With all of the talk of re-alignment, I wanted to write about this from a fan’s perspective.
I didn’t go to Mizzou, but my small Division III college was less than 30 minutes away. I had numerous friends from Columbia and lived in the state of Missouri for my entire life. I’ve never been a die hard, but I was always a fan that followed what was going on.
Mizzou to the Big-10 would be huge for the programs.
First off, they would get away from Texas. It’s nothing against the state; rather the University has complete control over the Big-12. They get the biggest share of the money, which hurts Mizzou. If Mizzou was in the Big 10, they’d see more money from the Big 10 Network. Last season, the Big 10 teams received over $15MM from the conference, which over $6MM coming from the TV network (adding 3 teams would lower the amount to $12MM or so, which would still be an improvement).
Secondly, they are a better fit geographically. No more long trips to Colorado or Texas. Instead you travel to Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Penn. Mizzou would have the series with Illinois every year, rather than just scheduling the series. Yes, Mizzou loses the KU connection, but they could schedule that.
Third, the money. Adding the additional revenue would be huge for the smaller sports (well, all of them, but mainly sports outside of football and basketball).
On the flip side, Mizzou might start to lose out on Texas recruits. Kids from Texas might not want to come to Mizzou if they don’t have a chance to play against their home town teams. I’ve heard plenty of stories about kids from Texas that want to play against the Longhorns, Aggies, and Red Raiders to show them what they passed on.
There is also the possibility that KU doesn’t want to schedule games against Mizzou. This rivalry is one of the oldest in college sports and it would be a shame to end it.
Now, I want to mention that Mizzou has not said a word about what they are planning on doing. As a result, Texas has started to make Mizzou look like the bad guy in all of this. Most reports are coming from Texas’ Scout site, and most of the reports have Mizzou looking bad.
I think Mizzou ends up in the Big 10, along with Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers. If the Pac-10 does go to 16, the the Big 10 could counter with 2 of Pitt, Syracuse, or Kansas. That would lead the ACC and SEC matching the total of 16 teams and the creation of the “Super-Conferences” (I don’t know how many teams each of those conferences have already, so they might not have to add anyone).
This could also lead to a NCAA Football Playoff System. The winner of each “Super-Conference” would play for the National Championship.