10 December 2011
The New Year is looming and 2012 is barreling down on us like a runaway beer truck and that means its prediction time!
My crystal ball is cracked and the tuning controls are on the fritz, but if I go out on my front porch and face towards Morgantown hazy images of a possible future materialize into view. I have no control of what I see ; one moment its Jay Jacobs doing the “Dougie” at a future Final Four, the next its Ford Childress becoming WVU’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner. I see scenes from the glory days to come in both football and basketball; I see a bald Dana Holgorsen purchasing the Waterfront Hotel with the proceeds from casino winnings and the greatest winner of all time, Patrick White, returning to WVU as a coach on Holgorsen’s staff.
I see all these things and many more, but what I see most often floating in the misty timelessness of my crystal ball is the changes in store for the new Big 12. Yet before I write of what’s to come we need to take a look at what was…
Let’s turn back the clock to early September—a season full of promise and expectations was on the horizon, the Mountaineers were preparing to take on Huntington Community College in the Coal Bowl, and the rest of the college football world was just waking up to the possibility that Texas A&M would finally have enough of Texas and ignite conference Armageddon.
On the surface all appeared calm, but in the background conference commissioners and university athletic directors were working franticly to cover their hinnies and make sure the dominoes set in motion by TAMU didn’t cause them to lose their seat at the big-boy table.
The Big East Conference, acting more from ignorance than anything else, thought itself in the position to pickup the pieces left over after the SEC and PAC-12 raided the Big 12.
Irony abounds. My crystal ball says that in 2012 the Big 12 will deliver the killing blow to Big East football by adding 2-4 Big East teams.
Texas (and maybe Oklahoma) is against expansion beyond the current 10 members. Texas doesn’t want to have to play a conference championship game and the Longhorns hate the possibility of having to play Oklahoma twice to make it to the BCS.
Expansion to 12 members likely means the Big 12 will have a championship game, and it almost certainly means that Texas and Oklahoma would be in separate divisions and face the specter of playing each other twice to reach a BCS game.
Nope, Texas doesn’t like that scenario at all.
And that’s why the Big 12 is likely to expand to 14.
Adding Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers and South Florida offers many benefits--benefits that makes expansion to 14, not 12, the most likely course of action for the Big 12.
Most importantly expansion to 14 allows the Big 12 to have North and South divisions that limits excessive travel and allows more flexiability to schedule out-of-conference games (like the Backyard Brawl).
West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Iowa St, Kansas and Kansas in the Northern division and Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU and South Florida in the Southern division.
Such a configuration would place Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the same division and ensure they only had to play once to reach the conference championship game—and that’s exactly what’s needed to keep the Big 12 viable—everybody wins.
West Virginia would be ecstatic in such a scenario. Imagine the money saved from travel costs and the (almost) automatic berth in the championship game year after year being in the Northern division would provide.
The move would also open up the Big 12 to exposure in Florida, New York, Ohio and Kentucky and add valuable television markets just in time to renegotiate the conference’s television deal.
It would also mean the death of the Big East as relevant football conference.
And this is the future the crystal ball showed me the most and it’s one I hope comes true.
Random Musings & Rumblings:
West Virginia clearly prefers Cincinnati and South Florida over Louisville and Rutgers if the Big 12 stops at 12. Ohio and Florida are important recruiting grounds for WVU and the Mountaineers are pushing hard for the Bearcats and Bulls.
Jeff Casteel has been made an offer by Arizona. WVU is willing to at least match Arizona’s offer but we’re likely not to know the outcome until after the Orange Bowl.
Nothing is certain at this point but when asked the crystal ball showed me images of Casteel on the sidelines with Rich, but again this could change.
If Casteel does leave Mark Snyder, former HCC coach and current DC at USF, will be approached and asked to interview.
WVU filed their response to the Big East’s Motion to Dismiss late Friday afternoon. Expect a quick settlement if/when Monongalia County Judge Russell M. Clawges, Jr. denies the Big East’s motion.
The survey by Mark Blankenship Enterprises is almost a week old but I don’t think it’s received the attention it deserved. The survey found that Bobby Huggins has a an approval rate of 76%. Amazingly Huggy-Bear only has a paltry 5% disapproval rate among registered WV voters.
Dana Holgorsen had a 59% approval rating with only 12% disapproving of the first year coach. 29% of those asked were undecided about Holgorsen. I’m sure the undecided voters will change their opinion based on the outcome of the Orange Bowl.
Rich Rodriguez continues to be widely disliked even four years after betraying WVU, the entire state of West Virginia, his mom and dad, and his mom’s dog Petunia. 60% of voters polled said they “hated, detested and could not stand” the former coach who blew the biggest game in WVU history. Luckily for Rich, who longs to return to WVU to find his “mojo”, the 27% who actually approve of him are major WVU boosters.
Voters were also asked if they supported WVU, HCC or both. 56% of the respondents said they supported WVU and not HCC. 24% said they supported both WVU and HCC. Only 15% said they supported HCC and not WVU, and of those 15% only 4% were able to say that with a straight face.
Interestingly enough only 47% of WVU fans approved of the Mountaineers move to the Big 12 while 29% of respondents said move is a mistake. leaving. 24% of those polled denied WVU had moved to the Big 12 and insisted that Twitter reports of WVU joining the SEC are true and will just have to “wait and see” which conference the Mountaineers join.
As expected 100% of WVU fans believe that Pitt sucks.
Numbers never lie… and surveys are just numbers… so we know its ALL true.
|< Prev||Next >|