MORGANTOWN With a break in the schedule this week, West Virginia University's football coaches will be hitting the road in hopes of finding future Mountaineers.
All 10 coaches will be out recruiting at some point in the coming days, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said. WVU, 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big East Conference, does not play a game until Oct. 21 at Syracuse, who is also idle this weekend.
Holgorsen said he has already been hit with the conference affiliation question by potential signees, especially after Syracuse and Pittsburgh both announced they will be bolting to the Atlantic Coast Conference in the coming months. Connecticut has made it well known that it, too, wishes to join the ACC, and Texas Christian, a school that announced last year that it would join the Big East, announced Monday it will instead join the Big 12.
The current shuffling could leave the Big East, which for now has an automatic BCS bid, with just WVU, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, Connecticut and South Florida as the only football member schools. The league has discussed the possibility of bringing in teams such as Temple, Air Force and Navy. East Carolina and Memphis are said to be interested in joining the conference.
"I know who recruits Texas, and I know where guys from Texas go to school," Holgorsen said Tuesday. "They go to school for reasons other than, 'I get to play TCU.' There's something to be here at West Virginia - 'I get to play at West Virginia' - as opposed to 'Golly, I get to play TCU.' To me, it's more about the place where you're at and what you have to offer."
Holgorsen said WVU is a very attractive situation for a potential football player and student. He said the fan base is "tremendous," adding that the finances and the facilities complete the picture.
"I think the product we put out there is very appealing to a whole lot of people," the coach said. "People want to come to West Virginia because of what you see.
"The atmosphere, the excitement, what you're putting out there on the field, what the athletic department brings to the table, perennial Top 20 programs in football, men's and women's basketball. Why wouldn't you want to be a part of it? The geography is fantastic. The landscape is fantastic. Why wouldn't West Virginia be attractive from a conference realignment standpoint and from a recruit's standpoint?"