West Virginia and the Big East Will Not Be Parting Yet

Daniel KablackCorrespondent IIISeptember 25, 2011

WVU AD Oliver Luck hired Holgorsen to bring fans to the game
WVU AD Oliver Luck hired Holgorsen to bring fans to the gameRob Carr/Getty Images

Over the past few weeks, we've heard so much about conference realignment from all across the country.

That issue hit close to home with an announcement that Syracuse and Pittsburgh were both leaving the Big East to join the ACC.

Though that change probably will not come for at least another season or so, it leaves many questions for fans of the Big East and the schools remaining loyal to the conference.

One of those questions: what will happen to us?

We've heard talk about the West Virginia Mountaineers possibly changing conferences too, perhaps moving to the SEC or even joining Pitt and Syracuse in the ACC.

Those thoughts were struck down when both conferences announced they were not interested in the school.


Despite what you might think, the ACC didn't just pick up Pittsburgh and Syracuse because they have great basketball teams.

They picked them up for the money.

Both Pittsburgh and Syracuse are universities that have graduated many, many students. They have large fan bases and are the flagship schools of their own respective cities.

More fans means more money, and that's what business is about in the end.


West Virginia University, on the other hand, doesn't have those type of luxuries.

Though perhaps they can play at the same level or better than Syracuse or Pittsburgh, whether it be football or basketball, they don't have as large of a fan base, nor do they come from a very populous area.

Morgantown is a city that takes hours to get to from almost anywhere but West Virginia, not exactly prime real estate for a conference looking to bring in more fans...and more money.

Simply put, they are not in the same league as Pittsburgh and Syracuse when it comes to possible money-making potential.

Though, that may change in the next few years.

With new leadership in the athletics department, West Virginia University is showing signs of maturing into a nationally recognized program.

They have started by introducing a new athletics director, Oliver Luck, a former Mountaineer himself who played for WVU as a quarterback.

And yes, if you didn't already know, his son is Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck.

Luck wasted no time, bringing in a new offensive coordinator, now WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen, to help build an exciting new offense and bring more fans out to the game.

With ticket sales on the rise, Luck also made the move to have one of the Mountaineers' home games scheduled to be played at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins in an attempt to attract more fans to the program from the eastern portion of the state as well as the Washington D.C. / Baltimore area.

The new athletic director also introduced beer sales to Milan Puskar Stadium, the home of the Mountaineers, in order to bring additional revenue to the school.

These are all great moves to bring in more fans, a larger market and ultimately more money to the university. 

After all, that's what the big conferences want, right?