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Lunchtime links: Changes needed at WVU?

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The Charleston Gazette's Mitch Vingle says West Virginia's program and prestige have taken a downturn, and it may soon be time to do something about it. He talks to Mountaineers athletic director Ed Pastilong, who expressed confidence and optimism about head coach Bill Stewart. But Vingle writes that the offensive struggles and the recent decommitment of star quarterback Tajh Boyd show that something is off.

It seems, however, something needs to be done before WVU's program is scorched long-term. A sign the slide won't be tolerated. Ask any coach, scout, what have you. They'll tell you -- privately -- there's absolutely no reason for the Mountaineers to be at this point. None.

Yet here they sit, struggling to get past Syracuse at home. Not a poll vote in sight.
One person I respect suggested the chemistry among the offensive coaches is off. Maybe so. There certainly have been whispers from Morgantown to that effect. And when you have bad chemistry and add heat, the result is a hole in the ground.

  • Life is good for Pittsburgh kicker Conor Lee, Kevin Gorman writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Lee owns three school records, has dual degrees in business and economics and will be married in January.

  • Is UConn-Rutgers a rivalry? Neill Ostrout of the Connecticut Post writes that it's heading in that direction. Both schools recruit the same areas and have a lot of players who are familiar with each other. The Huskies have won four of the last six, but most have been close games.

"I don't think we've been playing each other long enough to have a rivalry," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "What's happening, though, is we are close by location and we have had some exciting games. Since that occurred, there's seeds for a rivalry. Will it come to fruition? Who knows? When people try to make something like that happen, it never works. You let it develop on the field and that takes time."

  • South Florida defensive end George Selvie vows to play Saturday against Syracuse, Brett McMurphy writes in the Tampa Tribune. And linebacker Brouce Mompremier wants to go, too, but might be held out for precautionary measures.

  • The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci examines whether Mike Teel should still be the starter at quarterback for Rutgers. The numbers are stunningly bad.