Big 12 Set To Accept West Virginia

It appears Dana Holgorsen could be making his way back into the Big 12 very soon.

According to ESPN.com, the Big 12 Conference has told West Virginia officials that the Mountaineers will be accepted into the league pending formal approval and it could happen as soon as later today.

The original report was that West Virginia would be accepted if Missouri leaves for the Southeastern Conference, but ESPN is reporting that is no longer the case and the Mountaineers will be accepted regardless of whether or not the Tigers choose to leave.

The Big East can try to keep West Virginia for up to 27 months but it's likely negotiations would lessen the time frame. The Mountaineers would also face a $5 million exit fee from the Big East.

The Big 12 still expects Missouri to depart for the SEC and reportedly the only thing standing in its way are legal matters.

If Missouri chooses to leave, West Virginia would keep the Big 12 Conference at 10 teams after having added TCU last month. The new-look league would consist of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Christian and West Virginia.

The conference has expressed that it is content with 10 teams but the desire to return to 12 has also been expressed. Should Missouri stay, it is reported that West Virginia will still be offered a formal invitation, giving the league 11 teams. That could open the door for another potential Big East defection like Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida or Central Florida.

West Virginia's acceptance gives the Big 12 options moving forward that should offer stability for the league moving forward and a return to 12 teams would be a welcome sight because it would bring back a conference title game but, again, it is still expected for West Virginia to serve as a replacement for Missouri.


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