The Charleston Daily Mail's Mike Casazza tweets that West Virginia is nearing a deal to send its football team to play James Madison University at FedEx Field near Washington, DC in 2012. His report in the Daily Mail is down for some reason, but he's still tweeting about it.â†µ
The Smoking Musket has a good take on the meaning behind this move. Essentially, it's about expanding WVU's reach, and connecting with the many alumni in the Washington, DC area. While also, you know, getting a bunch of money.â†µ
What [athletic director Oliver Luck] can do is expand West Virginia's footprint. The first step of that expansion was the hiring of Dana Holgorsen. Holgorsen's brand of exciting football is not only meant to win games, but increase the appeal of Mountaineer football across the country. And once you have an exciting product, you can take that show on the road ... Considering that no team truly controls the market (Maryland and Virginia Tech are the strongest claims), you have an opportunity for West Virginia to show that their appeal extends far from the borders of a state with just 1.8 million residents.â†µ
Right. Obviously, West Virginia isn't going to beat out Maryland to become the biggest team in the DC area, but it makes sense for them to try to make strides in that market. Also, the game is going to be a fun road trip for a lot of folks in Morgantown.