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Internal Report: Mizzou Studies Money, Academic Ramifications Of Move To SEC

If you’re wondering why Missouri is seriously pondering a move to the more brutal (at least football-wise) SEC, think green.  Lots and lots of green.

A confidential document obtained by The Associated Press — and leaked to them by someone at Mizzou — shows that MU research projects as much as a $12 million a year revenue bump for the school if it leaps from the Big 12 to the SEC.  The new cash involves additional television and cable revenue.

The 45-page report was reviewed by Missouri’s board of curators at a much publicized meeting last Tuesday.  As a result of that meeting, the board gave MU chancellor Brady Deaton the authority to explore new conference alignments for the old Big 8 school.  The report breaks down potential reasons to stay with the Big 12 or go to the SEC.  Among the most interesting revelations:

* Missouri believes it could earn $17.16 million in Big 12 television money in 2012 as compared to $19.25 million in the SEC for the same fiscal year.

* But the school believes there is the potential for a much larger “per member share” should the SEC renegotiate its Tier I television rights now that it has added that states of Texas and Missouri (which include about about 10 million cable households alone) to its footprint.

* The school believes those renegotiated TV deals could earn Missouri up to $12 million more per year than it currently makes with the Big 12.  (If those numbers are correct: $17 million plus $12 million would equal $29 million per SEC school under a new contract.  That’s the equivalent of about $406 million per year for what would be the league’s 14 schools.  Currently the league makes a little more than $200 million per year from its deals with CBS and ESPN.  If MU — and the SEC — believe doubling the intake is possible, they must also be factoring in the possibility that a network like ESPN will have more money to spend now that the Big East is considerably less valuable.  We believe that number seems awfully high, but we’re going from the numbers reported by the AP and not the numbers from the actual 45-page document the AP examined.  In other words, something could be getting lost in the translation.)

* The internal report also shows that Missouri believes it can “leverage (its) Tier 3 (rights) more.”  According to one source who had seen the report, “There are 33 million reasons” to join the SEC.  The school official was referring to the number of total households within what would be the SEC’s 11-state footprint, which suggests that the league is indeed considering the launch of its own SEC Network.

(Please remember when you see another website claim that it was the first to report the possibility of an SEC Network, that actually, we have been mentioning that possibility since May 19th of 2010at a time when everyone else believed that possibility to be stone dead.  In fact, we brought up the subject again on September 20th of this year, a full week before anyone else started saying, “Hey, we think the SEC could start a network.”  There are lots of good sources for information out there, but we believe in taking credit for our own ideas and giving credit to others for theirs.  Other sites might have posted more hypotheticals on a potential SEC Network — and those are very much worth reading — but they did so long after we’d discussed the possibility of said network.  It’s a big enough beach for everyone to have plenty of room to play without stepping on one another’s toes.)

* The study looked at a number of factors from “faculty honors” to the “increased travel costs” of moving to the SEC.  (In other words, the school looked at academics and proximity — two things we broke down in our 10-part “Expansion By The Numbers” series – as well as a long list of other categories.  Now why didn’t we think of that?)

*  The AP claims that the report “said Missouri would not suffer a dramatic loss in academic prestige with an SEC move,” proving once and for all that a) schools do consider academic reputation in this expansion/realignment game and b) the SEC is looked down upon by many schools and rival conferences (whether that’s fair or not).  The report also mentioned the fact that the SEC would have four AAU members with the addition of Missouri.

* Also the report said “Missouri would rank lower overall in the SEC than it does in the Big 12 in terms of enrollment, faculty members who belong to the National Academy of Sciences, federal research financing, average SAT scores and athlete graduation rates.”  That’s surprising considering Missouri’s academic reputation and AAU status.  It does, however, show that the SEC isn’t the football-first league many present it to be… an image SEC presidents and Mike Slive are eager to shake.

* Finally, the report looked at exit fees for Mizzou should it abandon the Big 12.  If Mizzou left in time to join the SEC for next football season, the school would risk a $25.9 million penalty.  But the document states that MU could get that exit fee down to a more manageable $10.4 million by giving the league longer notice (“as much as two years,” according to the AP).  We believe it is still likely that Missouri — like Colorado and Nebraska last year — will be able to negotiate their exit fee down without having to stick around for two more seasons.

* Would the Big 12 want to keep Missouri around for as much at two more years?  Unlikely.  However, now that the Big 12 is officially adding TCU — to get back to 10 schools — it may want to take its time in expanding to 12 teams.  Strong-arming Mizzou into staying would also the Big 12 to window shop for a good while longer, rather than rushing into marriages with two new schools.

The bottom line on all of this?  Missouri is extremely serious about moving to the SEC and it likely wouldn’t have gone this far — especially after the embarrassing Big Ten debacle of a year ago — if it hadn’t received some form of a “we’ll get you in” assurance from Slive.

With realignment, nothing’s over til it’s over… but it looks to us like the Tigers will be making the move the SEC in time for the 2012 or 2013 seasons.

 


39 comments
btlh2oguy
btlh2oguy

Tick, Tick, Tick...... Missouri is taking the AAU " research" to need levels. They either know they are in or walking a fine line on the way to ending up in the MWC. The precious AAU membership doesn't matter when your playing Boise, San Jose ST, UNLV.

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UofA72
UofA72

Other schools joining the SEC have all shown growth and major improvement in their programs. Missouri shouldn't be any different as long as the administration and fans make it a high priority.

SEC is #1 in football because all the schools have worked hard to make it that way. There has to be more than a "coat tail" attitude towards fitting the SEC profile and standards. I've seen Missouri's stadium and campus, and I believe their recent improvements are a good start..

Modad1985
Modad1985

Mizzou is committed to improving their football program. The facility upgrades in the last 10 years have brought better players and an improving football program overall. I expect that this will continue, especially if there is more money to make it happen. Most of us Mizzou Tiger fans hope and expect that trend to continue and moving to a STABLE conference is a step in the right direction. I am really hoping that the SEC will let us in and be a partner in our future.

Guest
Guest

Great. Only after a 45 page report that shows they can make more money in the SEC, they decide it's a good move. If the report showed they could make a dollar more in the BIG 12 they would want to stay there.

Someone needs to start asking Is this really the kind of school that embodies the SEC?

RattlerGator
RattlerGator

John, your quote and comment: "Missouri would rank lower overall in the SEC than it does in the Big 12 in terms of enrollment, faculty members who belong to the National Academy of Sciences, federal research financing, average SAT scores and athlete graduation rates." That’s surprising considering Missouri’s academic reputation and AAU status.

I don't think it's surprising, and it doesn't say anything negative about Missouri. It says the egghead prejudice against the SEC is unwarranted (more research dollars and academic scholars at conference schools than many conferences, among other superlatives) and Texas' supposed academic bias against the SEC is completely bogus (how about that graduation rate at Texas, hmmm?). It's high time sportswriters within the SEC's footprint did a better job of reporting these facts.

@JMoney1536
@JMoney1536

This report, from what I've heard, is more to do with the delicate dance that MU's gotta do to negotiate their exit fees down. A lot of folks up here are wanting to stick Mizzou with the full bill and not let them pay a penny less that the full $25.9M. We all know that won't happen in actuality, but the folks from former Big 8 schools are bombarding local media, social media and whatever else they can, hoping that they can try to stick it to MU as much as possible if (when) we leave. That is why no other school will be officially invited to the Big 12 until MU makes their intentions public. With TCU officially on-board the "BIg 12 6-Year Farewell Tour" Mizzou is finally positioned to actually make a move without worry about legal action. They are just following the game plan aTm set up and laying as much groundwork as they can to negotiate the exit fees down.

On another note: If there is all this hostility about breaking up rivalries that is indeed keeping Mizzou from getting the necessary votes for admittance, I personally would not be opposed to joining the East. I know that it might be weird geographically and what not, but I say: get in where you fit in. It's better to be in the SEC now, and perhaps if/when the conference moves to 16 teams we might be in a pod with Ark and aTm . I don't really think it would be that big a deal for us--Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Tennessee aren't that far away really.

Milo Moon
Milo Moon

So Mizzou has this report released the same day that TCU is added to the B12. Technically the report was released by a Freedom of Information Act request. However there has not been a report released regarding any other school changing conferences. So someone had to leak toa reporter that the study had been done so that the FOIA request could be made and fulfilled. Either way, I think it is Mizzou having the information released so that it supports their decision to withdraw from the B12 this week and formally apply to the SEC. The release of the report did happen just after the SEC meeting this morning. All part of the plan and dance to chance conferences.

Brad
Brad

I agree. No way could be anything other than an attempt to internally sell Mizzou people on the move. Remember a lot of them were more interested in going to the Big 10. Also, I also do not see how Mizzou or the SEC could be worried about a lawsuit from Baylor or anyone else. What is Baylor going to say? Hey, we are going to sue the SEC for poaching, even though we just poached TCU from the Big East!

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

My guess: Missouri can't OPENLY express their interest in the SEC at this point, as their situation is completely different from Texas A&M ... like night and day. So, they have to do stuff like this to convince A) folks internally, B) their own boosters and big contributors, C) the local media and D) their fan base. Lots of influential people in A-D believe that Mizzou's academic profile, research and reputation could take a severe hit by joining a conference known primarily for football, and want the Tigers to try to save the Big 12 and/or wait on another shot at the Big 10. This is PR aimed at convincing them. (And it also helps reassure some skittish SEC folks that Mizzou is into the SEC for the long haul and won't jump when the Big 10 comes calling in 2017, a group that kinda sorta includes myself).

JRUGA
JRUGA

Sorry, I meant to say that the SEC Presidents are NOT stupid. Didn't prrof read quite as well as I should have.

JRUGA
JRUGA

Now this is a leak that is legit. Anyone of the Big 12 schools could have been behind the other leak regarding the 2nd choice fiasco or anyone of the disgruntled sports writers covering the big 12 could have "leaked" false information. I find it hard to believe the SEC Presidents would want WV over Mizzou strictly from an academic standpoint. These Presidents are stupid and anyone that can read and understand economics would see that adding Mizzou and the Tv Markets of St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. to the footprint will bring legitimate renegotiation ammunition for the SEC. WV has been shown to have no such legitimacy for tv markets. I still think Slive and company have shown what the process is for consideration into the SEC. If Mizzou is serious, they ned to follow the same path that Texas A&M took. Letter to Big 12 stating that it plans to leave the BIG 12 if another home is found. Application to the SEC for membership. SEC Presidents VOTE on acceptance or not. The rest of these reports have no legitimacy or sources. Believe about 5 % of what you hear and believe about 20% of what you can see. The rest is smoke, mirrors and slight of hand (ear)

KGreene
KGreene

Uh, they keep shooting themselves in the foot. I think they are going to be on the outside looking in (and I actually think they are a good fit)

flimflamspam
flimflamspam

We only needed 1 page...

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The suits wasted 44 pages!!!

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

THere was a report out today on the radio that the SEC presidents want WVU, while Mike Slive wants Mizzou. IF that's true, it should be interesting.

AnswersInBooks
AnswersInBooks

I read this story about three ours ago and waited for your analysis.

So what (other than preserving rivalries, which is a respectful thing) is really holding Mizzou back from jumping on board?

Lawsuits are not happening, money will rain from the sky and the fans are in love with the idea.

Minnemo
Minnemo

Hmmmm. Wow. They can do the homework. Where'd the leak come from?

Bob
Bob

Leaks seem to be the rule of law in Mizzou with their "leaders."

This continues to be a "must read" on a daily basis.

Thanks for what you do John.

Jake Harper
Jake Harper

What do you think it means that this "confidential" report was leaked immediately by a Mizzou official? Is it an indication that they feel strongly that they have the votes for SEC admission but can't come out and say so explicitly?

buddha22
buddha22

Watered down? Best check Mu's record vs SEC before worrying too much about that. Plans are already in discussion for enlarging the stadium. I think you'll find Mr Pinkel has built a worthy program and yes, the stability and challenge in the SEC will provide a strong base for a surging MU Athletic Program overall and a new level of support for our football team in this admittedly heavy pro sports state. Lastly, opening the ability to recruit the southeast will help the most, yes, MU may fall off slightly in Texas, but watch his staff work the new recruiting states, it will be a veritable bonanza. Hey, only Alabama has had more 1st round NFL draft picks than MU the last 3 years and that is just by one. Hope we can start changing those logos, soon! MIZ!

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Any large entity, university, company, or government, is going to take time to produce lengthy reports on the impact of major decisions. In fact, they usually do it for small decisions as well. It's standard practice.

Playgolf91
Playgolf91

I agree totally with your comment. I am really worried about watering down the football product. What does Missouri bring? Boston College was high profile football and basketball school before joining the ACC. Now it is at the bottom in football and basketball and ACC football is a joke. We do not need new members that do not provide value to the product. No matter how many TV sets are in that state.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

RattlerGator...

You did a good job of clipping my quote... except for the part where I talk about the "egghead prejudice" you mention:

"It does, however, show that the SEC isn’t the football-first league many present it to be… an image SEC presidents and Mike Slive are eager to shake."

Thanks for reading the site,
John

UofA72
UofA72

This brings up a good point. FOI laws are not the same in all states. Arkansas' FOI is very restrictive. A state supported entity can only go into executive session, avoiding FOI, for personnel issues. Any discussion concerning conference alignment in Arkansas would not be exempt from FOI requests. It could be the same in Missouri.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

This is absolutely correct. The reality is that many Mizzou fans don't understand or are not aware of the real issues driving Mizzou to the SEC, and this "leak" will help common fans understand a bit better why Mizzou is making the move. There are front page stories in the STL and KC newspapers, and the information from this document will be mentioned in every Mizzou-to-SEC article going forward.

billybib
billybib

Yeah, it would have to be about the money for both parties involved if Missouri moves to the SEC because it sure as heck isn't about the football team they field. Looking good at 2-3 on the season, Midwestern Mizzou! No biggie for the SEC though. Just another weak team to join the ranks of Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

JaxGator
JaxGator

I wouldn't put to much trust into that report. Slive focus is on the "sports" side of the equation, but the presidents are just as focused on the academics (where Mizzou clearly leads). If anything its the other way around. The presidents would love to add another "voting" member of the AAU. We have several schools that have the academics to make it into the AAU (hence why Mizzou ranking in the SEC would be lower than the B12-X in terms of faculty members who belong to the National Academy of Sciences and federal research financing) , we just need the votes (UG, Au, Alabama..)

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Probably a "minority report" by folks primarily looking at the rivalry/geography issue primarily i.e. 'Bama fans. My guess is that some/most SEC presidents are either looking at how Missouri would bring them more money (on the academic and athletics side) and improve the reputation of the conference, or if they are not, can be easily convinced to start looking at it. I would bet that Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Vanderbilt, A&M and Arkansas are all for Missouri. Whatever lobbying group WVU has other than some folks at Alabama - and what their reasoning is - I wonder.

Folks trying to make the case that WVU is SO MUCH BETTER for football purposes kind of overstate their case. Looking at their history since 1945 ... WVU has won 10 or more games in 1969, 1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, and 2007 (now you see why they got so angry when Rich Rodriguez left) and possess 5 major bowl appearances in all that time (2 under Rich Rod) and 3 Big East titles (again 2 by Rich Rod). And remember: this is playing independent/Big East schedules ... mostly Pitt, Temple, Syracuse, B.C. and Virginia Tech.

Don't get me wrong: West Virginia is clearly the better football program. But their pigskin superiority over Missouri isn't enough to outweigh Missouri's other advantages.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Negotiations involving exit penalty, scheduling, divisional alignment, etc. These are issues that take time to finalize.

skillet
skillet

The only thing holding them back is assurance they will get in.

Unlike A&M leaving, the collective attitude of the B12 (other than KU) seems to be 'see ya.' Although an old rivalry, the MU-KU rivalry meant little to people outside of those states. (They are currently both in last place in the conference, so it's not like there is a lot on the line.) A&M leaving threatened the viability of the conference. It seems like they are happy to replace MU within a week.

You have to wonder if they stopped at 10 only to make sure they had some leverage to squeeze extra exit money out of MU. The bigger question is does the SEC really want Mizzou. And do they believe these revenue projections for a middle tier program.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Jake Harper...

I'm guessing someone at Mizzou wanted to make it clear to any long-time Mizzou fans who aren't onboard with the move just how much the school stands to benefit from making it.

Thanks for reading,
John

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

To repeat from above:

"Folks trying to make the case that WVU is SO MUCH BETTER for football purposes kind of overstate their case. Looking at their history since 1945 ... WVU has won 10 or more games in 1969, 1988, 1993, 2005, 2006, and 2007 (now you see why they got so angry when Rich Rodriguez left) and possess 5 major bowl appearances in all that time (2 under Rich Rod) and 3 Big East titles (again 2 by Rich Rod). And remember: this is playing independent/Big East schedules ... mostly Pitt, Temple, Syracuse, B.C. and Virginia Tech.

Don't get me wrong: West Virginia is clearly the better football program. But their pigskin superiority over Missouri isn't enough to outweigh Missouri's other advantages."

The folks trying to pass WVU off as a football powerhouse need to stop. They aren't. Even against their questionable level of competition, they are an above average, slightly ahead of the middle of the pack program that had some good times under Major Harris and Pat White. We all remember Major Harris and Pat White while forgetting all the 7-5 and 8-4 (or worse) type seasons that they had otherwise.

Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey

I looked at "WVU football" on wikipedia. Some tidbits.

- With a 693–454–45 record, West Virginia is the winningest Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team to have never won a national championship, ahead of Miami University and Virginia Tech.

- WV has won 8 Southern Conference championships. This says a lot for culture, since the SEC formed from the Southern Conference.

- West Virginia's highest-ever poll ranking is #1 (in the Coaches Poll following Week 13 of the 2007 season).

In modern college football, WV is consistently ranked in the top 25.

Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey

WVU is the winningest Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team to have never won a national championship. Stop limiting our program to a "4 year stretch they they had with a coach."

Oh, by the way, we're currently ranked.

UofA72
UofA72

The TV contract issue should be a comparison of the ACC and the SEC, removing which ever team is doing the analysis. In other words if it is FSU, what would the ACC contract look like without them? Then see what the SEC contract is without them. This all assumes that FSU's value added to the conference remains the same, regardless of the conference.

In a post from"Karen" who lives in the DC area, people there aren't interested in northern football, only southern. If this is correct, the new ACC teams don't add as much TV strength as the new SEC team(s). FSU's value added would be greater in the SEC due to increased viewership of FSU's games in the SEC. If money drives their decision, it's the SEC. If the need to win drives it, ACC may be their answer.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

tradeassociation...

Actually, Florida State's president offered a non-denial denial saying that the ACC is a good one and he hasn't spoken to the SEC. The chairman of FSU's board of trustees also said that FSU would listen if the SEC called.

The odds of the SEC landing an ACC team are very slim, but I wouldn't set the line at a 0% chance. I wouldn't say 0% chance on very many things, in fact. The backdoor politics and millions on the table make anything possible -- at least slightly -- in expansion/realignment battles.

Thanks for reading,
John

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"And WVU might be the best option if the SEC can't add an acc school."

The SEC cannot and will not add an ACC school. The idea that you think that they can shows that you haven't really been following expansion, where ACC schools have done nothing but publicly, repeatedly turn SEC schools down for the last 2 years. An ACC school would be nuts to leave NOW before seeing the TV contract that they are going to get because of adding the Syracuse and Pittsburgh markets to the ones that they have already. You are talking like those Alabama fans who pretend as if preserving their game with Tennessee is the most important thing on earth.

"They will pick a school that deserves to be in the SEC"

So, WVU deserves to be in the SEC because of a good 4 year stretch that they had with a coach who isn't there anymore (who by the way totally failed in the Big 10 when he had to deal with better competition from week to week instead of just having to get by Louisville, Rutgers and Pitt in the Big East)? That's hilarious.

West Virginia was mostly mediocre before Rich Rod, and has been mostly mediocre since. So they might win a Big East that is probably weaker than Conference USA this year. Big deal. They are not a football powerhouse. They would finish #5 or worse in the SEC East in most years ... behind Florida, Tennessee, UGA and South Carolina at minimum. Mizzou would do no better, but at least they are an AAU school who helps the SEC's academic reputation, and brings 6 million TV sets.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

First off, there is no reason to go back to the dark ages. Lets look at the last 5 to 10 years. WVU has won two BCS bowl games. They beat Georgia (when the bulldogs were good) in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The program has been very good. Even this year, they're 5-1 with a loss v.s LSU. They were right there with LSU late in the third quarter. Now Missouri. Missouri won 40 games in a 4 year stretch, but not a strong Bowl win. The rest of the years have been very average. Even this year, Mizzou is 2-3. So to argues WVU is close to Mizzou on the football field, would be trying to make an argument for WVU over Mizzou in academics or tv sets. The honest problem is a lot of SEC presidents want someone from the east. They've made that clear. And WVU might be the best option if the SEC can't add an acc school. But who know. I think the SEC presidents are smart. They will pick a school that deserves to be in the SEC>

Elvis Fischer
Elvis Fischer

Mizzou was ranked 1 in BCS that same week in 2007

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