West Virginia To Big 12: Buyout Reportedly At $20 Million For Big East

The Mountaineers are finally nearing terms needed to get out of their former home.

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West Virginia To Big 12: Kansas City Should Draw Mountaineer Crowds

Now that West Virginia has taken care of the legal work to make the move to the Big 12 official, the attention turns to just how they will manage in their new conference home. After all, the Mountaineers are easily the Easternmost school by a long shot in the Big 12 and travel should prove difficult to overcome several times a year among all of its sports -- not just football. Yet West Virginia's AD Oliver Luck believes they will be just fine.

In an interview with the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, Luck answered some questions about the Big 12 and how the Mountaineers will fit in. Specifically he believes that teams will travel just fine, but that the fans might have a more difficult time. Then again, the Kansas City area might hold up well when WVU comes to the region.

"It is a big commitment. Just look at the bowl games," said Luck. "And that’s just one game. That is asking a lot. I don’t think we can expect our full allotment. We’ll find out over the course of the next couple of seasons, what our traveling fan base is like. I know in Houston and Dallas, I think as well as Kansas City, we have fairly substantial alumni groups.

"Had a guy tell me the other day, ‘I’ve got a cousin in Kansas I haven’t seen in years. This gives me a reason to go out there. In the Big East, the allotment is 5,000. Recent history, most of the Big East schools, us included, haven’t sold our allotment. But 99.9 percent of West Virginia fans haven’t watched a game in Austin or Norman or Lubbock or wherever. The interest level is certainly going to be high."

It will be fascinating to watch the changes in the Big 12 next season as familiar faces are gone but new ones provide a difficult challenge.

For more on West Virginia, check out The Smoking Musket. To follow all the realignment madness, stop by SB Nation's college football news hub.


Big 12 Realignment: Texas Longhorns AD DeLoss Dodds Says 'We Are Not Bullies'

DeLoss Dodds is tired of being accused of bullying the others. Besides having a worse name than a lead character in some young adult detective novel, Dodds also fights another war: negative PR for the Texas Longhorns. As the Longhorns’ athletic director, Dodds says the perception is all wrong about the Longhorns’ role in the midst of the Big 12 upheaval that’s taken place in the last two years.

“We have stuck our neck out to save the Big 12, and we’re not a bully,” Dodds recently told the Missourian. “We didn’t cause it. Our goal has been, and continues to be, to keep something together for the Big 12 and that’s what we’re going to do, good Lord willing.”

Dodds goes on to say that Big 12 fans from Kansas City have written him blaming him for bullying everyone else in the conference. Texas A&M fans have also gotten ahold of him and blamed him for making them leave the conference. It’s a no-win situation for Dodds as he realizes Texas simply makes more money than anyone else due to ESPN’s offer of $15 million per year for the Longhorns network.

Yet despite all of the departures, the addition of TCU and West Virginia means the conference is still standing after all of this time. And even if Texas has been bullying some, it hasn’t scared away the others. Despite the negative PR, Texas still has its conference home intact and others have been happy to join the ride. Once the dust settles on the conference merry-go-round, Dodds will likely stop getting such hate mail.


West Virginia Will Sue The Big East in Order To Join Big 12 Early, According To A Report

It was all good just three days ago, but now the legal teams will do battle to decide the fate between the Big East and West Virginia University. Back on October 28th, West Virginia had agreed to join the reshaped Big 12 conference, thus leaving the Big East in relative shambles after the announcement of Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC just a few weeks ago.

However, the Big East doesn't plan on following West Virginia's script, as the conference plans to hold WVU to a newly requirement that departing schools remain in the league for 27 months.

"West Virginia is fully aware that the Big East Conference is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period for members who choose to leave the conference," said league commissioner John Marinatto.

While the smoke clears, its evident that West Virginia is trying to make a break for the Big 12 and begin play in 2012. The Big East is trying to hold the Mountaineers program to their 27-month exit waiting period protocol, although the conference allowed TCU to walk away from the Big East by only paying a $5 million fee. Word is also out that West Virginia would be willing to pay up to four times as much to escape the conference if necessary.

You've got to love conference realignment, right?

For more on the Mountaineers, visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket and Big East Coast Bias. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.


Big 12 Realignment: Louisville Cardinals 'Still A Possibility' Along With West Virginia

Chuck Neinas says 10 is enough. An anonymous Big 12 source says otherwise. The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel reports that he was told the Big 12’s stance on staying at 10 teams after adding West Virginia and TCU to replace the departing Missouri and Texas A&M might not be the final plan after all. Instead, the Big 12 might be open to adding an 11th team in the University of Louisville to bolster its geographic reach to the (Big) East and gain better scheduling ability for the long-term.

Adding Louisville has always been a back-burner option for the BIg 12 for the last several weeks, as they’ve been bandied about along with Brigham Young, Cincinnati, Southern Methodist and several others. Given the commitment that the Big 12 now has all the way to West Virginia, it’s important that any future addition also lean eastward considering travel costs. It also bolsters your impact in that area.

Tramel also rightly points to the Cardinals’ success across several sports — both men’s and women’s — but it’s football that’s guiding this game. It’s not since Bobby Petrino was calling the shots a few years ago that Louisville mattered much on the national scene, but it at least displayed a sign of life that the team could rise alongside the powers-that-be with the right head coach in place.

If anything, adding another team sends a message about stability in a time when the Big 12 has looked incredibly fragile. It’s not on the verge of falling apart a la the Big East, but is that even the comparative category you want to be in in the first place? The SEC, ACC and others are moving toward 14 or even 16 teams. The Big 12 would do well to not live on the edge of instability again.

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