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West Virginia And The Big East Reach A Settlement, Officially Able To Join The Big 12

The Big 12 can officially look forward to the West Virginia Mountaineers take their talents from the Big East as the Big East and West Virginia were able to reach a settlement Thursday night. With the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, the additions of TCU and West Virginia will bring the Big "12" back to 10 teams for 2012.

Per Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman, the Big 12 will financially support West Virginia by loaning about $9-$10 million to assist paying the $20 million exit fee that must be paid to the Big East.

The Big 12 will officially be up for grabs when the football season arrives in September, as the defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State Cowboys will return a talented roster but must replace their All-American quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and wide receiver (Justin Blackmon). Oklahoma and Texas should look to rebound from tough 2012 seasons as well, and with the addition of two strong programs like West Virginia and TCU, the Big 12 could arguably be the best conference in college football next season.

For more on West Virginia, check out The Smoking Musket. To follow all the realignment madness, stop by SB Nation's college football news hub.