West Virginia has been accepted to the Big 12 Conference, according to multiple sources.
An anonymous source with direct knowledge of the situation said the Mountaineers had “applied and are accepted” to the Big 12, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The move has not been confirmed by either the conference or the school but it would leave the weakened Big East with just five football-playing schools and make West Virginia the Big 12’s eleventh member.
That number, though, is likely to change in the near future.
The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced Friday that it had given Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton authority to explore other conference options. That decision came after weeks of speculation that Missouri is planning to join Big 12 defector Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference.
West Virginia’s arrival would provide the Big 12 with stability should Missouri leave because it would ensure that the conference would be able to operate as a ten team league.
This would benefit TCU, which is scheduled to join the Big 12 next year, but Head Football Coach Gary Patterson said he’s not concerned with any of the recent realignment talk nor does he pay much attention to it.
“Right now it’s the games I have left,” Patterson said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. “Is our pregame meal going to be warm up in Wyoming? Is it going to snow? What kind of crowd are we going to have at the BYU game? How are my kids’ legs and shoulders going to be by Friday? Those things are what are important to me now.”
BYU has been rumored to be another school of interest for the Big 12. Whether or not the Cougars are a Big 12-caliber program is something Patterson said he couldn’t determine. He’s more concerned with whether or not his team is a Big 12-caliber program.
“I don’t know,” Patterson said when asked how BYU would fit into the Big 12. “The only thing I would say I’m a critic about is our own program. We’re going to have to find out about that here in a year. It’s hard for me to say anything about BYU.”