Texas and Oklahoma are expected to inform the Big 12 of their intentions to leave the conference and join the SEC, per a report from The Athletic.
With those two set to depart, that leaves Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and West Virginia as the remaining eight members of the league. There's virtually no way the conference can stay at eight teams with those exact eight members and still be considered a Power Five conference. So, the league and its remaining members are going to have to make some very difficult decisions.
Does the league find two replacements for Oklahoma and Texas that have nowhere near the value that those two institutions hold? Do they attempt to add four members and get back to 12? Or do they consider merging with the PAC-12 to form a 20-team conference? It just so happens that joining alliances with the PAC-12 was something that was discussed during Thursday night's Big 12 leadership call, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic - a meeting in which neither Oklahoma nor Texas participated.
Obviously, this would be a nightmare in the making for West Virginia. Traveling is already challenging enough as it is in the Big 12 let alone if they were to join a conference that's on the opposite end of the country. If the other seven Big 12 schools believe this is their best chance to remain in a power conference, I would expect West Virginia to be the outlier and see if joining the ACC or Big Ten is a possibility. One important thing to note is Notre Dame is already a partial member of the ACC. If the ACC can somehow miraculously convince Notre Dame to commit to being a full-time member, that would give them 15 schools in the league. They shouldn't have to go too far to find a 16th member as West Virginia would likely be begging to get in and avoid being in the PAC 12 or even worse, a Group of Five conference like the American.
Then again, if the ACC or Big Ten shows no interest in accepting West Virginia into their conference, they may have no other option but to join the rest of the Big 12 schools and link with the PAC-12. Things are unraveling quickly, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates on this developing story.
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