Thursday, July 21, 2011

Other Neutral Fields for WVU?

The announcement yesterday of WVU playing James Madison in Washington DC in 2012 got me thinking...which can be dangerous. I started to wonder where else could be a good neutral field game for the Mountaineers? The recruiting region, facilities, and level of alumni would have to be taken into consideration. For instance, FedEx Field is solid, the alumni base is very good, and the Mountaineers are always recruiting the DC area. Plus, Jame Madison is far enough away that it wouldn't be mistaken for the home team.

So, here is my list of other possible destinations that fit the criteria.

Location: Baltimore, MD
Stadium: M&T Stadium (Capacity: 71,008)
Opponent: Delaware
Distance for Opponent: 59 miles
Alumni Level: Outstanding
Recruiting Region: Solid

Baltimore is not only close to Morgantwon, but is a hotbed for WVU alums. It's also close enough to Morgantown for a capacity crowd. The recruiting region has treated the Mountaineers well, with players like Tavon Austin and Ryan Clarke, who are currently on the team. With a game every other year in College Park, having a game in Baltimore would envelope the region. Meanwhile, Delaware is usually a very competitive team in the CAA.

Location: Orlando, FL
Stadium: Florida Citrus Bowl (Capacity: 70,000)
Opponent: Bethune-Cookman
Distance for Opponent: 56 miles
Alumni Level: Solid
Recruiting Region: Outstanding

Who wouldn't want to have a few more games in Florida? The recruiting climate is top-notch, and the alumni number is higher than one might think. Plus, Orlando is a vacation destination. Have the game in November, and watch hoards of Mounty fans roll down for the game and a few days at the Magic Kingdom. Bethune-Cookman did share the MEAC title last season.

Location: Cleveland, OH
Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium (Capacity: 73,200)
Opponent: Youngstown State
Distance for Opponent: 73 miles
Alumni Level: Solid
Recruiting Region: Solid

Ah yes, have to make a trip to the "Mistake by the Lake". Cleveland offers a pipeline to Ohio recruiting, which has been one of the more underrated regions in the country. It would also be a good location for the midwestern alums from not only Cleveland, but the surrounding areas. Youngstown used to be a premier school in the FCS. Though, they are now known mostly for Jim Tressel dirtying up the program.

Location: New York, NY
Stadium: Yankee Stadium (54,251)
Opponent: Stony Brook
Distance for Opponent: 56 miles
Alumni Level: Solid
Recruiting Level: Solid (for basketball)

Why not? Its the number one market in America, has a boatload of basketball recruits, and is loaded with former Mountaineers. Maybe Amos Zereoue can even cater the event? Football games are great for recruits for any sports, so a game at Yankee Stadium would be ideal. Plus, it opens up the door for alums from New England and parts of Canada as well. Stony Brook is not known for football, but is within striking distance of the Bronx.

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field (69,144)
Opponent: Temple Delaware State
Distance for Opponent: 76 miles
Alumni Level: Outstanding
Recruiting Level: Solid (for basketball)

It's another basketball hotbed, and also a city loaded with Mounties. It's close enough to Morgantown to get the fan train rolling. There is some football talent in and around Philly, but Western PA has always been more flashy. Villanova could be the opponent, but that would be way too much of a home game for them. So, give me some Delaware State!

Location: Charlotte
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium (Capacity: 73,778)
Opponent: Wofford
Distance for Opponent: 76 miles
Alumni Level: Very Solid
Recruiting Level: Solid

Who wouldn't love to travel down to Charlotte for a game? Great city, solid alumni base, and an ever improving recruiting region. This would be a very nice fit for the Mountaineers, who haven't played at the Bank since 2008. Wofford is usually a competitive squad that has played at Mountaineer Field before.

Location: Portland, ME
Stadium: Fitzpatrick Stadium (6,300)
Opponent: Maine
Distance for Opponent: 137 miles
Alumni Level: Like four People
Recruiting Level: Ummm

Yeah, I just put this on here, because I want to be able to walk to WVU games again. A man can dream, can't he?

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