The conversation surrounding Mountaineer football these days is more apt for a Donald Trump board room than college football talk. "You're fired." "You're fired." You're hired." "I'm better than you." If HCBS had Trump's haircut, I am sure everyone would forgive him for not winning the National Championship and Super Bowl in his first season as head coach.
While I called for Mullen's head to roll after the Cincy game (a feeling which is not set in stone for me), I think we should be cautious as to whom we put in the guillotine next. There are a number of problems, but how do we as fans know where the blame ultimately lies?
Should Johnson be fired because of line play? How about HCBS because we don't come out with our hair on fire at the start of every game? What about Mike Joseph because of our lack of power on short yardage situations?
Right now, everyone is blaming HCBS and Mullen for our troubles but soon the anger will change because everyone loves to play the blame game. It seems impossible to some to lose a game because the other team is better, it MUST be someone's fault. It is hard to justify going for blood against these three guys for our problems, since all these problems could be attributed back to Mullen's lack of any scheme on offense.
Johnson's O-Line has been dominated at times this season. In other games, they have blown bigger linemen off the ball creating holes for the running game and protecting Pat when he drops to pass. As a whole I would call their play, adequately average.
Can you blame them though? Going into every game they have no clue what type of plays are going to be called. Should they be prepared to run or pass block a majority of the time? Are we going to line up in the eye and overpower teams or zone block? Mullen has to find a scheme.
HCBS has seemingly failed to light his players hair on fire before games. The excuse that gas costs are too high is no longer valid, so he needs to needs to come up with a good speech. The only proof I have of HCBS motivation techniques is his Fiesta Bowl pre-game speech, and that was pretty damn awesome. The fact remains, players should not need HCBS to motivate them to play hard. It is their job.
Mike Joseph cannot be blamed for lack of power because these guys have not and should not be built to completely overpower other teams. He should and does train these men for agility, stamina, and power. The proof for Joseph's success is seen on the defensive side of the ball. Those guys are on the field way too much and never seem to wear down or lose their strength.
It is hard to tell at this point, especially, since most of us don't know an A-Gap from The Gap. Our perception, however, is based on what we have seen in the past and that is vastly different than what is presently on the field. Whether Mullen is going through an adjustment period or that he is in over his head, we need to see vast improvements on offense by the end of the year or someone's head may need to roll.
Yes, I said "may," so now you can call me any number of names including a homer, an optimist, naïve or even a fucking idiot if you feel saucy. I call myself a realist and now understand that our expectations were too high going into the season with a new head coach and offensive staff. Just remember, I want what is best for this program too and I am right.