This week on the Between The Eers podcast, we brought on FOX Sports play-by-play announcer Tim Brando for the third consecutive year for our sneak peek at what to expect in college football throughout the season.
Heading into the 2019 season, the Mountaineers will be under the direction of new head coach Neal Brown, who will be replacing Dana Holgorsen- who left for Houston. We asked Brando about his thoughts on the coaching change and how he sees everything playing out for both sides.
“I love Dana Holgorsen, I think the world of him and I think you guys know that. Now, he walks to the beat of his own drum, his personality is not for everybody. He’s not going to walk into every room and appear to be comfortable. I’ve never called a Neal Brown game, but I know people that know him and I know people he’s worked for and with and they’ve all told me the same thing. This is a guy that can walk into any room and make others feel comfortable. The short-term is, it’s going to be tough. You’re in a major transition, you have a quarterback change, etc. He [Neal] thinks where he is, is big, and that’s what West Virginian’s really want to hear. I think Dana will do really well in Houston and I think the same for Neal,” Brando stated.
Since the hiring of Neal Brown, it has appeared that there happens to be some unity within the fanbase for the first time since the Don Nehlen days. Ever since Nehlen’s retirement, fans have been 50/50 on each head coach and yes, even on Rich Rod prior to taking the job at Michigan. Just a short nine months or so on the job, Brown has done almost everything the fans want to see and then some. Tim went into more detail on why Brown appears to be a better fit than Holgorsen.
“Neal, I think is going to be a guy that is setting down his tracks and settling in saying ‘okay, this is what I see the program doing now, but this is my vision for what I see long term’ and I don’t know that Dana had that approach. It’s that feeling of well, I’m going to be here so, I’m putting in my foundation now and this is what my plans are 2-3 years out. That kind of vision with a younger coach with clearly the biggest job he’s ever had, that’s something I think will be very welcomed by the people in Morgantown. Dana was not a visionary. To the fans, West Virginia is a universe and they want their coach to feel that way and I don’t know if that was ever the feeling either with Rich Rod – who was from there, or with Dana.”
In years past, we’ve talked to Brando about conference realignment and things of that nature and if you missed those episodes, he thinks West Virginia fits in the SEC, more than the ACC, which most people presume would make the best geographic fit. He also noted how electric of an atmosphere Morgantown is and how much football means to the people in the state of West Virginia.
“I’ve said this many times and you guys have heard me say this, West Virginia is a scaled-down version of an SEC program. The passion that the fans have is very similar, you just don’t have the same numbers, but it’s an SEC type of program, with an SEC type feel,” Brando said.
Tim also gave us a prediction for West Virginia and also gave us his thoughts on the transfer portal and the college football playoff expansion possibilities.
You can listen to the full episode with Tim here.
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