Pitt to the Big Ten? What now, Mizzou?
The rumors are hot and heavy that the University of Pittsburgh is joining the Big Ten, perhaps as soon as this week. I don’t know if it will come to pass, but it would make sense. I was told that since Penn State’s admission to the Big Ten, it has felt a little like an outsider, on the far eastern edge of the conference. Pitt certainly would shift the league a little East.
All of which will make the University of Missouri a little uncomfortable. Mizzou wanted to join the Big Ten, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon even did a little politicking for the school, saying, “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.”
And when you compare a school whose officials — administrative or political — don’t trash fellow league schools with a school whose officials do just that, well, doesn’t do much for Missouri’s status in the Big 12. Good luck getting OSU or Tech — or anyone, really — to cut Mizzou any slack on any issue. Tech, OSU and Missouri are very similar in terms of status within the league and athletic budget. But Missouri’s obvious preference for the Big Ten, coupled with Nixon’s elitism, will make Missouri less than comfortable in Big 12 meetings for a long while.
Of course, the Pitt deal might not come through, and perhaps Missouri will bolt to the Big Ten. But if not, you won’t have to wonder who is the least popular member of the Big 12 Conference.
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