Joe Castiglione: Big 12 to act quickly

Updated: October 23, 2011, 5:07 PM ET
By Brandon Chatmon | SoonerNation

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Big 12 Conference would like to move quickly if Missouri chooses to leave the conference, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said Saturday.

The Tigers could be leaving the Big 12 after Missouri curators gave chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to move the team out of the Big 12 on Friday. Missouri is debating a move to the SEC.

If Missouri leaves, Castiglione said the Big 12 has a "Plan A" and "Plan 1-A" but did not discuss specific teams outside of BYU. He also said he was hopeful Missouri would remain in the Big 12.

"I think our intent would be to move as quickly as we could," Castiglione said. "There may be other issues that hinder our ability to move as quick as we want. Behind the scenes we will be doing as much as we can as quick as we can to resolve it."

West Virginia could be the top choice to replace Missouri if the Tigers left the conference, a source with direct knowledge of the Big 12's expansion plans told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Satuday. The source said the league is more inclined to go to 10 teams in the short term while it assesses the pros and cons of 10 or 12 teams.

Louisville is a close third behind West Virginia and BYU with Cincinnati the fourth choice, according to the source.

"People want to get this moving forward as quick as we can but it depends on what we face," Castiglione said.

A Big 12 school administrator told the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday that he thought West Virginia would be an upgrade over Missouri.

"I'd say West Virginia is the leader in the clubhouse," the official told the newspaper." I think we'll come out better than before. I'd rather be with someone who wants to be with our conference than anybody who doesn't. ...

"West Virginia has better football than Missouri, better basketball than Missouri, a better budget than Missouri and more passion among its fans than Missouri. They're better, anyway you turn 'em. The travel's not good but that's it."

A second administrator told the Statesman that he preferred Louisville because it is closer to the other Big 12 schools and has a stronger academic reputation than West Virginia.

Brandon Chatmon covers University of Oklahoma sports and recruiting for SoonerNation. He can be reached at bchatmonespn@gmail.com. ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz contributed to this report.

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