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West Virginia is the football anchor of the Big East. WVU has done its part to uphold the honor of the Big East in BCS Bowls, with a 2006 Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia and 2008 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma.
Since 2003, they have won the Big East five times as conference champions.
Hardcore fan base willing to support the program.
Bob Huggins has been making their basketball program one of the top programs, including a Final Four appearance in the 2009-2010 season.
Makes no sense geographically. Morgantown, WV is over 700 miles from the closest Big 12 program. This might be all right for football and basketball, but minor sports will be hit with major travel expenses.
West Virgina as a state is not the best media market. The largest city, Charleston, only has a population of 51,400 people, with a total metropolitan area of 304,214.
According to the US & News World Report on the Best Colleges, West Virginia is ranked 164th. That would make WVU the lowest-ranked university in the Big 12—even below Texas Tech's #160.