West Virginia Absolutely Fits in the ACC Conference

Morgantown, West Virginia – While a lot is up in the air and it’s impossible to tell where West Virginia will ultimately end up during conference realignment, the notion that West Virginia University isn’t academically strong enough or otherwise unsuited to join the ACC Conference is just false.

Louisville, who joined the ACC in 2014, is not a better fit in the conference than West Virginia. Although West Virginia’s academics aren’t exactly on par with the rest of the conference, they are with Louisville.

Two of the areas that West Virginia has been pointed out as too low to join the ACC – its academic ranking and acceptance rate – are both very similar to Louisville. West Virginia’s U.S. News ranking is #241 and Louisville’s is #176. West Virginia’s acceptance rate is 82% while Louisville’s is 72%.

While that acceptance rate is very high and is somewhat a black eye on the university, we must remember that West Virginia University serves a very poor state, and providing an education and opportunity to those who would otherwise not be served is actually very noble and should not be used against the university.

West Virginia is a superior football program historically compared to Louisville. West Virginia’s current fan ranking is #30. Louisville’s is #57. West Virginia has spent 306 weeks ranked in the associated press Top 25. Louisville has spent 143 weeks there.

West Virginia’s overall sports programs have been far more successful as well. West Virginia has 20 NCAA team titles, 58 NCAA individual titles and 11 Olympic medals won. Louisville has 3 team titles, 25 individual titles and 0 Olympic medals won.

So the question is, if adding Louisville wasn’t a mistake, how could adding West Virginia be one? Both schools share similar academic profiles and West Virginia’s football program (the only thing that truly matters financially in college athletics) is superior to Louisville.

How is Louisville “ACC-worthy” and West Virginia falls short?

With this said, the ACC could soon find itself in a desperation situation where it is forced to invite schools like West Virginia University that it previously deemed “not ACC-worthy.” Florida State, Clemson and Miami have all been rumored to be potentially moving to the SEC. If that happens, the ACC will need programs like West Virginia and perhaps other Big 12 Conference programs to join to remain relevant and alive.

Check out Justin “Couz” Walker’s take on the same subject: