Big 12 exposure excites WVU's Holgorsen

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen could list plenty of advantages of leaving the Big East for the Big 12.

The Mountaineers will be cashing bigger checks. They'll cash in on fan excitement for newer, big-name opponents making their way to Morgantown, too.

But for Holgorsen, what excites him most is making sure his players get a chance to be recognized for their efforts as deserved.

"Having guys like Tavon Austin and Geno [Smith] be in front of that many more eyes, they’ll get the credit they deserve if they can produce and win football games," Holgorsen said.

West Virginia played each of its 13 games in 2011 on television, but the television exposure gap between the Big East and Big 12 is large.

"We understand the exposure, although it was limited to the Northeast," Holgorsen said. "The thing that I’m excited about for West Virginia, and not only football but basketball and the university and the state is the Big 12 is viewed West Coast to East Coast because of the time zone."

The Big East can put games on TV, but as a league that's struggled to consistently field top-25 teams in recent years, it can't make fans watch.

One game in 2011 influenced public opinion about West Virginia more than any other. When people think West Virginia in 2011, the lasting image will be its 70-point explosion in the Orange Bowl win over Clemson.

That's closer to what West Virginia can expect in the Big 12, versus its weekly viewing audience in the Big East.