HailWV.com Mailbag #1


Well, folks, this entry kicks off our first ever MAILBAG! We have two very good entries to get to… so, without further ado…

"What’s a realistic, emphasis on REALISTIC, expectation for thisupcoming basketball season? I stress tempered, and I cannot overstressthat, as I’ve heard people suggesting that anything less than anotherFinal Four run, coupled with at least a berth in the Big East finalwould be a disappointment. We’ve simply lost too much, however, theserumors are fairly small in number. Kevin Jones will be an All-Big Eaststar, and I think ten-to-twelve Big East wins is a realistic goal. Iwouldn’t expect a repeat Big East title, and a Sweet 16 run would benice. However, with so much turnover, this team could easily beone-and-done in the NCAA. What do you think?P. Ehland"

Mr. Ehland, thank you for writing in, and I like your question. With the regular season kicking off this evening, we should be talking about more basketball.

Honestly, with all the turnover the team experienced, I’m looking at a bit of a sluggish start… then a 2nd half surge… Final 4 of the Big East tournament… and a 3 or 4 seed in the Big Dance. In the Big Dance, look for Sweet 16, and out after that.

Sorry, folks, don’t expect a Final 4 appearance every year… yes, I’d love to, but, even programs like Duke and Kentucky have off-years with A+ talent and A+ coaching.

Now, to football…

"Ok Jim, you’re Oliver Luck. You’re making a list of coaching candidates. Whose the #1 guy on the list? Whose the dark horse unknown you look at? Whose the safe guy who will definitely say yes?"

Thanks to Jeremy over at Pacman Jonesin’ for sending in this question.

This is definitely a deep question… one of the guys I would definitely be looking at is Mike Leach, who previously coached at Texas Tech (yes, the same Mike Leach that looks like Vince Gill.) While we’d have to specifically tell him to not lock up the players, I think he’d be a damn good coach… plus, rumors have it that Luck was recently seen talking w/Leach. File him under #1 guy.

A dark horse I would look at is University of Georgia coach Mark Richt. The guy has been successful at Georgia for most of his tenure, with 2 SEC Championships, 4 SEC Eastern Conference Championships, and twice the SEC Coach of the year. However, Richt has been on the hotseat for a while.

A safe guy that would say “yes” is a smaller-school coach like Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, or a long-time coordinator such as Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Last time the job was open, Foster politicked HARD for that job, and it would seem that Luck would talk with Foster, as well as Sumlin.

Two guys I would tell to “pound sand” are none other than Rich Rodriguez and Terry Bowden. Bowden can still win, but I don’t think he’s ready to step up to FBS-level again… however, he would come back to his Alma Mater and hometown in a heartbeat.

Rich Rodriguez still has valuable big $$$ contacts here in Morgantown, and elsewhere in West Virginia. Also, word has it that his house at Cheat Lake still hasn’t sold!

However, Luck is a very smart man, and I’m sure he wouldn’t hire Rich Rod back to clean the crappers at the Puskar Center.