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Big 12 football: OU-West Virginia takes over as conference's marquee game

For once, OU-Texas is not No. 1 on Berry Tramel's list of the most-anticipated Big 12 showdowns. Welcome to the Big 12, West Virginia.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 1, 2012

“I don't know about that,” said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Tech (2000-07) or OSU (2010) and thus well knows the Big 12 and the Sooners.

“Obviously, whole lot of things have to happen in order for that to come true.

“Hopefully we can win some games to make that game as good as everybody's anticipating.”

West Virginia is no stranger to big games. The Mountaineers played Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl for the 1988 national title. In the last seven seasons, they've beaten Clemson in the Orange Bowl, OU in the Fiesta Bowl and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

But it's been awhile since West Virginia played a game in Morgantown of the status OU could provide. The Mountaineers hosted LSU in 2011, Auburn in 2008 and Ohio State in 1998. But all of those games were pre-November.

You have to go back to 1993, when the Mountaineers upset Miami 17-14, to find a late-season showdown game in Morgantown.

If OU and West Virginia cooperate, Milan Puskar Stadium will be rocking just the way Boone Pickens Stadium rocked last December.

Welcome to the Big 12, West Virginia, and thanks for providing such a richly-anticipated game in Year 1.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at