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Missouri, Texas A&M having different seasons as they meet today

Missouri’s Kim English (center) celebrates with teammate Marcus Denmon during the second half of their game against Texas on Saturday at Mizzou Arena.

Missouri’s Kim English (center) celebrates with teammate Marcus Denmon during the second half of their game against Texas on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Photo by The Associated Press.

COLUMBIA — When the Big 12 coaches voted in October for the preseason poll, Texas A&M was the hot choice with a new coach. Missouri was lurking in the background with a new coach, not garnering a lot attention.

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As the Aggies come to Columbia for a rare Monday matinee (4:30 p.m., ESPN-TV), the roles have been reversed. Ninth-ranked Missouri is the hot topic and the Aggies have fallen down the totem poll.

“They’re very talented and very capable,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said of the Aggies. “They were picked to win this league. So, we’ve got to be ready to play and this quick turnaround.”

Texas A&M was expected by most to be the class of the Big 12 this season with a veteran squad and new coach Billy Kennedy, who is in his first season at Texas A&M after coming from Murray State. In the preseason poll, Texas A&M and Kansas tied for first.

Missouri had a similar situation, with Haith coming from Miami to coach a veteran squad that had three straight NCAA tournament appearances. Except most thought Missouri would finish in the middle of the league.

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