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Big East Sues West Virginia to Preserve Itself for 27 Months

Let's go with the cliche that turnabout is fair play: The Big East has now sued West Virginia to enforce its 27-month exit clause days after West Virginia sued the Big East to allow it to get out from under that exit clause. If you were worried that conference realignment might happen without a legal mess, put your mind at ease.

"Today's legal action underscores The BIG EAST Conference's stated position that it will vigorously pursue the enforcement of its rights and West Virginia University's obligations under the conference's Bylaws which West Virginia formally agreed to and helped construct," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement.

For the most part, this isn't really that surprising. If West Virginia manages to get the exit requirements struck down, then Syracuse and Pittsburgh can likely also get out from under them, and the Big East might not have enough time to put itself back together again. When you're fighting for your survival, every month of that survival is worth it.

Again, this is a complicating factor for the SEC's drive to add Missouri, though it's not clear exactly how much the battle between the Big East and West Virginia mucks things up. The Big 12 clearly wants to remain a 10-team league through the realignment saga, and might be willing to fight Missouri's move or at least try to gum up the works to keep the Tigers in the fold through 2012 if the Mountaineers can't come. That said, the conference also appears to be writing off Missouri for 2012, but generally in relation to the West Virginia move.

Read all of Team Speed Kills' conference realignment coverage.