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MAILBAG: End of Year Predictions, Likelihood of Brown Being Fired, Keeping Young Talent + More

Answering this week's questions from the fans.

From @NickYoreWhat are the expectations for the program inside the athletic department that you have heard? Are they as high as the fans? Or are they happy with being around .500 & occasionally contending for the conference? Conference is much tougher than the glory years. Fans need to accept it.

Answer: To answer the first question, the expectations are not being met. That's about all we know. Shane Lyons made that very clear a couple of weeks ago following the loss to Kansas. The expectations from the administration, I would say are probably more realistic than the fans. That said, they do expect to compete for championships.

From @JordanWVU07Why can't we have nice things as WVU fans? Serious question. Are the defensive issues more a byproduct of being out of position or lack of talent? Appears the transfer portal really hurt DB depth.

Answer: It's a little bit of both. When you play young guys as much as they have, it's going to show. The young talent they have is promising, but they play to their age; young. The older guys they added through the portal have not played well and it could be a factor of the stage being too big for those guys. 

From @Huddleston1138: Losing some of our best players is a concern if Brown is fired. But are players going to want to stick around if WVU finishes the season with 3, 4, or 5 wins and Brown is retained?

Answer: Players are going to leave. That's a fact. In today's college athletics, it's going to be impossible to have an offseason in which you don't lose a key player or two at a program like WVU. It's a good question, though. The way I look at it is, this group of players will only be at WVU for the next three to four years. It's more important to get the coach right and if some of the current stars stay, then great.

From @KenRhodes23End of year predictions? Record? Neal Brown status? I am sure no one has thought of these.

Answer: If you're asking about the record, I'll say 4-8. Teams in the Big 12 are scoring at a higher rate than they have compared to the last couple of seasons. The secondary, in its current form, might be the weakest defensive backfield in the league. As for Neal, he's safe for now but that might not be the case by season's end. 

From @timmyoff27Who in this incoming recruiting class will be able to enroll early?

Answer: Still too early to throw names out there. Several recruits have told me the plan is to enroll early. However, plans change and there's an academic factor into this as well.

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From @EyesOnEers: Where are the boosters with the buyout money?

Answer: They're somewhere.

From @Wv2gaJimWhy do we only rush four and rarely blitz?

Answer: When you have an inexperienced secondary, you need to drop as many guys into coverage as humanly possible. Plus, WVU feels really good about getting pressure with their front four. 

From @southwvboyWhy do Neal Brown teams appear to be the least disciplined teams on earth?

Answer: A great question that I don't have the answer to.

From @jdst258(1) How likely do you think it is Brown gets canned in January? (2) Will that mean Lyons goes too? (3) What do you think Graham Harrell's chances are in that case?

Answer: 1. At this rate, it's certainly a possibility. If they only manage to win three or four games, it's going to be tough to convince the administration to not make a change. 2. No. 3. It's hard to speculate as to what type of coach they would look to hire if Brown were fired but I would imagine that he would be considered. I just feel like they would want to go with a proven head coach versus a first-timer.

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