It is Bill Stewart news conference day, my favorite day of the week. Honestly, I am not saying that to be a comedian, there is much to learn in the news conferences --- and Tuesday is when I gather all the intelligence I use for the remainder of the week until kickoff on gameday.
Anyhow, you don't need to know all of that nonsense, but what you do need to know is this ... If you want to send a question to the Q&A, do it here:http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/wvu/questions/qaform.asp
And off we go ...
QUESTION: Do you think Barry Brunetti will be around next season?
- Jim in Charleston, W.Va.
COLIN DUNLAP: I don't know if he will be. I've heard rumblings -- all from outside the program -- that he is seriously pondering a move out of the program after this season. Honestly, if you are him, why stay? Makes not a whole lot of sense. He cannot qualify for a redshirt from this season, and thus will be one year behind Geno Smith for his time in Morgantown until Brunetti were to become a senior and Smith is gone (that is unless Smith were to get hurt and get a redshirt somewhere down the road). Now, you could look at it another way, like this: Brunetti would be one snap away from playing as he stands on the sideline with Smith leading this offense and that temptation could keep him around. To that, I say "not a chance." In 1967, maybe. But in modern college football, kids want to play, there is, without a doubt, an 'I' somwhere in 'team' and getting on the field sooner rather than later is very, very important. So, if you are asking me to set odds on if Barry Brunetti is a Mountaineer next season, I'll do it in percentage form:
58 percent says he's gone
42 percent says he's still here
QUESTION: What did you think about the plane that was flying over Mountaineer Field before the Cincy game? I thought it was an embarrassment.
- Julie in Morgantown, W.Va.
CD: It gave the person who was responsible for it more of a chuckle than it served to impact in any decision that will be made by Oliver Luck. So, in that regard, it seemed like a tremendous waste of money to me. More than likely it was facilitated by some navel-gazer who pointed to the sky and laughed as he told his buddies he was responsible for it, but the same guy would never have the fortitude to say something negative to Bill Stewart if he walked by him on the street.
QUESTION: Do you think that Jeff Casteel would make a good head coach?
- Tom in Bethel Park, Pa.
CD: Perhaps. The guy sure knows how to lead a defense. It isn't a stretch to call this West Virginia defense, maybe, the best in program history. Now, about the whole "would he make a great coach" kind of thing. I don't understand the fascination with that question when a man shows a penchant for being a great coordinator. Would Jeff Casteel make a good head coach? Maybe. I don't know what his expertise level is in terms of offensive football, but all coaches come from one side of the ball or the other. To me, Jeff seems like the kind of man who has the potential (and he already might be there) to be the very, very, very best at what he does in this country, which is being a college football defensive coordinator. So, with that said -- and I understand there is a money factor -- but doesn't it make sense to settle into perfecting that role? I mean, honestly, how many of us can truly say we are among the top handful of people, in the entire country, at what we do? Jeff Casteel can make that claim. If he has the urge to become a head coach, then I can understand making the jump if an opportunity would arise. But he has a pretty decent gig right now, and from talking to him, I am positive he understands as much.
QUESTION: Why doesn't Noel Devine talk to the media anymore?
- Marty in Wheeling, W.Va.
CD: No idea. And it really isn't worth the effort to make a big attempt to find out. Again, for the record, he has zero obligation to do it -- it is all a choice whether or not he wants to, and he has blown off the media since the LSU game. My feelings are this: When you are seen as one of the heroes of an entire state -- and the senior tailback of the Mountaineers rises to that level in football-crazy West Virginia -- you don't owe it to anyone to talk to the media, but it might be nice to pop your head into the media room a time or two, act like a leader and give all the fans who live and die with this program a pulse on the team from one of its all-time greats. Also, when a guy such as Devine blows off the media, it sends a message to the younger guys in the program that it is OK. Again, there is no obligation to speak to the media, but it seems like a very classy, stand-up gesture when guys do it in the tough times. I think what is puzzling, most, about Devine is that he was never a guy who was over media-friendly, but when times were good, he was in that media room. Now when it is a bit rocky, he is nowhere to be found.
Here is the deal, though, instead of spending too much time looking at that situation, if you are a fan, you should look at guys such as Chris Neild and Geno Smith, who have faced the music no matter how tough the losses were. Those two stood in front of cameras and reporters and accepted blame at times that, quite honestly, wasn't theirs. Now, that, is being a leader.
Oh, and Ryan Clarke -- a young man who came into the media room and was as candid as could be as he spoke about fumbling against UConn. You talk about showing some leadership qualities? There you go.
Get all your questions to me at this Q&A...send a bunch if you'd like: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/wvu/questions/qaform.asp
Don't forget the chat today (Thursday) at 1 p.m.: http://www.post-gazette.com/chat/