After the longest stare-down in Big East history, Commissioner John Marinatto blinked for the price of $20 million. If all reports hold true, the Mountaineers will be out the Big East door in time to play a Big 12 season with the conference's financial help.
For the Orange what does this mean?
As of now, the Orange are locked into the Big East football until at least 2013 when the Orange could be playing Boise State, SMU and San Diego State as conference opponents. The Big East had made it clear that no team leaving the conference would be allowed out early.
However, this deal sets the precedent. One potential option for teams that did not like this was to just leave and see what happens. The legal ramifications would have been a lawsuit at the doorstep for all three teams, but it was an option.
Another option that is still open for the Orange is to sue the Big East over lost revenue if the West Virginia deal holds and Syracuse won't buy out. Syracuse could say that the game against the Mountaineers is a huge revenue game (likely televised on ESPN) and that the conference did not give adequate time to the Orange to fill the slot.
However, the Big East is currently attempting to prevent this situation by scheduling a home-and-home with Syracuse rivals Rutgers.
Ultimately, it means that if Dr. Daryl Gross can convince the alums and Syracuse board that dropping $20 million on moving two years early is a prudent move, then it happens. If it doesn't happen like that, then maybe Syracuse can win the shattered Big East conference this season.