Friday, February 10, 2012

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WVU's New Football Foes

Now that it looks like WVU is heading to the Big 12 in 2012, what is the team's chances of second straight year to a BCS game? The Mountaineers should be able to integrate right in, and be competitive. But, where exactly do they stand? Let's take a quick look at the conference for 2012.

Baylor: No Robert Griffin III, not a lot of defense equals a rebuilding year for the Bears.

Iowa State: A bowl team from a year ago, questions at quarterback and defense will keep them midpack.

Kansas: Transition year for the Jayhawks as Charlie Weiss takes over the team. It will be interesting to see what he does at the quarterback position.

Kansas State: Quarterback Collin Klein is back, and so is much of the defense. Another solid season for the Wildcats is in the cards.

Oklahoma: Landry Jones and most of the offensive line are back, so scoring won't be a problem. Defensive needs to catch up.

Oklahoma State: Lost major keys parts on offense and defense, but should remain competitive with younger guys stepping in.

Texas: Too many questions for the offense entering the Spring to make them a true contender. Defense did step up last year, and helped the team stay in games.

TCU: The newcomer will have an explosive offense if the young line gives Casey Pachall time to throw. Will be a very competitive team right away.

Texas Tech: Plenty of talent, just a lack of execution over the last few years. Crucial year for Tommy Tuberville to get team to buy into system.

Yes, I'll miss the Big East...and I won't miss the Big East

What I'll Miss...Big East Championship at the Garden.

What I Won't Miss...The terrible yearly ESPN theme song for the Big East Championship.

What I'll Miss...Trips to New England, so I am within driving distance to see WVU.

What I Won't Miss...Trips to New England, so I don't have to see them lose some terrible game to UConn.

What I'll Miss...Beating Rutgers in football, every year.

What I Won't Miss...Losing to Syracuse in basketball, every year.

What I'll Miss...Being the perennial BCS favorite.

What I won't Miss...Failing to reach expectations nearly every year.

What I'll Miss...Skip Holtz in white.

What I won't Miss...Rick Pitino in white.

What I'll Miss...The Backyard Brawl.

What I Won't Miss...Playing DePaul in anything.

What I'll Miss...The Husband/Wife Rivalry (WVU/Cuse)

What I Won't Miss...The Husband/Wife Rivalry.

In all seriousness, the Big East was good to West Virginia. There are a lot of great memories...really too many to choose from. But, it's time to take the next step. Big 12, here we come.

Embrace Your New Big 12 Overlords!

A new chapter in WVU sports will start this fall. The school is on the way to the Big 12, following the news of an agreement made with the Big East to leave early.

The Big East will make about $20 million from the resolution, with WVU paying $11 million.

The source said the Big 12 would handle the remaining amount and the Mountaineers will enjoy full membership in that conference beginning July 1.

The source said WVU's early exit from the Big East is no longer conditional upon Boise State joining the Big East as a replacement in 2012.

So, as one chapter closes, another begins for WVU...a chapter that will take them west. Trips to the Northeast will be replaced with trips to Texas and the heartland of America. And, anyone not excited has something wrong with them.

The new rivals will be some of the most tradition-rich teams in college sports. Kansas is a basketball Mecca, Oklahoma is 8th all-time in football victories, Texas is 2nd all-time, and Oklahoma State ranks 4th all-time in National Championships for all sports.

That's just a little example of the tradition of winning the Big 12 has. WVU will jump in with every sport they have, and should be competitive in most. There is also word that Oliver Luck is looking to bring back a Men's Golf team. As for Men's Soccer (which the Big 12 doesn't have) look for a new home in Conference USA or the MAC. Rifle will also stay put.

These are exciting times for Mountaineer fans. The school is coming off an Orange Bowl win, both basketball teams are competitive, both soccer teams are strong, and the remaining Olympic sports should only get better with the move to the Big 12.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the transition to the big, bad Big 12.