EDITORIAL: Big 12 should say NO to Louisville

Today, the Big 12 Expansion Committee met regarding bringing the Big 12 back to, well, 12 members.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (that’s a legit name for a legit publication), the Big 12 is looking at the University of Louisville, and Brigham Young University (aka Bring ‘em Young University).

Depending on who you believe, Louisville fans have this delusion (a Craig James-level delusion) that they actually turned down an invite, and that WVU was the 2nd choice. We all know how that worked out, right? Keep in mind that FOOTBALL is the main source behind conference realignment.

Anyway, I’m about to discuss why Louisville would be BAD for the Big 12. Come join me…

They are historically a basketball school

That’s right, this school that the Big 12 is rumored to be slobbering over is a basketball school… even before Rick “3 seconds” Pitino came to town. First, some all-time stats…

Category Number National Rank
All-time NCAA Tournaments 37 5th
All-time NCAA Tournament Wins 60 6th
All-time NCAA Final Fours 8 T-7th
All-time Winning Percentage .656 10th

Not too shabby, right? Nope. In fact, some of their past coaches have been successful in hoops…

Coaches like Peck Hickman (school’s first basketball titles, NAIB and NIT, and their first Final 4 Apperance), John Dromo and Denny Crum (6 Final 4s, 2 NCAA Titles, 23 NCAA Titles, 23 Metro Conference Titles with 12 regular season and 11 tournament) have made Louisville a good basketball school. Rick Pitino has continued that success to this day. Too bad he still doesn’t know sh*t about loyalty (see: Karen Sypher)

Verdict: Louisville would be a perfect fit for the ACC. ACC is wanting to build a strong basketball conference, and Louisville would be a perfect addition.

Louisville football is not that good.

Now… Louisville football. Nobody heard of Louisville football until John Smith, then Bobby Petrino came along. (Nobody cared about L-Ville football when Lee Corso was coaching.)

When Smith came along, he was coaching them in Conference USA and finished with a 41-21 record during that time, including an 11-2 finish in 2001, and 2 C-USA Titles in 2000 & 2001. Then, Bobby Petrino came along and that’s when the program took off.

Petrino was 21-4 during his time in the Big East. In the first year, in addition to that awesome game in Morgantown where they lost, they went to the Gator Bowl. That next year, they won the Big East title and won the Orange Bowl against a lowly Wake Forest team.

After Petrino left, their football team went down the crapper. Steve Kragthorpe never got Louisville to a bowl, couldn’t win more than 6 games in a season, and stunk the Big East up. Tied for 7th in 2008 and 2009.

Recently, Charlie Strong has had 2 back-to-back 7-6 seasons. The program hasn’t made much progress, even though they somehow got a share of the Big East championship this past season. There’s a difference between a 10-3 Big East Champion and a 7-6 Big East Champion. Yet, they are always involved in “Big 12 conference realignment rumors.”

From 2005 to the present, here are some stats comparing WVU vs Louisville. First, Louisville:

2005: 9-3, Top 25 Finish
2006: 12-1, Undisputed Big East Championship, Orange Bowl Championship, Top 10 Finish
2007: 6-6
2008: 5-7
2009: 4-8
2010: 7-6
2011: 7-6, Big East Championship

Meanwhile, to compare WVU football in that same timespan:

2005: 11-1, Undisputed Big East Championship, Top 10 Finish
2006: 11-2, Gator Bowl Championship, Top 10 Finish
2007: 11-2, Big East Championship, Fiesta Bowl Championship, Top 10 Finish
2008: 9-4, Car Care Bowl Championship, Top 25 Finish
2009: 9-4, Top 25 Finish
2010: 9-4, Big East Championship
2011: 10-3, Big East Championship, Orange Bowl Championship, Top 25 Finish.

Verdict…

WVU Football: 70-20, 4 Big East Championships (1 Undisputed BE Championship – 2005), 3-0 in the BCS (Sugar, Fiesta, Orange Bowls), 6 Top 25 finishes, and 3 Top 10 finishes.

UofL Football: 50-27, 2 Big East Championships (1 Undisputed BE Championship – 2006), 1-0 in the BCS (Orange), 1 Top 10 finish, 2 Top 25 finishes.

The numbers speak for themselves. Louisville is a mediocre football team that hasn’t shown that they would be worthy of being in a bigger and better conference. After the 2006 season, Petrino bolted for the NFL and Cardinals football fell apart. The Big 12 would NOT be doing themselves any favors by inviting Louisville. If they’re truly wanting to better the football conference, Louisville is not the answer to that problem. The only conference Louisville would help in this round of conference realignment would be the ACC.

Also, WVU would enjoy a huge recruiting advantage over Louisville in the eastern region. Would you rather play on national tv every week, or play on national tv several weeks every season? It’s an obvious no-brainer.

Finally, the last point, their unofficial PR campaign against WVU when WVU was announced to be Team #10 in the Big 12, and not Louisville. From them supposedly not bringing their cheerleaders to Morgantown (and they ended up coming… no wonder Morgantown smelled bad that day), to a certain “media member” wanting Louisville fans to tape confrontations with WVU fans, to Mitch McConnell trying to pull a Nucky Thompson and negotiate a backdoor deal for Louisville to be #10 with Oklahoma President David Boren (which caused the 11th hour holdup early that week), this is not what the Big 12 needs as they seek to rebuild and replenish a great conference. Not to mention all the sniping taking place on the Loserville message boards.

We are publicly lobbying against Louisville, and request that you do the same. How?

Simple: Contact WVU President Jim Clements ([email protected]/304-293-5531), WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck ([email protected]/304-293-5621) and Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas ([email protected]/469-524-1000) and POLITELY let them know that Louisville should not be included in the Big 12′s plans. You can use information from the site, or you can also research and add your own information when talking to Clements, Luck, and/or Neinas.

Topics: Big 12, Conference Realignment, Louisville, Louisville Sucks, WVU, WVU Football

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  • yatesc

    @HailWV Realistically, who would you like to see instead other than BYU?

  • HailWV

    @yatesc I’d say South Florida to keep the FL pipeline open.

  • yatesc

    @HailWV …you realize that USF is orders of magnitude worse at football than U of L, right?

  • HailWV

    @yatesc perhaps. MAYBE. But, that FL pipeline has made dividends over the years. Plus, I just absolutely hate Loserville

  • yatesc

    @HailWV Run the numbers. USF is way, way worse at football. Recruiting pipeline is great, but that op-ed only judged UL on football skill.

  • yatesc

    @HailWV Not saying it should be UofL. But after BYU, they’re the best available team in terms of football history. (Ain’t saying much.)

  • HailWV

    @yatesc yes it is. You’re absolutely right. And, no, I will not change my mind on Louisville. They deserve to rot in the Big Least

  • yatesc

    @HailWV I’m not saying to stop hating UofL. :) I’m just saying that by some measures they’re the best option for team number 12.

  • HailWV

    @yatesc lol I was under the impression BYU was out of the picture bc of the “culture” in Provo, UT?

  • yatesc

    @HailWV I don’t think they’ll join up. :) But they’re far and away the best available school. (i.e. not inexorably linked to another conf.)

  • JRsec

    Who would you rather have? BYU is still saying no. There’s Tulsa, LaTech, Southern Miss, Memphis, Cincy, Rutgers, South Florida, Colorado State, Air Force, UConn, etc, to realistically pick from. Louisville brings the largest market share outside of UConn whom I doubt would go Big12. Southern Miss has the next best football program, but other than UL only UConn has won a championship in anything. Do you guys really want KU to be your closest road game?

  • http://www.holgoritaville.com/ hailwv

    @JRsec Actually, Iowa St is the closest road game. Second, I’m so sick of hearing about this “travel partner” and “close proximity” crap… football is played ONE DAY a week. Unfortunately, it’s not every week in the year.

    Louisville does NOT bring a thing to the conference, and they’d be exposed for the mid-major Metro University that they are.

  • JRsec

    I did forget about ISU when I made the post. I was one who was hoping you guys would wind up in the SEC. There will be some after shifting after the dominoes fall. If the Big 12 gets raided again, or OU & OSU bolt you guys would still be an attractive market. If the ACC gets raided the SEC could grow with a couple of unexpected catches. Either way I think we wait on #15 & #16. Good Luck!

  • http://www.holgoritaville.com/ hailwv

    @JRsec thanks… we were all wanting the SEC. Best of luck to y’all as well.

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