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Conference Realignment: Can Missouri, Kansas Do Better Than Big East?

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback James Franklin #1 of the Missouri Tigers walks off the field during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 9, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Tigers 37-30 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nick YokoyamaSenior Analyst IIISeptember 17, 2011

As the Big 12 continues to implode and realignment talks heighten, there have been many questions surrounding the futures of Missouri and Kansas. One rising question is if either team can do better than the Big East.

Although the Big East seems like a plausible option for both schools, let's take a team-by-team look to see if there are other possibilities. 

 

Missouri Tigers

If Mizzou were to go to the Big East, they would immediately become a contender for a BCS bowl berth. Despite this great opportunity, many fans would see this move as a disappointment; settling with an inferior conference. 

So, are their other, "better" plausible options?

Missouri does border three SEC states, but are the Tigers ready to compete in the best league in the nation? Many think they would be in for a rude awakening if this were to occur. Although it is rumored that Missouri is "confident" it will end up in the SEC, it still seems far-fetched.

The Big Ten would probably provide the best fit for the Tigers geographically, academically and athletically. They already have rivals in Illinois and Nebraska and would benefit from an enhanced schedule.

Although there are rumors that the Big Ten will not be calling, it might be too hard for them to resist the chance at expanding into a 16-team super conference.  

 

Kansas Jayhawks 

The Big East scenario seems to be getting the most attention as the Jayhawks look to stay in the BCS. Although it is not the ideal scenario, it might be their best possible option. 

The ACC seems like a possibility from a basketball standpoint, but are there enough big games that can fire up Kansas fans?

Much like Mizzou, the Big Ten is far and away the best option for the Jayhawks. Kansas would benefit from games against teams such as Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois, while the Big Ten would receive one of four schools needed to make them a powerhouse conference.

 

Conclusion

It's clear that both teams can do better than the Big East. However, the bigger idea at play is if these better options will be open to expansion.

The most plausible scenario for Mizzou and KU is a move to the Big East. And although it is not the most attractive option, it would keep them both in BCS contention.

For now, with no Big Ten expansion in site, fans need to realize that Kansas and Missouri can do better, but who knows if anything else will materialize?

With that said, how do you think it will play out?

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