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NCAA Conference Realignment: West Virginia Will Reportedly Join Big 12 If Missouri Departs

The rumors have been swirling for a little while now and now they seem to have come to fruition, West Virginia appears set to join the Big 12 after all. According to Lenn Robbins of the New York Post, West Virginia will join the Big 12 if and when Missouri leaves the Conference to join the SEC. That would leave the Conference with just four FBS football teams, and West Virginia might be the most important departure.

"Of all the schools the league has lost, from a football standpoint losing West Virginia would be the most damaging," a source told The Post. "Despite what anyone says, that's the program the league has hung its hat on."

It must be noted that Missouri leaving for the SEC is not a certainty at this point. It seems like they want to leave the Big 12 for the football power conference at this point, but the Conference met recently and Missouri decided to stick around for at least another year. So that means that West Virginia won't be leaving as soon as next year, but if Missouri still wants to join the SEC after the next year, than West Virginia will likely be the team that replaces them.