The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

May 5, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN - ACC the best future spot for Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN —  

Go away, predictors of doom.

We’ve had enough of you.

Yes, the face of college athletics seems to be on the verge of changing, but who is to say the change will destroy what West Virginia University has spent years building?

Certainly not me.

If you want to know the truth, the best thing that could happen to West Virginia would be to go from a shattered Big East, picked clean by Big Ten expansion, to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Let us first understand that something is going to happen. That is irrefutable for the dollar signs demand it. The Big Ten will expand.

My own guess is that if they get Notre Dame they will stop there, with a 12-team league, for they will have accomplished what they set out to do, that being creating a television network that sells in the big East Coast cities.

If not they might add three teams — Missouri, Nebraska and someone from the Big East, Pitt or Rutgers.

Of course, they could just go ahead and savage both the Big East and the Big 12 and take Missouri, Nebraska, Pitt, Rutgers and Notre Dame or Syracuse.

If that final scenario occurs, it would almost certainly force the ACC and the SEC to expand to 16 teams and the Pac-10 to go to at least 12 teams.

How would the conference lineups look?

ACC: North Division – Boston College, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Syracuse, Louisville. South Division – Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, South Florida.

SEC: East: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and maybe Cincinnati, Central Florida or Memphis. West: Alabama, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State. 

Pac-10: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Cal, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, BYU and Boise State. The conference also could add TCU and Utah for a 14-team conference and go to northern and southern divisions.

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