Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oliver Luck's Statement on Conference Situation

West Virginia Athletic Director, Oliver Luck releasesd a statement regarding the Big East meeting last night.

The Statement...
"President Clements and I represented West Virginia University at last night's BIG EAST meeting in New York. The group concluded the meeting with a strategy to recruit top level BCS-caliber institutions that match the league's strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.

"As I stated before, WVU is an excellent flagship, land-grant University, with national-caliber athletic and academic programs. We are, and will remain, a national player in college athletics.

"The conference office will coordinate any further discussion on this issue."
Umm, short and sweet. Where does this lead us? Good question. I guess we can ask the conference office.

Deep Thoughts, WVU-Style

Yes, there is still a game this weekend, and it happens to be a big one. Conference uncertainty will not stop the LSU Tigers from invading Morgantown. I actually kind of like the uncertainty. I get the feeling that Dana Holgorsen can use it to his advantage. Couldn't you see Holgs rolling out the old "The SEC doesn't think your good enough" line to fire the boys up? There is no doubt that WVU will be up to play.

Who will be the celebrity picker on ESPN GameDay? The smart money is on Bobby Huggins. Nothing would be better than Huggs taking some nice shots at Herby and Corso. Plus, he gets it, and represents WVU well. Next in line might be Jerry West or Don Nehlen. Both would also represent well, especially the NBA logo. The man does have a statue. Other potentials could be Pat White, Darryl Talley, maybe even Marc Bulger. However, if Bill Stewart is the choice, well then I might just break my television.

Will three touchdowns win this game? Possibly. LSU has an average offense, which focusses on the ground game. Yes, the Tiger can eat up a clock, and are very efficient in the redzone, but it's not an offense that scares opponents. Which means WVU better hold onto the football. The Tigers are ready to pounce on any mistake WVU may make to better their chance of getting points on the board. An LSU blowout could be a final score of 23-10. It's just really hard to get a gauge of how many points WVU may need. I do believe that three touchdown drives will put a lot of pressure of the number 2 team in the land.

The atmosphere should be amazing. I can't wait to see Morgantown be highlighted all day on ESPN. I just hope our students and fans represent the old gold and blue to the best of their ability.

WVU to the Big 12? More of a reality than we think?

WVU, which allegedly pledged its allegiance to the Big East will certainly still be looking out for its own interests. And, if the Big East's grand plan is to bring in the service academies, WVU has to continue looking outside of the conference.

One of those conferences may be the Big 12. The conference that was left for dead just a few days ago, may have been resurrected with the news that the key players are looking to stay and reform the league. With Texas A&M going to the SEC and maybe Missouri too, plus Nebraska and Colorado already gone, the Big 12 has holes to fill. BYU seems to be the priority, as it should be. The Cougars have a national following, and very good money tie-ins. The thinking is BYU will join if Texas and Oklahoma stay. Now that it the big boys are going to reportedly stay, pencil the Cougars in.

What about the other openings? Enter Andy Katz' article from last week. This story originally went under the radar due to the fact that it looked like the Big 12 was dead, and the Big East still had Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

Katz writes...

Big 12 athletic directors were given a list of schools to contact a few weeks ago once it became clear that Texas A&M would be departing the conference for membership in the SEC.

Arkansas and BYU were contacted but then, according to multiple sources, the athletic directors who were given the instructions did not reach out to the other three schools on the list -- Pittsburgh, Louisville and West Virginia of the Big East -- because Oklahoma president David Boren made comments that the Sooners were unsettled in their situation as a member of the Big 12 and were exploring their options.

Katz has continued to give this view all morning on SportsCenter. Arkansas isn't going anywhere. As mentioned before, BYU is looking good to join. Pittsburgh is ACC-bound, so that leaves Louisville and West Virginia as potential targets for the Big 12 to expand back leads according to Katz.

One would imagine the Big 12 wants to get back to the actual "12", and establish that it will remain one of the premier conferences in the country. So, could both WVU and Louisville split from the Big East? Why not. Both schools to have to worry about the future Big East football, especially when the service academies are the alleged target to save the league. Both would also fit in well competitively with the Big 12. In fact, the schools would boost the conference as a basketball power. If this were to happen, the conference could also split into two new divisions.

Division One: WVU, Louisville, Missouri(or new team), Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State

Division Two: Baylor, BYU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech

Two very competitive divisions would also allow the conference to have a legit championship game. And of course, WVU and Louisville would not have to worry about losing the AQ status, since the two would be attached to Texas and Oklahoma.

So, as we debate, moan, and groan about the SEC and the Big East, maybe it's time to start paying more attention south-westward. The Big 12 could be the best fit for WVU.

Big East Power Rankings, Week 3

1. West Virginia (3-0): Back to the top spot after beating a BCS opponent on the road. Next Step...huge ABC night game against LSU.

2. South Florida (3-0): The perfect start to the season continues with the drubbing of Florida A&M. Next Step...Hosting UTEP

3. Syracuse (2-1): Sure, the Orange are coming off a loss, but it was a west coast road trip. Next a decent Toledo team.

4. Louisville (2-1): Very good win over rival Kentucky on the road. Next Step...looking to keep the momentum going with a...bye week

5. Pittsburgh (2-1): A complete collapse against Iowa means Pittsburgh is sliding on down. Next Step...Trying to find a defense against Notre Dame.

6. Cincinnati (2-1): An easy win over Akron has the Bearcats back on track. Next Step...big matchup with NC State.

7. Rutgers (1-1): Coming off a bye week, looking for more consistency on offense. Next Step...Must win over Ohio

8. Connecticut (1-2): Two miserable losses in a row have the Huskies licking wounds. Next Step...on the road at Buffalo.

Conference Realignment 2011: Where will WVU end up?

A lot has happened over the past 24 hours regarding the future of West Virginia and the Big East. Emotions ran high on Tuesday, considering most of the news was not positive. Some was downright embarrassing. However, Wednesday is a new day...and hopefully a better one.

Many are wondering what the status of WVU is moving forward. Let's take a look at everything that went down over the last day to try to figure it out.

-Brett McMurphy reported that West Virginia was rejected by the SEC and the ACC. Many have sighted academics and market size as being some of the big reasons.

-Then there were reports Missouri was to be the 14th team for the SEC. However, no-so-fast. Now reports say that those are premature.

-Meanwhile, the Big 12 may be alive, with the news that the schools are willing to keep the conference together(possibly with Missouri), with some reforms.

-Following the news that the Big 12 might stick together, the Pac-12 has decided not to expand...yet.

-And then the night closed out with the Big East having an emergency crisis meeting, where the remaining schools(including WVU) vowed to stay and rebuild.

-There are many reports that the Big East is looking to rebuild football with Army, Navy, Air Force, East Carolina, and Central Florida.

-It now seems unlikely that the Big East would merge with the Big 12 if both leagues keep the remaining of their members.

-And to close all of this, an SEC official says that the WVU "rejection" was an outright lie.

What to believe? Good question. The options for WVU seem to remain open. The SEC is potentially there until the 14th spot is filled. Maybe a spot in the reformed Big 12? Or, continuing to fight the good fight with the Big East. One thing is for sure; this is far from over. As Wednesday begins, so does another wild day of rumors concerning conference realignment. So, sit back and relax and try to enjoy the ride.