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Mizzou governor on Big Ten expansion: ‘We should listen’

Very early on in the process, Missouri -- along with Pittsburgh -- have seemingly emerged as the favorite amongst pundits to be the 12th school should the Big Ten ultimately expand.

Based on the comments from Missouri’s current governor, Mizzou will get a big push from the state level to give serious consideration to swapping the Big 12 for the Big Ten if the latter comes a courtin’.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Gov. Jay Nixon was trumpeting brains over brawn as he espoused the academic virtues of aligning with the Big Ten.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about the Big 12, but 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,” Nixon, a Missouri graduate, said “If a significant conference with a long history of academic and athletic excellence talks about you joining them, you shouldn’t just say, ‘We’re from the old Big 8 and I remember when ...

If they want to talk, we should talk, and we should listen.”

Nixon also said he understood that athletics and economics would play a role in any type of move, and added that he would like to see the Missouri-Kansas rivalry continue even if the Tigers make the leap to another conference.