So you excuse worse WVU 3-season stretch in more than 40 years?

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  • #161978

    The numbers rank Neal Brown with his WVU predecessors


    Neal Brown 15-16

    Dana Holgorsen 21-17

    Bill Stewart 27-12

    Rich Rodriguez 20-17

    Don Nehlen 24-12

    Frank Cignetti 12-21

    That makes Neal Brown the worst in MORE THAN 40 YEARS!

    Even beating Kansas State, Texas and Kansas would make Neal 18-16. Still worst in more than 40 years. And 2nd worst in 55 years!

    Stop with the excuses. The numbers defy your logic!


    Point taken, if we limit it to coaches’ first three seasons here.

    Don’t forget that Nehlen had a three-year stretch (1990 through 1992) where he went 15-16-2. Fans were calling for his head and wearing bags over theirs.

    Nehlen was 11-12 over his final two seasons (1999-2000). Add in the 3-8 in RRod’s inaugural year, and you get 14-20 — WVU’s worst three-year run since 1959-61.

    The Mountaineers rebounded rather nicely from both of those three-year slumps.


    I do not mean to be difficult, but you can make numbers prove any point. However in my opinion some comparisons need further investigation. When HCNB was hired the cupboard was pretty slim with talent and number of quality scholarship players. Another factor, the quality of league’s. The Big East was a better league than What they got credit for. The Big 12 is a quality league with lots of depth except Kansas. The only coach that had less talent and depth was Coach Nehlen. It took him several years to get the amount and types of players he needed. Nehlen did not have covid to deal with either. Not an excuse just truth. We have had a good run since the 80’s. We just need to give him time like we did with Nehlen.
    So give HCNB a chance to develop his program and players. If we are we give him the chance he will get our program where it needs to go. Hang with him like VT did with Coach Beamer (remember they almost fired him and the next year VT was outstanding). If we get rid of him we restart all over…think Kansas. How many has that program hadcin the last 20 years. So fore go Mountaineers and Coach Neal Brown! Give him a chance. Football isn’t instant gratification or wins. I truly think he could be the best coach we have had since Don Nehlen. I was a student in thec70’s when we played William and Mary, etc. I remember bad football. So feom one fan to another…give the man a chance. I see improvement. We have a young team. Look at 2 years ago and how far they have come. Yes, we got our butt’s handed to us in 2 whole games this year. We were in all the others. Sorry this is long but I had to get some of my thoughts off my chest. Let’s Go Mountaineers!


    Wow, cuyahoga falls, are you serious with this crap? (yea, I already know; you are).  Your post is spot on if you go strictly by the numbers but please tell me you understand there’s more to coaching analysis than that.

    Also, just out of curiosity, did you ever play and/or coach at any level?


    So how do you justify it? Just curious and it’s nothing personal. I think I have seen the least growth as a coach in NB than I have any coach in my memory which is from Nehelen’s years.

    • Still seems lost on the sideline
    • Indecisive with play decisions
    • Looks perplexed when his predictable offense is shut down
    • Repeats the same rhetoric after each loss
    • Does not appear to believe the problem resides on his shoulders
      • As HCNB every team and coaching problem is his problem – no excuses
    • Looks disconnected with the team during the games
    • Double standards for each player – yet I know other coaches are the same, he just “seems” different.

    Those are my thoughts. I do believe he is a genuine person which is hard to find in today’s coaching circles…… At what point does that no longer matter? I believe we are quickly reaching that point.


    Jean sums up the opposing arguments quite well. HCNB has had some problems, clock management, getting plays in, etc.  However, every coach did not start from the same point, with the same talent or program status. And none other than Holgorsen played a level of competition close to that which Brown has faced.

    Also, don’t use the “excuse” or “justification” tags. I’m not trying to defend HCNB or make him out to be the greatest coach in WVU history. Pointing out opposing facts is not excuse-making.



    Jean sums up the opposing arguments quite well. HCNB has had some problems, clock management, getting plays in, etc.  However, every coach did not start from the same point, with the same talent or program status. And none other than Holgorsen played a level of competition close to that which Brown has faced.

    Also, don’t use the “excuse” or “justification” tags. I’m not trying to defend HCNB or make him out to be the greatest coach in WVU history. Pointing out opposing facts is not excuse-making.



    Coached off and on for 40 years but only at the 12-and-under level because I wanted to teach more than just baseball but how to deal with the inevitable bumps that would face them later in life. My goal was to make sure EVERY player I ever had got a hit, and they did. Bunting was my secret. It’s easier for a kid to see the pitch when he’s facing the pitcher rather than looking at him out of the corner of his eye. In my coaching career my teams had the best winning percentage of any team in the league. Consistency. Discipline. Fair treatment. All my standards. Thanks for asking. But you know that people who never played the game CAN understand the problems, too. Walter Alston batted ONCE in the major leagues and struck out but became one of the best managers in major league baseball. 


    Like you, I like Neal Brown. And, since he’s coaching my alma mater, nothing would be happier than Neal coaching WVU to the Big 12 title or, shades of Doc Spears, a national title. But you can’t ignore what we see. And having a worst start than any WVU coach since Cignetti can’t be ignored. If Neal wins the last 3 games and the bowl game I’ll be ecstatic. When I watched the Iowa State upset in Mountaineer Field and the fire and grit I saw I thought the malaise had been put to rest. Then came Oklahoma State and THREE points by WVU. That brought back the depression. Now, let’s beat Kansas State, Texas and Kansas and win the bowl game and those of us on both sides of this discussion will all be happy. But don’t tell me to Trust the Climb. Make climb that I can trust! 


    How about fixing the thread title to actually reflect the contents.


    I think stills asks a very good question:  does CFE really believe this stuff where numbers taken out of context prove things and prove them so conclusively that anyone who disagrees is just an apologist or an idiot?  The answer, I think, is no.  CFE is bored.  He doesn’t really believe the crap he posts; he’s just trying to start an argument because, well, he’s bored.  No sane person believes that numbers “speak for themselves” and don’t have to be interpreted in context, and I believe CFE is sane.  So, yeah, all of his posts are just crap.

    Bobby Bowden was undoubtedly the most highly regarded football coach ever to coach the Mountaineers.  He inherited a 10-1 team.  In 1970, he went 8-3, and  some of those wins were over Southern Conference opponents.  1971 was a meh year.  In 1972, Bowden finally got us to a bowl and got blown out.  1973 and 1974 were forgettable seasons.  Finally, in 1975, Bowden put it all together, had a very good season, and immediately took off after what was arguably the only satisfying season he coached at WVU.  He left Frank Cignetti a mess.

    I have no motive to make excuses for NB.  But I really do believe that you don’t fire your way to success.  And, no, numbers don’t “prove” that Brown is our worst coach since Cignetti.  And one can make the case that Cignetti was a better coach than the numbers “prove.”  The position Cignetti was put in was actually unfair to the man.  A rundown stadium and lousy facilities.  The fact that he was able to recruit as well as he did is quite remarkable (but the numbers, CFE would say, “prove” he was a bad coach.  He wasn’t).

    I’m unhappy.  Last Saturday’s game was awful.  The losses to Texas Tech and Maryland are hard to excuse.  If we don’t make it to a bowl, I’ll be even more unhappy.  But I will stand by the general principle that you don’t fire your way to success.  If next year is a disaster, well, Brown’s probably gone.  But a new coach needs four years to build his program, and Brown hasn’t even finished his third.  He needs to think about whether he wants to retain some of his assistant coaches.  Our offensive line is dreadful, and I’m not even sure what our offensive philosophy is.  What does NB actually want to do offensively?  Does anyone know?  Anyway, I’m pretty sure that what Oliver Luck said after he hired Dana is self-evidently true (and I’m paraphrasing here):  If you want to win football games, you’ve got to score points.  And we’re not very good at scoring points.  If that continues, then something must change.  If you can’t score, you’ve really got a problem, particularly in an era when even average teams can put up a lot of points.  He needs help on offense, and if he doesn’t make moves to get the help he needs, I think he’s doomed.


    numbers taken out of context

    The numbers ARE the contest. Neal Brown is off to the worst 3-season start in 40 years at WVU. No sugarcoating can change that. Do I want Neal to win the next 3 games and the bowl game? Damn right! It’s my alma mater. I had NO idea what the numbers would show when I check them out. I’m always willing to go where the numbers take me, even it’s not where I thought they would go. If Neal has double-digit seasons for the next 3 years I’ll be happy to compare his 3-year magic run with all the other coaches and show how he ranks better than them. I don’t make up stuff. I research it and accept it. Now, I have to get ready to watch Huggins Heroes begin a new season against a defending conference champion. The eyeball test for Huggins and WVU. Huggins’ numbers, by the way, prove that he’s one helluva coach no matter where he’s coached. I trust the numbers. They aren’t irrational. 


    Just my own opinion: firing Brown now would be a huge mistake
    Judge him after he gets a third recruiting class.
    Evaluate him on Nov 1, 2022 … I would even wait until Nov 1,2023.
    We now have the top class of comitments amoung the new Big 12 … I see potential for good things


    CFE just likes to read his own thoughts.


    Agree with Martin.


    Well, CFE, based on your numerology, if the Mountaineer football team finishes this season with a losing record, would you fire NB if you were the AD?  Yes or no?


    Just want to add to Old Guy’s analysis: Frank Cignetti had a major health crisis while he was here, which certainly made his job much more difficult.


    The biggest glaring problem I see with Neal Brown’s first 3 years is the lack of a prime time QB.

    He came into a program staring at 2 transfers, one from Oklahoma (Kendall) and one from Bowling Green (Doege).  Doege showed a bit more playmaking ability at the end of year one salvaging a few late season wins which indicated potential momentum into year 2.  Last year is one fast asterisk with the pandemic, and at the end of the season Doege seemed to have regressed (Army bowl bench).

    3 years with a QB from Bowling Green and I am not here to trash Doege.  He’s had some big time throws, he’s had some quality games, but he’s not a professional prospect by any means and at WVU that’s unacceptable.

    Over the last 20 years of WVU football, it has been Rasheed Marshall, Pat White, Jarett Brown, Geno Smith, Clint Trickett, Skylar Howard, Will Grier….All of those QBs lead ranked WVU teams.

    We need a top tier QB.


    Agree with Alumni2003.  RRod found a diamond in the rough with Pat While. Holgorsen inherited Geno Smith. Who did Brown inherit? The man is doing the best with the hand he was dealt and now he’s getting some very talented recruiting classes to make WVU relevant again. If Nicco stays committed, Neal deserves 2 more years.

    I will agree with everyone that Brown has made coaching mistakes. That’s part of going from Troy to P5. And, I will agree that some coaching staff changes may be necessary after this season. But, anyone who thinks he should be let go after 3 seasons (with 1 being Covid) needs some psychological help. I’m sorry. That’s just dumb!


    Comparing apples to apples,

    NB is the only WVU coach who faced a Big XII schedule in his first three years.

    In Dana’s first three seasons in the Big XII, WVU’s overall W-L mark was 18-20.

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