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COLUMN: It doesn’t matter what we take into consideration Neal Brown, the gamers imagine in him

A five-game stretch doesn’t make or break a training tenure.

That’s the reason, regardless of West Virginia’s 4-1 begin to the season, you’ll nonetheless see some individuals questioning if Neal Brown is the correct coach for West Virginia. Even after final week’s highway win at TCU, I noticed individuals on-line saying, vehemently, that they don’t assume Brown must be the coach of the Mountaineers subsequent season.

If there’s one factor I’ve realized from watching WVU this season it’s this; it doesn’t matter what we take into consideration Neal Brown. You and I can have all of the opinions we would like about Brown, his time in Morgantown and his future. However we received’t be taking part in a single snap this season, so what does it matter what we expect?

By 5 video games, one factor has change into abundantly clear with the WVU soccer program; the people who find themselves really taking snaps, making tackles and gaining yards are all-in on their head coach. If the gamers clearly imagine in Brown, what does it matter if anybody within the fanbase doesn’t?

“Our backs have been in opposition to the wall,” Brown mentioned after the workforce’s win final week. “No person’s believed in us. I don’t wish to hear anyone that’s on social media, ‘Oh yeah, I noticed them being 4-1.’ Nope. The one individuals who actually believed had been us.”

Brown’s WVU tenure was on life assist on the finish of final season. Shane Lyons, the athletic director who employed Brown, was fired and cited the state of the soccer program as the rationale why. Brown survived the transition to new AD Wren Baker — his $17 million buyout seemingly taking part in an enormous half within the resolution — however it wasn’t clean crusing from there.

Brown was 22-25 at WVU after the 2022 season and his tenure underwent heavy scrutiny within the media over the offseason to the purpose the place the Mountaineers had been, now famously, picked to complete 14th within the expanded Large 12. And it was a distant 14th as WVU was over 70 factors behind No. 13 Cincinnati.

When Brown says no person believed in them, he’s telling the reality.

For all of the scrutiny and along with his job seemingly on the road, Brown made no sweeping modifications within the offseason. Outdoors of changing a pair of offensive assistants, Brown’s workers remained in tact and WVU used the switch portal to complement its present roster slightly than go for a full overhaul that a number of different groups opted for.

These strikes, considered as overly conservative on the time, seemingly served to drag the workforce nearer collectively and strengthen their perception in themselves,

“We now have a extremely robust workforce that’s actually shut and has grown collectively,” Brown mentioned.

It has all manifested this season in a WVU workforce that’s taking part in tougher than it has at any level in current reminiscence.

“We’re a workforce that strains,” is how Brown describes it. “We’ve acquired to proceed to do it, however no person performs tougher than we do.”

And being picked 14th solely additional introduced the workforce collectively and additional motivated them.

“We’ve simply acquired to maintain taking part in,’ mentioned defensive lineman Sean Martin. “No person believes in us, we had been No. 14 for a purpose.”

Some individuals say WVU nonetheless hasn’t made sufficient progress in Brown’s fifth season on the helm. Like I mentioned on the outset of this column, a five-game stretch won’t make or break a training tenure. The one factor Brown and the Mountaineers can do now’s preserve profitable, it doesn’t matter what any of us assume.