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Missouri Valley gives major programs major workout

SHARE Missouri Valley gives major programs major workout

MANHATTAN, Kan. — If the Big 12 ever wants to expand to 12 members again, the league's powerbrokers might want to take a look at poaching a couple schools from the Missouri Valley Conference.

Of course, Kansas and Kansas State might quickly object.

Both of them had to work against schools from the Football Championship Subdivision in their season openers Saturday. They weren't alone, either: Wisconsin had to make a late defensive stand to beat Northern Iowa, Indiana State took Indiana to the brink, and Pittsburgh was embarrassed by Youngstown State in Paul Chryst's debut as Panthers coach.

Yes, it was a banner day for the Missouri Valley, a league better known for its hoops but one that now has 11 football wins against members of BCS conferences since 2000.