Bluff may have forced Louisville off the fence

West Virginia never made sense. Not going first, anyway.

Not only to University of Louisville fans but to a number of administrators in the Big 12 Conference. And whatever it was, a leak by a West Virginia administrator or a Big 12 official to the New York Times, there appears to be resistance to WVU being announced as the newest conference member.

Some reports indicate that U of L had an invitation but was waiting to see if all the Big 12 schools signed the deal regarding television rights. That Tom Jurich wanted assurances that UofL wouldn’t be entering another conference that was about to implode.

Speculation is that the Big 12 was calling UofL’s hand with the leak about West Virginia. In hindsight, one should have seen it coming with reports last weekend that WVU was overtaking Louisville. Trying to get Jurich off the fence, force him to swallow his concerns. He appeared to be holding firm, forcing the conference to play the WVU card.

Mitch McConnell gets in on the action.

But then Louisville may have played its ultimate trump card in the person of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, twice named Card Game’s Fan of the Week in the past, who attends every U of L game at home and many on the road.

McConnell had discussions with Oklahoma President David Boren (a former U.S. Senator himself) Tuesday evening, urging that Louisville be strongly considered. If you’ve ever seen McConnell going after a cause, you know he can be very persuasive. Now the New York Times is reporting that Louisville may be getting invited instead of West Virginia.

At any rate, the conference may have succeeded in its bluff. Louisville may now be prepared to act. If indeed that’s the way this conference realignment game is being played.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

14 thoughts on “Bluff may have forced Louisville off the fence

  • October 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Way to go Senator McConnell. Thanks for getting involved on behalf of yours and my favorite team.

  • October 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Doggone right. Doesn’t make sense of all. Who would prefer to have the Mountaineers’ 900,000 ticket-buying, t-shirt wearing, TV-watching, bowl-attending fans when you can have Louisville’s 10,000???

    • October 26, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      900,000??That’s half the population of WV.

    • October 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      How about 40,000 to the Orange Bowl in 2007? Try a little research.

  • October 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Bitch McConnell might wanna think twice about coming to WV to watch the cards.. People would be sighting in their .308’s for that chance..

    • October 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Ive been there for two games and almost got punched out just minding my own business. Drove through WV in May and hadn’t gotten 50 miles in before three different drivers saw my UofL plate and gave me the finger. With a seven letter head start most of the people in WV couldn’t spell “courtesy.”

  • October 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I hope this come to fruition because the Big East is dead. Guess we shouldn’t say “go to hell Big 12” too soon!!! Go Cards!

  • October 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Buffer said, “Let’s get ready to rumble”! U of L vs. WVU.

  • October 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    They should wait till the game and take the winner.

  • October 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    The good old days (haha), if only the Metro Conference could’ve stayed together:

    Memphis State
    Saint Louis
    Florida State
    Virginia Tech
    Southern Miss
    South Carolina

  • October 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Shame Florida State didn’t want to play football. We were stuck with Hugh Durham’s antics.

  • October 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    First of all, let me say how sad it is that we (WVU & Louisville) are fighting each other to get into a conference that is about as unprofessional and dysfunctional as it gets. Is this type of behavior from the Big 12 conference and schools what we envision when we think of institutes of higher learning? Are these the moral guidelines that we pay these institutions to instill into our children?

    As a die hard Mountaineer fan, I have always been the first to support every Big East team. Sure we have always been strong in basketball, but unfortunately we live in a world that is driven by football revenue from the Networks. Unfortunately for all of us, the Big East officials have been reactionary instead of being proactive and in this vicious media driven environment you will pay heavily. I am truly sad that we need to get out of the Big East but when a ship is sinking there isn’t much you can do.

    Back to the debacle, this was a power play by the Big 12 schools to move from a 10 school conference to a 12 school conference. The worst part is that our schools are the pawns that get drug through the mud and embarrassed nationally. Right now it appears that we are both going to be joining the conference on Monday. I hope so. I also hope that Cincinnati can join us shortly. I have cheered for you every non-conference game you guys have played and I don’t want network greed or conference politics to tarnish the great relationship the two schools have had.

    The ironic part is that I think we are going to be right back in this situation when the egos of Oklahoma and Texas rip the conference further apart in 6 years when the revenue sharing will expire.

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