The Bishin Cutter wrote:
The WAC-16 was done horribly wrong. Networks wanted it until the content didn't really produce, and you had that core who wound up splitting to form the MWC who insisted they play each other all the time...because they took too many schools they didn't want to make the thing work.
I think the ACC lost the malcontent of its group when Maryland left. I don't think the WAC-16 would happen there unless it really impacted one of the "Big 3" (UNC, Duke, and UVA).
The ACC has had several opportunities to add WVU and didn't. WVU has some good programs but they don't add any value to the ACC.
I think it's more a historical grievance than it was value programs. You don't take WVU over Pitt because Pitt's the better academic institution. You don't take WVU over Pitt because Pitt doesn't need to recruit religiously from the South and FL (in other words: Pitt can actually recruit from its own region) in order to run at a competitive level. But on face-value of what each school adds to an athletic conference? I don't know how you ever take Pitt over WVU.
Politics, old grudges, and parochial snobbery...
I would concur that WVU has been on the receiving end of biased attitudes and actions for a long time. Also agree, in terms of athletics, specifically, WVU has generally done a fine job in positioning themselves in recent decades. With regard to the other factors mentioned, WVU just has not made themselves appealing enough, whereby the ACC is forced to realistically decide 'we need them, they would make our conference better, and let's get them'. Notre Dame without full conference fb gets in; Louisville got in; and WVU has gotten repeatedly rejected though they have tried to be a candidate longer and harder for many years. Bad timing was also involved. Outside of athletics, indeed politics and attitudes have much hindered WVU efforts to be attractive to the ACC.
The ACC taking Notre Dame without in-conference fb shows the ACC's mindset tactics in sustaining themselves. At least the old BE had a better excuse, being a real hybrid. Wait till that ND deal starts having repercussions when it impacts bowl placements and certain ACC schools get upended in tournaments and such.
Some of WVU's fan base on the Internet and elsewhere pride themselves on projecting an image of being uncouth and rebellious. That part doesn't help.
The malcontent thing, the ACC has had a history of that. Some had complained much louder than Maryland over the years. I believe Maryland leaving for the B1G was fundamentally about enhancing revenue as opposed to scheduling.
FSU, one that certainly has not been always happy with the ACC, is back in the fb driver's seat. They know and proved the ACC is their route to frequent conference championships and national championship games. Clobber Clemson early, beat over-rated Miami, nail upstart Duke in a CCG, and best a very good but profoundly lucky Auburn team in the final BCS championship game. That said, FSU had the best team and certainly deserved and earned the BCS title. The point, the ACC is their perfect path to get there.