Rich Rodriguez

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

The golden years for West Virginia were from 2005 to 2007. Then-head coach Rich Rodriguez led his alma mater to three consecutive top 10 finishes and two BCS bowl appearances. The Mountaineers won 11 games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history, falling only five points short of a chance at the BCS title in 2007.

Rodriguez left the Mountaineers before the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, leaving Bill Stewart as the interim head coach. Under Stewart, the Mountaineers finished in the top 25 in both 2008 and 2009, and won the Big East title in 2010.

The next year, the team had some struggles and successes under new coach Dana Holgersen, but the biggest news was West Virginia moving to the Big 12 in 2012. The Mountaineers capped off 2011 with a Big East crown, and following their 70-33 rout over Clemson in the Orange Bowl, many believed they would be able to compete in a tougher conference.

Through the first five games of 2012, they did just that. The Mountaineers averaged 52 points per game, allowing them to overcome the 35 points they surrendered per contest. West Virginia outlasted Baylor 70-63 and escaped from Austin with a 48-45 victory, despite the best efforts of the largest crowd in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium history. After the win, West Virginia was No. 5 in the polls and quarterback Geno Smith was a Heisman frontrunner.

The following week, it all came crashing down. The Mountaineers suffered a shocking 49-14 defeat to Texas Tech before falling in their next four Big 12 contests. Over the five-game skid, the defense allowed 49.6 points per game, and let the opposing offenses break the 50-point barrier on three occasions. During its first seven Big 12 contests, the defense allowed nearly 51 points per game resulting in a 2-5 conference record.

So far in 2013, the Mountaineers’ defensive struggles continue. In Big 12 play, they’ve allowed 534.5 yards per game, including 454 against TCU last weekend — a Horned Frog season high. In their overtime win at TCU, they allowed 27 points to a team that entered averaging 14.2 points in Big 12 play. Over the past two years, in 15 Big 12 contests, West Virginia has allowed 39.9 points per game and nearly 510 yards total offense.

The Mountaineers have yet to show the ability to stop Big 12 offenses and that probably won’t change this weekend. Through those 15 contests, their defense continues to show that it doesn’t have the talent to compete in the Big 12. If the Longhorns show up and stick to their power run game, they will leave Morgantown undefeated in conference play.

Former Michigan coach handed keys to Arizona team

Arizona announced on Twitter on Tuesday that they hired former Michigan head coach, Rich Rodriguez, as the school’s new head coach. He signed a five-year, $9.55 million contract to take over the Wildcats.

His biggest vow? Take the Wildcats to a place they’ve never been: The Rose Bowl.

“I do think I know what it takes to go to BCS bowls and be in the top 10,” Rodriguez said told reporters after the official announcement. “The competition is obviously going to keep getting stronger because of the way the Pac-12 is committed to their programs, but we can get there because look at other schools in our league that have had great success. What do they have that we don’t? I think we have some advantages over them.”

Rodriguez, 48, coached at West Virginia and then at Michigan before landing Tucson. He led the Mountaineers to 60 wins and 26 losses, and was expected to take the Wolverines to big bowl games. He ended his stint in Ann Arbor with a 15-22 record and a controversy involving practice rigors and over working players.

“This is my final coaching stop,” Rodriguez said. “I hope to be able to do this another 12 or 15 years.”

Meyer would consider offer if Ohio State were to ask

Though there haven’t been official offers, many in the college football world speculate former Florida head coach Urban Meyer is ready to jump back into his work, and Ohio State is a place he’d consider.

“I’m in a good place right now mentally and physically. So if something happens with Ohio State, I’ll have a decision to make. But there has been no interview. There has been no offer to make a decision about,” he told the Gainesville Sun. “I love football. It’s what I am. I miss it,” he added.

If Meyer were to consider the hypothetical offer, he’d bring a culture of winning to a program trying desperately to redefine itself after the scandals that rocked the Jim Tressel era. Meyer won two national championships at Florida and 104 games over 10 years with the Gators, Utah and Bowling Green.


Stanford coach speaks out against ‘flawed’ BCS system

The normally mild-mannered Stanford head coach David Shaw had a few words to say to the BCS.

“Bottom line is, the BCS is flawed,” Shaw said. “They themselves know it, which is why they proposed a lot of changes going forward. All I’ve heard all year is the computers don’t like Stanford. Well, the computers haven’t programmed themselves.”

“To have a one-loss Pac-12 team behind a one-loss ACC team (Virginia Tech) means that the computer values the ACC more than it values the Pac-12. Which I don’t believe is the case. I don’t think that’s accurate.”

Part of Shaw’s vocal nature as of late, is likely because of the fact that one-loss Stanford is ranked below the ACC’s Virginia Tech.

Shaw noted that Virginia Tech beat common opponent Duke by only four points, but Stanford pummeled them by 30.

Shaw said he doesn’t know what the best solution to the post-season system is, and that it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

“It doesn’t matter what I’d like, he said. “That’s not where we are right now ... I think those are off-season discussions. We are where we are right now. We have to play good football and see where that puts us.”