“Our intent would be to move as quickly as we can,” Castiglione said. “Behind the scenes, we'll be doing as much as we can.”
Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said the league planned to play with 10 schools in 2012, but Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton indicated that if the Tigers left for the SEC, they would like to leave next summer.
Big 12 expansion could be complicated by Big East contractual entanglements. Brigham Young and three Big East schools – West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati – have been mentioned as the most likely targets of Big 12 expansion. Castiglione admitted that BYU, playing its first season as a football independent, would have fewer obligations to sort out than would other schools.
The prospect of playing with just nine schools in 2012 would be problematic for the Big 12's new contract with Fox Sports, since a nine-team league would have even less quality games than a 10-team league, which has less than the 12-team Big 12.
Castiglione said that if Missouri is going to leave, “go ahead and make a decision. But let me be clear. We want Missouri to stay.”
Castiglione said another frustrating part of this whole process has been the spotlight removed from the Big 12 on the field, where three teams remained undefeated going into Saturday night.