PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 16: The new University of Pittsburgh head football coach Mike Haywood speaks during a press conference on December 16 2010 at the University of Pittsburgh Panthers South Side training facility in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
And by that I mean they are both very, very awkward.
Let's start with Pitt where the Panthers finally have their man. Mike Haywood joins the long list of former MAC coaches that ascended to Big East status as the two-year Miami (Ohio) head man was introduced as the new head coach of the Pitt Panthers today.
So who is this guy and what makes him so special? Well, I'm not really all that sure. SB Nation Pittsburgh tries to figure out what makes a guy who went 10-15 in two years at Miami such an attractive candidate and even they find it hard to muster too much excitement:
I wish I could tell you this was a "can't miss" hire or a "star in the ranks" kind of coach, I can't because I don't know how this is going to turn out. He could turn out to be a star - he could turn out to be a dud, as well. Nobody knows, not the people that hired him and not even he does.
Yes, Haywood took the Redhawks from basement dwellers to conference champs in two seasons and that's commendable. But Miami barely won that MAC Championship game (via a fluke play). If that pass hits the ground, is Haywood the coach at Pitt right now? I'm guessing no.
At his press conference today, Haywood was asked what kind of players he wants to coach at Pitt. His response?
"Are you familiar with Freddy Krueger?"
I AM familiar with Freddy Krueger, Mike. And...well...this is awkward because Freddy Krueger is a murdering pedophile and child molester (in the new film, anyway). So, maybe you'd feel more comfortable coaching at, say, UConn?
Then there's West Virginia, who won the Dana Holgorsen Sweepstakes from Pitt. Holgorsen isn't the head man in Morgantown, at least not yet. That's because the offensive coordinator is West Virginia's Lady-In-Waiting with the understanding that he will take over as head coach in 2012.
Bill Stewart is still the head coach until then. Though, you'd be surprised to know that considering the way his Athletic Director is speaking publicly about him.
Luck said that ultimately he "didn't believe we had an opportunity to win a national championship with the direction of the program [under Stewart]. At the end of the day, results matter and we weren't getting the results." Stewart is 27-11 in three seasons, including 9-3 this year, but has not led the team to a BCS bid.
"Our season-ticket base has declined from Coach Stewart's first year to the present time," he said. "We've had only two crowds since 2004 under 50,000, and both of them took place the last couple of years. Can you blame the weather for some of that? Sure. But that, to me, is an indication our fans aren't satisfied with the product."
Considered he thinks Stewart is doing such a crappy job, why is the old man coming back for a lame duck 2011 season then?
"I thought Coach Stewart did a marvelous job toward the second half of the year and thought he deserved the head-coaching job for the 2011 season."
HAHAHA...what? You see a direct correlation between Bill Stewart, under-performance and lagging attendance BUT he beat 4-8 Rutgers, so, you'll let it slide for another year?
Luck says he's looking the way Wisconsin (Alvarez/Bielema) and Oregon (Belotti/Kelly) transitioned coaches as the way West Virginia will go about it. Naturally, that doesn't make any sense since Alvarez and Belotti were totally on board with leaving at the end of the season whereas Stewart clearly is being forced out.
If anything, the karma involved in a move like this reminds me more of Nebraska when they canned Frank Solich after three 9-win seasons. Unhappy with the "lack of results," the Cornhuskers thought they could do better. Instead, they became irrelevant for a the remainder of the decade.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Everyone else in the Big East will gladly take a lame duck Bill Stewart season any day.