West Virginia Big 12 Rumors: How Can the Big 12 Consider Louisville Instead?

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 26, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 02:  Darius Reynaud #2 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs the ball against the Louisville Cardinals November 2, 20006 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville won 44-34. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The conference realignment talks continue, and everyday, it appears to be something new. First, Texas A&M decides to leave for the SEC, and teams from the Big East can't get out fast enough. That left the Big East and Big 12 scrambling for new teams, as the Big East will accept almost anybody and the Big 12 gets to be a little more selective.

Lately, the talks have been that West Virginia will leave the Big East and join the Big 12. Many expect Missouri to follow Texas A&M to the SEC, but even if they don't, the Big 12 wants the Mountaineers in their conference anyway.

Well, now there are rumors floating around that the Big 12 may consider Louisville over West Virginia.

You can read that sentence again just to make sure you understand it.

West Virginia was the leading candidate to join the Big 12, and now those plans are put off because of Louisville? I could understand if it was Notre Dame, or maybe even BYU, but Louisville?

First off, neither team is a great fit geographically. Whichever Big East school the Big 12 decides to add, it will be a chore to schedule games. These teams are thousands of miles away, and traveling will be difficult to say the least. 

But if you're going to add a team from the Big East, it has to be West Virginia without question.

Louisville has been struggling to get its football program back on its feet ever since head coach Bobby Petrino left. Since 2007, they've only won one bowl game, and that was the only bowl game they've played in since that year.

West Virginia had a better football program then and has a better program now. Since 2005, the Mountaineers have won more bowl games than the Louisville Cardinals have even participated in.

The Mountaineers have also won two BCS bowl games compared to Louisville's one.

Let's also remember that West Virginia has been ranked every year since 2002, while Louisville hasn't been ranked since 2007.

West Virginia also draws a much bigger crowd and has a stadium that holds 5,000 more fans than Louisville's does. The Mountaineers have a huge fanbase and a strong following that could be compared to any in all of college football.

It seems that the only thing Louisville has over West Virginia is their basketball program, but recently, even that can be argued. The Mountaineers have held their own in basketball, making four appearances in the Sweet 16 since 2005. 

But the Big 12 isn't a basketball conference, so that can't be it.

Who knows what the plan is behind the Big 12's consideration of Louisville over West Virginia, but whatever it is, they can't be serious. 

West Virginia is by far the better program, and not even the Big 12 can mess that up.