Almost one year ago it appeared the Big 12 Conference was on it’s way to Armageddon. It had just lost Nebraska and Colorado and Texas A&M was making it know it wanted out of the conference. From then on there were questions of whether or not the conference would survive. Flash forward to now and all of that appears to be in the rearview mirror.
Both TCU and West Virginia are set to join the Big 12 Conference and many of the conference’s athletic directors feel this new look conference will be one of the top football leagues in the nation. And the addition of West Virginia will play a huge role in that.
“West Virginia is going to be a very formidable program when they join the Big 12,” said Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw on Inside College Basketball on Sirius XM Sports. “Certainly if you look at what they did last year in football and winning the Orange Bowl, they will probably be a Top 10 preseason football program by most publications.”
The Mountaineers did end the season with a bang scoring a bowl record 70 points in their BCS win against the Clemson Tigers. The team’s ten-touchdown performance impressed everyone in the Big 12 and in the college football world. McCaw feels the addition of WVU to the Big 12 will make the conference stronger than it has ever been, especially after all they had to deal with in the past year.
“Those are very anxious times for us and certainly challenged all of us in the Big 12,” stated McCaw. “We were able to weather the storm and I think the Big 12 has come out of it extremely well and I don’t think we’ve been any better than we’ve been right now.”
McCaw says the conference isn’t just excited about the Mountaineers joining in football, but all of the other sports. Baylor’s men’s basketball team is currently ranked 9th in the AP poll and has one of the top players in the nation in Perry Jones III. They faced West Virginia early this year and Baylor came away with the win, 83-81, but it took overtime to do so. McCaw admits the Mountaineers put a little scare in the bears that day.
“That was a great game and came right down to the wire and I think that was maybe an introduction to what West Virginia is going to bring to the Big 12,” stated McCaw. “They’re immediately going to be one of the better teams in the conference in basketball. Coach [Bob] Huggins does an outstanding job. They have a lot of talent. I remember that game they crashed the boards on us and they’re going to be a perennial Top 25 basketball program.”
To hear McCaw’s complete interview about WVU on Sirius XM Sports click here.