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WVU Has Accepted A Big 12 Offer; Now It’s Time To Release All The Hostages

And the plot thickens. broke the news today that West Virginia has accepted a bid to join the Big 12 conference.  WVU alerted the Big East to its decision earlier today.

The Big 12 board of directors — minus Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, of course — voted this morning to grab West Virginia over Louisville.  (Meaning Texas got its way.)

What does this mean for Missouri and the SEC?  Just that — in case that website release last night didn’t seal it for you already — Missouri is definitely going to be an SEC member.  As for when that might be, there’s not telling.

At this point, the Big East wants to keep Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia through July 1st, 2014.  That’s two more athletic seasons. 

Missouri and the SEC want the Tigers in their new home by July 1st, 2012.

And the Big 12 says it doesn’t want to play as a nine-team league next year, so it’s going to hold onto Mizzou through July 1st, 2013. 

The best fix at this point is for Mike Slive, Chuck Neinas (Big 12 interim commish), John Swofford (ACC commish) and John Marinatto (Big East commish) to hammer out an agreement.  Be it cash or the promise that the Big East won’t lose its automatic BCS bid — which is why the league is holding WVU, Pitt and Syracuse through 2014 — there’s a deal to be struck. 

Someone call Samuel L. Jackson or Kevin Spacey to negotiate the release of these hostages.

Egos will need to be put aside, but if everyone can still get what’s best for them long-term — Big East = BCS automatic bid, Big 12 = WVU in 2012, ACC = Pitt and Syracuse in 2012, SEC = Missouri in 2012 — then cooler, calmer heads should prevail.

These are businessmen, not politicians.  Therefore, we at,  have faith they will still work this one out in time for a Summer 2012 hostage swap.



The Big East is respecting other conferences rules(unlike Bevo's league and WVU) and all of their replacements can't LEGALLY join the BE until 2013. So the BE must hold WVU,Pitt and Cuse for one more season - 2012 !

Andrew Fizer
Andrew Fizer

They won't strip the bid, they will simply allow the Big East to die on the vine. The ACC tried to kill the Big East once before but was unsuccessful. The recent realignment of WVU, Pitt and Cuse will more than be enough to destroy what is left of the league.


Presently the Big East has an automatic bid through the end of the 2013 season. The BCS will not strip this bid until after that time.

Syracuse, Pitt, & WVU are in no hurry to go to the ACC or Big 12, so why should they pay upwards of 20 million dollars extra to break the 27 month clause to do so? Furthermore, if the Big East maintains its BCS bid while they wait out the 27 months, what's the rush?


If the Big East wants to keep WVU for two more seasons then WVU will just cherrypick the automatic BCS bids until it leaves. I do not think the other schools of the Big East will like that very much.

Vol Nittany
Vol Nittany

We are stupid if we strike any deal with the Big East....they need to lose that Bid so that the big 5 conferences can then be eligible to have 3 teams in the BCS each year, with the big winner being the SEC.

At this point, the conferences need to leak the Big East likely won't keep a bid, no interest from Boise State and no claim to deserve an auto bid. The conference falls apart by January and everyone is free to leave with no exit penalties. Time to bury the abomination that was the Big East (how stupid was their business plan---we are going to build a basketball centric league in an era where it was clear football was going to drive the financial bus).


If you think the Big East is going to fall apart by January & simply lose its auto BCS bid you are living in la-la land.

Vol Nittany
Vol Nittany

I'm in complete la-la land. Expecting the demise of Big East football is as foolish as having thinking that two of the BE's keystone programs drop out of the conference in a 36 hr timespan....or your recruited non-BCS football powerhouse reneging on joining before they placed a game...or thinking a mighty BCS conference could be some decimated by defections that they are left with only 1 founding Big East football member still in the conference. And if you go over to their Rivals board (Rutgers) you will see most of them now want the Big East to fall apart as soon as possible just so they can see what their future destiny looks like.

Vol Nittany
Vol Nittany

Also Clay, if your read is correct than why did the Big East recently approach CUSA and MWC about forming a super conference....or present to Boise State about joining. Clearly they think their automatic bid is much much more tenuous than you are painting given their trump cards of a BCS founding member and the DeFillipoESPN comment.

Vol Nittany
Vol Nittany

Clay, you may do this for a living, but still think its a bad analysis....everyone but a few fools in Providence are better off if the Big East loses that bid....the Big 5 conferences could gaurentee at least 1 bid to a non BCS conference team a year and maybe a conditional 2nd based on ranking and they still would be better off due to extra Bid money, the Bowls would be better off, and the TV networks would be better off. Even Boise and the Texas teams would be better off being in some mega-conference or in their current conference than having to travel all the way to Northeast to keep the Big East theoretically alive.

As far as congressional outrage, I can't see a huge political outrage....the few big remaining programs (Lvill, uConn, Rutgers) will eventually be taken care off provided they play nicely (uConn is now learning the importance of that given the last lawsuit). 2012 is a presidential election year with 9% unemployment and a 1.5 Trillion structural deficit. Tax increases and entitlement cuts up for discusssion, can't see seniors in Florida giving a crap out South Florida's path to an auto BCS bid vs protecting their entitlements, for example.


There are requirements that conference must meet to maintain it's AQ. A conference must have at least one team to finish within the top 10. The big east did not have a team in the top ten last year. I do not think they will this year either. I am a WVU fan and ever since boston college, virginia tech, and miami left the big east was not deserving to maintain its BCS AQ.

You threaten law suites, but once they started that just about all of the other conferences will sue.

Clay Travis
Clay Travis

The BCS stripping the Big East's automatic bid is highly unlikely. Why? There are for two primary reasons 1. the Big East would have a whopping insider lawsuit against the BCS that could spell antitrust doom for the cartel and 2. Boston College's athletic director told the Boston Globe that ESPN encouraged it to take Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East

Furthermoret, the BCS does not spell out criteria for leagues to be stripped of an automatic bid.

The only requirement for a BCS bid is that a league have at least eight members. (That's an FBS rule, by the way, not a BCS rule. A league also has two years to rectify any slippage in that regard).

You can read those criteria here.

So what happens if the BCS threatens to pull the Big East's automatic bid?

If I'm the Big East I threaten to file a lawsuit and tell all. Since there are no established criteria for pulling a league's BCS bid, the Big East should view any attempt to take away its bid as impermissible. The primary value of Big East football right now is that BCS bid. If it vanishes then why would anyone want to be in the Big East? So the automatic bid is a definite property interest that is being relied upon by the league. Any rescission of that right is tantamount to collegiate sports war. If there is no established process to take away a right, how can that right be taken away?

Given all the antitrust scrutiny that the BCS is already under, can you imagine what a lawsuit's discovery and depositions would look like if the BCS attempted to pull the Big East's bid? The Big East was there at inception, it knows all the gritty details about how the six conferences came to power and what agreements existed between them to keep the vast majority of the bowl bonanza in their hands. Put simply, the BCS turns on one of its original six members at its own peril.

Do you think it's a coincidence that the Big East managed to keep its automatic bid despite losing Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Miami to the ACC? That poaching drove the conference down to eight weak members after reformation but it didn't hurt the Big East's automatic bid. The Big East remained at eight until the ACC came by again and took another bite out of the Big East to drive it down to six members. Once more the Big East will have to add new schools since eight schools is the minimum number of teams to be considered a conference under NCAA rules.

Once the Big East solidifies eight members, voila, the bid will still be there.

But that's not the only reason the Big East will retain its automatic bid.

This year the Big East also has an additional trump card -- ESPN's alleged role in ACC expansion. Why does ESPN matter when it comes to the Big East's automatic bid ?

Guess who has the current BCS television contract? You think ESPN might be willing to guarantee the Big East's BCS bid going forward if the conference threatens to file a lawsuit against the TV network for violating ESPN's contractual obligations with the Big East?

Yep, ESPN. Indeed, this is a lawsuit that could break ESPN and the BCS.

The Big East is keeping its bid, you can take that to the proverbial bank.

Vol Nittany
Vol Nittany

Yeah, cause the Rose, Fiesta, Suger, Orange and soon to be Jerry Jones sponsored Cotton Bowl are salivating over having the rabid football fan bases of Cincinati, Central Florida and SMU come to their bowls instead of Top 10 teams from the major conferences...oh, and when the BCS Bowl package's TV rights are re-upped and the per-bowl bid prices skyrocket, I'm sure the SEC, B1G and PAC-12 will all be fine passing on that extra money so the Big East can continue to limp on and place 7-5 teams in BCS bowls, only to watch them get waxed and have no fans show up.


I wish I shared your optimism. When money and potential lawsuits get close together, I automatically get skeptical of reasonable results being reached.


From the Big 12 release adding West Virginia, "Beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia."

Missouri is not in the list.


Ok, I get why the Big East/Big 12/ and SEC come together to hammer out a deal to move WVU and Missouri in exchange for the vote of keeping the Big East's Automatic Bid. However, what leverage does Pitt or Syracuse have in this game at all? If I'm the Big East, I say those two teams remain until 2014 to provide stability and keep competitiveness for that automatic bid?


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