Tag:Bill Stewart
Posted on: December 22, 2010 12:05 pm
 

WVU to be without Brandon Hogan in bowl game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When West Virginia takes on North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl it's going to have quite a void to fill in its secondary.  Head coach -- for now -- Bill Stewart announced during his press conference on Tuesday that the team's top cornerback, Brandon Hogan, will not be playing in the game thanks to a torn ACL.

"It just kills me, but not near as bad as it kills him," Stewart said on Tuesday. "Brandon Hogan played with a bicep injury, one in which many wouldn't have played with -- that's how tough the kid is. I was holding out hope that he would be ready to play in this football game, for his sake and for the seniors' sake. He's such an important cog on this defense."

Hogan suffered the injury during West Virginia's final game of the season against Rutgers on December 4th.  The team had been hoping that Hogan would be able to put off surgery on the knee until after the game, but that's obviously not going to happen at this point.  Stewart said that either sophomore Pat Miller or freshman Brodrick Jones will start in Hogan's place, and that the team may blitz more to try and make up for Hogan's absence.

Why he'd give away that strategy during a press conference, I don't know.

This won't be the first game Hogan has missed this season, as he was suspended earlier this season following a DUI arrest.  Hogan finishes his senior season with 37 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:00 am
 

Is Bill Stewart coaching with his job at stake?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One of the more intriguing subplots of the Big East this season has been the performance of Bill Stewart at the helm of the West Virginia Mountaineers, and what little effect it's had on his job security. This is the third season of a six-year deal for Stewart, and all things considered, his time in Morgantown hasn't exactly been a failure; his Mountaineers are 27-11 in the last three years, and are playing for their first 10-win season since going 11-2 under Rich Rodriguez in 2007, RichRod's last season there.

And yet, nine wins seems to be Stewart's ceiling, which understandably irks some fans who look at a historically inconsistent Big East and see a conference ripe for regularly allowing double-digit wins to a program like West Virginia's. Stewart hasn't won the conference in his three seasons, though, and having Connecticut represent the league in one of the most lopsided BCS bowls ever while WVU faces an ACC bowl opponent for the third straight season is just a little more than some fans and school administrators want to take.

Hence, then, this report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Stewart may be fired if his team loses to 8-4 North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and that regardless of the result of the bowl game, the school is already setting its sights on a replacement:

Sources confirmed today that a high-ranking official from West Virginia's athletic department has been in contact with Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen about the head coaching position at West Virginia, even as there is no vacancy.

[...] A source confirmed it is probable Stewart will be fired if West Virginia does not win that bowl game, and could happen regardless of the outcome. A win in the bowl game would give the Mountaineers a 10-win season.

Now, there aren't many coaches with clean disciplinary records who get fired with records like 28-12 -- an even .700 winning percentage -- and what job Stewart takes next would depend strongly on how much of a workload the 58-year-old feels like putting himself through after what an unceremonious departure like this would be.

If the Post-Gazette's other report listed in the aforelinked article -- that if Stewart's offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen is hired as head coach at Kent State , Holgorsen would be hired as the offensive coordinator with the head coaching spot guaranteed for 2012 -- is correct, it's clear that Stewart is operating in an environment that's enormously toxic from a trust and security standpoint. If that's the case, then regardless of whether Stewart wins his bowl game and/or salvages his job with the Mountaineers for another season, he doesn't have his superiors' confidence, and those situations rarely end well.

Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:00 am
 

Is Bill Stewart coaching with his job at stake?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One of the more intriguing subplots of the Big East this season has been the performance of Bill Stewart at the helm of the West Virginia Mountaineers, and what little effect it's had on his job security. This is the third season of a six-year deal for Stewart, and all things considered, his time in Morgantown hasn't exactly been a failure; his Mountaineers are 27-11 in the last three years, and are playing for their first 10-win season since going 11-2 under Rich Rodriguez in 2007, RichRod's last season there.

And yet, nine wins seems to be Stewart's ceiling, which understandably irks some fans who look at a historically inconsistent Big East and see a conference ripe for regularly allowing double-digit wins to a program like West Virginia's. Stewart hasn't won the conference in his three seasons, though, and having Connecticut represent the league in one of the most lopsided BCS bowls ever while WVU faces an ACC bowl opponent for the third straight season is just a little more than some fans and school administrators want to take.

Hence, then, this report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Stewart may be fired if his team loses to 8-4 North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and that regardless of the result of the bowl game, the school is already setting its sights on a replacement:

Sources confirmed today that a high-ranking official from West Virginia's athletic department has been in contact with Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen about the head coaching position at West Virginia, even as there is no vacancy.

[...] A source confirmed it is probable Stewart will be fired if West Virginia does not win that bowl game, and could happen regardless of the outcome. A win in the bowl game would give the Mountaineers a 10-win season.

Now, there aren't many coaches with clean disciplinary records who get fired with records like 28-12 -- an even .700 winning percentage -- and what job Stewart takes next would depend strongly on how much of a workload the 58-year-old feels like putting himself through after what an unceremonious departure like this would be.

If the Post-Gazette's other report listed in the aforelinked article -- that if Stewart's offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen is hired as head coach at Kent State , Holgorsen would be hired as the offensive coordinator with the head coaching spot guaranteed for 2012 -- is correct, it's clear that Stewart is operating in an environment that's enormously toxic from a trust and security standpoint. If that's the case, then regardless of whether Stewart wins his bowl game and/or salvages his job with the Mountaineers for another season, he doesn't have his superiors' confidence, and those situations rarely end well.

Posted on: November 28, 2010 3:47 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 11:41 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Nov. 27)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) With Win, South Florida Joins The State Elite - While Miami's loss to South Florida certainly jump-started some major program changes in Coral Gables, the Bulls' upset victory marked a significant moment in the USF program, and the career of first-year head coach Skip Holtz. South Florida has only been playing football since 1997, and only in Division I since 2001. The Bulls' victory over Miami gives a good portion of 2010's squad an in-state ACC sweep. A season ago, it was B.J. Daniels who stepped in for injured QB Matt Grothe to lead the Bulls to victory over Florida State in Tallahassee. This year, it was freshman quarterback Bobby Eveld who stepped in for the injured Daniels and led the team to a victory at Miami. Eveld completed only 8 of 15 passes for 120 yards, but managed the game well to help South Florida withstand a furious charge by Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes offense. For Skip Holtz, the win helped bring a good landmark for an otherwise rollercoaster first season as head coach for a BCS program. The struggling passing game did not spoken well for the offensive minded head coach, but Holtz has been able to coach up this squad from a 3-3 start to staring down a potential fifth straight 8+ win season. Accomplishing that will be more difficult than it sounds, with Jordan Todman and Connecticut coming to town playing for the conference title.

2.) Jordan Todman Leading Connecticut Title Surge - At the end of this definitive weekend in college football, South Florida was not the only new addition to make a statement in the Big East. Added to Division I officially in 2002 and the Big East in 2004, Connecticut stands one win from the first BCS bowl berth in program history. The Huskies have caught fire in the second half of the season, conveniently during the backlogged conference schedule. Wins over West Virginia and PIttsburgh has given Connecticut the tie-breaker edge against all the contenders, and now they control their own destiny. Much of the credit on the offensive end has to be credited to running back Jordan Todman. Todman has broken the 100 mark in 9 of his 10 games this season, and averaging 175.6 yards/game in his last three outings. Todman even left Saturday's showdown with Cincinnati and returned to finish with 31 carries on the day. So far there has been no stopping Todman, and if the Huskies can carry this win streak to the Fiesta Bowl Todman will start getting a lot more (deserved) attention from the league.

3.) Home Struggles Stain Otherwise Successful Season for Syracuse - The Orange have had one of their best seasons in nearly half a decade, but still something seems sour as Syracuse closed 2010 against Boston College on Saturday. After all, a team that hadn't seen a bowl game since 2004 should be excited about a seven win season. Right? Unfortunately, Syracuse fans will be asking the "What If's" for a long time after watching their team finish the season losing three home games in the last month of the season. At the end of October, Syracuse was 6-2 with a 3-1 conference record that had them in the early conference title talks. But the late season collapse that has been characterized by a stagnant offense has demoted the Orange to the middle of the pack in the Big East, simply playing for a bowl with better swag. As a former offensive assistant coach, those questions will have to be answered by Doug Marrone. However, it should be stated that Syracuse has done a great job turning the program around from their recent struggles. But when it comes time for season ticket renewals, don't be surprised if a 2-4 home record (0-4 against FBS teams) keeps ticket sales down in the Carrier Dome.

4.) The Backyard Brawl Could Have Two New Faces In 2011 - Heading into Friday's 103rd meeting of Pittsburgh and West Virginia, Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that the losing coach might find themselves in danger of becoming unemployed. After all the dust cleared in West Virginia's 35-10 manhandling of the Panthers, there is a chance that both schools could be looking for new head coaches for 2011. Predictably, the late-season struggles of the Panthers have Dave Wannstedt on the hot seat in Pittsburgh, but recent reports suggest that West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart may be considering retirement. Both teams have been perennially competitive for the better part of five years, but neither squad has been able to capitalize on their fast starts in 2010. Stewart fell into his position after Rodriguez departed for Michigan, and Wannstedt was brought in to bring the Panthers to the "next level." Trips to the Meineke Car Care Bowl do not exactly count as "next level," and Wannstedt might want to think about taking some pens home from work.

Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:41 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2010 10:42 pm
 

Report: Bill Stewart to retire

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Suddenly there are quite a few big name schools with coaching vacancies to fill if you believe the reports circulating on Saturday night.  First we heard that Miami will be firing head coach Randy Shannon -- though this is yet to be confirmed -- and now it seems that West Virginia may have an opening as well.  

Though this one won't be due to a firing.

According to a report, West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart is going to retire at the end of the season.  This is from a report on EerSports.com, which is a pay site and can't be viewed without a subscription.  There has been no official word on this from West Virginia or Bill Stewart.

Still, the same report also says that former WVU assistant Rick Trickett who now serves as Florida State's assistant head coach is a top target to replace Stewart, along with both Terry and Tommy Bowden.

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more information on this story as it develops.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 8:35 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Backyard Brawl sets up wild finish in Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

So far in 2010, the Big East conference has lacked many defining or memorable moments in conference play.  Those moments that every team in the conference will remember that game that changed the landscape across the entire league.  It feels fitting then, that one of those performances came in the 103rd Backyard Brawl between Pittsburgh and West Virginia.  The Panthers entered the game sitting in the driver's seat on the way to a BCS bowl game.  A win over their rivals on Senior Day in Pittsburgh could put the Panthers just one Connecticut loss away from that coveted automatic bid.

Unfortunately, the Panthers have failed to shake the late-season struggles that crashed their conference championship hopes a season ago.  Pittsburgh entered this same weekend in 2009 undefeated in conference play, only to lose back-to-back games to West Virginia and Cincinnati to finish the season.  On Friday, Pittsburgh started this home stretch just like last year with a 35-10 loss to the Mountaineers in the Backyard Brawl.  With the win, West Virginia has turned around a disappointing middle of the season and set themselves up with a chance to win the conference.  

But the biggest winner in the Big East on Friday was Connecticut.  If the Huskies can pull out a win against Cincinnati at home on Saturday they will be one win away from their first BCS Bowl appearance in program history.  Connecticut just joined the conference in 2004, and nothing would be a higher compliment to Randy Edsall and his staff than to finish 2010 as the Big East Champions.  The best advantage the Huskies have in the race is owning the tie-breaker against both Pittsburgh and West Virginia thanks to their current three-game winnning streak.  

But with Pittsburgh's loss on Friday, it sets up a fantastic finish for the Big East title.  The Huskies control their own destiny, but with one loss could open the door for West Virginia.  West Virginia just needs a win next week and one Connecticut loss to clinch the conference, and Pittsburgh can still finally grasp that conference title with a win over Cincinnati and one loss from both West Virginia and Connecticut.  

Regardless of who your dog is in the fight, all eyes will be turned towards Storrs on Saturday.  The Huskies, the one team who controls their own destiny, will take the field against a Bearcats squad that has the chance to spoil title hopes for two teams.  Critics will argue that this finish is a result of season-long mediocrity, but the football fan in all of us is happy with the added significance to these late-season conference battles.      




Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:36 am
 

Noel Devine questionable for Saturday

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When West Virginia has its first ever meeting with UNLV -- which will no doubt become one of the greatest rivalries in college football history -- on Saturday it's possible it'll be doing it with one of its best offensive weapons.  Noel Devine hurt his toe in the Mountaineers' loss to LSU two weeks ago, and though Devine stayed in the game, he was obviously limited, finishing the game with only 37 yards on 14 carries.

Now, even though West Virginia was off last weekend, and Devine's toe has had time to heal, there's still some question about his status against UNLV.  Not even his head coach is all that sure, though he is encouraged by how Devine is treating the injury.

"He is trying to get on the mend; he has a bone bruise under his toe," West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said of Devine, who has 391 yards and two touchdowns in the first four games. "It is not turf toe, it is a bone bruise, so when he pivots, that aches. ... A bone is not like a muscle or a joint, but hopefully he will be good."

"He is doing good, I won't say great.  I won't know [his full status] until Saturday in warm-ups. What he did [Monday], that I was really proud of, was that he was either in class or in treatment. I told him don't leave the [football] building except for class, and he didn't. I thought that was kind of neat."

Should Devine not be able to go on Saturday the Mountaineers will rely on Shawne Alston and Daquan Hargrett, though Stewart also said that freshman Trey Johnson could enter the mix as well.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:59 pm
 

WVU's Brandon Hogan is back with the team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The West Virginia Mountaineers suspended cornerback Brandon Hogan indefinitely following his DUI arrest on September 12, and it turns out that indefinite is another word for a week.  Hogan is back with the Mountaineers and practicing this week as the team prepares to head south to take on LSU on Saturday night, though whether or not they'll have Hogan with them remains in question.

Bill Stewart says that while Hogan is back and practicing, that doesn't mean he's going to be playing on Saturday.
"Brandon Hogan is in an evaluation period by me," Stewart said. "He is going to practice, that's his status. ... I will watch him work. He is undergoing, right now, the exact same formula that any student who has any problems [goes through] by the student judicial affairs committee.

"I don't know if he will play this week, and I don't know if he won't play this week. If he is to play this week, he will have earned the right to play, according to my standards, and my standards alone."
Stewart says he won't make a decision on Hogan until Saturday.  Though odds are that Hogan is going to play, or else he wouldn't be practicing.  Hogan was replaced by sophomore Pat Miller in West Virginia's 31-17 win against Maryland last week, and both of Maryland's touchdowns came at the expense of Miller.

Once on a 60-yard pass, and another on an 80-yard pass.  So unless Hogan decides to get drunk and go for a ride between now and Saturday, you can bet he'll be on the field this week.
 
 
 
 
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