I came across an interesting article by a contributor at SB Nation's Rock M Nation. The article brings up some good points and wants to know: Why was Nebraska invited to the Big Ten and not Missouri?
As I understand it (and granted, I have not researched it that thoroughly), Missouri has an edge in academics, overall athletic department success (i.e. in recent years, Missouri football + basketball trumps Nebraska football + basketball, and Mizzou has found success in "non-revenue sports" such as gymnastics, wrestling, women's soccer, softball and baseball), scholar-athletes (Mizzou was just ranked second in APR in the Big 12, behind only Texas) and media markets (St. Louis/Kansas City, even with KC in decline, should trump Omaha/Lincoln). Granted, I'm biased, and I could very well by underestimating the national appeal of the Cornhusker football as well as overestimating Missouri's case for candidacy, but if that's the case, what am I missing?
The answer is rather simple: Money.
Nebraska -- essentially because of their football team -- can bring in more dollars to the conference. Their football brand is among tops in the country and instantly upgrades the profile of the conference. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Nebraska fans travel so well.
This is one part of the process where the conferences do care about tradition.
Of course, the way information is flowing in all this conference expansion talk, Nebraska's invite will never happen and both Kansas and Missouri will head to the Big Ten. Hey, crazier things have been reported.