The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

College Sports

November 13, 2012

Was WVU too hasty in joining Big 12?

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s football fortunes obviously are becoming worse by the day — not just weekly.

What second-year head coach Dana Holgorsen now is calling errors and “junior high mistakes” cost the Mountaineers (5-4, 2-4) last Saturday’s 55-34 beating at Oklahoma State.

So their losing streak has reached four games, the most since 2001, and after a sparkling 5-0 season’s start and 2-0 beginning as a member of the Big 12 Conference.

It has come down to the players hoping and praying for bowl eligibility. And they surely need a sixth victory for that. That’s a most unusual situation for a football program which has been thriving for many years.

Considering that millions of dollars in coaching salaries and the extra millions spent on travel to Big 12 road games, the thought herein is that it’s not worth all the big bucks.

I know it’s trite to say that the tail is wagging the dog, but I know numerous WVU alumni firmly believe that it is.

My thinking has been that West Virginia should have done a better job of recruiting before joining the Big 12 Conference. That is, if the powers-that-be really made the right decision.

I have always been a guy who liked WVU being “a big fish in a small pond” such as the Big East Conference. I felt it certainly was more fitting to WVU’s Eastern ties.

But selected others obviously did not. So the university dished out $20 million to get out of the league. To be honest, I was shocked!

But big, big money talks. And the Big 12 reportedly needed a 10th member by June 30 for TV dealings in long-term contracts.

There are some who think the Mountaineers could have dominated the Big East and be 9-0 today — not 5-4. And that senior quarterback Geno Smith would still be a strong candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

Versatile Tavon Austin, also a senior, and Stedman Bailey, a junior wide receiver, also would have benefited as a year ago.

However, Holgorsen has said he wasn’t interested in talking about individuals — only about the team in general.

Holgorsen has admitted at times after a loss that the WVU coaches were outcoached. Perhaps that’s an area that should be restructured at season’s end.

Who knows how any coach has performed?

“You have some ideas? I’m all ears,” Holgorsen told reporters after the OSU defeat. (One writer suggested he was joking.)

“You can’t make very simple, junior high mistakes and beat a good team,” the head coach said.

There are growing problems to fix with just three games left.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video