And believe me, West Virginia is gone. They've basically left already.
Pete Thamel of the New York Times reports West Virginia has already applied and been accepted, meaning the formal invite would come after Mizzou leaves.
Assuming this goes down before Navy and Air Force join (if they even do at this point), WVU will only have to pay $5M. The $10M exit fee doesn't kick in until new members join.
Lenn Robbins thinks the Big 12 will keep expanding, too. Instead of stopping at 10, they might just pick off the rest of the Big East and work their way up to 16. That probably means the Louisville Cardinals and Cincinnati Bearcats can expect calls soon. As for South Florida...if the Big 12 were forward-thinking they would look at them as well...but that's getting ahead of ourselves.
When this does go down, it effectively kills Big East expansion as well. There's no point for Boise State to join a BCS conference that will surely lose its BCS status on the next go-round. Especially one based on the other side of the country. Same goes for Navy and Air Force. At that point, there's no reason to add Houston, SMU or UCF. The Big East is officially The Walking Dead and now it's only a matter of time before UConn, Rutgers, USF and the others go into scramble mode to find a new home and the basketball schools figure out how to exist in Big East 2.0.
As you might imagine, the folks over at The Smoking Musket are doing just fine with the news:
If this report that WVU is headed to the Big XII is true, it would be a welcome relief to WVU fans and administrators. The Big East is viewed by most as an unsavable sinking ship with little to no stability. The fans just want out and into a better situation. The Big XII may not be the most stable conference out there (they are at least addressing concerns), but it is a far-and-away better option than remaining in the Big East. Travel would be an issue for fans and even more so for the non-revenue sports, but the added benefits vastly outweigh the negatives.
Mizzou should have their move any day now. Then the wheels will go into motion.