COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Just a few months ago, Missouri almost became a sad case of collateral damage from conference realignment. An orphan. No date to the dance.
Getting back to business in a reconfigured Big 12 restored stability and sanity at a school that during the summer got the cold shoulder while the Pac-10 was wooing Colorado and the Big 12 South schools and Nebraska was bolting for the Big Ten.
The promise of greater TV revenue made it much easier to embrace the new reality.
Success on the field certainly hasn't hurt.
Lightly regarded before the season, the Tigers are 6-0 for only the fifth time in school history and considered a team on the rise, ranked 18th in the poll and 11th in the BCS entering Saturday night's homecoming game against No. 3 Oklahoma.