As internet rumors swirl about West Virginia possibly joining the SEC — even rumors that Mike Slive was in Morgantown yesterday — one writer for The Charleston Daily Mail believes WVU would be a better fit in the Big 12 than the SEC.
According to Jack Bogaczyk, the sports editor for his paper:
“As for the SEC, it’s a dream by many among WVU fandom, and it might soon become a reality. It also could be a nightmare for the Mountaineers. I don’t think WVU should make that very large football leap.
If the SEC chooses WVU and the Mountaineers say yes, well, I’m wrong or now… but I’ll be right about what it will take for WVU to compete.
Simply put, West Virginia will not be as nationally relevant in football — on a consistent basis — in the SEC as it would with its other options.
Yes, WVU can make about $10 million more annually in SEC revenue sharing than it does in the Big East now. But the expense is greater, too. The Mountaineers would need to build, build, build. They would need a new baseball field; they may need to add sports, like golf an softball…
Let’s put it another way: If WVU goes to the SEC, in order to compete on a perennial basis in football, it would probably be time to end that tired, oft-repeated line about “a self-supporting athletic program” in Morgantown. It would need state help, seriously.”
Question: Couldn’t many of those same arguments be used if WVU joins a league with Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas? Just asking.
Doing a radio show in West Virginia a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised at the fear factor shown by an ex-player co-host on the program. Many along the country roads of the Mountain State don’t believe their school could keep pace in the SEC. It’s not just this writer.
From my perspective, WVU could compete in the SEC, but the word “consistent” is key. Ask big name schools like Georgia and Tennessee how easy it is to consistently compete in the SEC. Florida lost five games last year. Alabama and LSU have each suffered through dry spells over the past few decades. No one competes for titles in football year-in and year-out. No one.
So if Mountaineer fans believe their school could win at a Big East clip in the SEC, they would likely be in for a rude awakening.
That said — and as we’ve stated numerous times before — we have been told by multiple people inside multiple SEC athletic departments and administrations that WVU remains a fallback/emergency choice only.
(And for the record, the writer of the above column called the SEC offices and found that Slive has been in Birmingham — not Morgantown — all this week.)