Posted by: mseewv | December 14, 2010

A Light at The End of The Tunnel

Mountaineer fans, today is a day that will live in infamy in Mountaineer folk-lore.

Remember this day. The day that diehard Mountaineer fans were finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But before we can even start on where we are now, we have to look at how we got here.

It was almost 3 years to the day that Rich Fraudriguez and his cronies slipped out of Morgantown in the middle of the night. Hundreds of fans gathered at the airport to bid him adieu. He left a program who was just one game away from their first ever National Championship.

While Mountaineer Nation worried about the future and speculated on who his replacement would be, Coach Bill Stewart was grabbing the reins and preparing the boys for what would be one of the biggest games in Mountaineer history, almost folk-lore big.

We all know what happened and many will never forget the words of Tony Caridi and Owen Schmidt from that fateful January night. But it is what happened after the game that shocked everyone. Our program just performed very well on the highest of stages, almost like passing a test or just totally crushing a job interview for all of the country to see. What did we do? We hired the nicest guy who was left after the dust settled, Bill Stewart.

Fire spread through Mountaineer Nation and two camps were formed. One camp that thought it was a great hire and the other that thought WVU had just made the biggest mistake in the program’s history. Which was right? In my mind, both!

Rich Rod had just left the program with a horrible taste in its mouth and what we later learned on the brink of NCAA violations. What the Mountaineers needed was a coach that would come in and take care of the program and build back some credibility. Stewart did this. He loves WVU football and WV with all of his heart and he cared for each and every one of his players just like they were his own son. This is something that all WVU fans should be very proud of. But a nice guy doesn’t always make a great coach.

As Stew embarked on his first season it was already apparent that even though he loved the game and loved his school and state that his loved outweighed his football knowledge. From the assembly of his offensive staff to the mismanagement of normal game day duties it was clear to see that it was not going to last. Now don’t get me wrong he did very well record wise at 28-11. But what we all have to remember is this was a team that was just a few quarters away from playing in the national title game. Returning some amazing talent along with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NCAA history in Pat White and still the team did not win the Big East Championship.

Whatever you do, do not put me in the anti-Stewart column. I am a huge fan of Granddad Stewart. He was great at the time but the time is now to make a change and compete for BCS bowl bids and National Championships. In college football you are either at the bottom or at the top, there truly is no middle people. If Stewart had come in and won the Big East two of the last three years we would not be having this conversation right now but the point is he did not. And he will gracefully depart at the conclusion of next season.

What will this mean for the future of WVU football? All I can say is get ready ladies and gentleman. Wait until you see the hirgh powered offense of Dana Holgorsen. Who will be taking over as WVU’s new Offensive Coordinator and will assume the Head Coaching position in 2012. The same year that TCU will be joining the Big East!

Just a little background on Holgorsen, his first year as Oklahoma State’s Offensive Coordinator they went from middle of the road in offense to number 1 overall and number 3 in passing and number 2 in rushing in the country. Our offense will finally match our defense.

And with that, all I can say is…Let’s Go!!!

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