The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

WVU Sports

May 26, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN: No doubt WVU made out well

MORGANTOWN — There was a cold, ill wind blowing in from the north on Friday.

It was the kind of wind that blows whenever a Pitt man opens his mouth, as the Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson did.

If you thought West Virginia’s move to the Big 12 and the Panthers’ jump to the Atlantic Coast Conference signified the end of the rivalry between the two schools, you can put that to bed.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s sports columnist Dejan Kovacevic tried to paint a picture in a column that the local team up there came out almost as good, or even as good, as the Mountaineers in the game of musical conferences.

Pederson was more than happy to help him make his case.

While the entire collegiate athletic world seems to be thinking that the conference realignment has left the ACC fifth among the six BCS conferences (the Big East, of course, taking up the rear) with the conventional wisdom being that the game is headed for a four-team playoff, possible between the champions of the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big 12, leaving the ACC somewhere on the level of Conference-USA, Pederson dismisses such a thought.

“No way,” Pederson said when Kovacevic brought up the thought. “We don't know where a lot of this is headed, and we might still be looking at some form of the current BCS setup. But everyone absolutely will have access to the national championship.”

Right. Sure, that’s why everyone has scrambled for position. That’s why Boise State has to be rethinking its promised move to the Big East, a move that gains it nothing but less respect than it had before.

And as for Pederson’s ACC, think about that conference should Florida State and Clemson make the leap to the Big 12, a proposition that seems to be more likely than less likely.

There is, too, the shadow of Notre Dame being cast over the playoff, for it appears they are not going to put their football program into a conference but would be more in the picture for a playoff spot than the ACC champion in the pecking order of college football as it is working out.

Pederson, however, refuses to give in, to admit that the football tradition and power lies with the other conferences. When Kovacevic asked him if a 12-1 ACC champion would make the Final Four or whatever the football playoff comes to be called, he responded:

“Oh, I would think so. Look, it’s pretty clear that there are five power conferences and that the ACC is one of them. We control the eastern seaboard, we’ve got the prestige, the athletics, the academics ... we’re thrilled to be where we are.”

If it’s clear to Pederson that there are five “power conferences,” the world would like to schedule an appointment with his optometrist, for he certainly is seeing things far differently than everyone else is.

To begin with, let’s take a look at that statement about controlling the eastern seaboard.

Well, if he means that Boston College is the best team in

Massachusetts and Syracuse the best in New York, maybe ... but I think it’s fair to say that Pitt is No. 3 between Penn State and West Virginia, and that while Virginia Tech is Virginia’s best team, the ACC doesn’t surpass South Carolina with Clemson, especially if Clemson jumps, nor does Georgia Tech stand taller than Georgia or FSU — again, if it stays — or Miami stand above Florida.

That doesn’t scream out control ... and if you’re looking for prestige, the ACC is No. 5 for a reason.

To add to the insanity, Kovacevic tried to make a case that the $20 million WVU gets from the Big 12 is the same as the $17 million Pitt will take in from the ACC, noting the added travel costs for the Mountaineer teams.

That, of course, is absurd on the surface, as the only added expense is in travel, for food and accommodations will remain the same. It also ignores what the take might increase to if FSU and Clemson come into the league.

Did WVU come out of all this better than Pittsburgh? Without question ... and the prospects of the Big 12 football situation getting even better with more expansion and a playoff make you wonder what in the name of Tony Dorsett the Panthers were thinking when they jilted WVU and went off on their own to the ACC.

Email Bob Hertzel at Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos