Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville was interviewed by ESPN 103.3 FM's Ian Fitzsimmons after reports came out that West Virginia would be coming to the Big 12 if Missouri leaves for the SEC. Tuberville made it clear West Virginia wasn't his first choice, and he hopes the conference looks to expand in the future.
Asked what he thought about adding West Virginia to the Big 12:
“I don’t know. The jury’s going to still be out on that. It’s hard to get to West Virginia. Man, I don’t know whether these people realize … because you’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and then you’ve got an hour and a half ride to Morgantown. It’s a great place. It’s just an excellent college town and they play very good football. I’ve coached many games there. It’s a heck of an atmosphere. “
“The travel for basketball, baseball, everybody involved is a little different. I thought it would be Louisville. I thought they would be a better fit for the situation for the Big 12. West Virginia’s going to be great. It’s just the distance and travel is going to be different for everybody and just being able to get there and for fans to get in and out. But it’s a great school a lot of tradition …”
“It’s a good fit for football. Whether it fits everybody else, I don’t know.”
“(Tech officials) asked me and I told them either one’s fine. It’s just the logistics for football are going to be a lot better because you only have to go one time every two years. “
Asked if he preferred 10 or 12 schools in conference?
“I’d rather have 12. I’d rather have a conference championship game and it’s funny coming from a coach who used to not like that. It’s a situation where we could get shut out even though a team might go undefeated that year without playing a championship game. You don’t need that chance.”
Asked what he thinks about the state of the Big 12:
“It’s gonna be fine. Look at TCU coming in. I hated to lose A&M, their tradition and rivalries, but TCU will bring a lot to the table. It’s going to help them tremendously. They’ll grow and expand. Gary (Patterson) has already got it to a point, but this will help it that much more.”
“With Missouri leaving, I don’t think … I hate to lose them, but it’s not like a Texas team. It’s not like a team from this state. We hate to lose that TV market, but now we go to the Pittsburgh, West Virginia area and we’ll have a TV market there.”
What teams would he go after to get to 12 teams?
“Travel destinations for our fans. A lot of people would think I’m crazy, but I would go after San Diego State and I’d go after Tulane. They both have great stadiums. Both would grow immensely if they went to a conference like this. I know right now, one, San Diego State is doing pretty good. Tulane is not, but they’ve got the Superdome, they’ve got New Orleans for people to go in and out. I think you look at things like that and TV markets.”