By BRIEN STRAW, SportsRadio 610

The Southeastern Conference truly despises the Big 10 Conference.  That’s okay, the Big 10 is no fan of the SEC.

Did it start in 1960 when an undefeated Ole Miss was robbed of the Associated Press national championship by a two loss Minnesota team?  Many in the SEC point to 1966 when undefeated Alabama found itself ranked below Michigan State and Notre Dame, who happened to play to a 10-10 tie that year. Maybe the friction began decades before either conference was formed – with the “war of Northern aggression.”

Whenever it started, it’s still going strong today.  Just last year Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany called his SEC counterpart Mike Slive to the carpet for his handling – or complete lack thereof, of the Cam Newton mess at Auburn.  So it was no surprise this summer when Delany failed to punish The Ohio State University for a scandal that cost the Buckeyes their head coach and will surely result in significant NCAA penalties, that Slive responded in kind.

It’s not politically correct, but easy to see why the bitterness exists.  The Southeastern Conference plays much better football. The Big 10 has the more appealing television markets. The Big 10 has much better academic institutions, and the SEC fans don’t like the inference they’re not as smart, which the Big 10 fans love to use as a tool of superiority.

I mention all this because I’m floored by how little the University of Missouri seems to know – or perhaps even worse care about this feud.

That Missouri has dreamed of being a member of the Big 10 is understandable.  Similar in academic credentials and proximity would seem to make Mizzou a good fit for the Big 10. But whatever the reason, the Big 10 has no interest in Missouri. The conference passed over the Tigers in selecting Nebraska last year. Take the hint Mizzou.

With the SEC looking for a 14th member now that the conference has officially named Texas A&M as a 13th school, Missouri is allegedly a school of interest.  Word leaks yesterday that while Missouri would love an invite from the Southeastern Conference, they’d rather get one from the Big 10. Huh?!!!

Is Missouri really going to play jilted girl that didn’t get asked to the prom by the guy she’s silently been infatuated with for years?  That guy (see Big 10) is not interested in you. Grow up and move on! Try acting like an institution of higher learning, not a petulant, scorned teenager.

The SEC provides Missouri security – financial and otherwise, and thanks to A&M something the Big 10 cannot provide, a division foe in Texas where about half the Tiger’s current roster played high school football. Add in the fact that a border-war rivalry with Arkansas can be created, Ole Miss and Mississippi State provide winnable division match-ups and the prestige of the SEC should’ve have made the decision makers in Columbia, MO should have put the Big 10 in their rearview mirror.

Every salesperson knows a real key to making a sale is not to offend the person you are trying to convince needs your product or service by saying you would prefer to sell to their hated rival. Is Missouri aware they’re guilty of this sin?


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