The Big 12 is officially back to. . . 10 teams.
Friday morning, West Virginia officially became a member of the Big 12 conference, a move that was supposed to happen earlier this week before second guessing from some conference leaders intervened.
It all worked out in the end, although it’s unclear what number West Virginia is in the number of schools the Big 12 has. Right now, Missouri is still a member of the conference, so West Virginia is technically No. 11. However, the Tigers seem all but destined to leave for the SEC, so West Virginia would then become school No. 10.
Things were going smoothly earlier this week in adding West Virginia to the conference until Wednesday, when West Virginia, who was told earlier in the week that they had a standing invitation to join the conference, was told it would have to wait. Politicians were involved and advocated on behalf of West Virginia and Louisville, to be invited to join the conference.
Finally, the Big 12 decided to stick with 10 teams and just invite West Virginia, giving the conference another rabid fan base and solid programs in both football and basketball.
West Virginia seems particularly eager to leave, having already given the Big East $2.5 million of the $5 million buyout to leave the conference.
There is no doubt that the Big 12 is upgrading the football quality by adding West Virginia. The Mountaineers have a strong football legacy and have a couple BCS wins to boot. Also, they’re the last team to beat the SEC conference champion in a bowl game. The Mountaineers took down Georgia in the Sugar Bowl in 2005.
Also, West Virginia and TCU have combined for four BCS bowl games and three victories. Missouri and Texas A&M are going to the SEC with one appearance and one loss between the two of them. That’s all the success they’ll have in that category for a very long time too.
The biggest question West Virginia fans are wondering is if the sale of beer will still be allowed during home games. Athletic director Oliver Luck said that the school would look into the issue at a later date.
Until then, country roads, take me home.