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West Virginia football coach Neal Brown is excited for the season-opening Backyard Brawl this fall. Brown shared his eagerness to play WVU’s biggest rival by saying, “it’s a game that I would be in favor of playing each year,” at Big 12 Football Media Days this week.
Welcome to the club, Neal!
Mountaineer fans have been waiting for the return of this rivalry for over a decade. Thankfully, this series is set to last through 2025 and then pick back up from 2029 to 2032. Neal Brown’s understanding of the importance of this rivalry does not go unnoticed.
Brown has seemed to fit in at WVU since he became the head coach. His Appalachian roots help fans relate to him and his values, and his appreciation for WVU’s history and traditions has been evident since day one. Neal went on to say that “It’s really important for us to play regional rivalries,” and I couldn’t agree more. The Mountaineers should be playing Pitt, Virginia Tech, and Maryland in all sports as regularly as possible. The fans, players, and students enjoy these games, and when those groups are invested in matchups it leads to must-see-TV when the games are nationally televised.
Along with the upcoming game in Pittsburgh, West Virginia football coach Neal Brown is excited about the future of the Big 12 Conference. Brown is confident that the WVU football program will be able to adapt and be successful as conference realignment continues to shake up the college sports world.
The WVU offense needs to focus on improving its run game and taking care of the football this season. Bringing back the starting offensive line and bringing in an experienced quarterback should help the Mountaineers address those targeted improvement areas.
West Virginia being the eastern outlier of the Big 12 has presented a unique recruiting issue for head coach Neal Brown. Families of potential Mountaineer football players are not always able to travel across the country for away games, which can make attending WVU less appealing.
Around the Big 12
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy said something to new Big 12 Conference commissioner Brett Yormark that was probably popular among most of his colleagues. Gundy suggested that Texas and Oklahoma shouldn’t be allowed to participate in league business meetings since they are leaving for the SEC.
Around the NCAA
“Megaconferences” are the future of college sports, according to Alabama football coach Nick Saban. It turns out that market share is much more important than keeping tradition.
Gonzaga, Houston, and Kentucky are still the favorites for the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Meanwhile, West Virginia is nowhere to be found in the latest Bracketology.
Toronto has fired its manager, Charlie Montoyo. Will this move by the Blue Jays have any impact on former Mountaineer pitcher Alek Manoah?
Betting on Tiger Woods at 110-1 odds is appealing for some gamblers as The Open begins this week. Rory McIlroy is the favorite at 9-1.
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