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.