Carpenter’s Crunch Time Column: Neal Brown isn’t going anywhere

BUCKHANNON – How sweet is it this week that Buckhannon-Upshur is ranked 15th in the first edition of the WVSSAC rankings.

Sure it’s only week three, but it has been a long time since the Bucs were in the top 16? Will they be there in week 11? Who knows but enjoy it now for what it’s worth. There are certainly many more winnable games on the schedule. It is an exciting time right now for B-U football, but as coach Zach Davis says, “Let’s take it one week at a time.”

What isn’t exciting is the current mess known as WVU football. Losing to Kansas at home last week is the lowest point in WVU football for me since WVU lost to Temple at home by a 17-14 in Rich Rodriguez’s first year in 2001.

For those of you want Neal Brown gone this season, I have bad news for you, it isn’t going to happen.

WVU is 0-2 for the first time since 1979 and to make matters worse, we all watched Nebraska dump head coach Scott Frost after the Cornhuskers lost to Georgia Southern last week.

So why isn’t Neal going anywhere? Because current athletic director Shane Lyons extended his contract to include a $20 million dollar buyout. After the new year rolls in, that figure drops to $16.7 million, which is still significant. However, $20 million is a lot of money to cough up midseason, and it’s not like WVU has a long line of wealthy donors to turn to.

So like it or not, Neal isn’t going anywhere, in fact, he may be here longer than most want him.

Now onto our games.

Last week Brian Bergstrom and I both went 4-1 leaving Brian with a 12-3 record while I own an 11-4 mark.

First up this week is:

Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1) at John Marshall (1-2)

John Marshall hasn’t been kind to the Bucs in recent years, but this game could be different. Bridgeport beat up John Marshall pretty good last week. The B-U rushing game looked very good last week. Maybe I am just caught up in the feel-good moment right now of B-U football, but I think they win this game. My pick: B-U, 21-19; Brian’s pick: John Marshall, 21-20.

Bridgeport (2-1) at Fairmont Senior (3-0)

Fairmont Senior is the top team in Class AA this week. Bridgeport rebounded nicely last week after their 10-6 setback to Morgantown two weeks ago. This game is a Thursday night special. I will say this about Bridgeport, they have a brutal schedule this year. They still have games left with Robert C. Byrd, Parkersburg South, Princeton, and Musselman. A loss against the Polar Bears could really damage the Tribe’s playoff with that schedule left. I think the Polar Bears take this one. My pick: Fairmont Senior, 34-28; Brian’s pick: Bridgeport, 35-30.

Liberty (1-1) at Philip Barbour (1-2)

It will be interesting to see how the Colts regroup after their tough loss last week. Liberty is coming off a bye week with two weeks to prepare, but I like the Colts at home this week. My pick: Philip Barbour, 31-23; Brian’s pick: Philip Barbour, 22-6.

Concord (2-0) at West Virginia Wesleyan (0-2)

Wesleyan moved the ball some last week against UNC Pembroke but gave up 386 rushing yards and fumbled the ball away four times. I do think the ‘Cats are trending in the right direction, but it is going to take some more time. My pick: Concord, 39-20; Brian’s pick: Concord, 35-33.

Towson (2-0) at WVU (0-2)

Should be an easy win but for Neal’s sake, he better hope his team plays at a high level. Simply getting past Towson isn’t going to do him any favors. My pick: WVU, 56-14; Brian’s pick: WVU 35-14.

Until next week…see ya!

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