With all of the uncertainty surrounding conference expansion, many begin to wonder what will happen to his/her alma mater. When the music stops will there be a chair available or will it be left standing?
I have often advocated a restructured Big East that would still qualify for BCS participation. I felt this would be the least difficult path to earning a BCS National Championship, which is my ultimate goal for WVU in the present. However, the more I think about it the more I realize that it's not just about the end result, but also about the journey while getting there. Hear me out.
I admittedly haven't been to a Mountaineer game in about 2 years (mostly due to busy schedule but also due to lack of featured opponent). Even the PITT rivalry hasn't quite been what it used to be for whatever reason, mostly because they haven't been viable for the better part of the past 15 years. This is not a valid excuse though because I still would like to watch the Mountaineers play regardless of unattractive opponent, whether UCANT, Rutgers, Louisville, etc. However, I am not a die-hard ATTENDING alum. I can only imagine the look on the faces of the season ticket holders when they get their tickets in the mail. They instantly hold the LSU ticket and throw all the others to the side. They think of great thoughts of yesteryear when Mountaineer Field was electric. They think of Miami in '93, Penn State in '84, Syracuse in '88, and they can't help but feel how excited they were for WVU to simply win the game. Their satisfaction wasn't based on whether we blew out the opponent like it is now to many fans. They dream of a scenario where Mountaineer Field will once again come fully alive and capture the hearts of the Mountaineer faithful.
To that end, it is time for WVU fans to re-capture that energy and turn Mountaineer Field into what we all know it can be. How do we do it? The SEC, period. I understand that this isn't necessarily in our hands but what I'm advocating is that this is the pathway for Mountaineer football to truly feel as special as it can. The ACC? Just doesn't cut it. I feel that college football will inevitably arrive at a playoff and therefore make it more possible for WVU to also gain that elusive crown no matter the conference. Can we compete in the SEC East? Florida, Tennessee, UK, Vandy, Georgia, USC...........You tell me.
However, the SEC slate would return the overall Mountaineer "experience" on Saturdays to legendary proportions. Like having 1 game a year where the atmosphere is palpable? Try having 4 home games where the stakes feel like they couldn't get any bigger.
The feeling of Miami in '93, Syracuse in '88 or PITT when the stakes are high brings a level of anticipation that unites us as one. I don't know about you but I love that feeling. It would truly return if we replace UCONN with Georgia, Rutgers with LSU and Louisville with Alabama.
Will it happen? I don't think it's as far-fetched as many believe, but a guy can certainly dream.