Blog Entry

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Posted on: October 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

As first reported by's Brett McMurphy on Friday morning, the Big 12 has invited West Virginia to join the conference and West Virginia accepted the invitation, informing the Big East of the decision on Friday.

The move is now official as the Big 12 has released a statement about West Virginia.

"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors in the release. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12." 

"The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."

West Virginia to the Big 12
What is not so clear at this point is when West Virginia will be joining the Big 12, According to the Big 12's release on Friday, the school would become a member of the conference beginning on July 1, 2012. However, the Big East said on Friday that it plans on holding West Virginia to the same 27-month notice that it is holding Pitt and Syracuse to. If that is the case, then West Virginia can't join the Big 12 until 2014.

During a conference call on Friday afternoon announcing the deal, West Virginia said that it plans on being in the Big 12 by July 2012, but it's not official as of yet. From Chip Patterson's post:
Both [athletic director Oliver] Luck and [President James] Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office. 
How West Virginia would go about that, the odds are that the answer is money. The Big East may be willing to let the Mountaineers leave early if the school pays far more than the $5 million exit fee. What exactly the amount would be for that, well, as Luck said above, those discussions are currently being held.

Of course, this does not answer every question about this announced move. Generally over the last few weeks when West Virginia was a rumored target of the Big 12, it was always with the caveat that the conference wouldn't bring in another school unless Missouri left the conference first. Well, as of the news that West Virginia had accepted an invitation on Friday, Missouri had yet to announce that it was leaving for the SEC.

Though it's possible that Missouri's announcement could be coming in the next couple of days.

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2011 12:38 am

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Welcome to the Big XII, Mountaineers! I would like to see invites extended to Louisivlle and if Mizzou leaves, Cincinnati as well. Glad to see the Big XII being proactive rather than reactive. Above all, I'm glad to see the Big XII survive. I hope Missouri stays, and hopefully this move by both the conference as well as West Virginia itself will keep Mizzou in the league when they see other quality programs such as those coming in.

We could go back to the CCG and divisions:

North: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State, West Virginia, Louisville,
South: TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech 

What a concept. The Big XII would actually have 12 teams in it again. Could such logic be possible?

This conference shuffling is a bit of a shame in my view. It sure is going to make it far more difficult for both the fans and the athletes themselves. I'm sure WVU fans are both happy and sad about the move to the new conference. It is sad to see old rivalries die, even if new rivalries will be exciting. The best example I can think of as an OU fan is losing the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry.  Perhaps some WVU fans can tell us who your main rivals have been through the years? All I can think of is Pittsburgh.

Welcome again, Mountaineers! Glad to have you aboard.

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:40 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

"Academically, Rutgers will never fit"

US News 2012 rankings:
#12 Northwestern
#28 University of Michigan
#42 University of Wisconsin (Madison)
#45 Penn State University (College Park)
#45 University of Illinois
#55 Ohio State University
#62 Purdue University
#68 University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
#71 Michigan State University
#71 University of Iowa
#75 Indiana University (Bloomington)
#101 University of Nebraska (Lincoln)

#68 Rutgers University (New Brunswick)

You make several salient points and then totally miss the boat on this. 

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:22 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

First thing a person should realize is that when someone keeps telling you "that's the truth" - they are almost always lying.

Grow up.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:18 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Is it really official this time? Big 12 and WVU were embarrased earlier this week to the point that elected officials were crying foul at each other. We need new government leadership when our elected officials get involved with this. I guess it's our fault since we elect em!! We will not know for another five years if all these moves work out for the respective programs. What we do know is that some schools may have jumped early into a conference because they didn't want to be left out. The problem with the AD thought process is they couldn't do basic math. For all the talk of 16 team superconferences, most conferences only have 10-12 teams. Do the math jackwagons! The teams that have not joined a conference because of region issues and non-fit issues now hold the cards.

Rutgers now looks like a favorite to join the Big 10/11 because their competition (Pitt, Missouri and Syracuse) jumped ship. WVU is a much better fit in the ACC or SEC when they expand next, but jumped ship because they had no confidence in their own institution. That is sad! Well, they are now in a conference, but their closest competitor is 750 miles away no matter how you spin it. It was like TCU joining the Big East, but that was more desperation on both sides part. The Big 12 and WVU were equally desperate, for now apparent reason.  Try working in Pittsburgh when Pitt and PSU play!! Trash talk rules and it is great for the college game. Same with Auburn and Alabama. Birmingham is a great city and there is a nice mix of both schools in the city, which is awesome!!  Can't you just wait to hear the WVU trash talking between its new rivals in some of americas corporate hallways. I'm sorry, that was silence. There is no rivalry. Maybe KSU because of Huggy's relationship with that school, but it is a stretch.

Where does the Big 10/11 go from here? Not Notre Dame.  Rutgers and Connecticut could fit but their programs are smoke and mirrors. Lots of tv sets, but most of them are turned off. Connecticuts football program is young and needs an opportunity to mature. The BE gave them that. Any of these other conferences would just use them for a "W" for several years. Basketball is another story and would lift the Big 10/11, so that might be the hook. Academically, Rutgers will never fit. Kind of like WVU. 

I see more changes coming in these conferences once the NCAA as we know it, dissolves. I still wish that PSU decides to compete for national championships and leaves the Big10/11 and joins the ACC. Makes Joe "Grand" Pa get his wish for a true Eastern College Conference Power. That would be his legacy because the only one he has now is the most wins, although at 97 years old, he should lead in that category. With all do respect to Joey the P, he needs to move on or else the NCAA will need to make a ruling on whether a coach can get credit for a victory from hospice. Harsh statement, but true.     

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:35 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Geography really is dead in this country. Anyway, I hope this somehow leads to a playoff. Here's my idea (which will never come to fruition): Have a seven-team tournament comprised of the champions from the elite 5 conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-10) plus the highest computer-ranked team from the weaker conferences and one wild card (the highest computer-ranked team that's not already if the field). The #1 team in the nation would get a first-round bye. 

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:13 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Hey jsokol 1926, Once the Pitt and Syracuse said they where leaving WVU said nothing. They had every reason to blast both schools and they didin't, You know why they where also trying to get out a garbage football league also.  I have a strong feeling Pitt Wvu will still play each other.

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:11 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Starblazer....LMAO....we'll see about all that but this rant of yours seems a little unfair and almost personal
It would make one think that you are either really jealous or in fear that all of this will some how affect your beloved Irish

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

"It's like watching the Donner Party in the dead of winter. Anything to survive. It may be acceptable but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth." 

I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this historically funny in an incredibly morbid sort of way. Quite appropriate for Halloween, I suppose in a Slasher fashion. You do know that some of the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism, do you not? "bad taste in your mouth." YUCK!

I also disagree with the poster that the Big 12 has lost it's soul. It has, perhaps, redefined it. But you really don't think the Big 12 if finished yet, do you? That it's soul is still being redefined? Surely you can realistically anticipate the strong probablity of that an invitation to Louisville will be forthcoming relatively soon and perhaps, also to Cincinnati. That onlt makes sense geographically. Whether that adds much to the football image is debateable, but it suddenly dramatically raises the conferences basketball profile.

By mid-decade don't be surprised the see BYU and maybe even San Diego State in the mix. BYU has been in discussions and San Diego State has contacted the conference announcing their interest, although the conference's response to them was not encouraging.

Anyway, WELCOME West Virginia to one of the two best football conferences on the face of this planet. 

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: October 28, 2011 7:26 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Though it's possible that Missouri's announcement could be coming in the next couple of days

Losing W.Virginia? Wow, another mediocre football school, decent basketball program and nothing else. Academically, it's inferior as well. Good riddance.

As long as Boise State, Air Force, C.Florida, Houston and SMU join, the Big East will be far better off football-wise. They'll suffer hoop-wise losing Syracuse and Pitt.

Can't wait to see Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech whip W.Virginia each and every year. Kansas State will to as long as Synder is there. Iowa State and Kansas are their lone soft touches. Expect a lot of 6-6, 7-5 seasons.

Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 7:19 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Congrats WVU!  I have been feeling your pain.  I don't think you really fit geographically, but at least you found a home of sorts.

The road trips might seem a little silly-  Iowa St.  Kansas.  Baylor.  Good luck with that.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or