High Expectations and National Championship Talk Invades Morgantown

C. J. Krasyk@cfkrasyk2Correspondent IMay 11, 2011

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Bill Stewart of the West Virginia Mountaineers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After a recent conversation with my mother and other Mountaineer fans about why Bill Stewart was being replaced at the end of next season got me to thinking: When did the high expectations and National Championship talk really take over in Morgantown?

Some people look back and say it has always kind of been there ever since Don Nehlen took the program to heights that it had never been to: Two undefeated seasons and a string of bowl games.

Yes, the results were not always favorable, but they were still getting there.

Many people point back to the 2007 season, when the football team was one win away from playing in their first national title game. I do not really need to remind fans about that year. It needed with WVU losing to hated rival Pitt in the Backyard Brawl and Rich Rod leaving for Michigan.

Some people like to look at the end of the 2007 season and the beating of Oklahoma and the team that was coming back and the start of the talk.

I have even heard a couple of people say that they believe that when John Beilein led the basketball team to the Elite Eight was a half away from the Final Four.

It could have been when Oliver Luck was brought in to be the AD. I think that goes hand in hand with the real reason.

That would be, in my humble opinion, with the hiring of head basketball coach Bob Huggins.

He stated that he believed that a national championship could be won at West Virginia and that was his goal. Some people might not have believed that or even snickered at the thought.

Then he led the 2009 team to Madison Square Garden and won WVU's first Big East tournament title and then sparked that into a Final Four run.

For my money, that is where it started; for people that eat, sleep and breathe Mountaineer athletics, is that really to much to ask?

I do not believe so and I hope that I am around for the day that it happens.