Big 12 commish talks expansion, WVU

The Big 12 expansion committee met last Wednesday for the first time since admitting West Virginia in October.

Judging from interim commissioner Chuck Neinas' comments to West Virginia Illustrated, the league is set on standing at 10 teams for the immediate future.

"The Board of Directors at the time West Virginia was admitted to the Big 12 asked the expansion committee to continue to monitor the landscape of college athletics," Neinas said after delivering the keynote speech Morgantown Chamber of Commerce this weekend. "We are currently at 10 and very comfortable with 10."

Video of Neinas' interview is available on the site. He also maintained the Big 12's stance against a championship game.

"Unlikely that there will be a conference championship game anytime in the near future," Neinas said. "There is, not unanimous, but heavy plurality favoring not having a conference championship or playoff because that brings about divisional play and that is where you get into a debate about strength of division."

West Virginia beat Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl, leading to a playful exchange between Neinas and WVU president Jim Clements.

Neinas is clearly keeping a much closer eye on West Virginia than he previously did. That included watching WVU pound Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

"Jim Clements sent me a text following the Orange Bowl game saying I hope we made you proud," Neinas said with a smile. "I sent a text back saying that is all well and good, but our Big 12 coaches think you should remain in the Big East."


And about that elephant in the room that's about the have the veil lifted before Feb. 1? The Big 12 schedule?

Seems all systems are go for WVU in the Big 12 in 2012.

The Big 12 must deliver its 2012 schedule no later than Wednesday. Neinas indicated West Virginia will be on that schedule, which has already been distributed by the Big 12 to its Athletic Directors including Oliver Luck.

"Either West Virginia [will be on it] or the Green Bay Packers and I think it is more likely West Virginia."

It looks like WVU and the Big 12 will begin their marriage this July regardless of any decision reached in the ongoing lawsuits between West Virginia University and the Big East.

"Our conference attorney is in contact with West Virginia's attorney," Neinas stated. "We are monitoring it very closely and we have very good communication. I think things are going to go very smoothly in terms of West Virginia becoming a member of the Big 12.

Interesting times across the Big 12.