Everyone is still in the getting-to-know-you phase as TCU and WVU enter the Big 12 and the conference accepts them and first-year coach Charlie Weis at Kansas. So forgive Mack Brown, the Texas coach, for his need to get up to speed on his WVU facts and figures.
“We played West Virginia in the Gator Bowl when I was at North Carolina. Don Nehlen was the coach. You go back, West Virginia played for a national championship, I think ’90 or ’91 (actually ’88, but what’s a couple of years between friends?). I think they played Notre Dame … and I don’t think they won.”
He was certainly right on both those counts.
“Don Nehlen is a great coach. Rich (Rodriguez) did a great job when he was there. Now Dana is doing a great job. Just look at their bowl game with Clemson. They always run (make that always ran under Nehlen and Rodriguez), they play an exciting brand of offense because of their speed and they’ve always been physical on defense because they get a lot of those kids from the Pittsburgh-West Virginia-North Carolina area (North Carolina, huh?).
“They’ve done a tremendous job in the BCS. They beat Georgia a couple of years ago and this year look what they did with Clemson.
“They come into our league as a team to be reckoned with immediately,” Brown acknowledged.
Pulled it out of the fire at the end there, didn’t he?
But there is some truth in that and though he may have pandered some, he’s probably right that the Mountaineers must he recognized, regarded and respected.
Mack Brown has other opinions you must listen to, namely his thoughts on the future of the college football postseason. Face it, the Big 12 has some big chips at the table and Brown is one of the more high-profile coaches going. His voice carries and he happens to be anti-establishment.
“I hope it’s something different than what we got now and I’m not sure I know what would be best,” Brown began. “I don’t like our current system.”
That having been said, what doesn’t Mack Brown like about it?
Sit back — the list is long.
• “I don’t like the fact that last year two teams played twice.”
• “I do not feel the BCS gives credence to really strength of schedule, because we’ve had some teams play in the BCS that played some poorer teams and still had an opportunity to play.”
• “I don’t like the fact that we depict between BCS and non-BCS as far as who plays. I understand that’s the money cycle, but I’d rather see the best teams play at the end. And I don’t think that always happens with the BCS.”
He’s not done.
“I’d rather have a better strength of schedule evaluation for that. I’d rather have a different means to evaluate the best teams at the end,” he continued. “Alabama and LSU were two great teams last year, but if three teams — if Arkansas was good enough last year to play at the end of the BCS — it should come down to the best teams.
“That’s more fair to the players. That’s more fair to the coaches. That’s more fair to the fans.”