Earlier this evening we posted comments in response to an AP story in which an anonymous Missouri official said that his school prefers the Big Ten to the SEC. “That’s what’s left,” the source said of Mike Slive’s conference.
Immediately, Missouri fans set out to prove that they really are a fit for the SEC by pushing conspiracy theories:
* ESPN was making the story up (even though it was an AP story and not an ESPN story)
* Kansas people were planting the story
* Anti-Missouri media members were working against the Tigers
Except… this isn’t the first time Mizzou has had a problem keeping its collective mouth closed. In our initial story, we pointed out that MU officials had publicly bungled their attempt to jump to the Big Ten last year.
And let’s not forget that it was just last month when another anonymous Missouri source leaked word that the SEC had invited the school to join. That remark was immediately shot down by the Southeastern Conference.
Now, for those Missourians who believe this small-time stuff, answer this question? At what point during Texas A&M’s courtship did an Aggie source say, “Well, we’d prefer to go to the Pac-12.” At what point did anyone in College Station say, “Yep, Slive’s already called us.”
That’s right. It never happened.
And when was the last time an expansion-related leak emanated from anywhere inside the SEC itself? There’s the occasional remark about finding a 14th school, yes, but no one ever leaks a peep about who that selection might be.
Slive is running the sports equivalent of the Manhattan Project while Missouri appears to have more Deep Throats than a sleazy video joint. That’s not a good match.
If Missouri is going to get along in the Kingdom of Slive someday, its school officials will need to learn to either close their mouths or speak in unison when they open them.
The Big 12 is every man for himself. But that league is a house of cards built upon sand just above a fault line.
In the SEC, there’s the company line and then there’s… well, that’s pretty much it. There’s the company line.
So if Missouri’s going to join the SEC, it’s going to have to make sure everyone on the payroll is capable of zipping his lips.