MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Look, I don’t buy any of the excuses that have been made for Neal Brown. Every coach in college football dealt with COVID, with NIL, with the transfer portal, etc. Brown’s first four years at West Virginia were in no way unfair or somehow unique to him.
He wasn’t dealt a difficult hand and Dana Holgorsen didn’t leave the cupboard bare, as many – including Brown himself, who implied it in a recent interview – have said. In fact, Brown’s first year roster with the Mountaineers was extremely talented, albeit very young. It’s important to remember that several talented, All Big 12-type players left West Virginia during Brown’s first couple of years with the team and his inability to retain the talent was the primary issue with the roster.
So to be clear, Neal Brown hasn’t earned another chance. He’s 21-25 overall and 15-21 in the Big 12 Conference. He’s failed numerous times and has given us no reason to believe anything is going to change. He hasn’t made adjustments to his coaching staff. He’s once again going to call plays for the Mountaineers, which has proven time and time again to be a disaster. He is stubborn and in my eyes a total egomaniac and like most egomaniacs, refuses to listen to criticism or make the obvious changes. He believes he knows better than everyone else and he doesn’t.
His marginal success at Troy has clouded his judgment. He often says, “You know, I haven’t forgotten how to coach!” Well, Neal, that may be the case, but you’ve never proven yourself at this level. Success in the Sunbelt Conference is very different than success in the Big 12.
With that all said, Neal Brown will shockingly once again be on the sidelines as the leader of the Mountaineers for the upcoming season. West Virginians, particularly those who have been lifelong fans of the Mountaineers, are some of the most forgiving people in the world. Forgiveness is very much in our blood. More than anything, we want Neal Brown to succeed and prove everyone – including those of us who have lost faith in his ability to get the job done – wrong.
Neal Brown could be the ultimate underdog comeback story. West Virginia loves underdogs. West Virginians are underdogs. And with that, Neal Brown is our underdog. This isn’t just about West Virginia University owing Brown millions and millions of dollars if they fired him, although that is certainly a part of it. This is about Neal Brown proving everyone wrong.