Earlier this week, Neal Brown made an appearance on The Jim Rome Show, reflecting on the history of the Mountaineer football program as well as touching on the unique recruiting and geographic situation that comes into play at West Virginia.
As most fans can immediately recall, there have been multiple years in West Virginia’s storied history where the Mountaineers have contended for a national title, and this continued tradition of success seemed to have played a large role in Browns path to becoming the head coach here.
“It’s a program that’s been successful regardless of the league, and there’s a lot of tradition here. There’s been teams that have been on the brink of a national championship, and at the end of the day, that’s where we want to take this program,” said Brown to Rome
While the geography of the school relative to the others in the conference could be viewed to some as a negative, Brown made sure to quiet that narrative while highlighting some of the positive aspects of being situated farther away from competing conference schools.
“I like the fact that were really not recruiting against anybody that we play in our league, so I think there’s a built in advantage,” said Brown
While the local rivalries that West Virginia used to play annually during its Big East days against teams like Pitt and Penn State have taken a backseat since joining the Big 12, Brown made it clear keeping a competitive out of conference schedule will be a priority.
“We play a challenging schedule. We try to schedule at least one or two natural rivalry games out of conference, that’s what we’ve done and we’ll continue to do that,” said Brown
Brown recently took a trip to the Leer coal mine in WV, and this trip was discussed extensively on the podcast of ESPNs Marty Smith as well. Although an appearance on The Jim Rome show may not seem incredibly significant, it does show that people around the college football world are starting to take notice to the culture build that is going on in Morgantown.