When it comes to the Snake Oil salesman, I think we can all agree he doned us wrong.
But hatred can cloud vision and distort reality. The man could coach. While he oversaw the biggest loss in program history, he also led us to the brink of the national title. He made conference championships expected and a 10 win season a disappointment. And he brought one of the most exciting offenses in the country to Morgantown.
But the hatred for Rodriguez is so deep that now, can my ears actually be hearing this?, WVU fans are excited that Bilbo Stewart wants to incorporate a big portion of the old Don Nehlen I formation offense, for no other reason than it's different that Rodriguez and supposedly would have allowed us to win against Pitt two season ago.
Option read left, option read right brought us the greatest sustained success in program history. Tom Osborne coached 21 years before he had an undefeated season and lost 7 straight bowl games at one point. But were people saying Nebraska needed to scrap their offense because they lost a game or two a year?
They ran more than Rodriguez, but no one was saying they needed to pass more because they weren't a good "come from behind team." Even ignoring the fact that WVU did come from behind with Rodriguez's offense (Louisville '05, Gerogia Tech '06, Rutgers '06, Marshall '07) no one mentions that they hardly ever needed to because they were winning by 30 points. And even the losses were by one touchdown or fewer. We NEVER were in a position that we were so far behind that only passing could overcome the deficit. (Unitl ECU under Bill Stewart). When we lost games it was because of turnovers, not because we didn't have a balanced offense.
Bobby Bowden has only had one undefeated season. Did 1990's FSU need to scrap their offense because they lost a game? USC lost 13-9 to UCLA to miss out on the national championship game in 2006. Did Pete Carroll throw the game? Is Pete Carroll a choke artist? Did USC need to change their offense and revert back to the Paul Hackett era?
The idea that losing to Pitt justified an offensive overhaul is ridiculous. Every single team in D-I football lost 2 games in 2007, but WVU fans think that our offense and play calling was somehow so unique that it was the sole cause of the loss and needed to be "varied."
EVERY offense has bad games. Sometimes you win them, sometimes you don't. But WVU fans so hate Rich Rodriguez, and with good reason, that they would rather go 9-4 with a "balanced" offense than 11-2 with Rod's.
The same offense that only scored 9 against Pitt sandwiched it with 66 against UConn and 48 against Oklahoma. Let me repeat FORTY EIGHT against Oklahoma. THIRTY EIGHT against Georgia. Averaged almost 40 points a game from 2005 to 2007 and never less than 30 in a season since 2002.
Oklahoma has perhaps the most balanced, talented and dynamic offense in college football. Yet we held them to 28. Bob Stoops didn't fire his coordinator and claim that defenses were catching up. Oklahoma had a bad game. It happens. To every team. Every season.
Talk to an outsider about our former power spread offense and they will tell you that it was as exciting to watch as any in college football. That it was potent as any in college football. It's like when you see USC lose to Oregon State every year, you don't think any less of USC's program. But we lose to Pitt and major overhauls are suddenly required.
You think we would have won against Pitt with a more diverse offense? Maybe, but having a diverse offense didn't help the other 118 teams that year that also lost 2 games.
[image via tsfiles.files.wordpress.com]