If anyone is a fan of baseball, and more specifically a fan of baseball statistics, you've probably heard of Value Over Replacement Player, or VORP for short. According to Wikipedia, VORP is:
...a statistic popularized by Keith Woolner that demonstrates how much a hitter contributes offensively or how much a pitcher contributes to his team in comparison to a fictitious "replacement player," who is an average fielder at his position and a below average hitter. A replacement player performs at "replacement level," which is the level of performance an average team can expect when trying to replace a player at minimal cost, also known as "freely available talent."
It's a very easy way to quickly determine if a player is worthy of his position in the lineup.
Now, none of us at The Smoking Musket are smart enough to truly invent a new statistic (well, WVUIE97 might be, but ignore that for now), but we're going to do our best to apply the principals of VORP into our own metric: Value Over Replacement Coach (VORC).
If VORC actually existed, it could be based on a +6 to -6 scale, with the thinking that even a replacement, below average coach can deliver a 6-6 record on a year-to-year basis. A truly great coach, however, is capable of the elusive 12-0 record, while the horrid coach will languish to an 0-12 mark.
Here's where VORC comes into play in WVU-land: HCBS is, for my money, a solid 0 on the VORC scale. He is utterly replaceable. Any coach hired in his stead can reasonably expected to do the same things with WVU's program that are occurring right now. That's not to say it's a guarantee that Steve Kragthorpe or Greg Robinson won't be hired (clearly minus 6 coaches on the VORC scale), but even if a new coach doesn't catch lightning in a bottle, we're right where we started.
But, with a new coach, you at least have the chance for that lightning in a bottle, AKA a coach with a strongly positive VORC score. There's an inherent risk factor when hiring a new coach, but as time marches on, Bill Stewart continues to become a more proven quantity. Unfortunately, that proven quantity isn't looking very tolerable. In my mind, VORC would best gauge where a coach's ability will eventually land his team over the long-haul, not where that coach and his team may reside at this very moment. While Stewart has certainly won more games than he's lost, I believe his abilities as a head coach are headed squarely in the 6-6 direction. With a quality hired based off a measured, national coaching search, we can hopefully find a coach that boasts a +VORC rating.