Football season arrives with Big 12 Media Days

Mountaineers begin 2022 season in just 50 days
Irish Pub prepares for St. Patrick's Day
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:36 PM EDT
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ARLINGTON, Texas (WDTV) - Big 12 Conference Media Days kicked off in Arlington with the introduction of new commissioner Brett Yormark, as well as remarks from five of the league’s coaches.

“We’ve had a good year,” outgoing Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said regarding the 2021 athletic year. “Name a sport and the Big 12 is competing well nationally and we’re competing at the very highest levels.”

Conference realignment was the topic at the forefront of conversation and will continue to be through other conference media days over the next few weeks. Both commissioners were unable to answer exactly what the future entails for the Big 12, but promised it is bright.

“One thing is for sure. There is no doubt that the Big 12 is open for business. We will leave no stone unturned to drive value for the conference,” incoming Big 12 Conference commissioner Yormark said. “Just as I pledged to the Board, we will be bold and humble, aggressive and thoughtful, and innovative and creative, all in an effort to position the conference in a way that not only grows the Big 12 brand and business but makes us a bit more contemporary.”

West Virginia was represented by head coach Neal Brown, as well as players Bryce Ford Wheaton, Dante Stills, Zach Frazier, Charles Woods and Champion for Life Sam James. Realignment isn’t something new to the Mountaineers.

“I’m really excited about the direction of the Big 12 Conference. I think some things over the past few weeks have created a great opportunity for our league. From a West Virginia perspective, we’re maybe a little different than some of the schools with uniforms up here,” head coach Neal Brown said. “We’ve played in multiple leagues over the last 50 to 75 years. We’ve even been an independent. The one constant is that West Virginia football has always been successful and has always figured out how to make it work. So from a long term perspective, I have great faith that West Virginia football is going to be just fine.”

The Mountaineers still have a quarterback to select over the next month, but return their top seven guys on the offensive line and a defense that is typically one of the best in the conference, as well as talent throughout all position groups in returners and transfer additions.

“This defensive unit has the opportunity to be the best we’ve fielded so far. We’re never gonna lose what makes West Virginia special and that the toughness,” Brown said. “We really try to mirror the mindset of our state and West Virginia - its blue collar group. They go to work and are really proud of their heritage. That’s the same fundamentals that were trying to look for and trying to put on our field on the defensive side of the ball.”

West Virginia begins its season on Sept. 1 in the Backyard Brawl, facing Pitt at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.

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