Big 12 presidents meet Monday to discuss plans to address the anticipated departure of Missouri, with multiple league sources identifying West Virginia as a slight favorite over Louisville as the primary target for the next wave of expansion. But sources said today that is not a unanimous opinion.
Brigham Young could enter the picture, sources said, if the league opts to operate as a 12-team league for the long term.
Missouri’s board of curators gave Chancellor Brady Deaton the authority Friday to move the school to another league. Deaton, who is scheduled to attend Monday’s meeting, has confirmed discussions with the Southeastern Conference and expressed a desire to move for the 2012 football season.
That timetable conflicts with the expectations of Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who said on Oct. 11 that he envisions Missouri being part of a 10-member league, along with newcomer TCU, for the 2012-13 school year. Missouri’s departure timetable is expected to be addressed Monday.
A Big 12 spokesman said today that Missouri has yet to send an official letter of withdrawal to the league and Neinas has expressed hope that the school could be convinced to remain. But multiple league sources anticipate Missouri’s departure, regardless of the timetable.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, a member of the league’s five-person expansion committee, said Saturday that league officials expect to “make a decision quickly” in regard to a replacement team if one is needed.
Although Louisville is closer in proximity to current Big 12 schools than West Virginia, a league source said today that the Mountaineers have an edge because realignment is being driven by television considerations and the school brings better TV ratings to the table.
_ Jimmy Burch