I understand that Senators Manchin and Rockefeller have offered various allegations and opinions in response to Senator McConnell supposedly throwing a wrench in the WVU/Big XII realignment gears. Being politicians and not wanting to sacrifice the hard earned disdain America has for its Congress, the Senators took the high road and made baseless accusations while completely redefining the circumstance and reality of conference realignment.
Let's take a look.
"The Big 12 picked WVU on the strength of its program -- period," Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said in a statement. "Now the media reports that political games may upend that. That's just flat wrong. I am doing and will do whatever it takes to get us back to the merits."
A few things wrong here. I find the best way to clear up ambiguous information is by creating lists. Organization typically makes decision making and prioritization easier. I'm looking at you, Congress.
1. There is no evidence anywhere in the media that WVU was picked on the perceived strength of their program. If that is the case, then it is certainly something known to only people on the inside workings of the realignment game. Judging by Sen. Rockefeller's disdain for political games being played here, I can't imagine that he would be one of the people on the inside. If he is, then he looks incredibly stupid saying that it's only breaking the rules when someone else does it.
2. The strength of WVU's program is not stronger than U of L. U of L wins the merit battle every time. Better Director's Cup standing, More Basketball NC's than WVU has Final Fours. Urban university with great medical research accolades, nearly double their endowment, and a media market that sports 1.6 million sets of eyes. The only argument to be made here is football. If you think WVU football is drastically better than U of L football as an overall program, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
3. Conference realignment is not, never was, and will not end up being about merit. What we see here is a man with strong pride for his home state trying to write the rules, and it's blatantly erroneous. Conference realignment is about money, media market share, money, and money. I've paid U of L a lot of my dollars to know what kind of impact those things have on virtually every part of our lives, Sen. Rockefeller is not stupid, but he is certainly wrong.
Next We move on the Sen. Manchin. He's easy.
"If the story that we have been told has any merit to it, I've been very clear," Manchin said. "If somebody, a U.S. Senator would intervene after the process took place, that's wrong and it's unacceptable. And at that point in time if that happened, I will ask for a Senate investigation. I don't believe that that is the way that this game should be played."
"I would have expected Senator Mitch McConnell, on behalf of Louisville or any other school in Kentucky, to do everything he could to make sure that that school was looked at with the highest favor going through the process of evaluation," Manchin said.
Looks like you answered your own question there, Joe.