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Friday, October 28, 2011
Mistake adds to Missouri-SEC drama

By Edward Aschoff

Ah, the way-too-early Halloween trick strikes again.

This time, it dealt with the SEC and Missouri, who is currently exploring other conference options outside of the Big 12.

Thursday brought us a news release on the SEC's website that announced Missouri as the 14th member of the conference. However, SEC officials said Friday that the release was a mistake and that there are currently no talks between the SEC and Missouri.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said in an email to "Web vendor made mistake. No agreement between SEC and Missouri."

According to The SEC site's operator, XOS Digital Sports Network, a "draft article" was made just in case Missouri did join the league in the near future and "a website user was able to obtain it through the use of a new advanced search technology."

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Thursday at the SEC's basketball media day that league officials are working on scheduling for both a 13- and 14-school league just in case the SEC expands further.

However, Slive didn't say if Missouri was involved in the scheduling talks and that there was no news to report about possibile expansion.

This feels like the worst kept secret in college sports these days.

Despite what the commissioner is saying, there is strong speculation Missouri will leave the Big 12 and join the SEC.

But if that website gaffe didn't light talk about Missouri joining the SEC on fire, Friday's new release announcing West Virgina's addition to the Big 12 starting in 2012 should have.

In the release, the Big 12 said: "beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities -- Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia."

No sign of Missouri in there ...