Grier, Jennings, Sills, Holgorson – it has been one hell of an off season for the West Virginia football. With all the vacated talent, its reasonable Morgantown would be worried; however, there is good reason for Morgantown to hold out hope for 2019.
West Virginia: New Era
Neal Brown was a home run hire after his career with Troy. Brown comes in with a career record of 35-16 and 3-0 in bowl games. Troy plays in the mighty Sun Belt conference and therefore the record isn’t quite as impressive. Regardless, Brown has helped Troy hit some impressive feats.
Neal Brown had the first 10 win season since Troy joined the FBS in 2001, upset LSU in Baton Rouge, and was the Co-Champions of the Sun Belt last season. To sum it up, Neal Brown can coach and is a great replacement for Dana Holgorsen. Coach Brown was also able to take Troy from 4-8 to 10-2 in two years and posted multiple 10 win seasons. West Virginia lost talent and Senior leadership but this team isn’t lost heading into 2019.
New Face of the Program
After Will Grier tranferred to West Virginia, the Mountaineers had their QB spot locked up and never looked back. Now with Grier off to the NFL it will be Austin Kendall in a similar role.
The former four star top 200 player according to 247 should take over the top spot going into the 2019 season. It is tough to say how talented he will be because of the talent at Oklahoma. He has been buried behind Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray since enrolling at Oklahoma in 2016. But Kendall obviously comes in as a once highly touted recruit and something to prove. The Mountaineers also get a favorable schedule early to help.
West Virginia has a game against James Madison and then they take on Missouri that is fresh off losing Drew Lock. After those two wrap up it is three of the next four at home, the one away game being Kansas. Kendall and co. will have time to find their footing and grow before they run into the thick of the Big 12. Getting by Mizzou in Missouri won’t be an easy feat but it will be achievable. If only that was their biggest test.
WVU in the Big 12
Realistically this is going to be a year to grow and build for West Virginia football. Austin Kendall has two years of eligibility left and Neal Brown will be in his first year. West Virginia will have talent but expecting them to build on last season would be unfair to Coach Brown. Texas is back (almost) and Oklahoma is just going to reload. Now you have Iowa State on the come up and TCU or Oklahoma State are always putting together a solid squad. West Virginia will be in the mix and Neal brown might be able to find some magic in his first year, just don’t hold your breath on a Big 12 title. The future will be bright for the Mountaineers, just give a few years for the process to be put in place.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.