Stewart Mandel, like a lot of outsiders, paints a pretty gloomy picture of the future of Mountaineer football.
Michigan’s good fortune comes at the expense of West Virginia fans, now reeling from their second crippling blow this month. (And unlikely to be comforted by rumors that native Terry Bowden — out of coaching since 1998 — is believed to be Rodriguez’s most likely successor). The first was a gut-wrenching Dec. 1 loss to arch-rival Pittsburgh that knocked the Mountaineers out of the BCS title game.
I don’t see it the same way. Rodriguez has built an upcoming program at West Virginia. The key word is program. We have made significant strides in recruiting and facilities to compete year-in and year-out on the national stage. If WVU makes a splashy hire — and I believe Bowden would make good waves — we can continue to reap the seeds that Rodriguez has sewed. Or some other farming metaphor.
Either way, the sky is not falling for West Virginia football. As long as Pastilong makes a good, quick hire, this program is not going anywhere. We have the personnel and money (thanks, Michigan) to lure a very good coach. The next two weeks could very well decide the next 10 years of Mountaineer football.
Personally, I’m seeing this glass as half full.