I am hearing that people with "sources" are saying it doesn't matter what Missouri does that WVU is in. That tells me they 16 but would take 15 (given lifting of the 2 team cap for BcS games). The rumor of 15 is 3 5 team pods and the 2 highest rated in the bcs poll play in the title game.
Just for fun:
With Missouri's announcement regarding leaving, I hope you're right about the SEC going to 15 teams.
I really hope Missouri has a secret agreement with the big 10, don't want them in the SEC.
They are all Cardinals fans ya know
Money talks and besides ND and Texas, FSU brings the most on a national stage of anyone else there is left. The SEC shops quality product where the ACC just goes on tv markets (regardless of whether anyone cares). The last ACC move was for basketball and FSU knows exactly where their bread is buttered (read not basketball) and they are about to become the big fish in a glass of water. The SEC knows what it would mean to get them as 16. Another rumor was that they were one to push HARD for WVU inclusion in the last expansion but the Tobacco Road Mafia called their bluff and FSU did setup a committee to look at conference affiliation.
And before someone else brings up the buyout raise. FSU was one of the reasons it was only raised to 20 mil from 13 or whatever it was before. For a major athletic department that is a few phone calls to the big cat donors.
A little bit of history Florida actually pushed hard for FSU in the 90s before Bowden and FSU decided to take the "easier path". Florida would accept FSU's inclusion but they won't politic for them like they did then, I believe.
No one else makes sense for 16 (that wouldn't have to bring little brother with them). Va Tech sold their freedom to get into ACC, I doubt if even if they wanted they could get out from under the legislatures thumb (note all bets are off if B1G wants UVa Long Shot I know), Do NC State or Clemson see value of leaving the blue bloods and the Big East schools do ANY of them really provide any value football wise that might entice SEC?
The cap on BcS teams is far from certain so you add more confusion to your member schools staying at 15 without relative security from someone that they would be 16.
1) SEC: Best football in the land, our fan base would fit perfectly with the powers that be in the conference. This move also gives us the highest ceiling potential as we would start off with an advantage of already being in Ohio, PA, NY, NJ, Maryland, and Virginia alone. I believe we would CRUSH all of our rivals in recruiting in the SEC. How many top flight recruits do you think would be swayed when we say come to play the best football in the nation and be close enough for parents and friends to see you play EVERY home game?
WV would immediately become a 2nd tier destination job (behind the likes of USC, FSU, Alabama, Fla, etc) and the list of schools that could pilfer coaches would be slimmer.
2) Big 12: While not being ideal it would certainly be better than some of the alternatives plus could you imagine Mountaineer Field with #2 Oklahoma coming into play? You would probably have to upgrade some of the OOC for ticket purposes but the Big 12 would be better in football than what the big east has been since 07.
3,589,039) ACC: I don't want to be there, they don't want us. The only reason they are showing interest in us is because schools like Va Tech, Maryland, etc are scared to death of what we could become if we get into the SEC. The ACC would tolerate us as we would carry the banner with FSU and Va Tech to fat BcS paydays while we are treated like 2nd class members by Tobacco Road Mafia. Not to mention the cheap knockoff basketball where every Dookie flops and gets a technical foul called on us in the ACC tournament.
321,356,832) Recalibrated Big East: All sticking around in the Big East would do is help propel schools with bigger markets into a more appealing light for the conferences to snatch and ignore us. Plus looking at what is available I just don't see how WVU would remain as a high level football school playing none of the rivals.
I think that Big East football is dead, everyone knows it and everyone's just arguing to kill it. That's why you got the bball schools blocking (reportedly) any expansion, that's why you have WVU pushing Boise and others balking, that's why the idiot from Providence can't get a simple measure to increase buyouts passed, its why you have reports of the bball schools blaming Notre Dame.
I think everyone realizes that its a useless venture, the only thing they're waiting on is who's the last team out the door Louisville or WVU to bury it for good. And it's such a shame with even a little bit of leadership this could have been prevented.
The Big East needed to go to at least 10 when Va Tech and co bolted. I would have taken the tv hit because you were negotiating from a position of weakness anyways and taken another school with a lot of potential. East Carolina has a very similar fan base to WVU and I think they would have THRIVED in Big East football after the first raid and maybe developed a bit of a market for themselves while Carolina (the whole ACC) football was garbage.
My only problem with the Big 12 is it makes sense for football only and somewhat in basketball. You listed the positive in bringing an Oklahoma to Mountaineer Field, but what happens when WVU has to travel to Norman. How many WVU fans are going to make the trip?
Its going to be an every year trip to Oklahoma or Texas, whether it be Norman, Stillwater, Austin, Lubbock, Ft Worth, or Waco. That's fine for football, but how about for girls softball?
If WVU joins the Big 12, I'd go football only. Keep them in the Big East in everything else or if the Big East collapses, maybe the Atlantic 10.