Oklahoma's View on WVU to the Big 12 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Oklahoma's View on WVU to the Big 12

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia is putting up the for sale sign on its Big East property and reportedly moving to the Big 12. The last couple of hurdles regarding the deal are continuing to be discussed.

West Virginia is poised to join the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and six other schools in the Big 12. The voice of the Oklahoma Sooners, Toby Rowand, likes the move.

"I think it is going to be well received," Rowand said. "Of all the schools that have been talked about, West Virginia has been the most highly regarded."

WVi spoke to several media outlets in Big XII country on Tuesday. One common theme from all three areas, which included Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, is that the addition of West Virginia is an upgrade.

"I certainly like the move," Rowand said. "I think if the Big XII indeed loses Missouri, I think West Virginia is more than a capable replacement. I think West Virginia is better in football and better in basketball and has a much better fan base."

Oklahoma witnessed that fan base in action during the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia was a heavy favorite just weeks after losing to Pitt and with it a shot at playing for the national championship. WVU rebounded and pulled off a big upset.

"It probably helped. West Virginia's football prowess was well known before that. It's all positive. The only negative situation is the travel."

WVU will be looking at lengthy conference road games. The flip side of that is schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, etc. will make the trip to Morgantown every other year.

The Big East is on life support. West Virginia's potential departure really shakes the conference to its core and describing it as unstable is beyond an understatement. The Big Twelve was on the verge of collapse just over a month ago when Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech were considering leaving for the Pac-12. That did not happen and the conference has taken major steps to securing its stability.

"I think the Big XII has upgraded itself," Rowand said. "It has added West Virginia and TCU, and has stopped the bleeding, which is what they had to do first if they are going to save this conference. They have gone beyond that by adding two quality institutions and certainly quality football institutions."

West Virginia does almost as much for the Big XII as it does for West Virginia. WVU leaves a highly unstable conference and appears to find a home in a BCS automatic qualifier conference. The Big XII gets to look around the table full of the big boys and feel much more comfortable about its membership and its status.

"This has been a zany couple of months and on a daily basis we have fluctuated between thinking the conference was falling apart," Rowand stated. "I think there was significant instability, but the addition of TCU and the apparent add of West Virginia shows there are good schools that want to be part of the Big Twelve. The stability is much, much better than it was three weeks ago."

Once the addition of West Virginia to the Big XII is final, WVU will look around the table at its new family and see a lot of similarities. The fans at these institutions are passionate and tend to travel pretty well.

"Oklahoma fans are great traveling fans," Rowand said. "I think they are similar to West Virginia in that respect. We played a game at Florida State this year and had 11,000 fans in Tallahassee. I think they will be excited about a new venue to watch the Sooners play in. We're certainly excited about the passion that the fans have to embrace their team in Morgantown."

WVU will need to officially make the move, unpack those moving boxes and begin to get settled in its new neighborhood. In the meantime, the Big Twelve needs to figure out what it wants to look like in the end. West Virginia's addition with the presumed subtraction of Missouri leaves the conference at ten members. Will it stay at ten? Will it go to twelve? Will it expand to something more than that?

"I don't have any inside information, but my hunch is that they are going to get to twelve," Rowand said. "They have to get to ten immediately and then they can afford to be patient, meaning they don't have to grab the first two teams out there that they can find to get to twelve. I think the majority of Big XII Presidents and Athletic Directors want to get back to twelve. That's the name of the conference for pete's sake. They want to be able to play conference championship games, but they don't want to just grab the first two schools that are eager to join the conference. I think eventually they will get to twelve, but it won't necessarily happen right away."

West Virginia would love to see the conference add more schools geographically closer to Morgantown. However, just getting off the sinking ship that is the Big East proved to be more important.

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