Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/25/11

The carousel keeps moving in college football conference expansion and relocation. Today it leaked that the West Virginia Mountaineers have been approved to replace Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 conference. The conference board of directors approved the move to take place once the Mizzou move to the SEC is complete.

WVU leaving the Big East obviously leaves an already very weak football conference to become even weaker. The Big East is already reeling from the loss of TCU, Syracuse and UConn. The Mountaineers over the Tigers probably means a push in football, but an upgrade in college basketball.

Here’s more from the AP:

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the school nor the Big 12 had announced that its board of directors unanimously approved inviting West Virginia when Missouri’s spot comes open.

The move would allow the Big 12 to maintain 10 members and is another blow to the embattled Big East, which already has lost two members and one member-to-be in the last six weeks.

The Big East is trying to reconfigure as a 12-team football league and has been courting Boise State, Navy and Air Force as football-only members and Central Florida, SMU and Houston for all sports.

Now you see the “domino theory” in full effect of conference expansion, and big conferences swapping teams. I know this sounds like Captain Obvious speaking but this WVU maneuver is a domino falling from Mizzou jumping up to the SEC, and expect at least two-three more in the next couple weeks.

What to watch for? The Big East grabbing a couple more independents and Conference USA teams in order to preserve their status as a football conference. The Big 12 is doing the same exact thing, but only on a bigger scale with much prestigious programs. Neither intends to disappear from the gridiron landscape and will scramble to find the right pieces to save themselves.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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