Posted by Frazier
Ok, I need to add a little depth to my earlier comments regarding coach Nehlen. That came out of a morning of going on WVU message boards and hearing him praised like some sort of god, while Rodriguez was vilified. That being said, calling him "mediocre" was unfair.
I will stand by the statement that WVU was a mediocre program.
The two best bowl WINS in WVU history came in the last two years under Rodriguez. Nehlen won 4 bowl games in twenty-one years, the Peach, Bluebonnet, Hall of Fame and Music City bowls. Not exactly a murders row there.
Cupcakes? That 1988 team had wins over Cincy, Rutgers, East Carolina, Bowling Green and Cal-State Fullerton. Scheduling cupcakes is a long-time college tradition. Don't blame it on the new guys.
Coach Rod has his team going to their 6th straight bowl. And don't say it's because there are SO many of them, since the bowls he has gone to are: Gator, Gator, Sugar, Gator, Fiesta. Yes, the first year it was the Continental Tires bowl, but tell me that's a far cry from the Bluebonnet?
In the ten years Nehlen coached in the Big East, he had three seasons with fewer than 5 losses, and only one season with fewer than 4. The only time they finished the season ranked was 1993. College football from 1990 on is pretty similar in terms of scheduling, and number of games.
Yes, Nehlen re-built the program (after Cignetti screwed up what Bobby Bowden started). So he deserves some credit, but it's not a great program. They have the same great pedigree as a team like Virginia, my alma mater.
There, George Welsh had a .608 (134-86) winning percentage, to Nehlen's .614 (149-93). He has 12 bowl games to Nehlen's 13, and 4 wins (even) 2 Peach, an All-American and an Independence. Both were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame immediately upon retiring. Virginia reached #1 in the polls (something WVU didn't do under Nehlen). Welsh finished ranked 6 times to Nehlen's 7.
Virginia is a mediocre program, and from 1990-2000 had greater success than WVU. Don Nehlen and George Welsh are practically interchangeable.
So if you don't want to call them overrated, that's fine. They both took lousy teams and turned them into pretty decent teams. Then Nehlen struggled over his past ten years, while George Welsh started to slip, and the team had those 8-5 Hawaii Bowl kind of years.