football coaches wouldn’t have done the same - and certainly not your predecessor. It’s a memory that I will be able to take with me for a lifetime. But the one thing that meant the absolute most to me was your kind words to me when I had a family member pass away in 2020. Being in the emotional state I was, your “life is about how you respond” video was released on Twitter the same day. It really spoke to me during that dark time, so of course I was going to reach out to you on Twitter to thank you for those words. I never would have imagined that you would take the time to reach out to me and extend me words of comfort that day. https://twitter.com/nealbrown_wvu/status/1246498515834060802?s=46&t=9Brp3tW4DFEMcyhj2GO7PQ This meant so much to my family and I. It may have just been a reply to a tweet, yes, but being a head coach of a major university you certainly have much more important stuff on your plate. It really showed what a great person you are. No matter what happens in the weeks ahead, the impact you had on me during your time in Morgantown has been abundant. Should you return in 2023, I’ll be right there at Mountaineer Field cheering you and the guys on. But just know if you are elsewhere, I’ll be cheering you on from afar. Thank you for everything, Coach Brown. Thank you for being a Mountaineer.
(Photo by WVU Athletics) MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia University Mountaineers held their annual Gold-Blue Spring Game yesterday at Milan Puskar Stadium. In a 56-51 Gold victory, several players had their first opportunity to display their talents in front of a small crowd of fans in attendance. Garrett Greene, who is no stranger to Mountaineer Nation, was easily the highlight of the afternoon after putting together a stellar performance. The redshirt junior completed 8 of 11 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown. He also caught one touchdown pass of 40 yards, and added 16 yards rushing. With him in the game, the offense seemed to fire on all cylinders, and even appeared to have a little more fire in them. Greene has been in a tightly contested quarterback battle with redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol since the conclusion of the 2022 football season. While many have assumed that the talented Marchiol would ultimately win the starting job, yesterday certainly painted a different picture of things to come in Morgantown. Myself, and anybody else with eyes and a knowledge for the game of football, can clearly tell that Greene is the clear cut starting quarterback for this football team. No matter what coaching talk Neal Brown wants to spin on it, Greene is the most prepared quarterback - and it honestly isn’t even close. Marchiol will have his time in the spotlight. He is simply too talented to keep off of the field. However, a 6 for 12 for 58 yards showing isn’t enough to convince anyone that he should be the starting quarterback to open the 2023 season. He looked lost, often confused, and just unprepared for the responsibility of leading a collegiate offense at this moment. Greene on the other hand looked up to the challenge and even embraced it. Though Brown will surely allow this battle to play out through fall camp, an official announcement on his decision could come sooner than expected. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1650234233191907330?s=20 https://twitter.com/_jamesclark3_/status/1649835450473824256?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw
(Photo by WVU Athletics) Though Neal Brown has been under heat for his coaching performance, many fans would agree that he is one of the friendliest coaches in the game today. However, despite many seeing Brown in this light, there are some who do not. Big Game Boomer, a popular Twitter page, revealed their 25 most “likable” and “unlikable” coaches. Neal Brown, who is 20-23 at WVU, was listed 11th on the “unlikable” list. https://twitter.com/biggameboomer/status/1588601227168092162?s=46&t=y9O2olZz1OGSqHL80KoNEA The page gave no reason as to why they feel like this, but we guess that it isn’t Brown’s personality that makes them feel this way. It is more likely that they placed him on this list because those who run the page are Oklahoma fans. Other than that, we can’t see a reason that he would be on this list. No matter how you feel about Neal Brown, you can’t say that the man doesn’t do his best to be kind to everyone. Not sure what you are really aiming to prove here, Big Game Boomer.