Realignment: Are There ANY Adults In The Room?

So let's review what has happened so for this week, shall we?

Missouri was headed out the door to the SEC. The Big 12, trying to be proactive, already had a replacement in mind, and in fact, it was reported that West Virginia would be invited to take Missouri's place.

The Mountaineers were so sure of the invitation that they notified the other members of the Big East and prepared for a press conference.

What could possibly go wrong?

T Boone Pickens, defacto president of OKlahoma State said that "he needed to be convinced about adding West Virginia."

But all of that was mere child's play. Yesterday the political football got kicked around from Lubbock to Morgantown. The New York Times reported that Louisville -- not West Virginia -- could get the Big 12 invitation, thanks to the lobbying efforts of Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.

McConnell talked to OU President David Boren, a former Senator, and to Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, a former congressman, pushing for Louisville to the Big 12.

The two senators from West Virginia, Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin and Senator Jay Rockefeller went ballistic, charging political interference with the realignment process.

Hance said that was nonsense. "Mitch McConnell talked about the merits of Louisville and nothing else," Hance told the New York Times. "Why shouldn't he be sticking up for Kentucky? I think the guys from West Virginia got caught flat-footed not sticking up for West Virginia."

Senator Manchin countered that West Virginia's problem was that Mcconnell did his lobbying after West Virginia had received the invitation.

"I can tell you that officially West Virginia was invited to be part of the Big 12," Manchin said. "I've seen the press release [sent by the Big 12 to WVU to issue on Wednesday]," he added. "There's no doubt we were invited. It's all there and documented."

Manchin then went on to say that should Louisville be invited over West Virginia to the Big 12, the Senate Commerce Committee -- headed by West Virginia Senator Rockefeller -- would be compelled to investigate the political interference from Senator (and Louisville graduate) McConnell.

Wouldn't that be a fun hearing?

So the Big 12 now has a possible solution: invite both of 'em.

Nope -- just stick with the plan, and say hello to new Big 12 member West Virginia.

As for the SEC and Missouri, someone decided to cut out the middle man and posted on the SEC website a release welcoming the Tigers as the 14th member in the league.


The release was dated Oct 22nd, and referred to commissioner Mike Slive announcing Mizzou's membership on Monday, presumably meaning Oct. 24 but possibly meaning Oct. 31st. It was quickly pulled down.

Right now it looks like it will be the Big 12-2-1+1-1+1 - at least for the moment.

Welcome to the neighborhood, West Virginia -- but one piece of advice.


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