Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Big 12, WVU Looking for Bowl Beauty

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Big 12, WVU Looking for Bowl Beauty

Article excerpt

Much of the water-cooler banter Monday surrounded the Miss Universe Pageant and the mistake of Mountain State native Steve Harvey. (Let's face it, the mistake was indeed a beaut.) Yet another type of beauty contest is beginning in college football: the bowl season.

Of course, WVU coach Dana Holgorsen is looking for a picturesque finish to the Mountaineers' season. West Virginia finished 4-5 in Big 12 play and 7-5 overall. His job security swayed in the wind after the Kansas State loss, and some in the know say the Cactus Bowl outcome is still important, at least in regard to contract negotiations.

When reached Monday, WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said "we're looking at his agreement to see if anything can be done. At this point, nothing has been done.

Lyons, however, has said Holgorsen is safe for 2016.

Bringing us to the Big 12 as a whole.

If you don't think there are always moving parts within college athletics, you haven't spoken to the proverbial movers and shakers.

WVU president E. Gordon Gee is among them. And among other things, he's on the Big 12 expansion committee.

Here's what he had to say on Monday about possible expansion:

"We're kind of on a hiatus period, Gee said. "We wanted to see how the conference fared in the College Football Playoff this year.

Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholders: Gee and others on the committee. They see elegance and refinement this season. That's on the heels of an ugly 2014-15, which saw no Big 12 team make the playoffs.

This season, Oklahoma made the grade. And guess what? Whatever wheels were grinding toward Big 12 expansion has slowed. At least for now.

"Since Oklahoma made the playoffs, Gee said, "some of the impetus for expanding isn't there. I'd say about half the presidents are in favor of expansion and half are not.

"I don't know when the next meeting is, but I know we're still doing a lot of research and will have a vigorous discussion on it. It's just low-key now because of Oklahoma.

He pointed out the league actually fared well this past season, and he's correct. In the Sagarin computer rankings, the Big 12 finished No. 2 to the SEC West. …

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