Re: 2011 WVU Football Thread
I'm not sure what risk there is in WVU leaving for the B12. Lets say Texas & OU both leave for greener pastures in the next 6-10 years, the B12 over the next 6-10 years will be much stronger both on the field and in television revenue than the Big East over the next 6-10 years. Over that same time frame, WVU can use the national prestige of Texas & OU to increase their brand name to the nation. If/when OU & Texas leaves, WVU will be in a much more stable position than they find themselves in today in the Big East. I literally see this as a no lose situation for WVU over what the Big East offers them today. Sure, an ACC or SEC bid would have been tits, but neither were coming anytime soon; this allows them to increase upon their brand over the next 6-10+ years and perhaps look even more attractive to the SEC/ACC/Big 10 should the B12 begin to fall apart.
I'm not a WVU fan, but WVU was relavant far before Pat White and Major Harris eras. They may not be on the same national stage as Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, etc... but they've always been a step above everyone else in the Big East (save perhaps Miami and arguably VTech) They have a smaller state, but the fans are rabidly loyal, the programs are generally strong. After BC, Miami & VTech departed, they're the only nationally consistant program in the conference. Every program has ups & downs, but UC spends a pittance on football compared to most BCS schools. Louisville is coming off a huge downswing and still working its way back, syracuse hasn't been relavant since McNabb graduated, Pitt is up & down, Rutgers has had 1 good season, UConn is a newcommer to the game, in a poor recruiting area.
The biggest problem the Big East has, is that so many teams play 2nd, 3rd, even 4th fiddle in their own region. Either to the pro teams or bigger colleges in the area. WVU was the exception to that. Louisville is behind UK, UC is behind OSU, Notre Dame, UK 0.1 miles south of the River, not to metion the Bengals & Reds, Pitt has taken a back seat to the Steelers & penquins, Rutgers & UConn get lost in the Pro scene of NYC, USF falls behind Florida, FSU and Miami in their own state.
The big East is in trouble not because WVU, Pitt & Syracuse are leaving, but because none of the football programs left move the needle. Friday evening is generally regarded as a terrible time to play a college football game. Its harder on the fans to get down there and tailgate, you're limited in the amount of recruits that can attend a game and perhaps take interest in your school, and there are fewer eyeballs on TV than there are on a saturday afternoon. What does it say about the big east that it had not 1, but 2 games on at the same time on Friday evening? Rutgers @ 'Ville, WVU & Sryacuse. Tells me that ESPN isn't all that interested in putting them up head to head vs the B10, SEC & ACC games they carry all day saturday.