Report: West Virginia to Big 12 when Missouri leaves for SEC

West Virginia will leave the Big East and head to the Big 12 shortly after Missouri withdraws from the league and heads to the SEC, according to Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com

The Mountaineers reportedly will be extended an invitation to take the place of the Tigers, which could come within 24-48 hours of Mizzou's official announcement that they are departing to become the 14th member of the SEC.

The Big East has been decimated by departures, leaving commissioner John Marinatto scrambling to keep the conference together. Pittsburgh and Syracuse will eventually be leaving for the ACC, and TCU will join the Big 12 next season. Marinatto met with officials from Boise State, Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Navy two days ago, but no invites were formally extended.

West Virginia would pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East if its leaves before the league adds Navy or Air Force. The fee would increase to $10 million if Marinatto is able to add the Midshipmen or Falcons before the Mountaineers depart. However, no matter when the move occurs, West Virginia would not be able to leave the Big East until June 30, 2014, the same date when Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave for John Swofford's league.

With the Big East's remaining football members being UConn, Rutgers, South Florida, Louisville and Cincinnati, the conference has obviously been severely weakened. However, the goal remains to become a 12-team football league.

But will it be enough to maintain AQ status?

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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