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: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:12 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

"What in the great Wide World of Sports is goin' on here?" Good move WVU, no doubt, but what happens next? The NCAA/BCS/or someone better get a handle on this or we are in for a number of years of turmoil. I really don't like the taste of a 16 team conference if that's where we are headed. Where is the love? Aren't reality based shows enough to show our distaste for one another? Do we have to extend that to our sporting foes? 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.

Well so be it. Will someone at ESPN/Comcast/Fox/CBS/anyone cough up a few more bucks (if that's what it takes) so the Big 12 can become the big 12 again? This is ridiculous to have such flux in a conference each year. You can bet your booty we are not finished ..... not by a long shot.

And Big East, grow some Kahuna's, and get your conference back on track even if that means giving UConn their exit papers. They don't want you and you shouldn't want them if you want to keep some sense of stability. DO SOMETHING! Either that or cash in your chips. Your credit is all but gone.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:12 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

It's a good day and a sad day. Sad to see the Big East die from total mismanagement, and "Eastern football" is about dead. Glad WVU has a place to land in a very good conference. I would've prefered a more regional conference but that wasn't to be.  The Big 12 will be great. I look forward to seeing schools like Texas and OU rolling into Morgantown over UConn, Rutgers, Coastal Carolina, James Madison etc.  Now all you folks bashing WVU fans, hey look, sorry you had a bad experience because you ran into some idiots.  If you decide to judge an entire fanbase off one experience and stories about others, then thats on you and it's indicative of your lack of maturity.  Interesting that quite a few of these comments are coming from Cards fans too.  Stop being mad and/or jealous.  A lot of the WVU fanbase wants Louisville to be in the B12 with us.  If you're that afraid of the WVU fans, then you don't have to come to the games.  I had a bad experience in Pittsburgh a couple years ago when I went to see a Steelers game. Someone threw (we think human) feces and spit all over my car which has a WV license plate and flying WV sticker on it. They wrote "WVU blows" on the hood with key scratches. This was in a paid parking lot adjacent to Heinz, supposedly which had Security working too. Now I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that wasn't a WVU fan that did that.  I could chalk that up to a Pitt fan, and how bad of a fanbase they are, but I understand that was one small incident and not indicative of the entire experience of seeing the Steelers play. Grow up!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:06 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

I know the Big East has rules about giving 27 months or whatever advanced notice before the leave for another conference such as the ACC or Big 12.  But now for certain, Syracuse and Pitt will also leave for the 2012-2013 football, basketball and all other sports seasons when West Virginia leaves. I mean, would it make any sense for Syracuse to leave before next year, or a year after West Virginia does? I'm just waiting for Louisville and Connecticut to get invited to another BCS conference. 

Since: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:55 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Not saying the Big 12 is a top academic conference, but Kansas and Iowa St. are also AAU members with Texas.  The other 4 AAU members of the Big 12 have left--Nebraska (until they were voted out), Colorado, A&M, and Mizzou.

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:55 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Big 12 should have tried to get USF from the Big East.  Florida is such a vast resource for football talent and tapping the region would only expand the Big 12's reach in the future.

Since: May 23, 2010
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:50 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Initial impressions on WVU to the Big 12....

Strong academic institutions?  Here is the list of AAU schools in the Big 12...Texas.  For those who don't know, the American Association of Universities is probably the most recognizeable group of top academic instituions in the U.S. and Canada.

How about that natural rivalry with Oklahoma State?  Or TCU!  It seems a reach for a school to expect fans to be emotionally invested in the leage schools.  One of the best things about the Big East, save for the U, is that they are all crammed together in the space between Oregon State's travel to Utah this week.  Rivalries matter when the area has fans from both schools in the area.  This is what makes the WVU-Pitt rivalry special.

How desperate is the Big 12 to remain relevant that they would reach 700 miles from their closest school (I am guessing it is Ames, IA)?  Well at least it brings in that massive TV market of...what?

From a football and men's basketball point of view, WVU is a great fit for the Big 12.

Academically WVU fits just fine with the Big 12.

Kudos for WVU for finding a place to land, as the days of the Big East as a BCS Automatic Qualifier are numbered for sure.

Other than academics, the ACC would have been a better fit.

As soon as Boise State is invited to join the Big East in football, this will no longer look like the most unusual set of dance partners.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:30 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Hate to break it to you andyh80, but I would of said the exact same thing if I heard someone saying Louisville's "esteemed academics".

Both of our school's are in the 150ish range as far as academics are concerned.  Neither deserves any praise what so ever for it.  I'm all for hyping up a school that's going to join your conference, but let's not play games.  The only thing WV's academics has to do with WV getting into Big 12 is the fact that they kept them out of any better conferences.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:19 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

I'm glad it's finally done and we can get on with talking about sports again. As a WVU alumnus but originally from PA I must say that I do hope we keep playing Pitt. I love to hate them. I have enough nieces, nephews and cousins who went there and we kind of thrive on the rivalry. That's why I was holding out hope for the ACC. As long as we keep playing who knows what will happen with future realignment.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:07 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

I sure have alot of mixed emotions about this whole thing!!!! Im true to my word and even though we (WVU) are in the BIG 12 now I still think they should go after Louisville!!! This is a great school and grow every year. Dont get me wrong I love WVU and im glad to see we arent getting left in the cold or are we??? We all know if Texas and Oklahoma goes its another huge mess. Thats why I say get Louisville and Cincy before its to late. If OU goes OSU goes and Texas goes Texas tech will go too. Lets get a few more good programs in case this was to happen that way we arent caught with our pants down. Any ways I sure hope this helps with recruiting!!! I cant wait to get on the plane with tickets in hand to go on down to play Oklahoma and OSU. That makes for a great match up WVU and Dana playing against his old offense. Will he know how to stop it??? Will they know how to stop them??? Great story line I know that!!!

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:05 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

jgberc - 5 star post.  It will be very interesting to see where our recruiting will or needs to shift to.  We do have some skill guys from Texas right now, and nobody is under the delusion we will all of a sudden start to funnel the top talent from Texas away from Texas and OK, but I do think kids today will be intrigued with the prospect of playing those schools, even kids in FL, VA and western PA.  I could be wrong, but the move of Pitt to the ACC seems to be more of the same in terms of who Pitt played in the old and current Big East, so does that make it more enticing?  Only they know, but I appreciated your post...

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