WVU plays Marshall University today in what is hokely called the Coal Bowl. While I appreciate that coal is a major part of the states economic
success picture naming the game the Coal Bowl is well, uninspiring.
Yet, I digress from the the real topic of this post. UM (notably the sound most Marshall grads make when asked difficult questions) v WVU represents a major decision point for the administration of WVU – do we fire coach Stewart tomorrow or wait until after the Dec 14th bowl game in middle-of-nowhere? A loss to MU (notably the sound most Marshall girls make when standing in the cafeteria line) means that for the second time in his career Stewart will be fired after having only won two games as a head coach (for a career 3 against Division IIA and 1 against division IA).
A win and this program, which he and an incompetent administration more interested in ‘stability’,
and keeping a good-old-boy that Don Nehland actually likes avoiding the pressures of the big time football biz, continues its march to the walking-dead. A loss and I think the pressure from the fans will become too much. It’s unacceptable that a pre-season #8 team (let’s say top-twenty) loses to uM, Moo, Marshall. A loss will solidify our greatest concern, which is that the team is devoid of leadership.
Leadership comes from the top and an all carrot golly you boys are so-precious mentality only works when the team is about the drink the cool-aid after a heart-ripping loss to Pitt and losing it’s famed coach (he was an ass, but a good coach). So, it was perfectly understandable that Stewart helped the team cope with the losses. Let me be clear on one point, Mountaineer Nation will forever be grateful for his leadership during the Fiesta bowl. His work should have earned him a lifetime contract with the school.
Had we had a grass surface rather than astro-turf I’d have seen the city fathers letting Stewart cut the grass (which he would have gladly cut for free after his earnings from Apple were invested). The fact we made him head coach of a national program is unforgivable.
80% of alumni saw this coming and said something. The other 20% saw it coming too, but didn’t want to admit it so they held on to some hope that surrounding him with high paid staff (even talented lieutenants need leadership and development) would balance out the glaring weakness at the top. It didn’t. It never does.
Large and small donors (many who work in professional sports) and knowledge people went nuts at the decision, but were told by the administration that this was the best for the program. Of course, this is the same administration that brought you MBA-gate. Stewart needs to join Garrison in the happy-hunting ground of past-WVU leaders.
The real question isn’t if he should go, it’s when should he go?