Pete Thamel of the New York Times just mentioned via Twitter that the chances of Louisville joining West Virginia as they head from the Big East to the Big 12 is “50/50” or “too close to call.” That means that, at the very least, there’s a lot of smoke surrounding the potential addition of another Big East candidate.
The move makes a lot of sense for both the school and the conference. The school is not going to get what it wants most (likely a bid to the SEC), and yet it clearly needs to go somewhere. As unstable as the Big 12 has looked over the last year, it’s clearly in a much better position than the Big East, who could be in danger of losing its automatic qualifier for the BCS. That’s a death knell for any conference.
Meanwhile, if the Big 12 is set on expanding all the way to West Virginia, then it needs to geographically add some solid partners between here and there. It simply doesn’t make sense to have one connection hundreds of miles away from anything else. Louisville brings further recruiting territory and a decent record of success in football in recent years. In terms of men’s basketball, the addition of a high profile coach in Rick Pitino and the program there is a major win.