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Dropping Like Flies: West Virginia to replace Missouri in Big 12

The University of West Virginia was turned down recently in an attempt to join both the ACC and SEC, but now it appears the Mountaineers will leave the Big East regardless for a new home in the Big 12. WVU would replace Missouri, which is expected to accept a spot in the SEC in the next few weeks to get that conference up to 14 teams with Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 for the SEC next year.

A WVU move would leave the Big East with five football programs and an uncertain future. Reports are that the Mountaineers had “applied and are accepted,” leaving only legal entanglements from making the move official.

West Virginia is the Big East’s flagship football program, and losing its consistently strong performance will hurt the conference as it seeks to hold on to its automatic Bowl Championship Series spot. The Mountaineers would be the latest to leave the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they are leaving for the ACC and TCU will join the Big 12 next season.

With the departure of WVU, which must pay a $5 million exit fee, the conference’s football members are Rutgers, Louisville, South Florida, Connecticut and Cincinnati. That gives it the same number of football teams it had when Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech departed in 2003 for the ACC. How the Big 12 plans to bypass the Big East 27-month requirement for schools leaving the conference is unknown; earlier this month, commissioner John Marinatto made it clear that the Big East will hold Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the timeline contained in the league’s bylaws.

The only good news for the Big East is that the Big 12 planned to stay at 10 teams for now, the person said. That will spare the Big East any more critical losses and give it a chance to build into the 12-team model that it would prefer. Reports are that conference will invite the likes of Boise State, Houston, SMU, Central Florida and the service academies to try and get to 12 football-playing schools.

It’s unclear how the uncertainty over the Mountaineers’ long-term viability in the Big East would affect those schools’ mindset in signing on to such an unstable environment, especially Boise State, whose concerns about the conference about the conference losing its automatic qualifier status in the BCS have been duly noted. And it’s still possible that the Big 12 targets Louisville and Cincinnati to get to 12 teams.

by Wagerweb

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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