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Missouri was a surefire done deal to join the Southeastern Conference - at least on October 22. SB Nation's own Bill C. broke this colossal flub late last night, as the SEC's official athletics web site contained pages the included the official welcoming of Mizzou as the conference's 14th member, complete with a history of the university, fun facts and photos.
The exact purpose of the material is unknown - did a web administrator with an axe to grind implode the SEC's best laid plans? (we kid, we kid: these plans have been terrible) Or was this an accident? Or a finely laid ruse for purposes we can't exactly glean?
We like to think the SEC has taken up viral marketing. The same kind of "leaks" and placed clues helped build hype for everything from Nine Inch Nails albums to the last Batman film. Any day now a decipherable code will appear across multiple Tweets from Charles Bloom that, when broken, read "GARY PINKEL."
Here's a screenshot of the "official" announcement. For more screenshots, check out SB Nation's college football mothership.
The commissioner of the SEC, Mike Slive, admitted today that the SEC is exploring expanded schedules for the conference — ones that include both 13 and 14 teams. The 13th team, Texas A&M, is already in and the Aggies will join conference play in 2012-13. However, the SEC has held to this point the possibility that they are fine where they are and allowed the Big 12 to do most of the public speaking about when and where Missouri might go. Not so anymore.
Now with the admission that a 14th team is being explored, that greases the wheel for Missouri to officially apply to be that very team. It’s likely been in the works all along and simply a formality to go through all of the right — and painful — steps along the way to save any legal issues. But it’s finally seeming like this whole ordeal can be put behind everyone once the SEC opens its doors and Missouri publicly declares its intentions. That’s good news for all involved.
Put those frequent flyer miles to Morgantown on hold for just a minute, seems like nothing is officially set in stone as of yet. After news began to circulate yesterday that West Virginia's ticket was stamped to the Big 12, along with the news of Missouri "officially" asking out of the Big 12...it seems that the Big 12 has yet to make their mind up as to who will join them moving forward.
@PeteThamelNYT: Just filed to NYT: After being told it was accepted to Big12, WVU in holding pattern. Its "50-50" and "too close to call" with Lville.
Just when it appeared that West Virginia to the Big 12 Conference was a done deal, it appears that has been a snag in talks. At first, many wondered if West Virginia being added to the conference was contingent on Missouri leaving for the SEC. It was found that West Virginia had an invitation to join the conference independently of how the Missouri situation plays out. Then things rapidly changed overnight.
Apparently West Virginia is now in a standstill and waiting to be told when and where they will be landing. Louisville, lead by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnel is lobbying hard with persons within the Big 12 to have their name thrown into the mix. According to a report from the New York Times (via ESPN)-
"I think it's 50-50 right now between West Virginia and Louisville."
So what we thought we knew about Big 12 expansion through yesterday, may not be exactly be the case. The sticking point still seems to be Missouri. Once their intentions are announced, it seemingly makes it easier for the chips to fall into place.
The Big 12 conference is waiting for West Virginia to officially announce its' intentions on joining the conference with an announcement set for Wednesday. But by all accounts it's already a done deal, and that's a great thing for the Big 12.
By adding West Virginia the Big 12 has expanded it's reach across the country and has brought a new fanbase to the conference. This is a much bigger victory than adding the likes of Louisville or Houston, as had been rumored before. Those moves could still happen but this move to add West Virginia has cemented the Big 12 as a power conference for the forseeable future. It's also brought national exposure because the Big 12 has added a big time BCS school to it's conference after being seen as the hunted, and not the hunter. The addition of TCU was a good, but it's not at the level of West Virginia.
With all of the realignment of major conferences around the country it's nice to see that the Big 12 has begun adding quality schools instead of losing them. This move will change the landscape of this conference forever and may be the final straw in an already crumbling Big East conference.
This is also a great move for West Virginia. They got out of a crumbling Big East conference and found a home where they were wanted and where they can thrive. It's a win-win for both the Big 12 and West Virginia and the realignment isn't over yet. Be sure to expect more moves over the next days, weeks and months.
The conference realignment puzzle has now taken another turn as West Virginia has officially agreed to join the Big 12 conference, via the Charleston Gazette.
In other words, if Missouri does as expected and withdraws from the Big 12, WVU would be the replacement and the league would be at 10 teams. But if Big 12 officials are able to convince Missouri to remain and not move to the SEC, West Virginia's addition would bring the conference to 11 members.
This is a victory for the Big 12 conference to add a school like West Virginia, but it's also a huge loss for the Big East conference, which continues to be decimated by all of the realignment movement. The Big 12 has gone on the offense in regards to adding TCU and now West Virginia to the conference after losing Nebraska and Colorado, and Texas A&M and possibly Missouri to the SEC.
Apparently the writing is on the wall with local school Missouri who appears headed to the SEC. With that, the Big 12 appears to be on the verge of adding West Virginia from the Big East Conference. While West Virginia isn't exactly a local school by any means, it would be a major coup for the Big 12's stability and brand recognition. In today's football driven world of college athletics, the fact that West Virginia's closest Big 12 opponent is Iowa State at 870 miles away, becomes just an afterthought.
So who exactly is West Virginia for those in the Midwest who may not be familiar with their university and/or their athletic programs? Founded in 1867 as a public land-grand institution (ISU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State are current Big 12 land-grant school), West Virginia has an enrollment of just over 29,000 students. Iowa State and Oklahoma both have similar enrollments.
At $406 million, West Virginia's endowment would be near the lower end of the conference with only Kansas State trailing.
Most of you didn't come here to read up on academics however and are more interested in the Mountaineer athletic program. If you need reminded, the current head coaches of their two high profiles sports both have ties with the current Big 12 Conference.
Football coach Dana Holgerson is in his first season with West Virginia and previously served stints as offensive coordinator at both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. It should be no surprise that Holgerson's teams strongly resemble the same attributes offensively as his mentor, Mike Leach.
Coaching the men's basketball team is WVU alum, Bob Huggins. Prior to coming back to Morgantown, Huggins spent a year at the helm of Kansas State, leading the Wildcats to a 23-12 record in 2006-07. He can be credited with helping bring an assistant coach named Frank Martin to Manhattan and the KSU program hasn't looked back since.
Known for a rabid fanbase that will potentially fit in well with the Big 12, Mountaineer Field has a capacity of 60,000 which is bigger than five Big 12 schools (counting future member TCU), and roughly the same size as the football stadiums at both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. WVU Coliseum holds 14,000 fans and would be in the middle of the Big 12 as well.
Moving onto success rate, the basketball team was Big East Conference Champions as recently as 2010, a year in which they won 31 games and advanced to the program's second Final Four all-time. 23 times the men's program has reached the NCAA tournament.
The woman's basketball team has also posted recent success, winning 29 games in 2010 and qualifying for the 2011 NCAA tournament, the sixth overall.
On the football field, the Mountaineers have won 14 conference championships for a program that dates back to 1891. Over that time, West Virginia has won 60% of games played and is 13-15 overall in 28 all-time bowl appearances. To cap off the 2007 season, West Virginia beat Oklahoma 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia is 2-0 in BCS games, having also defeated Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl.
The most noted tradition that Big 12 fans may already be aware of is John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" being played after many contents.
Brady Deaton appeared on the radio this morning at KOMU and told the listening audience that patience was going to be required in any decision that the University of Missouri makes.
“Let me say, I’m very sympathetic,” said Deaton, “but what I hope they will understand is that it’s not a set of issues that one can press a button and be done with.”
The choice between the Big 12 and the SEC is a major one for a school that cannot just make the move for money alone. It’s about putting the school in the best position over the long haul by also analyzing its current and future relationships, traditions and business possibilities over the next several years or more. That’s not something that happens quickly.
That said, most believe that Missouri is already out the door as West Virginia is reportedly waiting for them to leave to replace them in 2013 as they leave the Big East. Still nothing is certain yet so stay tuned for more details.
One New York Post article this morning dropped a major bomb on most college football fans with the notice that West Virginia was reportedly leaving to join the Big 12 to replace Missouri as it likely heads to the SEC. But within that article was another statement from a source saying that the Big 12 has bigger plans than anyone might have realized.
The Post’s Lenn Robbins writes, “A source said the Big 12, by holding Missouri, might hold at 10 teams for next season and then consider a jump to 16 teams. Louisville and Cincinnati are under consideration as well as Boise State and BYU.”
Brigham Young has been a hot name back and forth for Big 12 conference consideration and Louisville has often been a part of that equation as well. This is, however, the first real link for Cincinnati and Boise State both for the conference. Moving to a 16 team division makes sense, only because the Big 12 has been seen as a weaker force subject to the whims of other conferences. Such a power move would place them alongside other national heavyweights for the BCS title.
The move to all schools would also give the conference a national brand. From Boise State to West Virginia, the conference would feature powerful schools in every single time zone. The ability to maintain that hold, however, would be difficult given that it might just water down the rivalries and prove too much for travel.
Rumors like this have been swirling all along so it’s hard to pay much attention to them at this point. Just know that a few new schools are now on the list and some of them might shake out into the reality of the Big 12 soon enough.
The New York Post is reporting this morning that the West Virginia University Mountaineers are indeed leaving the Big East for the Big 12 after rumors circulated yesterday that something was officially happening. And now it’s also clear that the Big East is in more trouble than some might have realized. That’s because, according to one source, losing West Virginia hurts more than any other.
“Of all the schools the league has lost, from a football standpoint losing West Virginia would be the most damaging,” a source told The Post. “Despite what anyone says, that’s the program the league has hung its hat on.”
The Big 12 might not be finished grabbing pieces from the Big East since West Virginia is geographically isolated away from the rest of the Big 12. It makes sense to add some more counterparts in the region, including Louisville as a real possibility. For now, West Virginia helps anchor the conference after the loss of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC.
While everything at this point remains unofficial, it’s clear that the rumors are true and everything is falling into place as conferences shift and new relationships form. The New York Post is reporting this morning that West Virginia is as good as gone in the Big East and their new home is the Big 12. It’s a step that brings a Top 25 football school into the Big 12, adding another prominent power to the mix of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others.
The Post reports that the move will come after one more full year of Missouri. Lenn Robbins writes, “The Big 12 held a board of directors meeting yesterday, and a source said the league’s plan is to hold on to Missouri, which wants to leave for the SEC, for one more year and then replace it with West Virginia.”
It’s clear that Big 12 teams will have to prep their travel budgets. That’s going to be one long ride.
Could the long anticipated decision of the Missouri Tigers to join the SEC be finally resolved tonight? Per Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com, he seems to think so:
Have received more info confirming what I wrote yesterday that #Mizzou will withdraw from Big 12 today. Only ? is when/how news comes out. — @GabeDeArmond via Twitter
If Missouri withdraws from the Big 12, that will leave the turn-key conference back with nine schools available for the 2012-13 football season. However, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said the Big 12 has a "Plan A" and "Plan 1A" but wouldn't speak on specific teams outside of BYU. For what its worth, Castiglione has always been supportive of Missouri and hoping that the Tigers would stay in the Big 12.
Along with BYU, other rumored teams to come in and join the Big 12 conference are West Virginia, Tulane, Cincinnati, Louisville, Air Force and Memphis.
If the Missouri Tigers make the move that everyone expects them to — that is, to become the 14th member of the SEC and make the transition from the Big 12 along with Texas A&M, then there’s going to be a definite gap in the Kansas City area for alumni and fans of Missouri and the Big 12. That’s certainly part of the reasoning behind Missouri’s overtures at last week’s press conference after the Board of Curators meeting toward keeping some kind of sustained connection with the KC area.
But one of the propositions on the table — the scheduling of a college basketball tournament at the Sprint Center — might not be realistic, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz. The reason is that tournaments of that type have gone by the wayside in recent years.
Katz writes, “Missouri’s promise of putting on a college basketball tournament in December in Kansas City if it were to leave for the SEC won’t be such an easy outcome. Team-oriented invitational tournaments are dying in the sport. Few power-six schools play in these non-exempt two-game tournaments anymore. According to a tournament organizer, Missouri’s best option would be to play a semi-neutral series at the Sprint Center, like facing Gonzaga in year one and then playing the Zags in Seattle in year two. Play Connecticut in Boston in year one and UConn in KC in year two. Most non-elite tournaments have shut down because of the difficulty of scheduling these games.”
The point of the tournament is to keep the Missouri basketball brand in front of the Kansas City area crowd, yet why would the crowd want to come and watch Missouri trump a lackluster opponent year after year as they’ve already left to a conference that has no regional ties? Perhaps the audience would be there, but Katz makes it clear that it’s doubtful that they could create a power structure. Maybe so, if their former conference mates were to get involved. But it’s interesting to note that even the overtures might not work after all.
With the assumption that the Missouri Tigers are all but gone to the SEC, the question now turns to the Big 12: What now? It’s a good question raised in wondering what the conference should do at this point as it tries to stay together and remain a power conference behind the performance and presence of Oklahoma and Texas and it’s clear some choices are possibly on the horizon.
One name that’s sticking out is the West Virginia University Mountaineers who Kirk Bohls, writer for the American-Statesman in Austin, is hearing is the top target above anyone else. He writes:
“I think that’s accurate,” one school official told the American-Statesman. “I’d say West Virginia is the leader in the clubhouse. I think we’ll come out better than before. I’d rather be with someone who wants to be with our conference than anybody who doesn’t.”
Asked why the Big 12 would be upgraded, the official said, “West Virginia has better football than Missouri, better basketball than Missouri, a better budget than Missouri and more passion among its fans than Missouri. They’re better, anyway you turn ‘em. The travel’s not good (to Morgantown, W. Va) but that’s it.”
West Virginia certainly has a strong brand in the two major sports, but that travel is going to be brutal on so many Big 12 teams, especially those coming from Texas. The brand is nice but is it so nice that it’s worth that far of a geographic move? I’m not quite sure. Louisville and BYU also stick out and it’s possible the conference adds all three.
West Virginia could be a good addition if the Big 12 also expands with two other teams that far eastward. Then those teams could be grouped together along with a few others to create divisions that make more sense. Until then, this is a stretch.
If you believe the rumors coming out of the Big 12, it’s clear that the popular belief is that the Missouri Tigers are already positioning themselves to leave for the SEC. That majority of fans already seem to believe that idea as well, but all parties involved have been giving a strong public face that the Tigers remaining in the Big 12 is possible. That said, at this point it seems a given that the Tigers will actually be leaving along with Texas A&M in a newly expanded Southeastern Conference.
Kirk Bohls reports that he spoke with two “high-ranking” Big 12 officials and it’s clear they’re already making plans to replace Missouri. That means that the posturing during this week’s Mizzou press conference after the Board of Curators meeting was to solidify some kind of long-term foothold in the Kansas City area with a football game and basketball tournament.
Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman is reporting that the Big 12 Conference is no longer interested in Brigham Young University as a possible entrant into the conference. That report stands in contrast to popular opinion just a few weeks ago that the BYU Cougars would bring a good football/basketball identity to help replace the departing schools like Texas A&M and now possibly Missouri.
Specifically Bohls wrote via Twitter, "Hear the Big 12 backed off BYU, spoke of BYU’s “different culture,” whatever that means." That different culture could speak to the obvious religious differences of the Mormon school, but BYU has also vied for its own independence and definitely brings a different flavor to the conference. That’s part of the allure in some eyes, but perhaps it’s not enough.
Certainly one report doesn’t make or break a tie, but BYU is one of the most intriguing options being looked at. We’ll keep you posted when more information comes in.
Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas is not ready to give up on influencing Missouri to stay put in the conference despite all indications that the train has left the station with the Tigers headed to the SEC.
Folowing Friday’s action by the Missouri Board of Curators, granting University of Missouri President Brady Deaton authority to act in the best interest of the school in determining MU’s future realignment status, Neinas issued the following statement on behalf of the Big 12:
“We look forward to discussing Missouri’s future with the Big 12 Conference. The school has been involved with the Big 12 ad its predecessor conferences since 1907. It is propitious that the Big 12 Board of Directors has a regular scheduled meeting on Monday. Oviously, conference membership will be thoroughly discussed at that time.”
The overtures have been made: Missouri wants to make the city of Kansas City (and the Missouri fans and alum inside of it) very happy. If they stay in the Big 12, everything remains rosy and rivalries remain intact. If they leave to the SEC, however, feathers are bound to get ruffled and that’s what the university seemed to want to avoid in yesterday’s press conference after the Board of Curators met to give Brady Deaton, the Chancellor of Missouri, the power to make any conference move he desires.
If the Tigers move to the Southeastern Conference, then some provisions were made yesterday for the Tigers to stay local, so to speak. They said they were committed to playing a longtime rival at Arrowhead Stadium with their football program and that they also desire a basketball tournament around the holidays. In other words,“I’m in love with someone else, but you still matter to me.”
If Kansas City can decide they can still be friends with the University of Missouri, does that mean that there’s no ill will. Or does it mean that things will at least blow over? While the University of Kansas has been a bit more neutral in its expressions toward Missouri (i.e. Bill Self saying he could basically care less about Missouri if they decide to go), the city itself has made several dramatic overtures. Local politicians and business leaders have made it known they desire Missouri to stay in the Big 12. How will they take it if they leave?
It will be interesting to see whether or not KC is apathetic toward the move if and when it’s taken. It’s easy to look at this as “what happens in college athletics today” and leave it at that. However, it’s also easy to see how loyalty and emotions come into play in these matters and how fans might be charged about the affair. Either way, Missouri will know exactly where they stand if they’re able to leave at least one foot in the door like they desire to.
The gut feeling of mostly everyone surrounding the Missouri Tigers and their conference plans are that they’ll head for the SEC and the profile it brings, especially on the football field. But some, at least publicly, are still hoping there’s a chance the Tigers stick with their longtime home in the Big 12.
Interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas gave some public remarks today about the results of the Missouri Board of Curators meeting concerning the university’s possible move to the SEC and Neinas insisted he was still hoping to speak to the sense of tradition and history in the league to keep Mizzou in the Big 12. He noted that the team has been around this same conference in some way or another since 1907 and that he hopes to speak to them soon.
However, Neinas has been active enough that you know the university is bound to have a well thought out contingency plan if and when Missouri does bolt for greener pastures. Several names have been circulated and there’s simply too much money involved not to have an excellent gameplan. That said, Neinas is doing everything he can to at least posture the conference toward some kind of resolution and understanding for Missouri to stay.
Bill Self earlier said he could care less to keep a rivalry going with Missouri just in case the Kansas Jayhawks lose their Big 12 rivals to the SEC. Apparently the Tigers do not feel the same. At least one party is interesting continuing the relationship after conference affiliations might be over as Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton spoke today at the press conference following the Board of Curators meeting.
Deaton said, “Absolutely we want to continue our rivalry with Kansas.” It’s the exact opposite of what Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self said earlier, but if one party wants to dance, it’s always a possibility. And Self certainly doesn’t speak for KU officially on this matter.
Then again, Self also says he feels that KU fans could feel the same way. If so, then a nice rivalry has ended in the name of conference realignment. It’s no surprise really given that the last two years in college athletics have done this to a number of schools. Yet here’s hoping the two can work things out and keep some kind of competitive relationship.
Many have pointed to Missouri's flirtation with the Big Ten last year as the first domino in the conference realignment process that has dramatically altered the college sports landscape. Now, after a brief moment for everyone to catch their breath, Missouri's decision today is likely to further accelerate the process.
The Tigers Board of Directors voted unanimously to give Chancellor Brady Deaton the sole power to seek new conference realignment. With Missouri's continued frustration with the balance of power in the Big 12 and the Big 10 seemingly standing still at 12 teams, it's a clear indication of the school's desire to join the SEC, currently looking for a 14th team to balance the addition of Texas A&M earlier this year.
In the same press conference, they announced they would try to create an annual basketball tournament and football game in Kansas City, an olive branch to continue the school's oldest rivalry with the Kansas Jayhawks, whom they are leaving behind in the Big 12.
Without Missouri, the Big 12 is left at only nine times, including newly added conference member TCU. Now the rest of the country, particularly the weakened Big East, must wait to see which programs the Big 12 will try to add to replace the Tigers.
Local Kansas City area sportswriters are reading the tea leaves from today’s press conference scheduled after the Board of Curators meeting for the University of Missouri that the Tigers are likely gone to the SEC after all. This comes in response to other actions announced that are likely to serve as public relations moves to continue to buoy the fan base in the Kansas City area.
Doug Stewart immediately said via Twitter, “Hard to think Mizzou would host a basketball tourney and fb game in KC if they were staying in the Big 12.” Matt Tait agreed, “MU’s gone. Language hiding it but you don’t explore a tourney in KC and a football game at Arrowhead if you’re staying… #justsayitalready.”
Pete Thamel of the New York Times writes, “My take: The loss of the Big 12 Tournament and title game would be a huge financial hit to KC. They are finding a way to replace those.”
This is going to be complicated moving forward, but the move is starting to become clearer at this point.
The University of Missouri’s Board of Curators met today in a meeting that many Big 12 and SEC fans are waiting on (not to mention the sportswriters who cover the same areas) and the results are finally in. At a press conference set immediately after the 90-minute Curators’ meeting, it was announced that Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton can make all decisions on realignment. That means that one person has the power to change the Big 12 and the SEC at this point.
After opening with remarks that they’ve taken special action this morning, the meeting turned to other university business for some time. Yet the moment everyone waited for finally came through when the decision to back Deaton was announced. It’s still not the final step, but Deaton says he’s going to do the proper research and diligence to figure out the best step for Missouri at this time.
All eyes in the Big 12 and the SEC are likely watching the clock wondering when any signs of life will emerge from today’s scheduled meeting from the Missouri Board of Curators. The subjects are many today, but one of which is expected to be their take on the possible switch of conferences from the Big 12 to the SEC for the Missouri Tigers. Yet apparently people are going to have to wait longer since the meeting is already running behind. We’ll keep you posted here once word of anything leaks.
Bill Self is ready to move on. He’s also keen to believe that Kansas Jayhawk fans are ready to do the same thing. With the news that Missouri could possibly bolt soon — today, even? — for the SEC, it’s clear that some things will change in terms of the long held rivalries that fans of the Big 12 are used to. Apparently the KU-Mizzou rivalry is one of them.
“The Missouri fans want us to play, but I’m not sure Kansas fans care,” Self said at a recent media day. “If they’re not in our league then we should do what’s best for us. If it’s to play them in the Sprint Center, then so be it. But I’m not sure that will be the case.”
It’s a cold shoulder toward Missouri and that might be the general feeling of the Big 12 toward Missouri overall at this point. They’re ready to move on if they need to and the soap opera surrounding the Tigers has lasted long enough for the others involved. It’ll be interesting to see whether fans back up Coach Self or not when everything is said and done.
No news is not necessarily good news, but the Missouri Board of Curators apparently did not reach a formal decision or make any comment concerning Missouri's conference realignment status following a full-day business session today.
After several weeks of waiting, we will get a good indication of what Missouri's intentions are regarding its future when the Missouri Board of Curators meet later today.
The question of will they or won’t they will soon be answered if a report from the New York Times is accurate. Specifically, Pete Thamel is reporting that a close source to Missouri is describing a move to the SEC as a future certainty and the only real question that remains is the timing of the affair.
Thamel writes, “The person said that Missouri’s decision to apply for membership to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent,” although a specific timeframe has yet to be set…After Missouri applies, the person said that it expects “no problems” with gathering enough votes among SEC presidents to become a member.”
Recently, many officials have been publicly pushing Missouri to stay with the Big 12, but the lure of the megaconference has kept analysts wondering whether the carrot danging will be too tempting to not jump for. Now at the very least, the Big 12 can start to move forward with plans of its own.
So Mizzou, you guys sure about this?
The University of Alabama is apparently in support of the Tigers joining the conference, according to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News, if - and it's a weird, petty if - Missouri joins the SEC's Eastern Division. Why? Because, according sources, Alabama doesn't want the addition of geographically western teams Mizzou and A&M to force a shift in the division alignments.
Sure, we get it: the Tide doesn't want to lose blood rival Auburn or its annual third-Saturday-in-October battle with Tennessee. Right? Not exactly, according to Solomon:
According to the sources, Alabama has two objectives: Keep its annual cross-division rivalry game against Tennessee, and not watch Auburn move to the East and possibly grow its recruiting presence in talent-rich Florida and Georgia.
Memo to Missouri: Get used to this type of pettiness in the SEC, where even the tiniest of potential football recruiting advantages becomes dissected.
We know what you're thinking, Tigers: Why defy logic and create a bizarre division alignment just to appease the latest tinfoil hat conspiracy between the fans of Auburn and Alabama? Well, if you join the SEC, you'll just get used to it.
The full letter can be found here.
Looks like everyone but the University wants to stay in the Big 12 and not make the move to the SEC.
The Big 12 is now an attractive place to go after TCU agreed to join the conference last week. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego State has made a pitch to the Big XII about joining the conference if it's still looking to expand. The Aztecs are currently members of the Mountain West conference, which has been decimated thus far by the realignment with TCU, BYU and Utah all leaving for greener pastures.
San Diego State Athletic Director Jim Sterk believes that the up-and-coming San Diego State program, along with the San Diego television market would be a nice addition to the midwest-centered Big XII conference. via San Diego Union Tribune.
"We’ve been proactive as far as getting information out and just making sure their folks know what a valuable commodity San Diego State is," Sterk said. "We’ve been able to show how well we capture the San Diego television market in the last couple of years and have a program that’s really on the rise and have a lot of things going for it. We’re a member of the Mountain West Conference, and we think it’s a very good conference. But if things realign, you never know how the sands are moving."
This move doesn't make sense for a lot of reasons. But you can understand why San Diego State is being proactive about selling its' program to conferences that are looking to expand.
With all of the talk about conference realignment and the huge blue elephant constantly rearing his trunk around the corner (money), something has been lost. The thought of Missouri heading to the SEC has some positives and negatives to the decision if you are a Missouri fan. But how can anyone think it makes sense for a team to have to travel over multiple states to play any other team in their conference?
In some of the smaller conferences I understand, but choosing the SEC over staying in the Big XII makes absolutely no sense from a geographical perspective. If this is truly about the student-athletes then it makes absolutely no sense. The amount of travel that will be required from these players will be substantial and it will take away from their ability to attend class.
The reason this isn't talked about more is that they aren't thinking in terms of non-football sports. Non-revenue generating sports like baseball are going to find the travel extremely difficult for life in the SEC if they choose to go that way. No more short trips for a weekend series, they'll be flying everywhere and I believe that a trip back from Gainesville will take longer than a trip back from Lawrence.
Now throw in the report that San Diego State is courting the Big XII for membership and you have a need for a globe and geography lesson from a third-grader.
If Missouri's priorities are not financial, the Tigers should stay in the Big 12. Mizzou is simply not ready for the caliber of competition in an area that's not their home turf.
The Missouri Tigers decision on whether to continue with the Big 12 conference has been gaining a lot of attention over the past week. Head football coach Gary Pinkel told 610 Sports' Bob Fescue that the conference has a lot of potential. via Bob Fescue's twitter.
The Big 12 had it's "Welcome to the Big 12" conference call for TCU on Tuesday morning and a lot of questions were being brought up about Missouri and the SEC. But Pinkel and the Tigers are reportedly happy with the addition of TCU in the Big 12. But we can only speculate at this point what Pinkel is referring to as "problems" within the Big 12.Gary Pinkel just told me the Big12 has the potential to be one of the best conferences yr in and yr out if it fixes its problems
The Missouri Tigers will not be given a deadline on their decision as to whether or not they will join the SEC, according to interim commissioner Chuck Neinas. via cbssports.com
“There’s no timetable,” Neinas said. “Everything is in place. We’re preparing for 2012. We’ll see what occurs.”
It seems as if the Big 12 is comfortable moving foward without Missouri if that happens to be the case. This seems to be another purely financial decision because the move to the SEC doesn't make sense for Missouri a lot of different reasons that doesn't deal with more money.
From a football standpoint it would be tough to see Missouri finding much success in a dominant football conference like the SEC. And let's be honest, most of the conference realignment talk deals with TV markets for football games. Not what's best for the student-athletes.
Missouri should have a decision before the end of the academic year, if not sooner.
The Big 12 just officially added TCU as its' 10th member of the conference and they'll join the league for the 2012-2013 school year. While it's a great thing for TCU, and the pairing with the Big 12 conference makes all the sense in the world from both parties, you have to wonder if 'money' is now the only driving factor with these realignment discussions.
Boston College athletic director didn't do much to disuade that perception when he recently said that ESPN played a role in their expansion decisions. via boston.com
"We always keep our television partners close to us,’’ he said. "You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’
We can hope that the qoute was taken a little bit of of context but there is still the perception out there right now that the almighty dollar is the one and only factor in determining this volcanic shift in college athletics. The television contracts are the big piece of the pie and everyone is searching for the biggest piece they can find right now.
For the Big 12 it started with Nebraska hopping over to the Big 10, and Colorado heading to the Pac 12. Nebraska is reportedly going to receive twice as much money in the Big 10 as they were receiving in the Big 12. Another huge development in the future of the Big 12 was Texas' TV deal with ESPN. The deal became a huge factor for the stability of the Longhorn television network and for the University of Texas as a whole.
But when cries of unfairness came raining down from other Big 12 schools, and rightfully so, it was because of what? You guessed it. Money.
Obviously money should play a big role but it just seems to be the only factor right now. You would think that the voice of reason in all of this should be the NCAA, which is actually the principal in all of this. But aren't they the organization that let Terrell Pryor play in the Sugar Bowl after announcing that he was going to be suspended for the following season? Yes. But it was justified because he played a hell of a game and was the MVP, which in turn, raised the TV ratings and helped everyone make a lot of money.
Well, everyone except the players did.
The Big 12 finally made the news official Monday evening as the TCU Horned Frogs are now the 10th member of the reformed football conference.
"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome TCU to the Big 12," noted Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors and president of Oklahoma State University. "The addition of TCU gives us a prestigious institution with great academics, strong financial support, outstanding athletic tradition, and a perfect geographic fit. We have been working tirelessly to build an even stronger Conference and think this is an extremely positive step."
Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas on TCU:
"We are excited to add TCU to our lineup of prestigious members, not only do they bring an excellent football program to our Conference, but numerous other programs that have been successful on a national level as well."
TCU is the first new member to join the Big 12 since its creation back in 1996. The Horned Frogs, who were supposed to begin competing in the Big East in all sports in the 2012-13 season, will now begin in the Big 12 in the same year.
For more on TCU, check out SB Nation Horned Frogs Blog Frogs O' War.
The Southeastern Conference recently released a statement following the Presidents and Chancellors meeting that was held earlier today. Per the SEC Digital Network:
"The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference met on Monday for its regularly-scheduled fall meeting. While they discussed a wide range of issues dealing with the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics, no actions were taken with regards to expansion."
No actions means another day for the Missouri Tigers to ponder their fate amongst the college football landscape. Earlier reports have stated that Missouri would like to join the SEC, even though they were rebuffed by the Big Ten last year who chose Nebraska instead. Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has come out and said that Missouri should stay in the conference that has been their home since 1996.
"My gut is that they stay, they should stay,'' Beebe said. "I was born in Missouri. I have tons of relatives there. Both sides of my family were there prior to the Civil War and fought on both sides. I'm well connected. They have a right to look but I think they'll come back to what their primary connection is. My strong feeling is that they need to be connected to the Midwest and I agree with (Big 12 interim commissioner) Chuck Neinas that they're a Midwest institution, not a Southeastern institution,'' Beebe said.
The Missouri Tigers take on the Iowa State Cyclones at home this Saturday at Faurot Field.
The college football realignment process has always been about money, and Missouri apparently has 12 million reasons to forgo their traditional rivalries in the Big 12 and move to the SEC.
When the Tigers board of curators voted unanimously to give Chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to explore the school's options last week, they did it after reviewing a 45-page report outlining the pros and cons of leaving the Big 12. Today, the Associated Press was able to get its hands on the document:
The report outlines how much money Missouri could expect from its network and cable television contracts. It suggests Missouri could get $17.16 million in Big 12 TV money in 2012, compared to $19.25 million from an SEC deal. It also envisions a far bigger share -- up to $12 million -- should the SEC renegotiate its top-tier TV rights.
The projections for the additional revenue come from the new leverage a 14-team SEC would have in renegotiating its TV contracts: access to the St. Louis, Kansas City markets through Missouri and the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio markets through Texas A&M.
For now, they reside in the Mountain West Conference. They were supposed to catch a plane to the Big East. Instead, they’re apparently going to re-route their journey to the familiar turf of the Big 12. Officials at Texas Christian University this morning are gathering to discuss their decision related to the Big 12. The ever-shifting conference extended TCU an official invitation on Thursday and the board of trustees is expected to accept the offer in their morning meeting.
That means a decision could be coming as soon as this afternoon that the Big 12 will officially be up to 10 members. In addition, TCU further entrenches the Big 12 on Texas soil after losing A&M. The possible additions of Southern Methodist and Houston could also maintain the regional roots while other conferences stretch their reach further and further.
Currently the Horned Frogs are 4-2 after Saturday’s win over San Diego State 27-14.
The Missouri Tigers have wandering eyes toward the SEC, but there is at least one group in the Missouri area that does not want to see Missouri leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The group in question is the Kansas City Sports Commission who wrote an open letter to Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton to urge him to think of the rivalries and economic impact to the area if Missouri does go to the SEC:
We know that many factors must be considered, including the academic, financial, and alumni relations implications of your decision. And, of course, the history and future of your University's athletic program.
That program, as you know, has Midwestern roots more than a century old... We cannot imagine the University of Missouri's athletics tilting away from this region and the athletic history to which they have contributed so mightily
We know that this is a complex and emotional decision. But we want you to know that we believe this region collectively values University of Missouri athletics -- has, does, and will -- to a degree that won't be replicated elsewhere. And that staying here, in the Big 12 conference that won't be replicated elsewhere. And that staying here, in the Big 12 conference, within your home region and among your fans and rivals is the right decision. To honor your history. To fulfill your present. To secure your future.
The entire letter can be found here.
Pete Thamel of The New York Times is reporting that the Big 12 conference will not make a move on potentially inviting BYU, West Virginia or Louisville, implying that any move the conference makes won't come until the Tigers make their decision.
Per Thamel, with the just-announced invitation to TCU, the Big 12 could either stay at 10 teams including Mizzou (temporarily or permanently), or use all the three rumored teams in consideration to bring the Big 12 back to an actual 12 team league.
As always, everything in college sports hinges on word from upon high in the SEC's Birmingham offices. With news that the SEC isn't sold on Missouri as their 14th member and are considering holding out for a better option (even as schools complain about a lopsided year of scheduling with 13 teams) there's no clear indicator that the Tigers are a lock to leave, or if they do, anytime in the immediate future.
Buried at the end of the Big 12's official announcement welcoming TCU to the conference was an interesting nugget:
The action of the Board was without dissent. On the advice of legal counsel, The University of Missouri did not participate in the vote.
While it's unclear exactly why Missouri's legal team did not want them participating, it certainly appears that the school is doing everything in its power to avoid the types of legal entanglements that held up Texas A&M's move to the SEC.
Missouri's Board of Directors voted to give their chancellor the authority to explore realignment earlier in the week, a clear indication of the school's interest in the SEC. The Tigers seem like a logical fit to get the SEC to 14 teams, but they were reportedly still a few votes short this morning.
The SEC has been leery of involving itself in any lawsuits that might result from poaching members of another BCS conference, so Missouri's decision not to vote on TCU may be an effort to reassure them.
The University of Missouri's decision on whether or not to join the SEC conference may be put on hold as a few SEC school's are holding out for a 'better option", according to Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News.
Missouri needs nine votes in order to be accepted as the newest member of the SEC conference, but are falling a few votes short right now according to reports.
Thursday's news that TCU has decided to join the Big 12 may not have an impact on Missouri's decision, but it will make life easier for the remaining Big 12 schools. Alabama is reportedly looking for the newest member to come from the East, while Auburn favors adding Missouri in an attempt to move to the Eastern division.
The SEC has a problem in that it currently has 13 schools and that presents a problem when trying to make schedules even for their respective sports.
The TCU Horned Frogs have agreed to join the Big 12 conference despite originally planning on joining the Big East according to Bret McMurphy of CBS Sports.. TCU will have to pay the Big East a $5 million exit fee as part of its' release but won't by subject to the conferences normal 27-month notification requirement. TCU will join the Big 12 for the 2012-2013 school year.
The Big 12 will now wait and see what Missouri decides to do while they're being courted by the SEC and deciding how to go about their future.
The decision from TCU does give the Big 12 conference some hope of survival despite losing Nebraska to the Big 10 and Colorado to the Pac 12. You wouldn't think that TCU would agree to join a conference unless they were confident of the league's survival.
The same can't be said for the Big East conference that just took another blow with the loss of TCU. They've already lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC. The realignment of these major conferences is far from over but fans of the Big 12 can breathe a little easier now.
According to a report by Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, Texas has agreed not to air any high school content on the Longhorn Network for the next six years. The move comes as officials from the Big 12 are working hard to save the conference after news of Missouri's decision to explore its options with conference realignment.
It is not known if this decision will have any effect on Missouri's decision on whether or not to stay in the Big 12. Missouri was seeking a proposal that would run for the remaining 13 years of the conference's TV deal with Fox. However, while agreeing to remove high school sports from its programming, Texas opted for just a six year commitment as a compromise.
The Longhorn Network's potential airing of high school sports was met by opposition within the Big 12 and was a major factor in Texas A&M's decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. According to the report, Missouri and Oklahoma were both pushing hard for the high school restrictions.
The replacements have already been put on notice. The rumors are definitely out there as to which teams the Big 12 would be interested in if the conference were to survive the current bout with exits and entrances. Brigham Young, West Virginia, TCU and SMU have all been mentioned as new possibilities for Big 12 Conference play in a couple of seasons. That said, it might not matter if Missouri isn’t sticking around.
That’s what makes it tough for a team like the BYU Cougars, who certainly would be less interested in a Big 12 conference without the Tigers. Mizzou has a solid basketball and football program, and they’ve experienced success against even the teams atop the Big 12 standings in recent seasons (i.e. Mizzou’s toppling of the No. 1 Sooners in football last year). While the Big 12 has already lost teams like Nebraska and Texas A&M, there’s enough firepower left in both basketball and football to warrant the desire of other teams to join.
Yet Missouri also has to think about its own interests and it’s hard to ignore the current power and draw of the SEC when it comes to the largest money pool in all of college athletics. The SEC rules contemporary college football and Missouri could become a part of that pie. That’s hard to ignore and is likely the reason that Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton gave the okay to explore new options.
For now that means the Cougars of BYU or the Cardinals of Louisville are going to have to sit and wait if they are still interested in the Big 12. Missouri is in the driver’s seat and other teams are feeling the frustration as well.
Meetings schedule today between the SEC’s athletic directors failed to reveal any greater plot to add the Missouri Tigers as the 14th member of the SEC. In fact, it pushes back a bit against the rumors circulating that Mizzou will join Texas A&M in the power conference. Instead, the ADs were said to have met together to discuss the addition of the Aggies alone and how a 13-team conference will look when scheduling.
The official release came from Charles Bloom, the Associate Commissioner for Communications and Public Relations. It reads as follows:
Today’s meeting of the SEC athletic directors was planned immediately following the announcement of Texas A&M joining the league. The purpose of the meeting was to integrate Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference and plan for a 13-team schedule for all sports in 2012-13. The transition team from the SEC office made its initial report in this meeting to the athletics directors with the focus on scheduling and championship formats. The SEC is excited to have Texas A&M in the league and looks forward to having the Aggies compete in the SEC next year.
That said, this certainly doesn’t preclude Missouri from joining the SEC and instead looks like the right kind of legal posturing the SEC must do given the steps that still need to be taken before openly discussing the addition of the Tigers. It’s not a given the Tigers are gone at all, but don’t take today’s announcement as a death sentence for Missouri’s possibilities of joining the SEC.
It's looking like the SEC or nothing in the latest round of conference realignment for Missouri.
The Tigers' flirtations with the Big Ten last year were one of the first visible cracks in the Big 12's solidarity. But the Big Ten hasn't expressed much interest in expanding past twelve teams after taking Nebraska instead last year.
Missouri's emphasis on the importance of conference stability is a shot across the bow of the Big 12, which has lost Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M in the last year and has been tied to expansion rumors with over a half-dozen teams in the Big East and the Mountain West.
If the Big Ten is off the table, the question now is whether the SEC will be willing to add Missouri at the risk of tearing apart the Big 12.
Will they or won’t they? That’s the big question today and for the immediate future facing the Missouri Tigers as everyone connected to either the SEC or the Big 12 is more than curious about what the Tigers will end up choosing. Yesterday, Mizzou Chancellor Brady Deaton gave the university permission to explore the possibility of a new home for the MU athletics program. That said, there’s only one real destination in mind for the Tigers: the SEC.
So everyone is waiting today for some kind of word out of Missouri’s camp or even from the SEC. But for their part, the SEC says nothing is forthcoming. It’s up to the school, in other words, to make the first move or declaration — at least today. Mike DeArmond of the KC Star sent a message on Twitter today that “Charles Bloom of the SEC just emailed that there will be no statement today out of the Southeastern Conference on the Missouri situation.”
For now it’s a chess game wondering where Mizzou will end up going. There’s so much smoke that it’s hard to believe they’ll end up staying, but it’s been a fuzzy picture from the beginning in terms of Missouri’s future. Chuck Neinas, interim commish of the Big 12, has been wooing Missouri to stay with hopes of adding other teams like Brigham Young. As for now, it seems mum’s the word.
While Missouri's intentions on leaving the Big 12 for the SEC aren't completely known, its oldest rival and Big 12 neighbor Kansas is very public about the potential of losing their rival school.
Jayhawks athletic director Sheahon Zenger issued a statement late Tuesday that pledged KU's support to the Big 12, and its appreciation for Mizzou as an in-conference rival.
"We value our long-standing conference rivalry with Missouri," Zenger said. "We believe the Midwest deserves a strong conference for student-athletes, fans and alumni, and it is our desire that Missouri will stay committed — as Kansas is — to the Big 12 Conference."
Leaving Tuesday's meeting in Columbia, Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton was authorized by the school's board of curators to handle the university's conference alignment on Tuesday. In addition Deaton stepped down as the chair of the Big 12's board of directors, allowing no conflict of interest in pursuing options for Missouri outside of the Big 12.
The Big 12 Conference could once again be on shaky ground after Missouri's board of curators met on Tuesday and gave Chancellor Brady Deaton full approval to explore conference realignment. While the move doesn't explicitly say that Missouri is leaving the Big 12, the move sounds like that the school will at the very least explore all of its available opportunities.
The Big 12 recently reworked its revenue sharing to a more equal system that would disperse its television money. That was done in part to address Missouri's concerns about the long term stability of the conference. The Big 12 will be looking for each of its nine members to accept the deal.
Missouri has long been rumored as a potential target to become the SEC's 14th member if the Big 12 conference falls apart. Today's decision by the board sounds like the school is going to at least take a hard look at all available options.
The Board of Curators at Missouri announced they will hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the school's place in conference realignment.
@sptwriMike DeArmondmizzou board of curators meeting set in st. Louis for tuesday including pm session with media.
At various points in the last year, the fate of the Big 12 has depended on decisions made by Texas and Oklahoma. Now, for the first time, it appears that Missouri is in the drivers seat.
New commissioner Chuck Neinas has been wooing the school while the conference has been frantically reworking its revenue sharing and TV deals to address the Tigers' concerns about its long-term stability.
The school was rumored to have an invitation to follow Texas A&M into the SEC and become the conference's 14th member if the Big 12 fell apart. Now, with the conference clinging to life and discussing possible expansion targets, it desperately needs a gesture of commitment from Missouri after tomorrow's meeting.
While the grandstanding of Texas and its Longhorn Network can't be ignored when diagnosing the woes of the Big 12, money - specifically a long term, high dollar television rights contract that allows for all members to profit at least somewhat equally - is still the largest issue at hand.
The conference announced today that it had passed an agreement to start spreading the wealth a little less lopsided, the only real option to keep the Big 12 alive. But this is not time modesty - The conference even threw in a spot of self-congratulations, that despite its recent losses, the Big 12 is still a coveted destination for many universities. Yay, more realignment wildfire!
The Board is encouraged by the number of institutions indicating interest in the Big 12, which reflects positively on the standing of the Conference within intercollegiate athletics.
Fair wages AND a popular destination! But is the suddenly reformed Big 12 enough to keep Missouri? Today's Kansas City Star repeatedly uses the word "stability" - not money - to define Mizzou's desired outcome, something that not even a television deal can necessarily guarantee after three nationally respected programs have left the conference in two years:
The Pac-12 came to this notion late, but it’s there now, and it’s a reason why Texas and its network weren’t welcome.
The Big 12 is working toward this approach, and an announcement on equal revenue sharing of its largest TV contract income could come soon.
But twice having been driven to the brink of collapse, the Big 12 cannot assure long-term guarantees, no matter how many years of television rights are signed over to the conference.
Sounds like a little more humility still might be due before Missouri meets tomorrow to determine a course of action for its future.
For those wondering when the Big 12 would finally get down to business and come to some sense of an agreement on how to conduct business, well, wonder no more. The Big 12 Board of Directors came together to form an agreement to solve the woes that plague the conference, including the great disparity in conference finances (ahem, Longhorns).
The official statement of the Big 12 reads as follows:
The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors announced adoption of a position to equally distribute all conference related distributable revenue to include Tier I and II football television, men’s basketball television and NCAA men’s basketball tournament revenues. This action becomes effective after each member institution commits a grant of rights to the Conference for its Tier I and II television rights for at least six years.
It is recognized by the Board that each member is directed by institutional policy relative to pursuing its grant of rights and that process will commence expeditiously at the institutional level.
The Board is encouraged by the number of institutions indicating interest in the Big 12, which reflects positively on the standing of the Conference within intercollegiate athletics. The Board also looks forward to considering the recommendation of the expansion committee regarding future membership options.
More commentary will be forthcoming as press appearances will help answer any questions coming from this, but this report is a great step in a direction to stabilize the conference and show Big 12 fans and supporters that the conference is likely here to stay after all.
One day, the Missouri Tigers are reportedly the next logical addition to the SEC to even out the conference at 14 teams. The next day, they’re staying with a retooling Big 12. At this point, it’s impossible to know exactly what to believe about Mizzou and where they will be playing two seasons from now.
That’s what makes a recent Twitter post from Dave Sittler at the Tulsa World so timely and an apt comparison. He writes, "Source: Neinas “working hard at re-recruiting Mizzou and talking them down off the ledge” and away from jumping to SEC." The Neinas in the comment is Chuck Neinas, interim commissioner of the Big 12 and the guy who can supposedly save the conference from totally disbanding in the wake of recent exits by Texas A&M, Colorado and Nebraska.
If Neinas is indeed having to re-recruit them, then the assumption is that Missouri was already heading out the door to some place, and that place would have to be the SEC or the Big Ten. Using the term “ledge” is an apt descriptor for how everyone perceives the Tigers’ scenario at this point, and they have the ultimate leverage for the Big 12 to give them the farm in order to stay. If MIssouri leaves, after all, why would any team like Brigham Young decide to join?
The future of the Big 12 likely falls in Missouri’s lap and so it’s likely the Tigers will get some concessions if they were hoping for some leverage. It remains to be seen if Neinas can make good on his hopes for Big 12 stability but at least he’s aware it begins and ends with Missouri.
It’s impossible to tell just who is responsible for what in the middle of so many rumors, but it’s clear the Big 12 has life after Dan Beebe after all. In fact, Chuck Neinas might be the best thing to hit the Big 12 in a long time. With rumors of Missouri staying put in the Big 12 despite some reported overtures or interest from the SEC, now even bigger news comes with the addition of Brigham Young University that some sportswriters wondered about from the beginning.
Rumors are swirling that a late night decision was made yesterday for BYU to officially say yes to the Big 12 and bring in a potent football and basketball member as well as a solid academic institution into the once failing conference. Instead of falling apart, it seems the conference is retooling, and while BYU doesn’t offset completely the loss of Texas A&M to the SEC, it does reverse the momentum by the team’s exit.
Nothing is set in stone at this point, but there’s a lot of smoke around the decision — the same as when Texas A&M wasn’t officially with the SEC and then backed off for about a week to avoid any legal ramifications. While some of the rumors are conference realignment and switching turn into nothing of substance, this is one that many have already called and will likely soon confirm. We will keep you posted when any official word is made on either side.
Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas indicated on the record that Missouri is likely staying with the Big 12 Conference, despite rumors that Missouri would follow Texas A&M to the SEC.
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