Neal Brown Ranked Near the Bottom of the Big 12 According to CBS Sports

Christopher Hall

Recently, CBS Sports released its rankings of Power Five coaches (including Notre Dame) and placed West Virginia head coach Neal Brown at the bottom of the Big 12 at No. 8 and 47th overall.

The Author, Tom Fornelli, said in the article that there are no specific criteria when the writers of CBS voted on the coaches.

Here is what he had to say about Neal Brown.

“I guess the lesson is not to be a first-year Power Five coach with expectations. After going 5-7 with the Mountaineers last season, Brown dropped 11 spots from No. 36 to No. 47. Understandable, though I had guys like Babers, Doeren, Wells, Sumlin and Lovie Smith ahead of Brown on my ballot. I still like his potential in Morgantown. 2019 rank: 36 (-11)”

I am not sure where the “expectations” comment is coming from because Vegas had West Virginia pinned at five wins before the season started and that’s where the Mountaineers fell at 5-7. Additionally, and correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t recall anyone announcing from the mountain tops that West Virginia was competing for anything other than bowl eligibility. Especially after losing most of their production on both sides of the ball following the 2018 season.

While polls like these are subjective, it’s interesting to see national writers’ opinions. You would think with a coach like Neal Brown, who made history at Troy giving them their first 10-win season (at the FBS level) in school history and did it three years in a row, including a road win over nationally-ranked LSU while also being the first Sun Belt Conference team to finish the season in the top 25, would carry more weight over some of the other coaches making the jump from a Group of Five school to a Power Five program. 

Then add how the Mountaineers ended last season winning two of the last three with both wins on the road, which included a win over nationally-ranked Kansas State and ending TCU’s bowl hopes in the season finale.

Just like the preseason polls, these things generate conversations before the season starts with fans claiming their respective program is at the top of the pecking order, but at the end of the day, these things get settled on the field and Neal Brown has said this entire offseason that “West Virginia will be the most improved team in college football in 2020.”

Big 12 Coaches rankings according to CBS Sports

1. Lincoln Riley - Oklahoma 3*

2. Mike Gundy - Oklahoma State 13*

3. Gary Patterson - TCU 16*

4. Matt Campbell - Iowa State 25*

5. Tom Herman - Texas 28*

6. Chris Klieman - Kansas State 42*

7. Les Miles - Kansas 43*

8. Neal Brown - West Virginia 47*

9. Matt Wells - Texas Tech 51*

10. Dave Aranda - Baylor 62*

You can get the rankings 65-26 by clicking here and spots 1-25 by clicking here. 

*Indicates where CBS Sports has coaches ranked nationally

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