Holgorsen: Big 12 Buzz is Building
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
April 25, 2012 05:56 PM
This spring, Dana Holgorsen was not too concerned about getting his players prepared for what they will face in the Big 12 Conference this fall, but that doesn’t mean his coaches have been ignoring those other nine schools West Virginia will be facing.
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It’s just that spring ball is more of a time for self improvement.
“There are a lot of things we have to do before we line up and play a Big 12 schedule, there is no question,” Holgorsen said earlier this week. “I feel like we’re about 33 percent from where we’re going to be prior to our Marshall game. We’ve got another 28 practices where we can worry about ourselves, and then we’ve got to worry about beating three non-conference opponents before we get into those games.”
Holgorsen said some subtle things are already taking place that will help his players when Baylor comes to Morgantown on Sept. 29 for the Mountaineers’ Big 12 opener.
“But the specifics on who our opponents are and what they do, we’ll get into that more when the season gets around,” he said.
Holgorsen knows the Big 12 Conference well and he believes his players will be excited to play in some of college football’s best venues this fall.
“And there is going to be a whole bunch of excitement about getting a bunch of top 20 schools to Morgantown as well,” Holgorsen pointed out. “I’ve won a lot of games at those different venues and lost some big games at some of those venues.”
Based on the response he has received so far, Holgorsen believes Mountaineer Nation is really embracing the move to the Big 12 Conference and is already enjoying the prominence the league has throughout the country.
“The one thing about the Big 12, which everybody understands, is it’s a little bit more of a national scope,” he said. “Being in the southwest and the TV coverage and the big-time BCS games that everybody has been to and playing for national championships – which Texas and Oklahoma have done – it’s on a national scale. It goes from west coast to east coast and a lot of the people on the east coast, because they are so media savvy, they understand that and they are anxious about seeing games that are played out there on the west coast. I’m not sure that existed in the Big East.”
And Holgorsen believes the buzz will only grow throughout the summer.
“The fans are educated. They are used to winning. The administration is educated and is used to winning and our players have been in big games in the past,” Holgorsen said. “They’ve been in BCS games, they’ve played non-conference opponents from the SEC, so they understand what they’re getting in to without us having to beat them over the head with it.
“I think everybody understands what it is and how big of a challenge it’s going to be and what we have to do to be able to prepare ourselves in order to compete.”