EDMOND — Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen is excited about West Virginia officially joining the Big 12 Sunday. He believes Oklahoma and its fans will be partial to Morgantown's environment when it travels there Nov. 17 but not overwhelmed by it.
Holgorsen was one of a handful of Big 12 and former Big 12 coaches playing in the inaugural Verplank Foundation Invitational Monday morning.
How do you feel about joining the Big 12?
We're excited about it. The one thing about West Virginia is we're going to be able to come to the Big 12 and be the same as everybody else in the Big 12.
Attendance is a big thing. Atmosphere is a big thing. Culture is a big thing. We understand that. Everybody else in the Big 12 understands it too, so we'll fit right in.
Do you think the travel is going to affect your guys?
No. No, I think that's something everybody likes to talk about, but I don't think it's a big deal. You get on a plane. You either fly an hour, or you fly two hours. So really, it's not a big deal.
It's probably going to affect the basketball guys more than the football guys. Because the basketball guys, you know you gotta do it two or three times a week where with football it's just once a week. It's not that big of a deal.
Do you think being in the Big 12 will make it easier for you to recruit from Texas and Oklahoma?
No. We're going to continue to get the guys that we have for the last two decades — guys from the surrounding states of West Virginia plus Florida. We'll continue to recruit that. We started recruiting Texas a little bit here in the last two years.
We're not going to beat anybody else out in the Big 12 right now if you offer guys early. The one thing that we're going to try to do is just watch guys as seniors and try to make the best decisions we can.
What do you think about heading into your second season at WVU?
It's exciting. We got 16 starters coming back. We got a bunch of guys who are used to winning. They're not going to be fazed by big venues or any of that because we've been in that before.
It's going to be very challenging. There's probably six or seven top-20 teams in the Big 12, so it's going to be challenging. We understand that.
What do you think about welcoming OU to Morgantown this year?
OU's been in bigger venues than probably anybody in the country in the last two decades. They're going to like what they see from a cultural standpoint, from an atmosphere standpoint. But they're not going to be fazed by it. I can assure you that.