West Virginia Football and Rich Rodriguez: Neither Will Ever Be the Same Again

Kristofer GreenSenior Writer ISeptember 18, 2008

Is it possible?  Chew on this. 

Maybe Rich Rodriguez and the West Virginia Football program really were a match made in heaven?

Did Rodriguez sacrifice the job he was meant to have and leave the team he was meant to lead all because of *gasp* money?

Seems so.

The West Virginia football program hasn't quite been the same this season.  Sure the Mountaineers opened the season with a blowout over Villinova, but they did allow 21 points and really didn't look impressive doing it.

The next week, the Mountaineers were completely dominated by East Carolina and held to three points in that game, the first time since 2001 that West Virginia failed to score a touchdown.

And now tonight. The Mountaineers are held to 14 points by a Colorado defense that allowed 17 points to Colorado State and 24 points to Eastern Washington in its first two games.

Bill Stewart may be a "West Virginia Man," but the love affair that many Mountaineer fans had with the coach after last season's dismantling of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl is over. The good-natured, old-fashioned coach is going to start facing the heat after a 1-2 start.

Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor, new Michigan coach and former "West Virginia Man" Rich Rodriguez finds himself sitting in remarkably the same situation as Bill Stewart.  Michigan has started 1-2 as well and last week suffered an embarrassing blowout loss to rival Notre Dame.

Rodriguez's claim to fame is his offensive mind, yet his Michigan offense has scored 23, 16, and 17 points in the first three games.  The offensive has shown little to no improvement in the first three games and with the Big Ten season looming, Rodriguez may be wishing for a miracle in Ann Arbor.

What is most curious about Michigan is that the offense doesn't play with the same attitude and ferociousness that Rodriguez's West Virginia offense played with.  You could chalk that up to inexperience, and most would buy that explanation.

But, take a look at the 2008 West Virginia offense.  They too lack the same intensity and ferociousness they had under Rodriguez.

Bill Stewart may be a nice man and I'm quite sure he is, but he made some bad decisions in both the East Carolina and Colorado game.  And honestly, Stewart just doesn't have the look or attitude of a head coach.

On the other hand, Rodriguez looks the part, he has the attitude and mindset of a head coach, but there is something peculiar about seeing him in a Michigan hat on the sidelines of the Big House.  It just doesn't seem to fit. 

Maybe Rodriguez was meant to stay a "West Virginia Man."  Now we will never know, but West Virginia and Rich Rodriguez will never be quite the same again.