The Case for Neal Brown as the Big 12 Head Coach of the Year

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Look, no one has been more critical of Neal Brown during his almost 5 seasons with the West Virginia Mountaineers, but he is certainly in contention to earn the Big 12 Head Coach of the Year award this season.

Remember, it’s easy to forget that West Virginia was picked 14th out of 14 teams in the Big 12 Conference, which is dead last. Most experts predicted that the Mountaineers would win somewhere between 2 and 5 games, and as we currently stand, West Virginia is 7-4 and 5-3 in the conference, and they are in 5th place in the Big 12.

In addition, the teams that are currently ahead of West Virginia – Texas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State – were expected to have success this season. So while Steve Sarkisian, Mike Gundy, Brent Venables, Chris Klieman and even Lance Leipold at Kansas could make a case as the conference’s coach of the year, no one has exceeded expectations in terms of wins like Neal Brown at West Virginia.

Does that mean that I’ve been wrong about Neal Brown over the last 5 seasons? Absolutely not. The Mountaineers are only 29-29 under Brown, have never been anywhere near the Top 25, are 0-16 against teams that finish in the Top 25 and 19-24 in the Big 12 Conference. He’s underwhelmed time and time again, and should have been fired after last season. In fact, he would have been fired if it wasn’t for his enormous contract buyout.

Regardless of how you view Neal Brown’s tenure at West Virginia – I, for one, view it as a tremendous flop – he will likely win 8 games and finish in the top half of the Big 12 during a season that he was supposed to only win a few games and finsih in dead last place, and the Mountaineers’ success this season will earn him real consideration as the the conference’s top head coach for the 2023 season.

What’s your take? Do you think Neal Brown should be named the Big 12 Conference Head Coach of the Year this season? Vote below!