The big headline on Wednesday was “Report: Missouri hopes to join SEC, wanted a Big Ten invite the most.”
Obviously Missouri’s first choice was the Big Ten. When the Big Ten considered which school to add last season, Missouri practically begged the conference to pick it.
Citing an anonymous school official, the article said the Big Ten has once again shown no interest in expansion, much less Missouri.
Incredibly, the Big Ten office confirmed to the Missourian the aforementioned anonymous source’s statement: commissioner Jim Delany stands by the comments he made the last two months.
What were some of those comments?
Aug. 19: “We’re about as comfortable as we can be with where we are. We’ve said that we will continue to monitor the landscape, but we have closed down active expansion and have no plans to seek new members.”
Sept. 18: “I don’t think that moves in the SEC or the A.C.C. or Pac-10 or Big 12, haven’t, to date, created an environment that changes our position. We’re as comfortable as we could be. We’re cautious and conservative.”
Sept. 29: “To expand, we must make a compelling case for it. Right now, we can’t make a compelling case for it… We looked around with interest, and we looked around to analyze. We try not to over-react, and I don’t expect that we will.”
If Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech had left for the Pac-12 a few weeks ago, it would be reasonable to wonder if the Big Ten is considering further expansion. The Pac would be up to 16 teams, and by inviting Missouri the SEC would have the intention of becoming 14. The age of super-conferences would have been imminent, and if the Big Ten had any intentions of expanding to 14 or 16 teams, Missouri would presumably be one of the top choices.
But with the Pac standing pat, the Big Ten has reiterated its satisfaction with the 12 teams it has.
No real headline there. Not really news that, given other circumstances, Missouri might have ended up in the Big Ten. Not really news that Missouri would have preferred those circumstances.