BUCKHANNON – It is amazing how much time can change things.
Take a look at Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and West Virginia head coach Neal Brown.
Flash back to 13 months ago on Sept. 2, 2022, Narduzzi was coming off an ACC title in 2021, a Peach Bowl appearance and had just beaten the Mountaineers on national television by a 38-31 score. Life was good for Pitt and Narduzzi.
Ninety miles south of Pittsburgh, Neal Brown was already on the hot seat and that seat got even warmer with the Pitt loss. Brown was coming off a losing season (6-7) and Mountaineer fans were ready to send him packing.
Now 13 months later, Pitt fans have had enough of Narduzzi and would like to see him and most of his staff gone after a 1-4 record, a 0-2 mark in the ACC, a four-game losing streak and some of the worst quarterback play ever seen at the Division I level. Narduzzi finally pulled the plug on quarterback Phil Jurkovec this week after he completed just 51 percent of his passes, thrown three interceptions in his first five games and is averaging just 12 completions per game.
Meanwhile, Brown still has his share of critics, but he has the Mountaineers at 4-1 overall and in first place in the Big 12 with a 2-0 record and is on the cusp of getting his team ranked for the first time since the 2018 season if they can beat former head coach Dana Holgorsen and Houston next Thursday.
Who would have ever guessed that 13 months ago, that Narduzzi’s seat would be hotter than Browns?
In our little contest here, I closed the gap on Brian by one game last week but still have some work to do in catching him. Monica, with a 6-1 week, is out of last place for the first time this season.
A quick check of the My Buckhannon staff standings.
Name Week Overall
Brian 4-3 33-9
Duane 5-2 31-11
Beckie 4-3 27-15
Monica 6-1 26-16
Katie 4-3 25-17
In the Scoreboard Showdown this past week, we had two readers tied for the lead with a 6-1 record. They were JUSTIN WILSON and TRAETON LONG. Congrats to that pair on a great week! This week’s games can be found here. Get your picks in before the games kick off Friday night.
Now onto our games this week:
Lewis County (3-2) at Buckhannon-Upshur (2-4)
Lewis County has averaged 43 points in their three wins and been shutout in their two losses to Fairmont Senior and Roane County. The Minutemen defense has given up 34 points to their last two opponents. It’s tough to tell just which Lewis County team the Bucs will face. This is always my favorite game on the schedule as my mom’s family grew up in a little community called Butchersville outside of Weston. I think it will be a close game, but I got go with our hometown Bucs.
Duane: Buckhannon-Upshur; Brian: Buckhannon-Upshur; Beckie: Buckhannon-Upshur; Monica: Lewis County; Katie: Buckhannon-Upshur.
Morgantown (4-1) at Fairmont Senior (5-1)
Morgantown is coming off a stunning loss to Wheeling Park last Friday as the No. 1 team in the state. Not that Wheeling Park has a bad team, but they were coming into that game on a two-game losing streak. In the last three weeks, Fairmont Senior has gone 2-1 against Bridgeport, University and North Marion, so they are certainly battle-ready. I think Morgantown might have a small edge up front and that leads me to picking the Mohigans in this pick-em type game.
Duane: Morgantown; Brian: Morgantown; Beckie: Parkersburg South; Monica: Morgantown; Katie: Morgantown.
Oklahoma (5-0) at Texas (5-0)
The last time these two teams will meet under the Big 12 Conference banner, and honestly, the winner of this game will probably go on and win the Big 12 title.
Duane: Texas; Brian: Texas; Beckie: Oklahoma; Monica: Texas; Katie: Texas.
The Final Four:
Parkersburg South (4-1) at Bridgeport (5-1)
Duane: Parkersburg South; Brian: Bridgeport; Beckie: Parkersburg South; Monica: Bridgeport; Katie: Parkersburg South.
Philip Barbour (5-0) at East Fairmont (4-1)
Duane: East Fairmont; Brian: Philip Barbour; Beckie: East Fairmont; Monica: East Fairmont; Katie: East Fairmont.
West Virginia Wesleyan (0-4) at Wheeling (3-2)
Duane: Wheeling; Brian: Wheeling; Beckie: West Virginia Wesleyan; Monica: Wheeling; Katie: Wheeling.
Marshall (4-0) at NC State (3-2)
Duane: NC State; Brian: Marshall; Beckie: Marshall; Monica: Marshall; Katie: NC State.