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Thursday, October 6, 2011
Missouri wants Big Ten but isn't wanted

By Brian Bennett

Never let it be said that everyone thinks the SEC is better than the Big Ten.

Missouri, all dressed up in a bridal gown and just waiting for a proposal, may move on from the Big 12 to the SEC. But the Associated Press has reported that the school would prefer an invite from the Big Ten.

One problem: the feeling apparently isn't mutual. The Tigers were all dressed up and ready to join the Big Ten dance last year, with the governor even publicly advocating for the move. But the Big Ten was just not that into Mizzou. Nebraska was and remains a much more attractive partner.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has repeatedly said during this latest round of expansion madness that his league is perfectly happy with 12 teams after adding Nebraska in the offseason. Expanding for the sake of expanding is not going to happen, and Missouri is not enough of a prime target for the conference to change its mind.

The school does make plenty of sense for the Big Ten, including geographically and culturally (Missouri is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities). It makes a natural rival for Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.

But unless the league suddenly changes course and decides to go to 14 or 16 teams -- a move that would likely only happen if a home-run addition like Texas or Notre Dame became available -- then Missouri isn't coming aboard.

So the Tigers will have to hope to settle for the SEC. When the Tigers inevitably get their brains beat in during football season down South, they'll probably still be wishing they were in the Big Ten.