Tag: Big 12 conference
The trouble has just begun for the Big East conference. The conference is paying a very high toll in the current conference realignment, and should the situation continue, the Big East could very well lose its automatic bid for the BCS Bowl series. At the beginning of the season it looked as if the Big 12 was going to suffer some game-changing losses when Oklahoma made announced it was considering leaving for the Pac-12. The Texas Longhorns soon joined their archrivals and were leaving the Big 12 in a vulnerable position. At the end, both the Longhorns and the Sooners decided to stick around and find a strategy to make the Big 12 even more competitive.
So it was just a matter of time before the Big East took its first shots. First both Pittsburgh and Syracuse deflected to the ACC. As if that was not enough, TCU’s decision to join the Big 12 was exactly what the Big East needed to sound the panic alarm among its football playing schools. The TCU Horned Frogs saw realized that the Big 12 was getting stronger and left the Big East before it actually played it’s first game in the conference. The Big East took action and decided to double the fine for teams leaving the conference before their contract expired. Any team wishing to leave the Big East would be expected to pay over $10 million in fines.
That didn’t really change much as within a week of doubling the fine, rumor had it, West Virginia would move to the Big 12 too. Considering that it could very well end up having only 5 or 6 teams for the following football season, the Big East is looking at Mountain West and Conference USA for expansion. The Big 12 had announced earlier this week that it would take on the West Virginia Mountaineers regardless of whether Missouri decided to stay or leave, but that was going to change very soon. In a matter of hours, the Big 12 changed its posture and sent a letter to West Virginia stating that the conference would wait for Missouri to make it’s official withdrawal from the conference before opening up a spot.
At one point the Big 12 was going for a program expansion. Now it’s not. But it seems to me that there is a bit more behind this story. Many would say that Louisville has made quite an effort and has been effectively lobbying its way into the Big 12. It seems that when the Big 12 announced that West Virginia would be accepted, representatives from Louisville, or people who had Louisville interests at mind, managed to push Big 12 directors to but all plans on hold. At one point earlier today it seemed as if the Big 12 was going to take West Virginia. Now, just a couple of hours later, it seems that it could go either way.
If at the end of all the realignment, Louisville ends up in the Big 12, that would certainly be a relief, at least momentarily, for the Big East Conference. The thing here is that the Big East would still have to work hard and convince not only West Virginia but it’s other five football playing schools that they should stick around.