That name is more polarizing than Bill & Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama AND Sarah Palin COMBINED!
People remember the “Glory Days” of WVU football, which weren’t that long ago…
2005 Season- Pat White’s coming out party vs. Louisville, going 7-0 in the Big East (Undefeated, Undisputed Big East Champions), 11-1 overall, and going to the Nokia Sugar Bowl (which was held in Atlanta, GA that year due to Hurricane Katrina severely damaging the Sugar Bowl’s normal site– the Superdome in New Orleans, LA) against a heavily-favored University of Georgia team. Such a magical night for Mountaineer Nation… WVU- 38 UGA- 35. It was only the beginning.
2006- 2nd in the Big East, a trip to the Gator Bowl and defeating Georgia Tech 38-35 in a comeback game.
2007- Noel Devine’s freshman year… nothing short of a BCS bowl were expected of Rich Rod and his team. I won’t even go into what happened that fateful December 2, 2007 night. A journeyman assistant coach by the name of Bill Stewart took the reigns of a mentally down-and-out team, and guided them to another upset victory in the BCS; this time against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Emotions were running high. Pat White gave his endorsement for Bill Stewart. A contract was signed that night with former WVU President Mike Garrison and former Athletic Director Ed Pastilong (man, it feels good to say that!)
2008- First season under Bill Stewart… most people expected rebuilding, and ending with a “not bad” record of 9-4, including a Meineke Car Care Bowl win over North Carolina.
Let’s trudge on up to Ann Arbor for a minute… bundle up, it’s going to be a cold one. After the jump…
2008- Rich Rod’s first season at Michigan: 3-9, worst record in the team’s history. In his first season, players left the team citing “lack of family values.” Rodriguez ran off guys like Ryan Mallet (who is kicking ass at the University of Arkansas) and Justin Boren (who transferred to Michigan’s arch-rival Ohio State and became first team all Big Ten at OSU in the 2009 season.)
2009- Rich Rod’s guys got off to a 4-0 start, including a controversial win over Indiana. However, in an epic collapse, the team finished 5-7, and Rod’s seat was getting hotter by the loss.
2010- Despite this being his best season yet, with the team currently at 7-4 (3-4 in the Big 10), Denard Robinson running into the record books, and becoming bowl eligible, people still aren’t happy. His biggest test is coming up this weekend: Ohio State. Will Rich Rod silence his MANY critics within the Wolverine Nation, or will he beat the arch-rivals?
Oh yeah, I forgot something… the NCAA came down HARD on Rich Rodriguez citing violations while at Michigan… although Michigan punished themselves, the NCAA tacked on one more year of probation. As a result of his cheatin’ ways in Ann Arbor, it has gotten the NCAA to make a few phone calls to Morgantown. Oliver Luck has said repeatedly that the WVU Athletic Department will fully cooperate with the NCAA. Apparently, RRod did the same stuff here, and it continued under current Head Coach Bill Stewart.
The Future of WVU Football
Nobody knows what the future of WVU Football looks like right now, although most people are saying, “brighter days are ahead.” Bill Stewart has honestly taken a Camaro (no, not Dave Wannstedt’s Camaro) and turned it into a friggin mini-van… much like the Nehlen years. Just did good enough to get by (exceptions: 1988 and 1993.) This was EXACTLY what I feared when Bill Stewart got hired as head coach. The solution with Stewart would be to get rid of him after the season.
The heart of the editorial
One of the answers to WVU’s coaching woes: Do NOT bring Rich Rodriguez back. Oliver Luck, we know you’re listening… don’t stop at “Bill Stewart must go.”
He does not care about West Virginia University. He only cares about one person: Rich Rodriguez. The way he threw the Pitt game in 07 (yes, he threw that game and there should have been a full-blown investigation, complete with Dateline NBC being in Morgantown and everything), the mysterious flight to Akron, OH (no, RRod defenders, he wasn’t going there to see Lebron’s mom) the way he just vanished in the night to Ann Arbor… the legal battle that eventually got Michigan to pay $2.5 million of his $4 million buyout, the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” that people debate and speculate today pertaining to the National Championship that never was.
Whether you want to believe it or not, that fateful night changed the landscape of college football.
Terrelle Pryor wound up going to Ohio State, the Big East has been on the decline, Michigan has fallen off the map of college football and subsequently has had their tradition tarnished.
Yet, some people are saying BRING RICH RODRIGUEZ BACK TO MORGANTOWN.
Are you people really that damn dense?
Yes, I realize that there are Mountaineer Athletic Club donors that want Rodriguez back because he’s their “buddy.” I’d call some of them out individually, but, because they have more money than I do, they could do some serious damage to me. Of course, then again, they are out of touch with the normal fan who only pony up cash to drink LaBatt Blue with Coach Stewart. It’s a status thing… they don’t give a damn about football.
Do not bring Rich Rodriguez back to Morgantown. Current Athletic Director Oliver Luck is a smart man, and he will not allow that to happen. Yes, he may have been living in Houston, TX for a while… but, he wasn’t disconnected with Mountaineer Nation. Don’t be stupid… plus, Houston, TX is a major hotbed for WVU alums and fans.
We’re calling on Oliver Luck to do the right thing twice: Fire (or at least reassign) Bill Stewart, and don’t bring back Rich Rodriguez.
Tags: Ann Arbor Big 10 Big East Football Bill Stewart Editorial Michigan Football Michigan Wolverines Morgantown Ohio State Oliver Luck Pittsburgh Rant Rant Rant Rich Rodriguez Terrell Pryor WVU WVU Football