Since roughly the middle of the 2022 season, WVU head football coach Neal Brown has been under tremendous duress. As a result of yet another lackluster season, the supporters’ discontent grew, and rightfully so.
After Wren Baker publicly backed Neal and announced he would remain the team’s head coach, a sizable portion of the fanbase became dissatisfied.
They believed it was time to move on and begin again. As time progressed, however, and the men’s basketball team returned to the NCAA Tournament and the baseball team had a historic season.
Tthe football team took a back seat. With Sunday’s 10-0 loss to Kentucky, the baseball team’s season has formally come to a close, and all eyes and focus are now on Neal Brown and the football team.
Mountaineer football dominates after baseball.
Brown enters his fifth season with a 22-25 record at West Virginia. In his first four years on the job, he has tallied a single winning season, though most would qualify it with an asterisk due to the 10-game schedule caused by the pandemic. As Brown enters his fifth year, it is past time for him to produce positive results.
Over the past few days, I’ve spoken with a smattering of football aficionados about the upcoming season, and the general consensus is that there is not as much anticipation.
They lack confidence that circumstances will improve. They believe that not enough has been done regarding the transfer portal. Moreover, they are skeptical that Neal Brown will be employed at this time next year.
When there is ambiguity at crucial positions, such as quarterback, there is typically a considerable interest in the battle for the starting position. My impression is that fans are somewhat intrigued, but they do not care who gets the position.
They only desire to win contests. Getting to a bowl game should no longer be considered a successful season. Perhaps in years one or two, but not in year five.
Unfortunately for Brown, the Mountaineers begin the season on the road against Penn State and then, two weeks later, at home against Pitt before Big 12 play begins. Should West Virginia lose both of these games AND fail to become bowl eligible, there will be renewed speculation about Neal Brown’s job security.