Orange Bowl Football

West Virginia University defensive back Darwin Cook (25) runs for a 99-yard touchdown after Clemson’s Andre Ellington fumbled the ball during the first half of WVU’s historic 70-33 win in the Orange Bowl.

MORGANTOWN — Well, it didn’t take long for the media — if I can use that word lightly — to get its nose out of joint over the rumors that West Virginia figures to be making a concerted effort to gain membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference as the Big 12 looks to be crumbling around them.

A person named Shawn Spencer of “Rubbing The Rock,” a Clemson fan publication on the Fansided site, has come out against that.

I guess we should pay attention to what this lad has to say, considering that on the site he is listed as “expert,” whatever the hell that means. All I can offer about that is that if you really are an expert, you don’t need be so identified. People will pick up on that from the quality and magnitude of your work.

Now why Mr. Spencer of “Rubbing The Rock” felt he should take a stand against West Virginia is beyond me, although he tried desperately to make the case that the Mountaineers bring little to the table that would help the ACC ... a conference that despite Clemson’s run under Dabo Swinney needs all the football help it can get.

Let us, for a moment, consider some “facts,” not opinions, which is something Mr. Spencer spouts the way into ears filled with orange wax.

He must forget that when Clemson was in need of a president for its school back in 2013 they hired Jim Clements, who was serving — what else? — as President of West Virginia University.

He also must have forgotten about the last time Clemson, with Swinney as its coach, took the field against an upstart team who would be heading from the Big East to the Big 12 the next year, West Virginia.

That was in the Orange Bowl.

Final score: WVU 70, Clemson 33.

Pretty sure that’s a pretty good calling card for WVU to present.

“Is the goal for the ACC to be considered a second-rate citizen to the SEC, and the Big Ten for that matter?” Mr. Spencer asks. “Because if that’s the goal, then you achieved exactly what you wanted by adding West Virginia.”

Well let’s take a look at that. Who, with more prestige, could the ACC add than West Virginia? Last time I looked, Ohio State and Michigan were happy where they were, as was Alabama and Florida.

See, if Clemson’s such a big deal that it can be turning its nose up at WVU football, how come it ranks 14th in all-time NCAA victories while WVU is 15th, one slot and seven wins behind. The only other ACC team — and there is some question you can call this an ACC team — with more total victories than WVU is Notre Dame.

The closest ACC team to WVU in victories other than those two is Virginia Tech, five wins behind ... and that’s because WVU owns a 28-23-1 all-time record against the Hokies, accounting for those victories.

Now it’s possible Mr. Spencer is just looking out for poor West Virginia, doesn’t want to get them hurt playing week after week against those tough ACC schools. Of course, that overlooks the fact that WVU owns an all-tie 42-40 record against teams representing the ACC.

And as for being outmanned, they may not rank nationally with Clemson, Notre Dame and historically Florida State — who just happened to get its Hall of Fame coach from WVU and followed him up with Jimbo Fisher, who hails from about 30 miles from Mountaineer Field.

The truth is that WVU brings a big-time reputation to a conference that really isn’t known for its football, and carries with it a basketball rep that fits well with the North Cardolinas and Dukes and Clems .... eh, let’s not bring Clemson into the basketball discussion.

In the midst of the story, there is a subhead that reads: West Virginia isn’t beneficial to the ACC or Clemson football.

The fact of the matter is that WVU has been beneficial to any league in which it has played with a rabid following, with attendance that matches that of most ACC teams and betters some of those considered more prestigious and offers a cagey veteran basketball coach in Bob Huggins and perhaps the best young up and coming coach the sport has to offer in Neal Brown.

So, Mr. Spencer, consider the alternatives and WVU looks pretty good for expansion into the ACC, especially when it goes on national TV with rivalry games with Pitt, Virginia Tech. Who knows, they might even put a WVU-Clemson game in prime time.

Follow @bhertzel on Twitter

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