Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well...THIS is something…

After I wasted a good portion of my weekend discussing something that probably wasn’t going to happen (and after Dave Matter was more than happy to point out that it probably wasn’t going to happen), well...it’s let’s just say that people outside of Missouri have now officially mentioned it.

In a Des Moines Register story Thursday, July 26, reporter Randy Peterson says the new Big Ten Network, to be activated this school year, may occasion a conference look at expanding to 12 teams.

"I think we need to look at it in the next year," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told Peterson, who cited possible contacts with Rutgers and Syracuse of the Big East.

But the REAL school the Big Ten is after, collegeBLITZ.com learns, is Missouri, a likely addition in some 3-5 years.

"According to what I'm hearing," one well-placed source said, "the Big Ten has already made the offer and Missouri is working to try to find ways to get out of its (Big 12) league commitments."
Now...I’m not going to pretend like this is anything but an Internet rumor, but...it’s the most substantiated rumor that’s hit the airwaves so far. And honestly...if the Big Ten’s goal is to add to their total TV markets, the only two true options are Rutgers (NYC) and Mizzou (StL and KC...really, the only one on the table who can bring in two different markets). Well...as I noted the other day, Rutgers’ facilities (and overall athletic department beyond football—for now—and women’s basketball) are not up to snuff...they're comparatively tiny. The conference already has one Northwestern. While this wouldn’t be as ballsy a move as the University of Toronto, it really does make sense.

Now...if there were truly an offer on the table (and again, this is only an Internet rumor from a website called College Blitz), would we accept? The more I think about it, the more I think the answer is yes. But there’s more to it than that. Whether we were to accept or not, getting an honest-to-god offer from the Big Ten would be huge because it would, for the first time, give Mizzou some leverage within the Big 12. The only way the Big 12 revenue sharing dilemma will be solved is if Mizzou (or somebody else in the conference, for that matter) had the ability to leave for greener pastures if things weren’t fixed.

But I shouldn’t waste any more words on this right now since we’re still dealing in rumors, but...yeah, this topic—for better or worse—ain’t going away any time soon.

(I should point out, though, that the thought of Mizzou playing Penn State—his favorite team growing up—every couple of years has The Beef peeing his pants. I’d imagine he’s already got a Happy Valley road trip planned in his head for 2014 or whatever.)