Neal Brown Still Not Getting Enough Love in Big 12 Head Coach Rankings

Neal Brown Still Not Getting Enough Love in Big 12 Head Coach Rankings

The head Mountaineer should be a little bit higher on this list.

Entering last season, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was on the hot seat. Although no one at WVU wanted to admit it, we all knew that 2023 would be a crucial year for Brown’s job security.

The Mountaineers didn’t just exceed expectations, they finished fourth in the Big 12 with a 9-4 (6-3) record, marking the best year since the 10-win season in 2016.

With a good bulk of the offense returning and what appears to be a stingier defense on paper, the Mountaineers are in line to make some noise once again in 2024.

Earlier this week, Jesse Simonton of On3 Sports released an article ranking every Big 12 head coach. Brown ranked 10th out of 16.

“Brown was adamant he didn’t have the worst team in the Big 12 last season, and he was right. The former Troy head coach staved off any hot seat talk by delivering his best season in Morgantown with a 9-4 record and a win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

“It was just Brown’s second winning season at West Virginia, but it netted him a reworked contract and short extension. After a Top 25 finish, can Brown replicate similar results again this fall?”

Simonton’s full rankings:

1. Kyle Whittigham, Utah
2. Lance Leipold, Kansas
3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
4. Chris Klieman, Kansas State
5. Gus Malzahn, UCF
6. Willie Fritz, Houston
7. Sonny Dykes, TCU
8. Matt Campbell, Iowa State
9. Joey McGuire, Texas Tech
10. Neal Brown, West Virginia
11. Dave Aranda, Baylor
12. Deion Sanders, Colorado
13. Kalani Sitake, BYU
14. Scott Satterfield, Cincinnati
15. Brent Brennan, Arizona
16. Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State

Don’t get me wrong, I understand Neal has to do more than have a 9-win season to be signficantly higher on this list. However, what I don’t understand is how someone who has yet to coach a game in this league (Willie Fritz) and someone who had an average team in his first year in the league (Gus Malzahn) can rank ahead of Brown.

Personally, I’d have Brown slotted at No. 7, right behind Matt Campbell and Sonny Dykes.

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