West Virginia-Connecticut Football: 2 Teams Looking For a Compass

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIIOctober 27, 2010

A collection of athletes from West Virginia University looking for leadership from their head coach
A collection of athletes from West Virginia University looking for leadership from their head coachChris Graythen/Getty Images

This 2010 season has not been a good one for Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall

Favored at Michigan in the opener, the Huskies were humbled 30-10 by a Rich Rodriguez who had to have been sidetracked by his fight against his alleged questionable ethics.

The Temple Owls hosted Connecticut after two weeks only to lay Connecticut down for decisive 30-16 victory.

Less than a month later, UConn began Big East play.  They were frustrated at Rutgers 27-24 and pounded into submission in a 26-0 shut out at Louisville.

A 3-4 record is bad enough for a team picked by some (like this writer) to win the league.  What transpired off-the-field during this season cannot be worse.  

Soon after rejoining the team upon the completion of a second suspension for failing his second drug test, Connecticut quarterback Cody Endres flagged his third drug test.  

He's out of there, off the team for 2010 and according to some bloggers, he's not coming back.

It's always good when a bad apple is picked out of the bushel, but we're not talking about fruit here.

We're speaking of Endres' teammates, some of whom are ecstatic he's gone, and some of whom are his friends who liked him and trusted him. 

It's only natural in these situations for humans to choose sides. That's true and that's certainly the worst possible thing that could happen to this collection of athletes.

A collection of athletes is not a team. Randy Edsall has but a few days to make the athletes a team and to find his team's critical mass. Fortunately, he's in the friendly confines of home and playing another team that is spinning out of control.

Apparently, after last week's home loss to Syracuse, West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart effectively took his collection of athletes "to the woodshed."

That was precisely the wrong thing to do.  Stew's athletes who play on the offensive unit were simply just doing what offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen told them to do, which was the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Stewart has openly implored his athletes to shake it off, get scrappy and fight like Mountaineers. That's great, if the players were the problem.

They're not the problem; the adult leadership is the problem.

Stewart's the one who makes the big bucks here and is ultimately and fully accountable.

My response to his "fight like Mountaineers" mantra of platitudes: maybe, coach, you should first look inside for the fight.