If Missouri got a Big 10 offer right now, they would take it. It is too bad the SEC wants a team that does not really want them. Additionally, they are passing a team who wants and deserves to be in (WVU). Time for the SEC to rescind the offer and move on toward taking WVU.
KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri caught MU chancellor Brady Deaton at the airport as he returned from today’s Big 12 board of directors meeting in Dallas. His take on today’s meeting: “I wish them (the Big 12) the best and all that, so we’ll see where that goes.”
That hardly sounds like a man who’s getting cold feet regarding an exit from Missouri’s current conference. Again, Deaton was given the power by MU’s board of curators to examine all the school’s options just about three weeks ago. He did his research. He reported back on Friday. That day the board gave him the power to go forth and cut a deal with a new league, admitting that MU and the SEC have exchanged info. Oh, and the board also said it would like to keep playing basketball and football in Kansas City, you know, in case the school bolts the Big 12.
Rumors came from Missouri sources today that the Big 12 board of directors meeting in Dallas could be the scene of Deaton’s grand “we’re outta here” announcement. But we at MrSEC.com reported in the middle of last week that MU’s move to the SEC would be sewn up by the middle to late part of this week.
In other words, there’s no need to panic. Cutting a deal actually takes some time. And it’s possible that the SEC has been just as much behind this apparent holdup as Mizzou has been. Even though it is fans and media who are screaming that there’s a holdup. Deaton says there is none:
“There’s no delays here at all. There’s some very specific things that have to be addressed. We want to address those. We really can’t rush these things. These are things you can’t rush. I know fans get impatient. I gotta say I’m very sympathetic. What I hope they will understand is that this is not a set of issues that one can just press a button and be done with it. There are some issues that have to be addressed on behalf of the University of Missouri and that’s what we’re doing, looking out for the University of Missouri.”
Asked if the SEC had assured Mizzou that it has the votes it needs for acceptance, Deaton cut to the chase: “I’ll let them speak for themselves, we’re reasonably clear about where we stand.” In other words, MU knows it has the votes, but a few more t’s need to be crossed and i’s dotted.
While Mike DeArmond of The Kansas City Star continues to say Missouri “remain in public limbo,” we continue to say that this deal is nearing its completion. No one we’ve spoken to tonight — and that includes persons in two Southeastern Conference athletic departments — gave us any reason to believe things have changed with regards to Missouri.
The folks at Orangebloods.com — the Rivals site covering Texas — claim that they have heard from one source with knowledge of today’s Big 12 meeting who said: “They (MU) are dragging out the inevitable adios. And the Big 12 continues to be good partners (by not putting a deadline on the school).”
The site also states: “Big 12 administrators say they’ll be surprised if Missouri doesn’t announce fairly soon that it plans to withdraw from the Big 12 and apply for membership in the Southeastern Conference.”
As we always, always, always say — anything is possible when money and politics are involved.
But a reversal on the part of MU at this point would lead to a fan revolt. Tiger-backers are already frustrated and tired from a process that’s lasted — officially — for less than a month. At this point, if Deaton were to announce that MU was staying in the Big 12, he’d likely be burned in effigy.
Sidenote — It’s possible that Mike Slive — a commissioner who has worked very hard not to create the impression that he’s a league-raider like John Swofford, Jim Delany and Larry Scott — might not want this weekend’s Missouri-Texas A&M game to be viewed and publicized as an SEC preview. He might see that as showing up the Big 12 in some way.
We’re not saying that is the issue. Obviously, we’ve already stated that we still believe MU will be accepted into the SEC between Wednesday and Friday of this week. But we’re saying that could be an issue. Slive might not see it as a gentlemanly act to turn a Big 12 game into a de facto SEC game (though it will still be unofficially hyped that way by the media).
The bottom line? There will be a bit more waiting for fans and talking heads before this deal is signed and sealed. But no one should be angry about the timeline. As we noted earlier today, the process to land Missouri is still moving at a quicker pace than the process that landed Texas A&M.