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Mizzou governor on Big Ten expansion: 'We should listen'

Very early on in the process, Missouri — along with Pittsburgh — have seemingly emerged as the favorite amongst pundits to be the 12th school should the Big Ten ultimately expand.

Based on the comments from Missouri’s current governor, Mizzou will get a big push from the state level to give serious consideration to swapping the Big 12 for the Big Ten if the latter comes a courtin’.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Gov. Jay Nixon was trumpeting brains over brawn as he espoused the academic virtues of aligning with the Big Ten.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about the Big 12, but when you compare Oklahoma State to Northwestern, when you compare Texas Tech to Wisconsin, I mean, you begin looking at educational possibilities that are worth looking at,” Nixon, a Missouri graduate, said “If a significant conference with a long history of academic and athletic excellence talks about you joining them, you shouldn’t just say, ‘We’re from the old Big 8 and I remember when …

If they want to talk, we should talk, and we should listen.”

Nixon also said he understood that athletics and economics would play a role in any type of move, and added that he would like to see the Missouri-Kansas rivalry continue even if the Tigers make the leap to another conference.

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Respond to “Mizzou governor on Big Ten expansion: 'We should listen'”
  1. JP says: Dec 18, 2009 5:49 PM

    Being an alum of U of Illinois, I would love to see Mizzou in the Big 10. Err Big 11. Um Big 12 (no, that’s taken). Ahh… Bigger 12. Or the Really Big 12. The Big Dozen. The Dirty Dozen.
    Anyway, it would be great to have Missouri.

  2. overratedgators says: Dec 18, 2009 10:42 PM

    Well, JP – you just solved that issue. They should totally go with “Dirty Dozen”. That’s just awesome.

  3. DCroz says: Dec 18, 2009 11:44 PM

    Excuse me for one moment…
    OK, I just had to get that out of my system, because it is the reaction I always get whenever I hear some ivory-tower school president or sanctimonious politico try to convince us with a straight face that ANYTHING that is done in college football has jack to do with academics. What the hell does being a member of an athletic conference have to do with “academic opportunities?” You mean if Mizzou wanted to engage in some kind of academic partnership with, say, Michigan, that such a relationship would be null and void because the two play sports in separate conferences? And you’re also trying to throw the other eleven schools in your current conference under the bus by implying that the (mostly) public universities in your current conference are lacking in academic credentials compared to the (mostly) public universities in another? Forget whether Missouri gets admitted to the Big 10; the Big XII should kick them regardless based on that kind of comment alone.
    But this joker needs to come out and admit the real reason for this flirtation is about one thing: money. He thinks Mizzou can make more money as a member of the Big 10 than it does now. What it is ALWAYS about is money, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just wish these bloviating politicians and school presidents would have the testicular fortitude (or in the case of the academics, that they’re semi-closet Marxists who think that self-interest and money are verboten topics) to just up say it, rather than claim some non-existent virtuous reason as why they do what they do. At least we could stomach the conversation without everyone feeling like they need some Pepto-Bismol to get them through it.

  4. mastercaster says: Dec 19, 2009 9:42 AM

    Dcroz is right. It is about money. They’re looking at grabbing two large TV markets in KC and St. Louis. Personally, they can go punt themselves. Our Governor and Chancellor should keep their mouths shut and do the job at hand. If the Big 10 wants to snag another school from the Big 12, it ought to be Iowa State. Geographically, it is a natural fit, plus the standard in state rivalry with Iowa, just like OU and OSU in the Big 12. The only real problem with that choice is ISU doesn’t bring a large TV market to the table, ergo, NO MONEY.

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