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Mizzou Chancellor Talks OU, Big 12; What It Means For SEC

For those who believe Missouri will be the SEC’s 14th school, you’ll want to pay close attention to what Mizzou chancellor Brady Deaton told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday.

Deaton, you see, is also currently serving as the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.  That makes for a mighty interesting conflict of interest.  On one hand, he has to make sure Missouri has a landing spot should the Big 12 evaporate.  On the other, he must publicly push for the salvation of that league.

He was in full-blown salvation mode yesterday saying:

1.  He hopes Oklahoma will decide to say in the league.

2.  In his view Texas A&M remains “full members of the conference until they are no longer members of the conference.”

3.  He believes that the Big 12 can survive even if several schools leave.

“I don’t want to go too far there, (but) there’s a legal basis for the Big 12 to go on and, certainly, I would expect that to continue.  If things change, we’ll try to keep it together and move forward with other members.  I’m a little more optimistic certainly today than I was maybe a week ago, but that’s based on the fact that I think good, careful reasoning and analysis of what’s in the best interests of each of our institutions will continue to bind us together as a conference.”

Deaton also said that he expects a decision from Oklahoma within 10 to 14 days.  “We’re being patient and working together, and certainly right now we’re in a little bit of a position where we need for Oklahoma to give us a sense of what they’re thinking about and take it from there.”

Laughably, Deaton also tried to suggest that his position as Missouri chancellor and chairman of the Big 12 board doesn’t force him to walk “a delicate line.”  Well, if it isn’t, then he’s letting down one institution or the other.  He needs to be exerting all of his energy to save the Big 12 or all of his energy to have options lined up for Mizzou.  That’s a pretty delicate line, in our view.

The Big 12′s final status will have a large impact on what the SEC looks like in the next couple of years:

1.  If the Big 12 survives and Oklahoma decides to stay, it’s most likely Texas A&M will be allowed to leave and join Mike Slive’s conference.

2.  If the Big 12 loses OU, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M — legal threats be damned — then it’s possible massive quakes begin to breakout across the college landscape.  In that scenario, the SEC might have an easier time finding a proper School #14 to join A&M.

3.  If the Big 12 fully folds, then Missouri becomes a much more likely option to join A&M in the SEC.  If the SEC wants it.  And if the Big Ten doesn’t.



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