The Expansion Question I Haven't Seen Asked

Since the Big Ten broached the subject of expansion again in December, Missouri has not been shy about its interest. When it comes to the Big Ten, Ol' Mizzou has been the waitress who unbuttons a couple of buttons on her blouse, leans over a table of guys and tells them, "I get off in five minutes."

Oh yeah, Missouri is available.

~ Dennis Dodd last week in an article about Mizzou and Big Ten expansion

Obviously, there is no way to get around the fact that conference expansion talk will dominate the interwebs for the duration of the summer.

We have to fill the time between now and when teams report for summer training camp in August.

While on vacation last week at Disney World, I read Dodd's article while waiting for the bus to head to the Magic Kingdom.

I also came across the rumored report from 810 WHB that the Big Ten has made up their mind and had extended offers, which Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany shot down.

But reading these two pieces got my mind working, and leads me to ask a question that I haven't seen posed anywhere else:

What happens if we don't get chosen?

What if this whole scenario plays out, and we get jilted once again by someone else?

Maybe Notre Dame comes to its senses and declares that it'll join the Big Ten.

Maybe the Big Ten just moves in an easterly direction and completes the killing of the Big East that the ACC attempted 6 years ago.

Perhaps the Big Ten chooses Nebraska only and leaves us twisting in the wind, and Colorado and a couple of South Division schools bolt for the Pac-10 or (worse) the SEC.

What happens to us within the conference if the Big Ten and Pac-10 look at everything and make their decisions and leave the Big 12 intact?

Can we really come back to the conference, hat in hand, and simply say, "Honey, I'm home" as the lipstick sits on our collar from the flirtation?

From the start I've been in favor of this move because of the value added benefits that a Big Ten alliance would provide us—from the additional revenue in the athletic department coffers to the reputational bounce and research opportunities that would be available to us in the CIC.

(Plus, we could still have an unholy alliance with a university that wears purple and fields teams called "Wildcats.")

Yet lately, I can't shake this doubt that we will not get selected.

Maybe it's the ghosts of the Fifth Down, or the Flea Kicker, or the second half of the 2007 Big 12 title game haunting me.

I'll wait for the decision to come from Chicago, but it will still make for an uneasy summer.

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