The Austin American-Statesman reports that West Virginia will be the top candidate to replace Missouri in the Big 12. The article quotes an official at a Big 12 school who sounds very enthusiastic about the possible addition of WVU, citing travel as the only reason the Mountaineers might not be a good fit.
"I’d say West Virginia is the leader in the clubhouse. I think we’ll come out better than before. I’d rather be with someone who wants to be with our conference than anybody who doesn’t."
Asked why the Big 12 would be upgraded, the official said, "West Virginia has better football than Missouri, better basketball than Missouri, a better budget than Missouri and more passion among its fans than Missouri. They’re better, anyway you turn ‘em. The travel’s not good (to Morgantown, W. Va) but that’s it."
Another Big East, Louisville, would be a possible contender, but Louisville’s football program isn’t as strong as WVU’s. Another Big 12 official quoted in the article, however, prefers Louisville, because of the difference in travel and because of WVU’s academic reputation. So WVU to the Big 12 isn’t a done deal.
The loss of WVU would be another blow to a Big East conference that has already lost Pitt, Syracuse and TCU.