Conference Realignment Takes a Deep Breath - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Conference Realignment Takes a Deep Breath

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MORGANTOWN -

When you went to bed last night, the Big East was entrenched in a football members only meeting in New York City, Missouri was either invited or not invited to join the SEC and Oklahoma and Texas appeared ready to jump into the PAC-12.

In the words of Lee Corso, who will be in Morgantown later this week with ESPN's College GameDay, not so fast my friend.

Those involved with realignment can catch their breath before the next round in this heavyweight fight.

The PAC-12 said late last night that it will remain a 12 team conference. Does that mean it will not look to expand if the present situation around the country changes? No, the PAC-12 reserves the right to add members if it feels it needs to in the future.

That decision by the PAC-12 means that Texas and Oklahoma are not leaving the Big XII, at least for now. Reports indicate the Longhorn Network and its revenue sharing was the big problem for current PAC-12 members.

With Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech remaining in the Big XII, there are a whole new set of questions that will now be asked.

WHAT ABOUT MISSOURI AND THE SEC?

Missouri was reportedly issued a conditional invitation to the SEC indicating it would be invited if the Big XII was teetering on a collapse. The SEC later issued a statement saying Texas A&M was the only school invited to join the SEC.

With the Big XII looking viable, at least for now, Missouri's invitation is likely lost in the mail.

WHAT ABOUT THE BIG EAST?

The Big East is the big question mark. Reports indicate the meeting in New York City, which lasted until around midnight, left the members with the impression that the league will look to expand.

Those reports also indicate the members present vowed to remain in the league. How serious those vows are could be debated.

All of the school presidents and athletic directors were believed to be in attendance except for one. UCONN sent a lesser representative while it continues to push hard for a spot in the ACC.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR WVU?

WVU has essentially become the best looking guy or girl at a college party, in other words, the most available with the most to offer.

The SEC is reportedly still open to adding West Virginia, especially with Missouri off the table for the time being.

Some sources close to the University indicate the ACC is still an option despite numerous reports that it does not want WVU.

The Big XII may become an option if it looks to be gaining stable ground. That conference is currently sitting at nine members once Texas A&M departs for the SEC. Will the Big XII expand back to ten, or twelve, or more?

WVU, Louisville and TCU could be poached from the Big East by the Big XII. There is also the possibility BYU decides to give up its independence for a spot in that conference.

WVU strongly desires a spot at the big boy table. The Mountaineers want to be in a power conference and want to be assured of a spot in a BCS conference. The Big East may not be a BCS conference when the BCS is realigned next year.

IS CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT OVER?

Absolutely not. It appears everyone is just catching their breath, re-evaluating their situations and then more pieces could fall.

The next domino to fall could likely involve Connecticut while it continues to push hard for the ACC.

It could be WVU filling in one of the openings at conferences with an odd number of members (Big XII and SEC).

It could involve the Big Ten, which has been extremely quiet throughout the latest realignment mess.

It could also involve Texas. That is the wildcard. Texas may get what it wants for its Longhorn Network in the ACC. If Texas leaves the Big XII, then that conference is once again on shaky ground and all bets are off.

WVU will continue to monitor the situation and try to position itself to land on solid ground, wherever that solid ground may be.

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