SEC all the way!!! As a Missouri Alumnus, I have done everything in my power to motivate your leadership, via mulitiple snail mail and e-mail. Tuesday was a very happy day for me and countless Mizzou Alumi. The SEC is the best conference in football bar none. To be in a conference family that acts instead of the dysfunctional Big 12 would be an incredible blessing. I believe that Mizzou will be a great addition to your storied conference. If you wonder about enthusiasm of Mizzou fans, just check out College Game Day last year. 20,000k fans, the largest turn out in ESPN college game day history. Their is already chatter about the need to expand the stadium to make a step toward SEC standards. Hope it all comes together. Know that countless MU fans watch everyday in hopes to get good news. MIZ-SEC
The Big 12 has been busy today. First, the league’s board of directors agreed to a formal grant of television rights for a minimum of six years. The approval of the board on that vote was unanimous, with Missouri abstaining on the advice of legal counsel.
As soon as the individual schools sign the contracts that interim commissioner Chuck Neinas sent out today, the deal will be final, equal revenue-sharing of Tier 1 and Tier 2 television rights will kick in, and the Big 12 will become a much more stable entity. (At least for six years.)
There were also agreements relating to high school content being shown on Tier 3 television packages like the Longhorn Network. According to a Big 12 release, “Conference bylaws will reflect that no member institution branded outlet will show high school games or highlights, nothing that it is permissible pursuant to NCAA interpretation to use scores, standings and statistics of high school games.” (Start the clocks now for a show geared toward talking about and the stats of top Texas recruits.)
In addition to all this, TCU has received an invitation to the join the Big 12.
Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton took part in today’s teleconference, but as noted earlier he did not vote on any matters.
So what does all this mean for the SEC?
First, most of the things Missouri and the other Big 12 schools wanted have come to pass. And if Mizzou decided to stay at home now, the school would simply scratch out “Texas A&M” on future schedules and fill in “TCU.” That if the Frogs accept, of course, and it’s assumed they will. (We look forward to hearing Kenneth Starr’s take on how his league poached TCU from the Big East.)
According to Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman:
“The Big 12 remains unaware of Missouri’s plans, but most Big 12 administrators do not think Missouri has an invite from the SEC or even any assurance that it will get one. The league decided not to wait and was taking immediate action to strengthen the league.”
But PowerMizzou.com — the Rivals site that covers the Tigers — reports that Missouri wants the Big 12 to go back to being an actual 12-team conference.
At this point, Missouri needs to decide if it wants to sign back on with the Big 12 and have a hand in future expansion? Or does the school truly want to move to the SEC?
It seems that Mizzou has come to a point where there is little chance of turning back. Neinas and the Big 12 would love to have them, but it appears the more MU officials — especially the board of curators — thought about a lifetime of stability versus six years of stability, the more they liked what they saw in the SEC
In addition, once in the SEC, they’ll no longer have to worry about one or two schools — Texas and Oklahoma — driving the bus for everyone else. Missouri will be equal to Florida and Alabama as well as to Vanderbilt and the Mississippi schools.
Aside from learning to silence moles inside their own operation, Missouri has likely done enough to convince Mike Slive of their interest to gain an SEC bid should they seek one. We’re assuming they wouldn’t go so far out on a limb without some sort of assurance two years in a row.
No, if the Tigers are to this point, it’s because Slive and his league are interested. As we wrote yesterday, as long as Slive is convinced MU isn’t still pining for the Big Ten, the path south should be clear.
And if Slive wants nine votes to bring Missouri into the SEC, he’ll be able to get those nine votes. In fact, if the commissioner presses the issue, we expect he’ll get a unanimous vote.
Our best bet at this point? Missouri’s SEC bound unless the administration gets some seriously cold feet. And best of luck to Deaton and crew if they have to sell an about-face to Tiger fans who’ve just gotten hyped up about exiting Texas’ shadow.