Now that West Virginia has taken care of the legal work to make the move to the Big 12 official, the attention turns to just how they will manage in their new conference home. After all, the Mountaineers are easily the Easternmost school by a long shot in the Big 12 and travel should prove difficult to overcome several times a year among all of its sports -- not just football. Yet West Virginia's AD Oliver Luck believes they will be just fine.
In an interview with the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, Luck answered some questions about the Big 12 and how the Mountaineers will fit in. Specifically he believes that teams will travel just fine, but that the fans might have a more difficult time. Then again, the Kansas City area might hold up well when WVU comes to the region.
"It is a big commitment. Just look at the bowl games," said Luck. "And that’s just one game. That is asking a lot. I don’t think we can expect our full allotment. We’ll find out over the course of the next couple of seasons, what our traveling fan base is like. I know in Houston and Dallas, I think as well as Kansas City, we have fairly substantial alumni groups.
"Had a guy tell me the other day, ‘I’ve got a cousin in Kansas I haven’t seen in years. This gives me a reason to go out there. In the Big East, the allotment is 5,000. Recent history, most of the Big East schools, us included, haven’t sold our allotment. But 99.9 percent of West Virginia fans haven’t watched a game in Austin or Norman or Lubbock or wherever. The interest level is certainly going to be high."
It will be fascinating to watch the changes in the Big 12 next season as familiar faces are gone but new ones provide a difficult challenge.