Off With Their Heads

guillotine

The conversation surrounding Mountaineer football these days is more apt for a Donald Trump board room than college football talk. “You’re fired.” “You’re fired.” You’re hired.” “I’m better than you.” If HCBS had Trump’s haircut, I am sure everyone would forgive him for not winning the National Championship and Super Bowl in his first season as head coach.

While I called for Mullen’s head to roll after the Cincy game (a feeling which is not set in stone for me), I think we should be cautious as to whom we put in the guillotine next. There are a number of problems, but how do we as fans know where the blame ultimately lies?

Should Johnson be fired because of line play? How about HCBS because we don’t come out with our hair on fire at the start of every game? What about Mike Joseph because of our lack of power on short yardage situations?

Right now, everyone is blaming HCBS and Mullen for our troubles but soon the anger will change because everyone loves to play the blame game. It seems impossible to some to lose a game because the other team is better, it MUST be someone’s fault. It is hard to justify going for blood against these three guys for our problems, since all these problems could be attributed back to Mullen’s lack of any scheme on offense.

Johnson’s O-Line has been dominated at times this season. In other games, they have blown bigger linemen off the ball creating holes for the running game and protecting Pat when he drops to pass. As a whole I would call their play, adequately average.

Can you blame them though? Going into every game they have no clue what type of plays are going to be called. Should they be prepared to run or pass block a majority of the time? Are we going to line up in the eye and overpower teams or zone block? Mullen has to find a scheme.

HCBS has seemingly failed to light his players hair on fire before games. The excuse that gas costs are too high is no longer valid, so he needs to needs to come up with a good speech. The only proof I have of HCBS motivation techniques is his Fiesta Bowl pre-game speech, and that was pretty damn awesome. The fact remains, players should not need HCBS to motivate them to play hard. It is their job.

Mike Joseph cannot be blamed for lack of power because these guys have not and should not be built to completely overpower other teams. He should and does train these men for agility, stamina, and power. The proof for Joseph’s success is seen on the defensive side of the ball. Those guys are on the field way too much and never seem to wear down or lose their strength.

It is hard to tell at this point, especially, since most of us don’t know an A-Gap from The Gap. Our perception, however, is based on what we have seen in the past and that is vastly different than what is presently on the field. Whether Mullen is going through an adjustment period or that he is in over his head, we need to see vast improvements on offense by the end of the year or someone’s head may need to roll.

Yes, I said “may,” so now you can call me any number of names including a homer, an optimist, naïve or even a fucking idiot if you feel saucy. I call myself a realist and now understand that our expectations were too high going into the season with a new head coach and offensive staff. Just remember, I want what is best for this program too and I am right.

46 Responses

  1. This article is not sugar coated. Ouch !

    http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/WVUSports/200811130152

  2. He sounds a little old and bitter. Didn’t he also write an article bitching and moaning about a “practice” bus trip earlier this year.

    He needs to apply some preparation H and relax.

  3. …The fact remains, players should not need HCBS to motivate them to play hard. It is their job.

    These are for the most part teenagers, 5th. Scholarships are a marginally tangential form of payment, but these guys are not professionals. Play on Sunday and you’re probably above needing a coach for motivation. Someone has been charged with the duty of extracting the maximum potential from each of the players. Presumably that would be our fearless leader, who is in fact well-paid for this responsibility. The fact remains, that’s his job.

  4. We lost the “fire” when we lost Barwis, he had the players ready to fist fight. Which he is known to do himself.

  5. That whole practice bus trip was blown WAYYY out of proportion. While I don’t know if DN did it, but I know the last person in charge before HCBS did it.

  6. They are teenagers but you expect them to win every game by at least 40 points and win a national championship every year or their “leader” will be fired.

  7. The coach is a motivator, because they need motivating. That’s all I’m saying. Is he the wrong coach? Probably, but it’s doubtful anyone will or should be fired after one year. The mistake was made last year and will not be easily undone. 9-4, I’m still good with the record, all things considered. A trip to the Toilet Bowl is not really getting me too excited, though.

  8. I hypothesize that HCBS will be “promoted” to athletic director when Fast Eddie steps down. HCBS would be excellent in that role. Holliday or Dunlap or Casteel could then move in as HC.

    As a side note concerning the offensive line, these are the same O linemen that DOMINATED an Oklahoma defensive front last season. The only thing different from then…. is coaching.

  9. I have been hypothesizing about Stewart as AD for a while now. he would be good at that.

  10. Stewart might be better at fundraising. I don’t care for his scheduling philosophy, nor his limited vision for the program. And I think Bob Huggins might have a hard time digesting Bill Stewart as his boss.

  11. Huggins can digest anything.

  12. My brother went on a visit with a former player in the spring and Coach told them about some pretty big visions for stadium improvements at least.

  13. What did he say? Expansion? Paint? Advertisements? Suites?

  14. Fast Eddie must go!

  15. College athletes absolutely need motivation. That is the responsibility of the head coach….I completely disagree w/ 5th on this point. They are not pro’s….College football, along w/ high school, is VERY MUCH about motivation and external figures doing the motivating.

  16. BTW, I played college football (although I didn’t ACTUALLY get on the field) and can certainly testify that not many college athletes are THAT different from high school athletes…You are still maturing at that age and aren’t pro athletes….This is the same reason why I would NEVER boo an athlete…..A coach, now that’s a different story…..Again, I can’t reiterate how strongly I feel against the blogger’s opine that college athletes don’t need motivated….Absolutely incorrect!!!!

  17. Sorry, just read BSLA80’s comment about the motivation. THAT IS DEAD ON!

  18. Regarding the article linked at top of this post……just checked Daily Mail article and there are 59 posts. LITERALLY, 58 of the posts TOTALLY support the author and the other simply states that he would take Stewart over Rodriguez or McGee (not exactly a ringing endorsement)…….That certainly tells me something.

  19. put eddie in the guillotine before the pitt game. that ought to fire everyone up!

  20. I never played college athletics but I played baseball almost all year round in high school and never NEVER needed my dad or a coach to get me motivated up to play in a game. To blame HCBS for lack of motivation is silly. They come out after the half pretty pumped (minus Cincy) but he doesn’t get credit for that.

    These same players that you say need motivation and are “still kids” are expected to win every game and national titles every year. Also, I’m sure these “kids” fully understand that you are booing a coach and not a player (sarcasm). They can’t be too young for this and old enough for this, you can’t have it both ways.

    I really just see it as everyone hates HCBS and it is his fault when everything goes wrong and not to his credit when things go right. This board is dead when we win but blows up when we go down. A lot of people like to be negative and bitch. I am not one of those people.

    Those 58 posts tell me that a lot of WVU fans are completely illogical when it comes to their expectations and the haters are the loudest.

  21. People are blinded by their disdain for HCBS.

  22. I also played baseball (year round high school and Legion, Babe Ruth all stars, Little league all stars, etc.) so I can totally relate to you. HOWEVA, it’s just not the same bro. Football and baseball are TOTALLY different animals when it comes to youngsters and their approach/mental preparedness to each game. I played 50-60 games in the summers just in Legion ball (we won states one year and were a game away from ALWS in Fargo, ND), but in football you only play 10-12 games a ayear in high/college…..Baseball requires much less motivation than football does. At the high school and college levels, which team comes out ready to play and motivated from the start often can overcome athletic differences (see ECU vs. WVU, see WVU when we should have beaten VPI when Vick and Co. were #1).

    People are blinded by the obvious sideline actions that have contributed to 3 losses to lesser teams by HCBS

  23. Sorry it took so long, but he, like most everyone else, HATES the battleship gray. He wants to do something about the color (nothing jaw dropping there). Next was the aforementioned on this site expansion of the press box/suites. Those are the only 2 I remember 100%. Nothing jawdropping, but this was told to them back at spring practice. This next part, I’m not 100% sure I remember correctly or not: second deck in the endzones. Again, nothing earth shattering and I’m not sure about probably the best part. Sorry if I got your hopes up. It seemed bigger back in the spring.

  24. And these were wishes/plans….nothing definite obviously, although the press box thing seems to be going forward.

  25. It’s getting humorous watching the Stewart supports shifting tactics and excuses… First, it’s no big deal, it’s a transition, we’ll be fine later this year. Then, it’s well, we lost Owen and Slaton, no wonder we can’t move the ball. Next, it’s if we win out we win the Big East title and a BCS bowl game. Then it’s, you have to support everyone because people who boo are traitors. After that, it’s back to if we win out we win the Big East title. Then, it’s Fire Mullen, he’s the cause of all of our offensive woes. Now, it’s a transition, we’ll be fine next year, stop the witchhunt or we’ll lose our 5 star recruits.

    At some point Stewart’s remaining supporters are going to have to understand that if you are ALWAYS scrambling to find excuses for the guy’s failures, there’s a possibility that he might just really suck after all.

  26. “Right now, everyone is blaming HCBS and Mullen for our troubles but soon the anger will change because everyone loves to play the blame game. It seems impossible to some to lose a game because the other team is better, it MUST be someone’s fault.”

    I am always a realist when it comes to WVU football. Sometimes, teams DO just beat us and are better than us. NOT the case this year!!!!

    ECU totally dominated us. But, look at how ECU has done since the WVU game. Lost to 3-6 NC State. Lost to Houston and lost to Virginia by 2 TDs (the same Virginia team that lost 52-7 to USC and 45-10 to UCONN.

    Lost to Colorado…..who is currently 5-5 including a 58-0 loss to Missouri

    Lost to Cincy…..who lost 40-16 to the same UCONN team that we dismantled.

    This year, you CANNOT convince me that we have lost to any teams that are better than us. The coaching staff is solely responsible for the Colorado and Cincy losses. I can even accept the loss to ECU because we ran in to a hot team in a hostile environment….but they are not better than us. There have been coaching moves/decisions in each and every loss that should not happen in Pop Warner, let alone a Top Tier D-1 college football team. Unfortunately, HCBS is not ready for a Top 10 program!

  27. What is amusing is that you all hate this team so much. Good lord smile be happy, jerk off.

    ECU was the better team on that day. It does not matter what they have done since then, they were better than us on that day and at that point in the season. Sad but true.

    We should have won both the Cincy and Colorado games. Cincy was Mullen. Colorado was HCBS.

    My ultimate argument has never changed, HCBS needs a transition period, if he is showing improvement. Despite what many of you think he is showing improvements. There are many reasons underlying the transition period that have caused us to struggle so much. We lost, be a big boy and realize not everyone gets a ribbon for participation.

    I don’t know how all you as WVU fans can want this team to FAIL just so we can get rid of a coach. If we were to go on and win a bowl game, I gander that many of you would be mad because HCBS would still be our coach and not celebrate the victory. I know we all want instant gratification but many times it is unrealistic. This is one of those times. (thankfully you can still get instant gratification at strip clubs)

    I can honestly say that I am about to blow my lid fucking punch people and throw shoes at all you. Y’all are relentless with your negativity. I may need a break to regain my happy thoughts.

    I really don’t understand all the antimosity over a couple losses in a coaches first year. Fraud had a losing record his first season. I wouldn’t care if I ended up being dead wrong about HCBS, but I have a feeling some of you would hate it if we were successful under him.

  28. ITS DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL!!!

  29. If you can’t get motivated to play in front of 60K people get out now.

  30. As I see it 5th, the negativity is borne of a picture that at least on the surface seems pretty clear. Compared to last year, the substantive difference in team composition is the coaching staff. We can argue about the loss of key players, but it still remains that the team is not playing up to potential, particularly on offense, the way it seems (to many of us) they should. No one wants failure. I doubt there is anyone, the nattering nabobs of negativity you proclaim us to be, that would not be exceedingly happy if HCBS makes a bigger imprint on the team than the Fraud. Expectations should have been tempered, but that’s easier said than done when your team has been recently competing for a National Championship and still retains many of the key components. We want reloading like everyone, not rebuilding. However, given the evidence to this point, it’s a little hard to believe in and probably not the way to bet. In what ways do you think he’s showing improvement as a head football coach? Honestly, may your weekend be filled with happy thoughts 5th.

  31. “In what ways is he showing improvement?”

    (crickets)

  32. 5th-that doesn’t surprise me that you’re about to “go physical” regarding the negativity. It must be frustrating to try to come up w/ sooooo many excuses for why Stewart and Co. are frustrating…..

    My personal favorite is the OC. Yeah, that was why the ECU White sideline play wasn’t reviewed and why Stewart looked incompetent in front of multi-million people on TV against CU. And he needs to just shut up and not talk to the press. It is very clear to me why this guy was 8-21 at VMI.

  33. sorry replace “frustrating” above w/ “playing poorly”….i need to proof

  34. Ways he is improving

    1. He is in all the sideline huddles doing something, like everyone asked.

    2. He is yelling and showing emotions on the sideline, like everyone asked.

    3. He continues to land big time recruits.

    4. He has won more games than he has lost in his first year.

    5. He is reviewing plays, like everyone asked.

    Columbus, I get violent about everything, it is not that big of a deal.

    Also, nobody has EVER won at VMI. So that his record at that school is completely irrelevant.

    If HCBS reviews that play at ECU do we win that game, hell do we even win that review? Probably not and maybe.

    Did you misread my post? HCBS mismanagement of the clock in the CU game cost us that game. It was his fault.

  35. That list of improvements is the most damning indictment of Stewart’s tenure I’ve seen yet.

  36. Where do you think he should improve?

  37. Like I’ve said before, a faction of our fans have become just like the Bammers who won’t accept anything less that what the Bear accomplished.

  38. I wouldn’t mind improvements in the offense or special teams. But, he might be too busy getting in all the huddles and being over .500 to be bothered with improving the actual play of the team.

    Hell, I’ll gladly accept less than what Rod gave us! I’ll be pleased if we can get out of this season with 8+ wins. I’m terrified for next season and the season after that. I feel like the only thing that is keeping everything together right now is the momentum from Rod’s coaching and Jeff Casteel’s balls. What happens when we start running out of Rod-coached players? What happens when Casteel becomes a head coach somewhere else? From what I’ve seen so far, I’m horrified for what 2010 may bring…

  39. Don’t say special teams because we did recover an onside kick and kicked a 50+ yard field goal as time expired. Kick-off coverage needs to improve fo’sho, but not “special teams.” HCBS said we will add new personnel and run some twists. See how that works out.

    We had a couple games of significant improvement on O but who knows if that is attributable to the players or even (gasp) Jeff Mullen. HCBS isn’t totally to blame or praise for that.

    So right now HCBS needs to improve kick-off coverage and get his OC to step up to please you?

    I know from Columbus past posts he wants more emotion from the start too.

  40. Also, I am horrified that you are crediting Rod for our current success. Are you sure you are not Mike Brown UU?

  41. I’ll bite my tongue and just say that we’ll just have to agree to disagree on where the program is headed.

  42. Hey 5th year-“crediting Rod for our current success” You act like he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at WVU. Does everyone hate him and is he a prick? Absolutely. That seems a little childlike not to be able to separate the two issues (his advancements of the WVU program and WVU fans current criticisms of Rod). Come on man! This current post is slipping further and further away from you.

    5th-be honest, do you HONESTLY think that we’ll win ANY of the remaining games? and btw, I’m not saying that we won’t win one of them, but this is how I see it going down.

    I see the team getting more and more disenfranchised w/ clear indications of “playing for myself”, such as personal fouls, Pat White yelling at linemen, lack of emotion, additional instances of ESPN sideline reporters commenting on the lack of control on the sideline, additional arrests, beginning to recruit JUCO players, records where getting to bowl games is the objective, and regular attendance marks of 50,000 or so fans.

    Let me ask you this….Why do you think Stewart is qualified for the WVU HEAD COACH job? Because he won one game, when there was absolutely nothing to lose, against an uninspired opponent? It was a GREAT win for the Mountaineers but even you, 5th year, paused when you heard that they named him coach.

  43. Don’t temper your opinion because I disagree you UU.

    Where did I say Fraud did nothing for this program?

    Fraud helped move our program to a different level, which is why many of you feel as if this season is mediocre. However, I do not think he should get credit for the success of “his players,” while all the blame is laid at the feet of HCBS. I despise Fraud but I know that he did amazing things for this program.

    Ask Charley if I wanted Stew as head coach. Mr. West wanted Stew hired right after the game while I said HELL NO. I wanted Terry but whether I wanted him or not he was hired. Me not getting who I wanted shouldn’t effect my feelings on his performance this season.

    After he was hired he was my coach. I do not feel as if he has done anything close to merit being fired after less than one season. Not even close

  44. These arguments / disagreements are finally coming full circle. Fraud left us and he’s an ass but he did propel Mountaineer football to a level all of us have always wanted and when we had it, boy was it great. Unfortunately only we “the fan base” realized this. I will forever believe that the people in place did NOT take the proper steps and go through the interview process to find a coach who could keep us moving in the same direction.

    I don’t think, as it was stated above, that anyone of us wants HCBS to not succeed because his success is the teams’ success. The teams’ success makes the fan base happy etc. Why then would we (the fans) want our coach to fail? If you want HCBS to fail then you should not call yourself a true Mountaineer; you are fair weathered and should be ashamed that you only cheer when we are winning. I know I have been guilty of yelling at the TV or talking smack about the coach, but it’s just because it’s so frustrating to go from the verge of greatness to having to start from scratch and rebuild.

    That being said, was he the man to do the job? Yeah, yeah the hiring of HCBS was an emotional hire after a fantastic victory, probably one of the best in WVU history. BULLSHIT, I think it was emotional and easy to hire. Ultimately, I think our ex-university president, our governor nor our AD, knows jack shit about football and how to excel a program to the level we have come to expect. I don’t know if it’s that we don’t have deep enough pockets or if no one wants to come to WV and be a coach but most big time college football programs would most likely have a re-building year and then go out and start dominating again. I hope and pray that this happens here, but for some reason I doubt it.

    As much as I don’t want to admit it, we won the Fiesta Bowl because of RR. It was his OC that called every play of that game. HCBS was integral in keeping those guys from getting distracted of the task at hand. However I tend to think he was more like the grandparent you run to when your mom or dad have upset you and you need someone to make it better.

  45. Not sure how to phrase this, fan base, true Mountaineer, whatever. 5th Year, I have lived in SC for more years than you have lived, reason- WORK.

    First year Holtz at Gamecocks, lost all games, 80,000 plus at ALL games. Some of my workers even drove to Nashville for Vanderbilt on Friday, off work at 5:00pm, game Saturday back that nite, just to be at the game, which they lost. Understand WV doesn’t have the same population but when we have the same dedication with out all the bitching- -this is our team WIN or LOSE. We must support our TEAM. When you have a true ‘constant’ fan base, ticket sales, then you can get more attention and action from the AD and his cronies (money talks). Unfortunately, revenue is the only thing they care about and to which they will listen. Attendence, team support(much vocal team support) and constant raising HELL by people who care will hopefully make a diffenrce

  46. If want to give Lou Holtz credit for pulling them out of the gutter which they have been in almost there entire history(ten years ago they were actually under .500 lifetime). What changed was in addition to hirings like Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier is that school did a better job of marketing.

    Fixing South Carolina was not an impossible task. The HSFB talent base in South Carolina is one of the best in the country and they can just as easily recruit from Georgia and Florida which is even better.

    Selling a kid on Columbia is a whole helluvalot easier than recruiting in Morgantown. Most kids don’t want to go to school where they will have to freeze there ass off from Halloween to May. I was amazed when RichRod signed Noel Devine out of Ft.Myers. This was before I found out that WV and FSU were the only schools that would accept his low grades and scores. I am not trying to bust your balls, its just what I heard.

    As far as comparing yourself to South Carolina as a football program. I don’t understand why you are sweating. West Virginia is a football program with a winning tradition. South Carolina prior to Holtz and Spurrier was a football program with tradition of being barely average. The majority of the time they were shitty and average, they were in the ACC! Even when they were in the ACC all those years or all those years they were independent THEY SUCKED! Yes, they had a loyal fan base but they were so incredible average. Like just below average-.400. You know what that means? That means if they were a pro team, they would not be good enough to make the playoffs but they were not shitty enough to make the top 5 lottery to save the future and if they did they would make the wrong choice. The South Carolina is basically the Atlanta Falcons during the entire Rankin Smith era. The Arthur Blank era of the Falcons for South Carolina would be ten years ago when they hired Lou Holtz. The University of South Carolina football program may have improved by a couple of wins or two but basically there are still just barely above average. Spurrier is never going to win an SEC title there or NC isn’t even a thought.

    You mention that South Carolina sells out 80,000 seats everyday. Yes, you are correct. Despite the fact that they have never really been a major national contender, the South Carolina fan base is an extremely supportive bunch. But you know what SO IS CLEMSON! CLEMSON IS AWFUL THIS YEAR AND THEY STILL SELL OUT DEATH VALLEY. In the South, the only major college football programs that don’t sell out on Saturday are Duke and Vandy and they don’t even count!

    Hear you are discussing the future of your football program and its Head Coach. My honest blunt opinion on hiring Bill Stewart-one of Rich Rods assistants- It was dumb specifically since Skip Holtz scheduled to be Morgantown for interview that Monday morning. They had to tell him “Thanks but no Thanks, but we’ve decided to go with Grandpa Stewart”.

    The Crowning Moment of Despair for WV was during the Colorado game where the Buffaloes were walking all over WV and Bill Stewart had the typical cranky old man look on his face that said, “What are you looking at me for. I don’t know what to do.”

    He looked like a deer in headlights. Well, I take that back. That not very fair. Bill Stewart looked how a deer in headlights would look if he had just signed a 6 year contract would look. The guy could lose every game and you, West Virginia, would still be FUCKED!

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