Let me say first that I don't give a fig about a reconfigured Big East Conference. That is not "landing on your feet" or whatever Mr. Luck's characterization was back when he was pretending that we had (any) options. The good teams bolted the conference for the ACC years ago while West Virginia stuck around and lent its strong brand (which was never really A-list, but always more than respectable) to a bunch of schools with zero football history (Rutgers, UCONN, Temple) or faded glory (Pitt , Syracuse). Who are now all bolting to the conference that stole Virginia Tech (yet WVU's was always a better football program than Virginia Tech's).
This conference realignment business is like West Virginia's history in miniature. Historical orphan. Miles from nowhere. Spurned by people, teams and states with whom we share real historical, geographical and cultural affinities while continuing to pretend that the state is in the Northeast. As if West Virginia were essentially more like Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey than Tennessee, Kentucky or Virginia. Talk about eyeballs and TV sets all you want to. West Virginia's historical assignment, the severing from Virginia accomplished, was to supply lumber, coal and strong backs to industrial capitalists-not to attend their parties. And our cousins in the deep south, well, their historical memory is long (if not entirely accurate) and myopically selective.
Now, of course, we can rest easy in the knowledge that geography counts for even less in the realignment scenario. Kansas State and Baylor, indeed. We get heaped in with a bunch of leftovers.
I thought there was a plan. Lord, they must have shafted Mr. Luck. Be nice if we could find out someday how it all didn't go down.
I suppose he kept things so close to the vest for the pride of the state. Maybe he knew that the other conferences weren't serious. But how did we go from being "almost in" the SEC twenty years ago, to an afterthought today?
Better take some satisfaction in beating LSU.