WVU A Big Get For Big 12

West Virginia is a Big East Conference school no longer. On Friday, the University announced that it would be heading to the Big 12 Conference starting in 2012-13.

That announcement couldn't come soon enough after months of questions and anticipation about where WVU would land.

Bring on Texas and Oklahoma. See you later Connecticut and Rutgers.

West Virginia fits well in the Big 12. Don't let the cross-country journey deter you either. Sure the Mountaineers' athletic teams will make to make more than a 1,000-mile journey to take on teams like Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech. But, it's a plane ride.

Outside of Texas, and for the most part Oklahoma, all the rest of the programs are fairly similar or lesser than West Virginia. If you take a look at numbers like revenue, spending, etc., a school like Texas Tech is almost identical to WVU.

There's an appreciation and passion for football, but also for other sports, as well, which should be perfect for West Virginia.

Sure, men's basketball will take a hit in terms of competition. But, then again, WVU can absolutely own the conference in basketball alongside a national program like Kansas. It's a great move - one that without WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck and President James P. Clements around would've never happened.

I can promise you that two or three years ago, if conference realignment was a factor, the Mountaineers would be in the position of Cincinnati or Louisville right now.

Some will say that WVU settled for the Big 12 after being snubbed by the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference.

Right now, that doesn't matter.

This is an almost perfect situation – as perfect as can be for the ever-changing world of collegiate athletics. West Virginia will continue to have success in its most important sports. It will bring an added excitement to growing football and basketball programs when it might have begun to take a dive with teams like Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving.

West Virginia has questions that it must now ask, however.

Will it add non-revenue sports like men's and women's golf and softball to become more similar to fellow Big 12 schools?

How will it handle the men's soccer team's situation, because the Big 12 doesn't offer the sport? According to a Conference USA official, it would welcome West Virginia if the situation called for that. There are other options, as well. Don't rule out the Mid-American Conference, who features one of the nation's elite teams Akron.

Will WVU increase its budget and improve lagging facilities like Hawley Field and the Natatorium? That's going to need to happen eventually.

With so many questions, Luck is going to be busy for a while.

But, as West Virginia fans, relish in the fact that the Mountaineers are now in a better position for the future.

WVU will continue, as Luck said not long ago, to be a national power in collegiate athletics. This is a win for the Mountaineers.

So celebrate.

Just don't burn anything.


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