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: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:04 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Now what does Louisville do? Stay in the Big East? I think for 2013, but the Big East is falling apart. Hoping Louisville can be the 13th team in the Big 10.

Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:01 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

I think this is a good move for WVU both in football and basketball. the Big-12 in a lot of peoples eyes was the best conference in the country because of the strength from top to ottom but has been replaced lately by the now deminished Big East although they will still be strong for the next 2 seasons. the Big-12 has a strong football conference much better than the Bid East ever had and a basketball conference that has been very good over the past several years, so i think that WVU has made the right decision in switching. as far as recruiting goes it will be easier for the Mountainers to recruit for football in the Texas area since they will be playing in a league that host teams fom Texas and other nearby states which will give the recruits families a chance to see their sons play at least on a every other years basis near their home towns.

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:58 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Great comments from a Pitt fan and much appreciated. I just hope we find a way to keep playing each other. Too long of a grudge match to just toss aside. We will see you on the field in a few weeks. In the meantime, keep the Pens on their hot streak.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:39 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Shadow boxer...

I agree it is good for WVU to have a home, some fans would want to see them rot in pergutory, but not me, even as a Pitt fan.  I personally felt the ACC was the better fit, but for various reasons that did not work out.  The SEC was just not in the cards, and it would have put WVU football over their heads, not a jab at WVU, just my opinion.  

I am not sure that the move to the Big 12 is going to be all that good for football, but it is going to be outstanding for Basketball.  WVU football already has some issues recruiting in the Big East, depending very much on FL and VA for their speed/skill positions.   They have got away with it because the BE sucks for Football.  Now, the caliber of play, particularly among the top programs (OU, Texas, OK ST) is going to be on a different level.  Will WVU compete? Absolutely.  However, where are their players going to come from?  Can they keep working those aforementioned areas? How easy will the sales job be to get kids to come to Morgantown, something that is already a pretty decent challenge traditionally when it comes to upper echelon talent.  It will be a new challenge for sure, and having Dana Holgersen will certainly help.  I see them being in the Baylor/Texas Tech/Kansas State level...Certainly nothing to put down, but not elite.

Basketball is totally different.  This is a great move for WVU.  One obvious reason is you don't need to recruit a ton of players to make it work, you need a handful to be really good.  Bob Huggins has a background recruiting in Big 12 country, and will do a terrific job with it.  His style will work great in the Big 12, physical, tough nosed.  It will be much easier to sell the bball program and get talent, I see them being just as successfull as they were in the Big East, right there among the top 5-6 teams more often than not, and certainly a team that can make deep tourney runs in any given year, particularly as long as Huggins sticks around...

Either way, its good for WVU to find a home... 

Since: Sep 21, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:29 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Great move for WV. 

My question is what should Boise State do?

If they move to the Big East they are still the Big Dogs.  The Mountain West joint venture with C-USA is a joke for BSU a small step up from the WAC.  

Maybe they make the move with AirForce, BYU, SanDiego State, SMU, Houston and 1 to 3 others.  This would be a step up and they could have a Western Big East division for Football.  They could also have a place for their other sports if they make a new Western Confrence for the other sports.  It gives them protection from any more defections and keeps the other sports from joing some league as just a place holder.   

In the next 10 years the landscape will continue to change until the schools move to homes that are better fits.   But until then you need to find a chair just incase the music stops.     

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Exactly. My daughter attends WVU and they certainly have there fair share of questionable fans but ALL schools do.

Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:50 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

They must have forgotten that the Big East requires departing schools to stay for 27 months.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:48 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

They throw batteries at you and your team, they throw ice, cups of coke, and even snakes at the other teams fans.  And the best of all, when you travel to Morgantown WV they still your license plates off of your cars.
I could not let this one go.  I laughed out loud at the snake throwing claim.  Look, our fans have had some lowlights, trust me, but as has been said numerous times, as a WVU fan at road games, I have had everything said and done to me you all claim to be unique to WVU.  Throwing snakes though is such a stretch, it made the rest of your tired arguement hilarious.  So, WVU fans experience EVERYTHING you all claim to only happen in Morgantown, but we also have to sit through the inbred, sex with your sister/cousin comments as well.  This has happened to me personally in Madison, Boulder, Jacksonville, Maryland and of course, PITT.  So quit crying and acting like your fans roll out the red carpet when the visitors come to town.  None of it is justifiable and all teams have these issues, ALL OF THEM.

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:41 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

SEC taxi squads for spring practiceLaughing

Since: Mar 31, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:38 pm

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

adding tcu and west virginia to the big 12 makes it a very strong football conference. missouri keeps telling everyone how good they are...then cant back it up on the field. a&m keeps telling everyone they are being held back by will that change from switching conferences? will kids who would normally go to alabama suddenly say "thank god a&m is in the sec!"...and change their commitment? nebraska is an above average football school, but sucks at everything else. and colorado cant seem to do anything well, except deprive athletes of oxygen. tcu has been a very good football program, and west virginia sports both football and basketball programs that are nationally ranked.

recruits from the kansas city area likely wont follow missouri to the southeast, because their parents would much rather drive to lawrence, manhattan, and ames...instead of going to georgia and south carolina to see their kids play. kc venues will still look to the big 12 to host events, because the sec wont come to kc to play its games, and the kc media...although it will still report on missouri sports...will likely focus on big 12 news and events.

i dont see notre dame coming to the big 12 without its football team. they either want to be a part of the big 12 or not. supporting their lower class sports teams for them while they dont support the big 12 with football isnt a two way deal. boise, quite frankly, would be better off in the pac-12. that blue field makes me want to puke!

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