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States like New Hampshire are often overlooked by college recruiters scouring the northeast. With a population of a little over 1.3 million (barely 14.5% of the population of New York City), the talent pool in …

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Unqualified applicants need not apply: Missouri

Submitted by on May 13, 2010 – 2:30 pmNo Comment

The “Unqualified applicants need not apply series” was created simply to present expansion hysteria, hype and noise and not necessarily reflect the actual viability of the featured candidate.

But in the case of Missouri, the rectal kissing is just laughable. As one of the charter members of the Big 12 when it formed in 1996, you would expect the Mizzou to be far more loyal than the rats abandoning a sinking ship imitation they are doing now.

“We should look at it if it’s offered. Going to the Big Ten is a step up in branding, it’s a step up in reputation,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told reporters Wednesday.

Even Missouri chancellor jumped in on the action:

On Tuesday, Deaton told The Associated Press that Missouri will “always do what is best for the university.” “You’ve got every major conference looking at how they should reposition or if they should reposition,” Deaton said. “I don’t think all the benefits and costs are known.”

Granted, they are only sound bites, but anything short of outright rejection of any possible expansion moves leaves it open for conjecture by the feeding frenzy of expansion enthusiasts. And the dissatisfaction growing in Columbia makes the move, if invited by the Big Ten, all the more likely.

Most of the anger at the Big 12 stems from the conference’s postseason selection policy which allows its bowl partners to select any eligible team, regardless of records and head to head results. Missouri has been affected by this policy on numerous occasions when they were bypassed by the Orange Bowl in 2007 when they selected Kansas, a team the Tigers had just beaten weeks earlier, instead of Missouri. For the past three years, Missouri has been passed over by more prestigious bowl games that selected teams it had either beaten or that ranked below the Tigers in conference standings.

Then you have the issue of disproportionate revenue sharing in the Big 12 which divides money unevenly based on television appearances. Member schools have complained how tough it is to compete with the conference’s biggest powers whose games are more likely to be televised in such a system. And all the while Missouri is watching border rival Illinois reap in the same mountains of gold as Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State regardless of their win-loss record.

So would Missouri make the jump should an invite be extended? You betcha.

This isn’t even the first attempt by the Mizzou to jump ship. On the verge of the Big Eight’s collapse in the early 90s, Missouri made it known to the Big Ten their eagerness to join the nation’s oldest conference. A group of state business leaders even formed a lobbying group to boost its efforts.

Now for expansion enthusiasts out there, here’s a real date to keep an eye on. June 30th.

Under Big 12 rules, Missouri could leave the conference without penalty should it provide 2 years notice. Should they take the jump immediately, as a “breaching member” they would owe the Big 12 a penalty equal to 80 percent of of it’s two-year conference revenues if notice isn’t given given by June 30th. That penalty increases to 90 percent before the end of this year or 100% if notice isn’t provided until 2011.

The penalties are stiff, but largely negligible to the Tigers should they make the jump to the Big Ten and allow me to explain. Missouri receives $8.4 million annually from the Big 12′s disproportionate revenue sharing system, ranked 6th in the 12 member conference, so you are really only talking about $13.44 million in penalties (2 year projection based on last season’s share of Big 12 revenues) should Missouri serve notice by June 30th.

The Big Ten currently pays it’s members an estimated $22 million annually according to the latest available tax documents. So expansion projections have Missouri receiving an extra $13.6 million a year due to the Big Ten’s equal revenue sharing system, amount to a substantial increase from the pittance it is earning now in the Big 12.

Now even if that number fluctuates depending on the number of eventual teams that will be invited, you are still talking about a substantial increase in revenue, numbers currently unheard of in Columbia. So with projections like that, a one-time, $10.24 million penalty seems relatively acceptable if it means a 200% increase in annual revenue a year in the long run.

This is why if an official invite is in place, and Missouri is as eager as state Governor Jay Nixon makes them out to be, there simply isn’t any reason for the Tigers not to try to make the June 30th deadline if it meant saving a bit of money in penalties.

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