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Big East Expansion: Commissioner John Marinatto Not Surprised About West Virginia Departure

After telling the Big East Conference that it plans to accept the Big 12 Conference's invitation to become its 10th and final member, West Virginia University received a response from the league and its commissioner John Marinatto Friday morning via Twitter.

"This move by West Virginia does not come as a surprise. League officials, members of our conference and the candidate schools to whom we have been talking were aware of this possibility. We have taken West Virginia’s possible departure into account as we have moved forward with our own realignment plans. West Virginia is fully aware that the Big East Conference is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period for members who choose to leave the conference. We are confident that in the coming weeks we will complete our own realignment program, adding a number of high-quality members to remain among the top conferences in both football and basketball."

On Friday morning, CBSSports.com Brett McMurphy reported that the Mountaineers, who are currently ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the AP Poll and Bow Championship Series standings, were going to receive and accept an invitation from the Big 12.

The loss of WVU is a huge one for the league that already has seen Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh and Texas Christian University move onto other conferences. However, if the Big East can get Boise State University to commit to the league, and add a few more quality programs like Central Florida University then it maybe able to keep its BCS automatic qualify spot.