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Mizzou Set To Explore Conference Options

The University of Missouri board of curators has unanimously voted to give chancellor Brady Deaton “the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation and contracts related there to which best serve the interest of The University of Missouri-Columbia.”

And somewhere, Chuck Neinas just threw up in his mouth a little bit.

Deaton said after the meeting that he will not comment on the SEC and will not discuss timelines.  He also said that MU has been given no deadline for committing fully to the Big 12.

And somewhere, Kenneth Starr just threw up in his mouth a little bit.

The takeaway from all of this?  Deaton wanted the Big 12 to survive.  That much he’d made clear.  But the board thought it would be best to explore its options.  Either a) Mizzou will now begin its march to the SEC in earnest or b) Mizzou has just used its leverage to try and force Texas to yield in some areas relating to its Longhorn Network.

Buyout talk — which started around $30 million for Texas A&M — has actually been kicked around as being $40 million for Missouri, should the school exit the Big 12.

Big 12 administrators and Neinas — the league’s interim commissioner — have said that their league would be viable with or without Missouri.  That likely sounds good to Mike Slive and company.  But don’t rule out Baylor’s president Starr when it comes to firing out some sort of punitive lawsuit should A&M and Mizzou both wind up in the SEC.

Finally, as we suggested this morning, Deaton has indeed resigned his post as the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.

 


67 comments
Willie!T
Willie!T

Mizzou is a great add for the SEC and I too hope the MU leadership reaches out for Mike Slive's hand. He'll gladly accept and the SEC will welcome the Tigers, along with the Aggies in 2013!

Slive will want to stop at 14 - he knows the current format has served the SEC very well for 19 years and with 14, will be well served for another 5-10 years. This move won't solidify his legacy and his ego will take a hit when the PAC12 or BigTen expands to 16. With a little luck though, neither of those conferences will pick up the keys to the kingdom.

Joe
Joe

Financially, Missouri is the better pick. But from an SEC fan, WVU is more fun to play against as they are more competitive. Missouri will move to the SEC and not have much success. WVU will move to the Big 12 and have success.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Didn't WVU just get rolled at home against an SEC team? Isn't Mizzou 4-0 their last 4 games against the SEC?

I guess facts don't come into play when you are just trying to throw sh#t against the wall to see what sticks.

bnofal
bnofal

Mr. SEC - A few WVU blogs I have read today are reporting that Slive was in Morgantown meeting with WVU officials, and these blogs are reporting that WVU to the SEC is basically a "done deal", it's just a matter of the lawyers negotiating the exit fee down to get out of the BE. Have you heard anything about this, and what are your thoughts? I'm just curious, I'm an FSU fan, and was really hoping we'd be in the picture somewhere, but if we are, it's certainly a very well kept secret! Thanks for keeping us all updated, and keep up the great work! Love your site! =)

UofA72
UofA72

WVU has to negotiate an exit fee as small as the Big East's when the SEC payout is so much more? Doesn't sound like a credible story.

Minnemo
Minnemo

WDE.... The Big 10 screwed up. NU lost its AAU membership after they were accepted to the conference. They are the only non AAU member. Plus I don't think UMC ever applied for Big 10 membership, that was a wish of the Governor.

JEH
JEH

Mizzou fan here. Spent this evening mapping out road trips with family/friends. Oxford in '07 was a blast, and the drives to all of SEC West country along w/ kentucky/tennessee schools look appealing. So very proud of our admin for stepping up and doing what's right for Mizzou (tired of being 2nd class citizen in our own conference). We'll do our best to carry that SEC banner high & just ask that the SEC fans give us a fair shot ala USC & ARKY not all that long ago. A&M and Mizzou WILL prove to be excellent additions across the board.
Come on MU administrators...finish the game!
M - I - Z - S - E - C

SuperLord
SuperLord

WDE your 'most intriguing game' shenanigan is actually a good reason to add Mizzou as opposed to FSU. You find the FSU match-ups more interesting because you are already a hardcore SEC fan. FSU doesn't expand the SEC footprint or add new fans to the scene. You never pander to the voters who are going to vote for you no matter what. The same applies in television markets, and in turn, more money.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

The SEC has never been about being a conference with a national representation. What I mean by that is, unlike the ACC and Pac 12, we don't stretch across the entire country. We have a geographically compact conference with rabid football fans and passion. Our schools are good brands. This is part of the reason that the SEC is the only school to have a dedicated network (CBS) showing a game nationally every week. We don't have teams out west or in the NE, yet the SEC commands top dollar because of the brands it puts on the field. FSU fits with the equation that has been successful for the SEC while Missouri does not.

John
John

FSU is a better fit athletically, Mizzou is a better fit in every other respect. FSU is staying in the ACC, Mizzou is coming to SEC. Next...

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Apparently not, because the SEC waited to add a 14th team for weeks due to Mizzou.

Gator39
Gator39

Florida State is the best fit for the SEC. Missouri's desire to leave the Big 12 is due in large part to the revenue sharig system that's currently in place in the Big 12 in which most of the money goes to the heavyweights Texas and Oklahoma. If Missouri is such a hot commodity for the SEC, why aren't they one in the Big `12? Missouri needs the SEC far more that the SEC needs Missouri.

Gator39
Gator39

MIZ-SEC

Of the six million residents who live in the state of Missouri how many of those do you think really care about Missouir Tiger athletics or the university period? Just becasue a school is located in your state doesn't mean that all residents of that state care anything about that university. That in of itself is a ridiculous point you made. As for academics, whether or not a school is an AAU member means nothing at all. Theese conference realignments are driven by football period. Academics despite what those hypicritical university presidents would have yout to believe doesn't matter . If the SEC wants to add an AAU member they can do that by simply adding Tulane.

Gator39
Gator39

From an athletics standpoint in the sports that matter most football and to a lesser extent basketball (could care less about the women's softball team, etc) Missouri over the years has been average at best. Missouri has a difficult time just keeping the best high school talent in state. The best players in Missouri have traditionally gone out of state to Oklahma, Nebraska and to the Big Ten schools and the best basketball players tend to go schools like KU. Sure the football team has had some recent success under Gary Pinkel, but even with that their celing is about 7-5, 8-4.

If the SEC must expand the school that makes most sense is Florida State. You get a national program that draws in all 50 states and would add much more value to the SEC in the long run than some some middle of the pack mediocre midwest school like Missouri.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

Well said Gator. Missouri has not won a conference title since 1969. Their football program has long been mediocre and if they can't win a conference like the Big 12, how do they expect to win in the SEC? At least Texas A&M has a huge recruiting base to fix their issues. MU does not.

Which games are more intriguing: MU-Alabama, MU-Auburn, MU-LSU or FSU-Alabama, FSU-Auburn, FSU-LSU? FSU is the better fit for the SEC.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

That extremely debatable. Second doesn't mean good either. Missouri will never win a divisional title if they come to the SEC. You can take that to the bank. There's not a BCS conference that Missouri football could win. Perhaps a move to Conference USA would be beneficial.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Dude you really are clueless. The Big 12 has arguably been the second best football conference over the last 10 years.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

The Big 12 is a weak conference. If it wasn't, you wouldn't have so many teams defecting from it. OU has owned that conference. Ask OU how it feels to play an SEC team. MU has won a "fair number of conference titles?" They haven't won a football conference title since 1969. MU has one basketball title in the Big 12. I would hardly call that a fair number of conference titles. Plus, on a more lighthearted note, we can't possibly have three schools called the Tigers in the conference.

Mizzou fan in Texas
Mizzou fan in Texas

The Big 12 is not a weak conference, they have won a fair number of conference titles, and they make a strong addition to "your" conference. Though I doubt many in the know who make decisions for the SEC would claim you.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

You can name call all you want, but you have failed to make your argument. In a post above you dismissed the Director's Cup standings and said this is all about football. Well, who is the better football brand? Missouri or Florida State? I think you know the answer to that. MU hasn't won a conference title since 1969 even while playing in a rather weak Big 12. If they can't win the Big 12, how do they expect to win the SEC? Their fan base and stadium are also not on par with SEC standards. Again, adding to the footprint is a failure if the school does live up to the standards set by the Southeastern Conference. MU may add to the footprint, but they do not bring a strong brand to the SEC.

TheLord
TheLord

Skewed, biased, done discussing with you.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

@TheLord, with that logic, why take Texas A&M. People in Texas have numerous D-1 football schools to root for. It isn't just about expanding the footprint. Value must come too. TAMU expands the footprint and brings an overall great athletic program. FSU would bring an overall great athletic program. MU hasn't won a conference title since 1969. Their national brand is very poor and are a poor cultural fit for the SEC. I wish MU nothing but the best, but I don't want them in the SEC.

TheLord
TheLord

Missouri is actually in something of a rare position with its 6 million population, Mizzou is the only relevant college athletic program in the state. Sure, there are pro sports, but there is nothing competing for those college sports fans in the state. So I don't think it is nearly as unreasonable to assume a high percentage of them are in fact Mizzou fans. Compare that to say, Florida State, where the fans are split amongst Florida, Florida State, Miami, and to a lesser extent South Florida. You get the picture...

Minnemo
Minnemo

@wdbammer. Not sure any major land grant school wants to be part of a conference with religiious and city universities.

BamaWahoo
BamaWahoo

Baylor. Boston College. Pitt. Miami. SMU (for many years).

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

I really think the SEC is making a mistake if they offer Missouri membership. Missouri does not have an overall good athletics program and their fans are not going to travel to SEC venues. Fayetteville is the closest and that is a 5+ hour drive away from Columbia. Missouri is a Midwestern school, with a Midwestern culture that doesn't belong in the SEC.

Additionally, plucking Missouri from the Big 12 will force a great realignment that the SEC doesn't want. If Mizzou leaves for the SEC, the Big 12 likely calls West Virginia, Louisville, and either TCU or Cincinnati to replace the schools who left the conference. That means the Big East is dead and Notre Dame will be off to the ACC along with UConn. A 16 team ACC with ND in it will command higher television revenues than the SEC and would likely have a higher payout per team than the SEC. In my opinion, that is a nightmare scenario for Mike Slive.

I will say it again and folks may not like it, but Florida State should be the SEC's choice for school #14. They have rabid football fans (like the SEC) and an overall quality athletics program which is ranked in the top 10 of the Director's Cup standings. FSU draws very high national television ratings and should be a good piece of the puzzle for a new TV deal. Adding FSU would keep the Big 12 intact and would likely mean that UConn goes to the ACC as team 14. This would keep the 800 lb gorilla (ND) out of the game for now and I think that would be helpful for the SEC.

John
John

Notre Dame is not an 800 lb gorilla. They mattered when white Catholics were competitive at college football, but that's not that case anymore. Plus, South Bend sucks and no Southerner (that's where the talent is) is gonna move up there to play for them. The Irish are officially a has-been.

TheLord
TheLord

WDE, Florida State has no reason to leave the ACC for the SEC. Simply because the SEC is the best football conference does not make it the best all around conference. The ACC is looking quite attractive these days for a number of reasons (stability, basketball, high academic standard, tons of money, and even some moderate football). ACC is a BCS conference, why would Florida State leave a landscape they can thrive in for one they likely won't? Plus, that $20 million exit fee will stop any lingering desire on the part of FSU. Oh, and finally, Florida doesn't want that, and if Florida doesn't want that, it isn't happening.

Furthermore, you are overstating the few shortcomings Mizzou has. It's a good addition, great addition if you consider what is truly available out there for the SEC to grab.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

From what I have read, it is pretty clear FSU has been positioning itself to take an SEC offer if available. FSU is the only ACC school to flat out deny interest in leaving for the SEC, unlike VT and Clemson. The university president also argued for the ACC to keep the buyout limited at $20 million when the conference wanted $34 million. They had no reason to do either of those things if they weren't interested in leaving for the SEC. ACC payout is also $5 million less than the SEC. I don't think adding Pitt and Syracuse will make up that $5 million gap. Only team that could close the gap is ND.

safety guy
safety guy

look for Mizzou to join the SEC. The not so Big East and the used to be Big 12 will merge to form a conference. Notre Dame and texas will play as football independents and will play the rest of their sports in the merged conference. This way, the loghorn network can become a more viable money making venture. Both texas and Notre Dame will be able to fill out their football schedule with "non-conference" games against the merged conference teams so the OU-texas game will still be played. Perhaps the A&M-texas game will be played as well. Baylor and Iowa St will be happy because they will continue to be in a BCS conference and will actually have some good basketball potential. Lawsuit will not happen because the cost in time and money will dampen the new conference..

MIZ-SEC
MIZ-SEC

This is a great day for Mizzou and our fans couldn't be happier. Thanks for the great coverage of realignment Mr. SEC, this site will be bookmarked by me and many others in Mizzou Nation from now on. Can't wait to make it official!

Rufus
Rufus

I wouldn't jump the gun so quickly there, partner. Missouri could just be bluffing here, looking to force Texas to give up more, or hoping that by "exploring other options" the Big 10, where they are a better fit culturally and academically, might come a'calling.

MIZ-SEC
MIZ-SEC

You can worry about "jumping the gun" all you want, but Mizzou insiders have been unanimous on this the entire time. Mizzou is going to the SEC. It is done.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Mizzou wouldn't be the 3rd best. They would rank 6th or 7th when you include the addition of A&M. They do increase the average ranking of SEC schools and they have AAU membership, however, which means they are certainly a good addition when it comes to academics.

Blue Dog
Blue Dog

Oh well indeed. Be prepared to face it whether you like it or not. Again, that's IF your Midwestern school is accepted into the SEC

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

This argument doesn't make much sense to me as Missouri has better academics than Nebraska. NU was also just booted out of the AAU, making them the only school in the Big Ten to lack AAU membership.

zouguy3
zouguy3

The word you are looking for is "accepts." And there is a reason the Big 10 didn't want Mizzou: it couldn't quite come to terms with Mizzou not matching up academically. The SEC is not the Big 10 academically, however, and this factor is irrelevant. Especially since Mizzou would be the third best school in the conference academically.

Milo Moon
Milo Moon

B10 expansion is all about money, and TV sets for the BTN. That is Mizzou's problem. The state of Missouri is full of B10 grads, especially the major markets. So adding Mizzou to the B10 would not deliver any additional funds. Where Nebraska did add a state that had low penetration of the BTN, but also a national brand that would help the BTN onto other cable systems nation wide. Mizzou will bring new TV markets to the SEC, and the future SEC network.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

You should ask yourself why the Big Ten snubbed its nose at Missouri a year ago when MU clearly wanted in. They had been pining for Big Ten membership for years and when the conference decides to expand, they took the stronger brand in Nebraska. The SEC should not be taking Big Ten rejects and will rue the day it excepts a Midwestern school into the conference.

TheLord
TheLord

WDE, The Director's Cup is somewhat of an irrelevant figure to use when all the world cares about is football, and to a lesser extent basketball. Both of which Mizzou has had enormous success in recent years (40 wins in football in four years and four NCAA bids in five years, not to mention an Elite 8 run and a Big XII title). I realize you aren't a Mizzou guy who doesn't want Mizzou to go to the SEC, but Mizzou is the best choice for your conference. I can also tell you don't watch much football since the Chiefs and Mizzou play on different days and baseball season doesn't touch too far into football season

TheLord
TheLord

billybib, are you arguing that Mizzou doesn't fit in the SEC because 'good ol' boys in Georgia' don't want them? I have seen some ignorant and misled arguments, but this might be the worst.

WDE>Bammer
WDE>Bammer

Mizzou having an all-around quality athletics program simply isn't accurate. They are ranked #41 in the Director's Cup standings. That would put them at 11/14 in the SEC and lower than several other potential SEC candidates. St. Louis and Kansas City are pro sports towns, so I highly doubt people will turn off Cardinals and Chiefs games to watch MU get demolished by LSU. I realize you are a Mizzou guy who wants to go to the SEC, but Mizzou is the wrong choice for our conference.

MIZ-SEC
MIZ-SEC

Gee, "Yankee" taunts. That will be a new one, since we've been taunted with "slavers" by the Big 12 for decades. Oh well.

billybib
billybib

Yeah, but the majority of SEC fans aren't Slive. We'll see how much the Mizzou fans enjoy being a part of the SEC (if they become part of it---the word of some Missouri football fan isn't exactly gold to those of us with an IQ above 100) when they get the constant "Yankee" taunts at away games. Some of those good ol' boys in Georgia who want to keep the SEC about Southeastern states are going to be mighty peeved.

MIZ-SEC
MIZ-SEC

Try and keep up. Mizzou has 6 million residents, 2 top 30 metro areas, a top 25 football program, all-around solid athletics, and is an AAU member. Mizzou is a great addition if you step back and look at it from a business perspective, instead of just like a knuckle dragger who is only focused on football. Luckily Slive is much, much, much smarter than you are.

Scott Reid
Scott Reid

When John finishes his expansion evaluations we should have a better idea whether Mizzou is a good fit or not for the SEC. At the very least the SEC will add a large footprint, solid academic institution and an athletic department that fields solid teams. It will also bring an accomplished basketball program to the fold.

Gator39
Gator39

Why is the SEC so interested in Missouri? IMO they bring nothing to the SEC. Kansas City is a KU town and St. Louis is pro sports market. I'd rather the SEC stay at 13 rather than add a mediocre program like Missouri.

BamaWahoo
BamaWahoo

John, when are you wrapping up the Expansion by the Numbers pieces? I'm enjoying them. Thank you.

D-Ram
D-Ram

Hey John,

This expansion stuff has really helped your site. The comments are blowing up on here. Nice coverage.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

D-Ram...

Thanks for the comments, but some of our most-read pieces get the fewest comments. Comments aren't a great way to judge readership. Just FYI.

But we certainly appreciate the compliment and your time spent here.

All the best,
John



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