ESPN is among many media organizations reporting that West Virginia will be invited to join the Big 12 (and that invitation could come as early as tonight).
The Big 12 is adding West Virginia because of its football strength, having finished in the BCS standings of the nation's top 25 teams in four of the past five years, as well as the men's basketball program having reached the NCAA tournament six of the past seven years.
The Big East could try to keep West Virginia for up to 27 months and negotiations on that point would figure to ensue.West Virginia thus becomes the third football-playing institution that over the past few weeks has ditched the Big East. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are on their way to the Atlantic Coast Conference. (And Texas Christian bolted for the Big 12 even though it was scheduled to join the Big East next year.)
What is next for the Big East? The same ESPN story suggests:
A source has told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that the conference commissioners of the Big East, Mountain West and Conference USA are expected to meet in New York. According to multiple reports, the three leagues are considering forming a single football league of 28 to 32 teams.
The Big East's plan was to send conditional invitations to Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida for all sports, and to Air Force and Boise State for football only, a source has told Katz.
The conference's plan to expand to 12 members also includes Navy as a football-only member, though that has not been made public by the league.I'm trying to come up with a name for that monstrosity. The Big Mountain Conference? The USA East and West Conference? The Blob?
The Big Carcass works for me.