Across the same time, TCU (seven, three shared) and WVU (six, five shared) have combined for 13 championships, five BCS appearances and four BCS wins.
"Is it going to be tougher in the Big 12 than it was in the Big East or the Mountain West?" Bowlsby asked of the prior homes of WVU and TCU, which also was in the Western Athletic Conference and Conference USA since 1998. "I certainly expect that it will be and my guess is the remaining institutions will work to make sure it is that way."
The transitions aren't easy. The ACC, Big East, Big Ten and Pac-12 all have made major realignment moves since 2004, but only one new member has won the league championship in its first year. Virginia Tech claimed the ACC in 2004. Louisville was the picked as the preseason favorite in the Big East coaches' poll in 2005, but WVU won the league.
The Hokies have won the ACC three other times, while Miami, which left the Big East after the 2003 season, and Boston College, which left a year later, have not. Louisville has won one outright Big East title (2006) and Cincinnati has won two (2008-09). Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado and Utah (Pac-12) watched their conference championship games last year, their first in their new leagues.
WVU and TCU will take their shots in the Big 12 this season and former Big 12 schools Missouri and Texas A&M will try in the Southeastern Conference.
"I'm guessing that the remaining Big 12 teams will try to defend their turf, but our turf is West Virginia's turf and TCU's turf now and they're going to jump in and compete right away at the highest level possible," Bowlsby said.
In one very big way, though, immediate success and titles for WVU and TCU helps the Big 12 and that turf. Good stories from the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers means a good decision by the Big 12 to add another Texas school, after losing the Aggies, and add the first school from the Eastern Time Zone. Success leads to popularity and popularity leads to validation.
"Largely in this day and age it isn't as much about the geographical footprint as it is the electronic footprint," Bowlsby said. "Clearly the two are related in some significant ways, but having an eastern school allows us to get some more media coverage and get clearances in some markets where we probably wouldn't have gotten clearances in the past.
"It isn't as much about trying to find members in contiguous states as it used to be. Travel is easier and the electronic footprint is more important."
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NINE COMPANIES submitted pre-qualification statements Monday, the deadline set by WVU as it begins to narrow down the list of possible bidders for its Tier 3 rights.
IMG College, Learfield Sports, CBS Collegiate Sports Properties, Legends Sales and Marketing, Nelligan Sports Marketing, XOS Digital, Front Row Marketing Services, Fox Sports Net and West Virginia Radio Corp. all submitted the statements. WVU will let those nine know by July 17 if it feels the company is a qualified to continue.
Comcast/NBC, The Hub Companies and West Virginia Media Holdings were part of a preliminary conference call June 22, but have dropped out of the process by not submitting the a pre-qualification statement. They're not prohibited from being involved as part of a bidder's plan later in the process.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.