The University of Missouri has publicly stated it’s intentions of joining up with the SEC. And in many ways (adding the St. Louis and Kansas City television markets, developing natural rivalries or “border wars” with the state institutions of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee) the Missouri Tigers are a good for the SEC.
But are they going to get enough SEC presidents to vote in favor of taking them? They currently seem one vote short.
(Update: The New York Times is reporting Missouri’s decision to officially apply for membership in the Southeastern Conference is “inevitable and imminent.“)
(Further Update: FOX 4 spoke to an university official speaking on behalf of Chancellor Brady Deaton on Monday, and they say that the report isn’t true. According to the official, there is no indication that the Board of Curators will discuss conference realignment, let alone make a decision on the matter.)
Doesn’t this seem like the SEC is taking the Big Ten’s scraps? After flirting with the Big Ten and getting shot down in 2010, how the best college football conference in the nation going to go about grabbing the Tigers football program (which means you’d now have 3/14 teams in the league, or 21% named Tigers)?
Well, Missouri is synonymous with the word “compromise.”
According to Alabama.com:
Two sources familiar with the SEC’s discussions about Missouri told The Birmingham News Wednesday that as of now it appears that a majority of SEC presidents and chancellors would support Missouri’s application. But the sources said that majority falls just short of the nine votes required to add a new member.
One source said there’s a group of presidents that wants to sit tight, believing the SEC can do better than Missouri and that No. 14 should come from the East. According to both sources, Alabama wants to look East and not risk losing its annual game against Tennessee, while Auburn favors adding Missouri and moving to the Eastern Division.
Basically, it’s going to come down to a compromise between the SEC brass working on a 13 team schedule, and those thinking 14 team. Texas A&M is in. But unfortunately, they didn’t bring a partner. Given the SEC’s national brand status and ability to generate revenue, they can do better. But how soon, and who? They’re not getting Texas or Oklahoma. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are their larger, bigger in-state school’s little sidekicks, so who else in the Big 12 would the SEC really want? There’s nothing left in the Big East that would be superior to Mizzou.
The AP quoted an anonymous Missouri official yesterday the school hopes to join the SEC but preferred a Big Ten offer that never came.
“That’s what’s left,” the Missouri official said, referring to the SEC.
That’s not going to score points in your new home. Or maybe it’s a desperate 4 a.m. bar closing pick up attempt at the Big Ten? Or a terribly ineffective way of posturing for bargaining position with the SEC?
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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