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May 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm #59382
2018 Make-Or-Break For WVU’s Holgorsen With graduation now behind us, let us put behind the school year of 2017-18 and look forward to the year of 201
[See the full post at: 2018 Make-Or-Break For WVU’s Holgorsen]May 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm #59384
Comparing TCU to WVU is fair in every sense except for head coach and recruiting. I wish WVU had the recruiting base TCU does and Holgorsen just isnt near as good as Patterson.May 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm #59385
Really enjoyed this piece, Kevin, thank you. I agree that Dana needs to win big this year, but how big is big enough? 9 wins? 10? I think a successful year this year (10 wins) followed by another (8-9 wins) next year could help put our program back on the level we all thought it would be when we joined the Big 12. 7-8 wins this year would be hard to overcome given the talent we have.
That all being said, I do wonder whether the level of competition has had an adverse effect on the overall records of the coaches. Dana hasn’t been very good against Top 10 or Top 20 teams, but he’s faced 5 more top 20 teams in his 7 years than Rich Rod did in his 7 years or Nehlen did in his 20 years (or whatever) as well as 3 more Top 10 teams that RR and 1 more than Nehlen. Assuming those 5 Top 20 teams are instead unranked teams that Dana beats (a bit of a stretch, admittedly), his overall 7-year record jumps to 58-32 (.644), which is better than Nehlen’s 7-year mark and much closer to RR’s. Just something to keep in mind when evaluating the job Dana has done.May 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm #59386
Record against top 10 teams should make those who excuse Holerson’s overall record take pause. All three of the others have been better than him against top teams.May 15, 2018 at 12:59 pm #59391
Isn’t it possible that the programs being mentioned are simply better than WVU. Isn’t our long term average about 7 wins per year. And that being against easier competition than the Big 12. Judging us against a high water period at the end of RR’S stint with WVU is not really a fair comparison in my opinion. Big boy football is much tougher than the old Big East or the years as an independent.May 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm #59395
I don’t like change at the top, because there is typically a short term drop off after a change, and then it is iffy if the successor will be an improvement. That being said, Holgorsen has had a fair opportunity to implement his vision of what the program should be, and it is time to see improvement. I hate to place minimum wins, but I do think nine wins is a minimum, inclusive of the bowl. That would allow for an 8-4 regular season and a bowl win.
I think the comparisons to Nehlen, Rodriguez and Stewart are apples to oranges, but it is all we have. That said, I do think the comparison to TCU is fair. We chose to enter the B12. Sure we recruit different areas, but we (both teams) are recruiting to the same conference. Our coach has to be able to recruit and coach successfully in our conference. It is not acceptable to be a long term middle of the road program in the B12.
Maryland was very patient with Ralph Friedgon. Heck of it was they fired him when he appeared to be finally turning the corner. He had had a decent season and won his bowl game. Of course, the brought in the UConn coach as his successor, which was like taking 2 steps back.
I hope we don’t have an analagous situation here. I would love to see a super year, and see Dana emerge as a Frank Beamer type coach. He had problems for many years before turning the corner.May 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm #59418
I have seen West Virginia play in the Southern Conference, as an independent , in the Big East and now in the Big 12. Except for the Nehlen years when he played some killer schedules, never have we consistently played this level of competion. Forget the conference , just compare our non conference schedule to your favorite SEC/ ACC teams typically cited by Mountaineer fans in their moments of distress after a loss, and you will see a significant difference. In fact I could make the argument that we have over scheduled if our goal is to get 9 or ten “no matter who they are” wins. I for one, prefer top competion. Then again I am old and hope I never again have to make my MAC contribution to watch the likes of William and Mary, UConn, Temple, Rutgers and Cincy. Just one man’s opinion , and an old one at that.May 15, 2018 at 10:35 pm #59419
As Paul Harvey would ponder here, “What’s the rest of the story”?
Are we to assume that this job is Holgerson’s final stop, his
life time goal!? Has he ever indicated what his goals are?
Depending on what that answer is, WVU might be in a Win-Lose
situation while Holgerson is in.a Win-win situation where
one or two highly successful seasons of 10-11 wins.
might be enough to get him the offers that would match
his desires!? Does he have a deep desire to win a NC?
Grier is gone after this year!May 16, 2018 at 8:40 am #59421
Holgorsen gets a break from some because WV plays what is considered a tougher schedule now. But he actually has a worse record against the toughest competition as the article clearly points out. Just because Nehlen’s or Rod’s or even Stew’s teams were stuck in a lesser conference doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have won their share of games against the middle of the Big 12. I think HCDH gets too much credit for beating Texas Tech, ISU, and the like about half the time. I think the previous coaches would have done at least as well and their records against top 20 and top 10 teams are better than Dana’s.May 18, 2018 at 9:54 am #59539
Tony: I’ve never heard HCDH talk about his future goals, and I don’t think any coach is going to other than as they regard his current job. He does still have a lot of Texas ties, so a coaching offer there would be enticing, I think. However, going to another Big 12 school might be a difficult move, and if it were to be Texas or someone else on that level, it would probably take a better success rate than what he has currently produced. The same would be true of any other school on that perceived level.
When the Miami job came open a couple of years ago, he didn’t get much interest.
cc: Interesting thoughts on WVU’s sched. I do think the bottom of the Big 12 is better than the bottom of the Big East, so from that standpoint it probably is tougher. But your point is good about where the wins have come in the Big 12. WVU has done ok against Texas, and would have won last year’s game too without Grier’s injury, but Texas is the most overrated team and program on the planet.
I don’t expect WVU to dust Oklahoma and Okie St every year, but getting a win or two is very important in trying to move up the league ladder. And there’s no question TCU has done much better in football in the league.May 18, 2018 at 4:44 pm #59578
His buyout for 2018 is to high perhaps to deal with. Around 8.1 Million. Come the final 3 years on the contract 2019-2021 and it’s a little cheaper at 6.9 million.May 19, 2018 at 9:48 am #59615
His buyout for 2018 is to high perhaps to deal with. Around 8.1 Million. Come the final 3 years on the contract 2019-2021 and it’s a little cheaper at 6.9 million.
Have to think that would play heavily into Shane Lyons’ decision on this front.
That’s another item that probably makes this year an important one. After this, recruiting for the 2019 and 2020 classes, the negotiating tactic of not having a longer term deal hurting recruiting efforts would come into play again.May 19, 2018 at 11:22 am #59628
How much could recruiting suffer? Not to mention retention!?
cant see it as a factor
And, looks like Oklahoma is our new Penn State!May 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm #59660
This is a massive year for Dana Holgorsen. The challenging aspect is that we’re not okay as a fan base with just making bowls. That’s a Rutgers mindset (no offense to Rutgers). WVU is hell-bent on winning a national championship and quite frankly that starts with winning a conference title. A Big 12 title is the first hurdle. Will WVU have enough fire power to take on the powerhouses that Oklahoma & Texas schools have produced? Every year since we’ve joined the league Oklahoma has had WVU’s number. Almost like the Fiesta Bowl was a curse somehow (not really). The talent, depth, and experience is there for WVU to have a great year. The non-conference slate is also solid and winnable (NC State & Tennessee are well scheduled games and should both be wins this year).
WVU also has one of the most hyped QB’s since Geno Smith took the cover of SI. Will the defense and special teams be strong enough to keep WVU in tight games? Will we have enough depth to withstand injuries on the offense and maintain a powerful scoring machine?
Time will tell, this is a very exciting off season to think about what may be a very special season. Will Grier is arguably the best quarterback in the nation, that alone can usually drive a college football team into a very successful season.
The schedule is unbelievably front loaded for WVU. Of course every game matters, but for perspective looking into the full slate, if WVU manages the first 8 games (possibly favored in all of them) the final four will determine the conference and national title possibilities. Will WVU be healthy enough at that point to take on Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma in consecutive games?
I predict WVU will be 8-0 and ranked in the Top 5 heading into the final four games. It’s going to be absolutely brutal to manage the final four with a top ranking on our backs, but that’s what will be the plate this year, and that’s what this group is going to have to manage.May 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm #59678
I think we will have to battle to get 8 wins. NCSt finished ranked 23rd and return their big time QB and at their place….don’t know what to expect from Tenn. We will have real tuff games at Texas, at OkSt, at KSt. We get Ok at home but how can you predict we will win that. This is not the Big East. I think playing 11 power five teams is too much for us. Look at the teams in the Nat’l championship game….they only played 9 power 5 teamsMay 20, 2018 at 1:53 pm #59679
Great points, I’m being very optimistic. Nothing on this schedule is a win, hell even Youngstown State is a legit program. I just figured by looking at the games consecutively, the last 4 is make or break. Again, that has a lot to do with WVU’s success int the first 8, but with optimistic lens, WVU could very well be 8-0.May 21, 2018 at 9:05 am #59715
HCDH has made good on his statement that recruiting class should not be judged until summer. He and the staff have brought in some impressive graduate transfers that have, at least on paper, strengthened the team. Hopefully at least a couple of these guys pan out. I’m not expecting any of them to be all stars, but contributors and potential starters; yes the Mountaineers need that to happen.
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