A new conference home for TCU means that there are a whole host of new teams to be aware of. Some of them we are well acquainted with, others we've managed to face only once, but for all of them it's a good time to get reacquainted and maybe learn a new thing or two about our new and old conference mates. For that, Frogs O' War is proud to present the facts, stats and trivia of our big 12 brethren. Make the jump if you will, and see what there is to be seen about the defending Big East Champions and our fellow Big 12 newcomers- West Virginia University.
Tale of the Tape: West Virginia University
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
Stadium: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium (The Milan Puskar part was added in 2004 after a large donation was made by superfan and pharmaceutics mogul Milan Puskar- but most West Virginia fans ignore this addition).
Overall Record: 701-457-45, West Virginia has the fourteenth most wins of any college program all time.
Championships: Fifteen conference championships (Eight Southern Conference championships, seven Big East championships) .
Conference History: Independent from 1891-1924, joined the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1925-1927, left to be independent from 1928-1949, joined the Southern Conference from 1950-1967, went independent again in 1968 before joining the Big East in 1991-2011 until joining the Big 12 in 2012.
Traditions: Their band forms the outline of the state- pretty impressive for one of the less angular states. West Virginia also has the manliest mascot in college football (who also really gets around), who fires off a shot from his rifle after West Virginia scores. He may feel a bit outgunned with all of the canons that get hauled around in the Big 12, but at least he's packing. They also sing Country Roads before each game and after each victory- state pride to the max.
Pitt Panthers, Maryland Terrapins , Syracuse Orange, Virginia Tech Hokies, Marshall Thundering Herd and Penn State Nittany Lions. West Virginia has been playing football for a long time, often without a conference home- and as a result has had longstanding series with a large number of teams over the years- yet among the rivals the Backyard Brawl with Pitt stands out as one of the most heated in college football (both fanbases reach deep into the bag of vulgarities to address the other). The Maryland-West Virginia rivalry isn't nearly as heated, but it is contractually scheduled to continue through 2017, so it's at least enough of a priority to schedule at the expense of some of their other rivalries, the mountaineers lead the all time series 25-21-2 over the Terps . Other rivalries such as the Syracuse Orange who they played for the Floyd Schwartzwalder Trophy, with Syracuse leading the series 32-27, and likely to keep the trophy for the foreseeable future after they upset West Virginia last season. The Virginia Tech Hokies were also a longstanding rival of the Mountaineers, playing for the Black Diamond trophy (which is pretty awesome looking) with West Virginia leading the series 28-22-1 until Tech ended the series by leaving the Big East for the ACC. West Virginia also has an in state little brother "rival" in the Marshall Thundering Herd who West Virginia has won every game against, making it the most one sided rivalry outside of Texas/Texas A&M (I kid, I kid). West Virginia also has been on the butt end of a butt whipping series though, a long series with the Penn State Nittany Lions sees the Penn Staters leading the series 48-11. As you may have noticed, every single conference rival West Virginia has had abandoning them for the ACC- so there may be some abandonment issues going forward that TCU fans can be uniquely sympathetic to.
You may remember them from such TCU games as: TCU has only lost once to West Virginia, in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl. So forget that game and the series is totally even.
Have they been looking at other conferences?: West Virginia was "rumored" to be going to the ACC and SEC when those two conferences were supposedly thinking about expanding to sixteen teams, but those rumors and predictions didn't save West Virginia a spot at the big boy table when the ACC took two teams each and left West Virginia behind. Only the remnants of the Big 12 afforded West Virginia a safe haven from the storm of conference realignment, and the excitement in their fanbase about joining the Big 12 is palpable. They won't be going anywhere, but they are still probably attractive enough to other conferences that if the Big 12 does split for good they'll find a home somewhere above the Big East.
What else is "need to know" about West Virginia University: They're always the bridesmaid, never the bride . West Virginia football is the winningest program in the NCAA that has never won a national championship- seven hundred wins but only one undefeated season: 1922. The 10-0-1 Mountaineers could have had a claim to the title in some years, but in 1922 there were just a few other unbeaten teams to consider: Cornell University (8-0), Drake University (7-0), Princeton University (8-0), Cal (9-0), Iowa (7-0), Michigan (6-0-1), Army (8-0-2) and even Vanderbilt went undefeated at 8-0-1. If there had just been some outrage back then we could've had a playoff ninety years ago and not had to deal with the BCS crap at all. West Virginia has gotten close several times since, most recently dropping out of the #2 ranking in the last game of the 2007 regular season, leading to LSU making the title game and Michigan stealing West Virginia's coach instead of LSU's. Throughout the 2000s it seemed like every years some prognosticator (often Lee Corso) would decree that due to West Virginia's weak Big East competition they were likely to take a spot in the title game, but it just never seemed to happen for the mountaineers- now the competition gets a heck of a lot tougher, so if West Virginia ends up winning their first national championship in football we'll know they earned it. Maybe this time they'll spell their name right on the championship shirts, too.