Will the ACC add two more dots to its conference map?
There's one thing in this world that every WVU fan loves discussing: conference realignment!
Just mention the topic and suddenly, everyone has a theory on how WVU can get into the SEC. I have been just as guilty, even so much as plotting a hostile occupation of Vanderbilt by the West Virginia National Guard to make it happen (it made sense at the time).
While the SEC may be a bigger long-shot, a move to the ACC, especially under the guise of the plan offered by Southern Pigskin, makes sense.
NORTH: West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Virginia, Maryland, Duke
SOUTH: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Clemson, Miami, Florida State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech
Under this scenario you maintain many of your traditional rivalries, such as; The Back Yard Brawl and Florida State versus Miami, while allowing natural border rivalries to be played (i.e. West Virginia versus Virginia Tech, West Virginia versus Maryland, etc). The format also permits the allotment of schedule slots for other rivalries such as Boston College versus Miami and Virginia Tech versus Florida State to continue VIA one or two interdivisional games yearly.
From a West Virginia perspective, this would lend much needed stability to all of the athletic programs.
Football would thrive again with access to fertile recruiting grounds across the south and marquee conference games to showcase at Mountaineer Field. Keeping the Pitt (and, to a lesser extent, Maryland) rivalry, resuming the Virginia Tech series, and bringing in teams like Florida State, Miami, and Clemson would allow for both seat and suite expansion in Morgantown.
Basketball would also benefit, as any conference with North Carolina and Duke is going to be a player nationally. Sure, the New York to Morgantown pipeline may become a tad tougher sell without the Big East, but as we've seen with this recent class (players from PA, FL, OH, TX, MI, and NY), the recruiting game is becoming much more national.
As far as I can see it, this move doesn't have a downside. The new ACC, while not quite as strong as the SEC in pigskin, would still be the second or third strongest conference in football (Big Ten has an argument for #2) and the strongest in basketball. It would bring a great deal more money into Morgantown and allow for West Virginia athletics to flourish across all platforms.
There's also 95% chance it never happens, too.