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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ( – Athletic directors from the Southeastern Conference have come together in Birmingham to put together a plan to assimilate Texas A&M into the league.

But the meeting is also being held against the backdrop of possibly more conference expansion.

Late Tuesday, the University of Missouri curators gave Chancellor Brady Deaton permission to look into conference realignment. Missouri has been rumored to be the final piece of the puzzle for the SEC to get back to an even 14 teams.

If Mizzou has been targeted by the SEC, it’s not being confirmed by the conference. Missouri brings with it two major television markets, and can increase the academic standing of the conference.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said the meeting was scheduled several weeks ago and is focused on the Aggies’ integration into the league.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has previously said that at this point he was prepared to go into the 2012 season with 13 schools and unbalanced divisions.

If the SEC is interested in Mizzou and does eventually welcome them into the league, it would put them in the SEC West and likely move either Alabama or Auburn to the SEC East.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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