My own issues with the man and the conference he has presided over start with all the teams I love to hate that have left the conference in the past decade. Miami, BC, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse. The absence of the last two on the schedule, if that's how it plays out, will be felt immediately. I'd be lying if I said I won't miss playing them.
It hasn't always been front and center, mainly because of the success West Virginia has had in football and basketball. I suppose the success of the programs on a national level made the loss of Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College less painful. But now that we're the ones leaving, I find myself looking back in anger at what could have been. What should have been.
Personal relationships with fans of the teams I mentioned above made and make those games special. But we find ourselves at a crossroads. Much like they did when they made the decision to leave the Big East. The landscape of college football is changing at an historically rapid pace. As I've stated before, the Big East only seems interested in maintaining the status quo or doing just enough to keep its BCS status.
There are rumors that a separation of BCS conference schools and non-BCS schools is a possibility. However real those rumors are isn't really important. It just points to a bigger picture of change. And if you're not positioning yourself for that possibility, you're going to be left without a seat when the music stops. I don't want that. Our fans don't want that. And our administrators, thankfully, are focused on it. Hats off to Oliver Luck and Jim Clements for being aggressive and pulling this move off despite the Big East's best efforts to stop them.
Maybe the Big East was doomed from the start. Maybe they did do their very best to secure a future for the Big East football schools. But if that's the case, it clearly was not enough. I'm sure I've got my old gold and blue sunglasses on when I say this, but we're better than that. We've consistently had the best facilities of any Big East school. We've been ready to grow and be the best we could be. But it's felt like we've been dragging the rest of the conference with us kicking and screaming at some points.
Now, we'll be aligned with schools that have just as much of a commitment to their football program. If not more. We're going to have to work hard to become the best in the Big 12 conference. But maybe a real challenge is just what we need. You never know, Mr. Marinatto. Sometimes when you set your goals high you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Now that I've gotten all the serious stuff out of the way, let's dance! Gotta love where this dance ends! Can't wait to go to Austin.