When the college football season started, West Virginia University was a top 10 team with the No. 1 candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
The first five games of the season did nothing to change the lofty status of either the Mountaineers or quarterback Geno Smith.
But the last four games have been a Mountaineer meltdown the likes of which I can't remember.
WVU isn't in the top five. Or the top 10. It is nowhere to be found in the national rankings. It's not receiving a single rating point in any of the national polls.
Naturally, Smith has suffered the same fate. He's not even getting mentioned in the latest Heisman conversation.
Instead of getting ready for the BCS National Championship Game or at the very least one of the major bowls, Mountaineer fans now are looking forward to, er, basketball season.
The last home football game, against Big 12 rival TCU, drew just 52,322 fans, meaning nearly one of every seven seats was empty.
This has been an incredibly fast fall from grace. One that seems to be spiraling out of control.
The preseason goals of a Big 12 championship and a major bowl game have faded to a winning season or just getting bowl eligible.
While I'm sure no fan is as disappointed as are West Virginia's coaches and players, it is up to those coaches and players to fix the many woes that crop up week-in and week-out.
West Virginia fans are known for their loyalty. WVU is the state's flagship university and the one that carries its name.
From Parkersburg to Harpers Ferry, from Chester to Bluefield, the Mountaineers are our team.
But I have never sensed so much frustration in those fans as what is being experienced today.
Naturally, a great deal of that frustration is being directed at head coach Dana Holgorsen.
That goes with the territory of being a head coach. While no one can question Holgorsen's ability as an offensive guru -he has proven that at every stop -that is just one of many aspects to running a football program.
The level of success he will attain as a head coach remains to be seen.
He has an impressive Orange Bowl win on his resume.
Yet, the players he won with were recruited by his predecessors.
Holgorsen has a contract that runs through 2017. Rather than the chant of Four More Years that rang across the country last week, it will be Five More Years before Holgorsen's contract expires. By then, it should be crystal clear whether or not he can make WVU successful in the Big 12.
Like any head coach, Holgorsen deserves the opportunity to recruit the type of players that best fit his system.
Those who are calling for his head may eventually get it, but they are extremely premature in such sentiments.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org