Column - Realignment overshadowing LSU game
Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 23:09
Ever since preseason practice began, Mountaineer fans have had Saturday circled on their calendars.
The fourth Saturday in September brings one of the most anticipated nonconference home games in the history of Mountaineer Field. Two nationally ranked and undefeated foes will do battle on a Saturday night in Morgantown.
Yet, somehow, the talks this week have been about conference realignment and not the matchup with the second-ranked LSU Tigers.
That is sickening.
The news about Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving the Big East Conference and bolting for the ACC has left the state of West Virginia on edge.
The recent reports – which still haven't been confirmed – about WVU being rejected by the ACC and SEC have left West Virginia fans pondering the future of the program.
They need to realize, the fate of the athletic department's future is out of their hands. There is nothing they can do to ensure a successful future in conference realignment.
But there is something they can control, something that is occurring right now, and that is the atmosphere at Milan
Puskar Stadium this weekend.
All eyes will be on Morgantown this Saturday night when the No. 2 LSU take on No. 16 West Virginia.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., and will be nationally televised on ABC.
For the first time, ESPN's College GameDay will make an appearance in Morgantown. This will bring some popular faces to the Mountain State, including Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler and yes, of course, Erin Andrews.
The game has been announced as a Gold Rush, with more than 55,000 gold towels being placed on the seats.
"America's Got Talent" season six winner and West Virginia's very own Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. will perform the National Anthem before the game.
After saying all of this, I would like to challenge Mountaineer fans.
First, I challenge you to completely disregard all ideas in connection with conference realignment.
I challenge you to set the alarm clocks early on Saturday morning and make your way to the Lair Green. Be loud, but respectful as you welcome the college football world to the city of Morgantown and West Virginia University on ESPN's Gameday.
Get to the stadium early Saturday night and stay late. Wear gold and wave the towels supplied to you with force. Cheer on your team with passion, respect and dignity.
Not often are you presented with an opportunity to be on such a national stage.
If you are loyal fans as constantly stated, you will abide by the above mentioned suggestions.
The team deserves your support.
Conference realignment will eventually lead to a new era at West Virginia University. I would be shocked if Athletic Director Oliver Luck and university officials allowed West Virginia University to be left behind. They will do their job to solidify a successful future.
Now it's your turn.