The West Virginia Mountaineers have applied to and been accepted to join the Big 12 Conference, The Charleston Daily Mail has reported.
An official announcement from the Big 12 has not been released. West Virginia would replace the Missouri Tigers, who are expected to leave for the SEC.
If Missouri does leave for the SEC and West Virginia joins the Big 12, the conference would remain at ten teams. It remains to be seen whether or not the conference eventually expands to 12 teams and holds a championship game again. Possible schools for the 11th and 12th spots appear to be BYU and Louisville.
The future of the Big East is again in jeopardy with this latest report. West Virginia leaving the conference would leave the Big East with only five football playing members: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and USF. Last month, Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced that they were heading to the ACC.
Pending litigation, West Virginia would be subject to the same exit process as Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The Mountaineers would have to pay a $5 million buyout and give the Big East 27 months notice before leaving (2014).