West Virginia to Rich Rodriguez: Please Come Back?

Matt CraigContributor IDecember 6, 2008

Bill Stewart has done an alright job coaching the Mountaineers this year; however, West Virginia didn't win the Big East title.

Stewart's first season was better than former coach Rich Rodriguez's. WVU ended the regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a 5-2 conference record. Rodriguez's first season as the Mountaineers head coach sported a 3-8 overall and a 1-6 conference. 

The difference really is that Stewart walked into a great situation at WVU, whereas Rodriguez fixed his team in one year by going 9-4 overall and 6-1 conference in his second year. Rodriguez pulled off the biggest turnaround in Big East history, so don't worry if your a Michigan Wolverines fan. Wait until Rodriguez gets his players in there; Michigan will be the top team of the Big Ten. 

Back to WVU's dire need of an offensive attack. I just watched WVU barely beat South Florida, 13-7. WVU has not been able to finish games this year.

The Mountaineers lost to Pittsburgh in a last quarter touchdown by LeSean McCoy. WVU ranks 68th this year in points per game with a 25.0 average, behind teams like Akron, which ended 5-7 overall, and Louisiana-Lafayette, which ended 6-6 overall. UL-Lafayette barely is bowl eligible.

Last year under coach Rodriguez, the Mountaineers were ninth with 39.6 points per game—ahead of LSU and Ohio State, the two teams that played in the national championship game.

WVU has lost that explosiveness it had in previous years. I don't think that the losses of Steve Slaton and Owen Schmit in the running game put that much pressure on Patrick White. White, who now owns the record for most rushing yards of a collegiate quarterback, still has Noel Devine, who is a good tailback. The play calling is what killed WVU, along with the lack of big plays.

West Virigina should have done a coach search before handing the job over to Bill Stewart after an Fiesta Bowl victory of Oklahoma in January, but we will see what Bill Stewart can do with Jarrett Brown next year when White goes to the NFL.