How Would West Virginia Fare in Newly Realigned Mid-American Conference?

Schuyler Callihan

As college football realignment nears its ten year anniversary, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde did some reshuffling of his own and completely redesigned the college football landscape to make everything more competitive. 

Below is a look at how the conferences shook out.

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 10.30.17 AM

Here's why it would work:

Completely realigning conferences in the NCAA is something that needs to be done in order to create competitive balance in college football and would give the smaller schools a chance. Having this would allow smaller schools to potentially compete for recruits they normally wouldn't be able to reel in and not only that, but it could provide a huge financial boost to those schools as well. In addition to that, the narrative of certain conferences being overwhelmingly better than others would be less likely to exist. Now, obviously there will be some conferences that are purely better and that will always happen in realignment, but this is the best way to go about it. Mix some small schools in and create that competitive balance.

Here's why it wouldn't work:

As much as I'd love to see something similar to this happen, it's highly unlikely. The reason being? Several of these schools would not be willing to sacrifice long time rivals for a complete realignment. Not to mention, seeing Power Five conferences blow up would mean those schools would have an equal revenue share with schools that don't necessarily generate much revenue. For example, West Virginia and Marshall don't bring in the same revenue, yet would both receive the same share.

How would West Virginia fare in this conference?

In this conference, I would say West Virginia would likely be in the top three alongside Tennessee and Notre Dame on a yearly basis. Having the "rivalry" with Louisville would be a nice return and Kentucky would be the wild card as a team who could contend every now and then. Reaching nine or ten wins may be a tad bit easier in this conference than the Big 12, but would also come with some challenges as well.

Below is a look at West Virginia's all-time record vs each team in the newly Mid-American conference in which they would be a part of.

Illinois: 1-1

Kentucky: 8-11-1

Louisville: 10-3

Marshall: 12-0

Middle Tennessee: No previous matchups

Northern Illinois: 1-0

Northwestern: No previous matchups

Notre Dame: 0-4

Tennessee: 1-0

Vanderbilt: 1-1

Western Kentucky: No previous matchups

Below is how I would expect the teams to finish on average

1. Notre Dame

2. Tennessee

3. West Virginia

4. Louisville

5. Kentucky

6. Northwestern

7. Illinois

8. Northern Illinois

9. Vanderbilt

10. Western Kentucky

11. Marshall

12. Middle Tennesssee

What do you think of the conference realignment? And what do you think of West Virginia's generated Mid-American Conference? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

Facebook - @WVUonSI

Twitter - @SI_WVU and Schuyler Callihan at @Callihan_.

Comments (4)
No. 1-4

Pitt and WVU should be in the same conference...otherwise, I like it. Reduced travel time & cost should be the goal in this exercise so the student athlete has more time to be a student.


Interesting he went with 10 conferences. Another structure could be 8 conferences of 16 teams with two eight team divisions. Seven “in conference” games and 5 out. Division champs play the other side for conference champion who play an eight team playoff. College football certainly would not go for it because this structure means the (small “t”) Ohio State AD would not be on a selection committee to promote OSU getting in if they lost their conference game.


Probably time to stop pimping No Cred Pat Forde's fever dream. Working for SI is no excuse for this level of idiocy.

Christopher Hall
Christopher Hall


I like Pat Forde but not having WVU and Pitt in the same conference is criminal lol. They're 70 miles apart!