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Missouri To The SEC “Inevitable And Imminent”

Last summer, when rumors swirled that the SEC was talking to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, many fans bemoaned the fact that the SEC might just become too tough to survive.  This fall, as rumors have heated up that Missouri will fill the slot once set aside for OU, many fans are bemoaning the fact that the SEC might be adding a team that they perceive to be a cupcake.

Mike Slive just can’t win.  (Aside from his bank account, of course.)

Well, it looks like those people who feel Mizzou isn’t good enough, isn’t Southern enough, or just isn’t something enough had better grab their crying towels ’cause all signs point to a Missouri-SEC marriage.  Soon.

 

1.  The New York Times reported late last night that “a university official with direct knowledge of the situation” called MU’s decision to apply for SEC membership “inevitable and imminent.”  The source said that Missouri expects “no problems” when it comes to gathering enough votes to enter the league.

That likely means that Missouri will be slotted in the SEC’s East Division.  Alabama — and it’s believed Tennessee — would not okay a Missouri application unless their Third Saturday in October rivalry were saved.  Either Bama — and Tennessee? and others? — will be outvoted or the league has assured everyone that Mizzou will go East.  Originally, it looked as though Auburn would move to the East and Missouri would stay in a more natural West alignment.

Reports from the Show-Me State have said that Missouri has no real preference in the matter, which we find surprising.  It would make sense for Missouri to land in the West in order to fire up a new rivalry with Arkansas and to keep a Big 12 rivalry alive with Texas A&M… which would also allow the Tigers to continue to recruit the state of Texas heavily.  The Tigers’ football success in recent years has been fueled by a Gary Pinkel-created Lonestar State pipeline.  If the Tigers land in the East, they will have to recruit Florida and Georgia more often.  (We assume that Arkansas would be made the Tigers’ permanent cross-divisional rival.)

Surprisingly, a quick look at the map shows that Missouri really isn’t that much farther from East Division schools than it is from those in the West.

 

2.  Orangebloods.com – the Rivals site covering Texas — reported Monday that three sources “close to the situation” have told that site that the Tigers are ready to depart the Big 12 for the SEC.  Orangebloods’ sources have said that MU may try to join the SEC for 2012-2013 rather than wait an extra year as interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas suggested last week.

Neinas’ comments regarding a 2013-14 departure for Mizzou were viewed by this site as nothing more than posturing.  If the Tigers go, the Big 12 will try to hit them with a sizable exit fee.  The best way to drive that penalty up is to claim that Missouri is somehow doing more damage to the league by leaving with such short notice.  Of course, the Tigers are likely to announce their plans only about a month after Texas A&M announced their own exit.  (Ironically, if Missouri announces a move on Thursday, it will have been 16 days from the time the school granted chancellor Brady Deaton the power to look around to the day MU makes an announcement of departure.  A&M also took 16 days to complete that exact same route.)

If Missouri joins the SEC — and we expect it will — we believe the Tigers will do so next summer along with Texas A&M.

 

3.  We mentioned Thursday above because The Kansas City Star reported last night that that day may be D-Day for the Tigers.  Yesterday, the school’s board of curators released an agenda calling for a closed executive session at 3:35pm on Thursday.

 

4.  On person not interested in all this expansion talk is Nick Saban.  Asked Monday about the possible end of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry, Saban didn’t hold back.  ”Now we’re worrying about playing Missouri rather than Tennessee some time down the road.  I could give a s— about all that, excuse my French.  I mean, come on, let’s talk about (this week’s) game.  What year are we talking about when we’re not gonna play Tennessee — 2025?  I’m just hoping I can still go to the lake then, still walk around and go on a pontoon boat ride.”

The Birmingham News has video of the exchange right here.

 


75 comments
Razorback
Razorback

I hope whichever yearly cross-divisional games TAMU and Mizzou end up playing make sense and are relevant. As a Razorback fan, I understand how difficult changing conferences really is. We got paired with South Carolina. Obviously it was the easiest thing to do since both teams were new to the league, but that game has meant nothing to each other for 2 decades. It is like the entire conference forgets we are members that week. There is no history there and no social/economic ties between the two states. By making logical cross-divisional rivalries for new members, it will only increase interest in the SEC and make the league stronger. Plus, it will allow fans from new schools to not feel alienated for so long in a new conference.

Paul Brackin
Paul Brackin

When the SEC gets to 16 teams, expect to see the 9 game conference schedule. The main deal is not so much the increased potential competition but how many home games can be guaranteed year after year. Teams like FL/GA play neutral site affairs every year but they split the proceeds evenly too. But aside from that example, most teams would either have a 5 home (4 away) conf games one year and 4 home (5 away the next). In a 12 game regular season, that would leave 3 open games every year. Years they play 5 home games, play 2 home and 1 away *ideally against teams neutral site or h/h affairs of like quality) and 3 guaranteed home games in 4 home conference game years. That "7" home affairs is importantant universally as needed to generate the necessary "game day" revenue needed by universities.

I would gladly trade this years N Texas game for a date with any SEC team on a rotating basis, thats a no brainer. Save that money needed to coax a victim every year with no guaranteed return date. And aside from the possible "tune up game" at the first of the season, does anyone get the schedule and make La Tech a "must see game" Spare me!

Paul Brackin
Paul Brackin

To Mizzou, I will save my welcome til after the official announcement but I have been in favor of your addition and think it will be a win/win.

Chill my SEC Brothers. IF Mizzou is in, moving them "temporarily" to the East is no biggie and again, a win/win. Give them the full flavor of the South if a West move in forthcoming eventually. The Bama/TN rivalry is undisturbed. I think THAT has been the only deviding point bewteen Mizzou getting a green light earlier than now. It takes care of that 13 schedule mess. It allwos the SEC to renegotiate now knowing another round would be forthcoming with two more teams added later thus another renegotiation then. They could use this as good target practice for the 16 team TV deal.

It looks more and more like FSU/Clemson in the East but anything can change but it leaves open OK/OK ST to reconsider their position. Texas is its own worst enemy and between now and after the BCS is renegotiated is liable to say or do anything. But most importantly, it give the SEC time cause after 16, thats it...no more expansion...just doesn't work. So get it right the first and only time.

deltaboy
deltaboy

OK, OK. If we can't get FSU, Clemson or Va. Tech, I guess Mizzou will do. We've got to have someone to get away from the disruptions that a 13 team league would create. Despite the fact that it's geographic nonsense, placing Missouri in the Eastern Division has merit. They should be able to develop natural rivalries with other "border state" schools Kentucky, Vandy & UT [with Arkansas being their permanent cross-divisional rival]. That really does satisfy the "cultural fit" concerns [which are important] for half or almost half of the conference schedule. Also, the SEC clearly should institute a nine game conference schedule [6-1-2]. Two or three non-conference cupcakes a year is more than enough.

oksana
oksana

There is one problem with moving Bama and Auburn to the east and Vandy to the west. Now the SEC east is the home of five teams (six if you count S.C.) that are actively trying to win conference championships with the west having LSU, the three dwarfs,and three middling teams. The balance of power is out of wack.

Move Tennessee to the west and leave Vandy in the east when moving Bama and Auburn to the east and now you have something closer to fair.

JSHD
JSHD

It would be nice if TAMU and Mizzou were replacing Kentucky and Vandy. I really dislike the idea of 14 teams.

Secfan
Secfan

Now that we're adding non-Southeastern states, what should we rename the conference?

a&mfan
a&mfan

Texas and OU don't have an iron grip on the state any more. According to Rivals A&M has a bigger recruiting class than OU and LSU!!! Plus LHN will play no more roll in recruiting any more since They decided not show high school games or high school highlights.

j johnson
j johnson

Mizzou i think is culturally a good fit with the sec seeing how it's a slave state with hillbillies in it. Also the high school dropout rate hovers at 35% so it seems like they are a perfect fit. They just were never going to really be an option for the big 10 even though they've been begging for the last 50 years to join.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"It would make sense for Missouri to land in the West in order to fire up a new rivalry with Arkansas and to keep a Big 12 rivalry alive with Texas A&M… which would also allow the Tigers to continue to recruit the state of Texas heavily."

Mizzou could maintain a presence in Texas simply by making A&M their permanent cross-division rival, and also by playing theTexas schools out of conference (in the Longhorns, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Rice, SMU, Houston, UTEP, North Texas, and in 2012 UT-San Antonio and Texas State they have plenty to choose from!). Also Missouri and Arkansas have no rivalry, "new" or otherwise. Mizzou was Big 8, Arkansas was SWC. The only regular season meeting between the two schools was in 1963.

Recruiting in Texas: yawn. Texas and Oklahoma own that state with an iron grip (and the Longhorn Network will make that even more pronounced) with everyone else in Texas - and in the Big 12 - reliant on fighting each other for scraps. But by coming to the SEC East, Mizzou will still be able to maintain a presence in Texas if they really want to by making A&M their permanent foe and leveraging their OOC games, plus adding Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina to their recruiting footprint. If recruiting is the sole factor, joining the SEC East is actually better than the SEC West because they'll potentially get more out of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida than they will out of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Another thing: Louisville is a talent-rich area (the recruiting base for the Cardinal football and basketball programs that have been to a Final Four and won a BCS bowl in recent years) and being in the SEC East gets Louisville football AND basketball players into Missouri. Good news for Pinkel, Haith and the SEC, bad news for Pitino, Charlie Strong and the Big East. Or Big 12. Whatever ...

Don't get me wrong, I prefer Mizzou in the west. But Mizzou actually might benefit more from being in the east.

ncaafootballfan
ncaafootballfan

As a college football fan, I'm more interested in seeing what happens next. Was it not a surprise that the Big East, yesterday, voted to increase their exit fee to 10 million?

D-Ram
D-Ram

John@Mr.SEC,

Does it make sense to send Vanderbilt to the West and Alabama and Auburn to the East? The Alabama schools would still play each other and so would Tennessee and Alabama. Tennessee could have their permanent rival be Vandy. Then Mizzou could be in the West division where it's geographically aligned.

Haven't thought any further than that so don't crush me if it's dumb.

Willie!T
Willie!T

Interesting.

Has anyone considered moving Alabama & Auburn to the East, Moving Vandy to the West, and adding A&M and Mizzou in the west? Vandy would be UT's cross-division rival. Bama & Auburn would be free to pick a cross division rival since no one else in the West is really a "traditional" rival game for either.

Willie!T
Willie!T

Interesting. If the League goes to 9-game league schedule instead of the current 8, then maintaining a single, cross division rivalry remains plausible. In a 9-game leage schedule, adding Mizzou and A&M to the West while moving Auburn to the East works for everyone.

So, placing Mizzou in the East isn't the only way to get the folks at Bama & Tennessee on board.

Will
Will

Mizzou...... Boring.

It is like adding another UK to the league, but without the basketball prowess UK has.

JEH
JEH

Mizzou fan on divisions here:
Does Mizzou have a preference, probably. But our bigger preference is to join a league where no single team believes that they are bigger than the league itself and acts in such a manner as to consider the league expendable.
The West makes more sense, but does one game in College Station (every other yr) really do that much towards maintaining your Texas recruiting ties. Success and coaching relationships maintain those ties. Long term, ya we'd probably rather be in West, and if SEC goes to 16 I'll bet we'll be at the front of the line offering to move if Slive would like.
In the East we see more winnable games short term. We see a more attractive basketball schedule (sorry for bringing up an irrelevant sport), and we recognize that we're the new guy and hell - we're used to being told what to do in our conference anyway! : )

Gator Whisperer
Gator Whisperer

LOL - I sure do like Saban. He's like the Steve Jobs of college football.

kltenn
kltenn

Why can't we just do a north division (UT, Vandy, UK, UGA, USC, Arkansas, Mizzou) and South (UF, TA&M, LSU, MSU, OleMiss, Auburn, Bama). Find one permanent rival....etc.

deltaboy
deltaboy

So what would you suggest? My thought would be to place Missouri in the East [see above] & make us [Arkansas] their cross-divisional rival. Then pair A & M and South Carolina so that none of the other existing cross-divisional rivalries are disrupted.

Hodad
Hodad

Trust me, East Texas is Southern.

MU24
MU24

Oh yes, Arkansas is totally Southeast! Regional names are sticking because they're a brand, but the writing has been on the board for a good while that it wasn't going to remain regional. Colorado in the Pac-12? Pacific?! Not really. TCU in the Big East?! Even for the 10 seconds that they were there it seemed weird. But still, borders and boundaries are lowerd and it's all in play now.

MU'97
MU'97

Well, the Big Ten has 12 teams and the Big XII has ten. so really no big deal.

a&mfan
a&mfan

Uh you started adding non southeastern states when you added LSU...

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I don't want to waste my energy with you so I'll just say go back to your little hellhole....the Big 12(8) or the Big Ten(12) or wherever that happens to be.

russ
russ

Texas and OU only own the DFW area...

A&M and LSU/Texas own the Houston area.

The rest of the state leans to Texas first...

MU'97
MU'97

The Texas "scraps" that Missouri has fought for and won include Chase Daniel, Sean Weatherspoon, Danario Alexander and Ziggy Hood, who are all in the NFL now. I agree that there are good recruits everywhere, and Missouri will likely expand into those places while keeping Texas ties, but don't undervalue the Texas recruiting beds. The state produces more good players than Texas and A & M have slots for

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

They are just trying to make more money for themselves when the inevitable does happen. The same reason why Neinas claimed that Missouri wasn't going to leave until 2013, and their leaving would force them to add 3 teams to replace them whereas if they remained, the league would stay at 10. Building a public case to go after a larger exit fee, a bigger check to hand over to Oklahoma and Texas.

Milo Moon
Milo Moon

Do you really think and extra $5 million is going to stop a school from leaving to the B12, SEC or ACC. That school would make three times that the first year in their new conference.

D-Ram
D-Ram

I understand it would shift for what the landscape is now, but it's always cyclical. If Bama were in the East, they might not be scheduled to play LSU in the regular season which would set up an incredible SEC Championship game. UT, UGA, Auburn, FL are all down this year. 2 to all may be down for the next 3 years. Arkansas is coming up and A&M is having a strong year. LSU always. I think it makes more sense to look at what's better long term. You can look at basketball as an example too. The West used to be so much stronger than the East (except UK) and now it's changed-especially with the non-division format now. But the point remains, it's cyclical. The cream always rises and the hope is that it rises to the SEC Championship Game in Dec with 25 million sets of eyes watching.

Milo Moon
Milo Moon

The only issue with that divisional line up is you have unbalanced the power in the divisions. Since the early 70's there have only been 6 schools when a football championship; LSU, Bama, Burn, UGA, UF and UT. Plus those six schools are also the schools that have won National Championship and BCS bowls. Right now you have three in each division. If you move Bama and Burn to the east, then that division would have 5 out of the 6 traditional powers, and the west would be left with LSU. While Ark is rising, A&M should be strong in the future, and no one can predict what Mizzou can do, right now that split would unbalance the league.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

The only problem with that is that you really shift most of the conference's football power into one division. It screws up the competitive balance.

borodore
borodore

Not that anyone really cares, but for Vandy fans the UK rivalry is almost as large as the UT rivalry. It's by far the second biggest game of the year in football and the biggest in basketball.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

The SEC West would henceforth be known as the LSU invitational while the East would become a veritable death march.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Willie!T...

We've mentioned that on this site as well, but the SEC's athletic directors continue to say an 8-game schedule is the goal. And we believe them... for now. But goals change. Goals sometimes can't be hit.

We believe a 9-game schedule is likely on the way at some point.

Thanks for reading,
John

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

If you move Auburn to the East and only have one cross division rival then you either lose the UT game or the Iron Bowl. That's what the discussion has been about.

skillet
skillet

Those Texas ties are done. The draw was Texas kids having the ability to play games in state and against the schools that didn't offer them. The draw of the SEC isn't going to draw those kids to Missouri over other SEC programs that will recruit them.

A perfect example is Arkansas. 25 years ago their roster had a 25-35 Texas players. These days they have less than 10. They rebuilt with in-state talent and from other SEC states. Missouri is going to have to do the same thing.

AGator
AGator

I see a few problems with your suggestion. Both UF and Auburn want to play UGA every year. Auburn-Georgia is the oldest rivalry in the SEC and Georgia is Florida's only conference rivalry game that's left. One of those rivalries would be lost. Arkansas probably wants to play LSU and A&M every year and could only have one as a permanent game.

Someone else suggested NW and SE divisions as follows:

SE - USC, UGA, UF, Auburn, Bama, Ole Miss, MSU
NW - Ky, Tenn, Vandy, Mo, Ark, LSU, A&M

The only drawback I see is that both Mississippi schools probably want to play LSU every year.

JSHD
JSHD

There are all roughly in the southeast quadrant of the United States.

Razorback
Razorback

I'm always surprised by the amount of people who think Arkansas isn't Southern. If there is a fan base in the conference that can relate to all of the SEC members, it's the Razorbacks. While Fayetteville in the extreme Northwestern part of the state with close proximity to Oklahoma and Missouri, ALL of Arkansas adores the Hogs. The Northern hill country is similar to Tennessee and Kentucky while the Delta is like Mississippi and Alabama. When down in the timber-country you'd think you were in Georgia or South Carolina. When you wonder a little further to the Southern swamp-land, the gators hidden beneath the waters let you know that Louisiana is just down the road.

In our own game of life, many of us believe that relationships don't work out because we are destined to be with another. That is the way we feel about our former ties with the Texas schools. We have found our true home in the SEC and are tired of others telling us we're not the right fit becuase they have never visited the numerous parts of our diverse state.

storm74
storm74

LSU was not added. They were a founding member of the SEC. And technically Baton Rouge is in the southeast.

houstonvol
houstonvol

Plus the increase in exit fees are based upon the conference expanding. If the conference does not expand, the fees do not increase. In otherwords if the B12 poach L'ville and WVU next week, then they will only have to pay $5million. The increase in fees was just putting lipstick on a pig.

D-Ram
D-Ram

The SEC West is the current death march. It's cyclical. Nothing is perfect.

Willie!T
Willie!T

Yep. Brain-fart on that post. I don't know what I was thinking!

UofA72
UofA72

Less than 10? Arkansas currently has 19 Texas players on their roster per the 2011 media guide.

When they left the SWC their Texas recruiting dropped for at least 2 reasons. One, the entire Southeast opened up, and there are more good players in that footprint than in Texas. They picked up better players elsewhere instead of the lesser Texas players. Two, the head coaches we had for awhile had more contacts in the other SEC states than in Texas. Since Petrino, we have multiple recruits from Arizona, California, Virginia, and several other states. We even have one from Canada.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"They rebuilt with in-state talent and from other SEC states."

Ummm ... excuse me, but Texas is an SEC state now! That is a major difference. After Arkansas left the SWC, how often were Arkansas games shown in Texas on TV? Now that A&M is in the SEC, the Lone Star State will be bombarded with SEC national and regional games. Arkansas games being shown in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia on regional TV is how the Razorbacks were able to recruit in those areas. Keep in mind: the first choice of games and the second choice of games will be shown on CBS and ESPN nationally. But the third choice of games - often very good games - are only shown regionally in SEC states. Now that Texas is an SEC state, they'll get the same "SEC game of the week" on local TV that is now shown in Alabama, Florida, Georgia ... everywhere else. And that will put Texas recruits in Missouri. (And Arkansas. And Louisiana. And Ole Miss. And Mississippi State. And Auburn. And Vanderbilt ... now do you see why Texas was so dead set against A&M joining the SEC?)

AnswersInBooks
AnswersInBooks

I prefer the North/South setup as follows with cross-divisional provided next to them.

North - South
Kentucky - MSU
Vandy - Ole Miss
Tennessee- Florida
Mizzou - Texas A&M
Arkansas - South Carolina
Auburn - Georgia
Alabama - LSU

Or, even simpler, move Mississippi St to the East.

Dtr
Dtr

Southeastern United States - "Most publications and the general population of the Southern United States generally agree that the region comprises Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The Association of American Geographers defines the southeastern United States as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia."

-source: wikipedia

a&mfan
a&mfan

"Texas kids aren't suddenly rushing to the SEC because of a game against A&M or the 'SEC game of the week.'" Well let's look at the facts shall we. A&M ranked 27th in recruiting in the month of may. Rumors swirl there going to the SEC than BOOM! ranked 6th according to rivals... Don't tell me this has no impact at all to Texas. There's a reason there trying to kill the rivalry between them and A&M.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

And all these teams will now be playing games in that state. It's a very different animal when a team from your state is actually in the league with the teams that are wanting to get recruits out of your state.

You can't point to Arkansas or other past examples in this because a team from Texas has never been in the SEC before. We're going to see how all the new dynamics play out.

skillet
skillet

Good points, but two things I would disagree on...

First, Arkansas has far more exposure in Texas than they did when they left the SWC. I live in Dallas and there is a large slate of B12 and SEC games on every weekend. Yet the numbers of kids have gone down tremendously because they don't play games in the state. I don't think kids are going to change their mind because of the occasional SEC 'game of the week.'

Secondly, I don't think Texas cares about A&M joining the SEC from a recruiting standpoint. They are going to get pretty much the first pick of talent. Opening up the state brings eye balls from A&M fans, but it's not going to result in Texas, A&M (or for that matter OU) suddenly losing a bunch of kids to SEC schools.

Texas kids aren't suddenly rushing to the SEC because of a game against A&M or the 'SEC game of the week.'



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