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A BIG (12) MOVE

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- All sports fans want their team to do great in whichever sport they play. Whether it's Little League, middle school, high school, college or pro, fans want to see their teams advance as far as possible.

Since WVU was accepted into the Big 12 Conference in October, that news has been the talk of the "town" among WVU fans everywhere. There have been some mixed emotions on whether WVU should or shouldn't have made the move, but overall, most fans are excited.

James Vickers, an English teacher at Valley, thinks the move to the Big 12 is going to be very exciting, especially when it comes to football. "The fact that Coach Holgorsen has coaching experience in the Big 12 Conference will help our players prepare to compete in the Big 12," he said.

He said he knows there will be an adjustment period for WVU's first year in the Big 12, but he feels deep inside that the team will do tremendously well on the field. He believes the move is good for the fans, too.

"I think our fans will have a tremendous desire to see us compete on the road against teams like Texas and Oklahoma" he said, adding that he expects to see some chartered flights from Yeager Airport to Midwestern destinations within the next couple years.

He also believes that moving to the Big 12 will gain the Mountaineers a lot more fans. "All the fans in the state will continue to support the Mountaineers, but with moving up to the Big 12, it will give us an opportunity to gain new fans from the Midwestern states."

Whether the Mountaineers win or lose every game, Vickers will remain a fan of Mountaineer sports. "If you only support your team when they're winning, you're not a real fan" he said.

Zak Evans, a junior at Valley, also believes that it's a great move for WVU, and not just for the football team, but for all the sports. He believes that both the football and basketball teams are ready.

"Of course, leaving the Big East in basketball will be tough, but the Big 12 is just fine in my opinion," he said.

As for football, he said, "Holgorsen brought his offense to WVU that he used in the Big 12 and has dominated."

Evans expects the Mountaineers to do great in the Big 12. "We're always underestimated because of the schedule we play," he said.

Some people think WVU may turn into a team like Kentucky in the SEC, where it does well in one sport but not others, but Evans personally believes the school will get more and better recruits, which will help later on down the road.

Regardless of how the season turns out, though, Evans will always be one of the Mountaineers' biggest fans. He believes fan support from others will probably remain the same.

"We've had bad years in the past, but still, people love their Mountaineers."


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