Editor’s note: Apparently some Big 12 schools are not pleased with West Virignia being picked over Louisville, and that move is meeting some resistance as we speak. Regardless of how that turns out, the following will remain true:

Feeling slighted by the lack of an invitation to the Big 12? Of course.

But the first thing for University of Louisville fans need to remember is that the school has been here in this situation before. It could be argued that U of L has been in inferior conferences for most of its athletic existence.

Over the years, Louisville has competed in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Ohio Valley Conference, the Missouri Valley Conference, the Metro Conference, Conference USA, and the Big East Conference. The KIAC, the OVC, the MVC and the Big East are still around, the others have been relegated to ash heap of conference realignments.

Tom Jurich

The one constant is that the University of Louisville has been always successful, enjoying significant athletic achievements, adding state-of-the-art facilities and increasing its fan base in ways that are the envy of many schools, both inside and outside of major conferences.

The athletic feats over the years include two national basketball championships. three top 10 finishes and a BCS win in football, a College World Series appearance in baseball, national championship appearances in women’s basketball and soccer, and a couple of dozen conference championships in different sports along the way.

Facilities include the 22,000-seat Kentucky Yum! Center, a 55,000-seat Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and super playing facilities for the non-revenue sports. Fan support in basketball is consistently among the top three in the nation and football attendance has grown from 32,000 a couple of seasons ago to more than 48,000 fans per game.

Not being invited to the Big 12 is disappointing for sure, but it’s not the end of fanaticism for U of L sports. Despite what the pessimists say, those inclined to gnashing of teeth and getting off the ship. Who needs or wants those kind of fans anyway?

If the Big East is to be our home, U of L will work to make it better and loyal fans will get behind the efforts. There are options, especially now that Louisville is in a leadership role. I’m never going to advocate Tom Jurich to be conference commissioner because we need him here. He’s the one responsible for the phenomenal progress over the past decade.

Those being critical of Jurich for not getting U of L in the Big 12 fail to recognize that he was the person that made UofL’s consideration possible. Take the bitching and shove it.

Many different scenarios are being played out for strengthening the Big East. If the Big 12 is in the rear view mirror, Jurich can refocus his considerable creativity and energies on that singular objective.  Have no doubt that that will include a new structure for football schools. Unless one is a football snob, one has to admit some decent programs being mentioned.

No, the reshaping of the Big East is never going to be the Big 12 or the Big Whatever, but rest assured that Tom Jurich will do everything possible to strengthen the conference.  We should expect no less. But he will also ensure that U of L has opportunities to grow and build on its accomplishments no matter where UofL is situated.

Conference affiliations have come and gone but Louisville has remained strong. That’s not going to change.

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By Charlie Springer

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