WVU Mountaineers out of bowl contention: What’s next?

Neal brown talks to Garrett Greene during the Saturday, November 19 game. (Photo submitted)

MORGANTOWN—The West Virginia Mountaineers have dropped out of bowl contention with their loss to Kansas State University (KSU) Saturday, November 19, 2022, 48-31 which puts them at 4-7, 2-6 in Big 12 conference play.

On the loss, Garrett Greene had a promising game that will bid the sophomore well moving forward to his junior campaign in 2023. Greene threw 15 for 27, compiled 204 yards, notched 3 touchdowns but threw 2 interceptions to end the day.

It is no secret that, with the transition of power in the balance at the head of WVU’s Athletic Department, the incoming change could result in a coaching swap.

Earlier this month former Athletic Director Shane Lyons was ousted and replaced by Rob Alsop, the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, who will be acting as interim until a new AD is announced. President Gordon Gee plans to fill the role in quick fashion.

With new leadership comes change. Head Coach Neal Brown’s future could be in question. In four seasons with the Mountaineers, Brown has compiled a 21-25 record, which has resulted in no conference championships and one bowl win, a 24-21 showing over Army in the 2020 Liberty Bowl.

While “Trust the Climb” has become a more than familiar slogan following the coach’s hiring in 2019, which he stated at his introduction press conference following the departure of Dana Holgorsen, many fans and alumni have yet to see the “climb” in question.

The point of moving forward was rumored several weeks ago, which many believed would happen following the Mountaineers’ 31-14 loss on Saturday, November 5, 2022, their third straight. However, Brown regained himself with a 23-20 win over Oklahoma.

No official report has been made for the future of Neal Brown at WVU at this time. Brown signed an extension on January 1, 2022, which runs through December 31, 2026. The buyout would reportedly cost WVU $16.7 million due to a clause that guarantees 100% of his contract value if he is fired before December 31, 2024.

The Mountaineers will travel to Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday, November 26, 2022, to finish off their season schedule. Kick off against Big 12 opponent the Oklahoma State Cowboys is set for noon.

The Cowboys are favored with a 71.1% chance to win, according to ESPN Analytics matchup predictor. Heading into the matchup, WVU is averaging 31.5 points per game, 405.5 yards per game, while allowing 34.2 points per game on the defensive end.

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