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Mizzouri Meets; Rumors Swirl About WVU

Just a quick couple of notes on potential SEC expansion this morning.  We’ll turn west first.

Missouri’s board of curators will meet at 5pm ET in St. Louis and it’s expected to either announce that the school is all-in with the Big 12 or that the board has given chancellor Brady Deaton the power to look at all of Missouri’s realignment options.  If that happens, it seems likely that Deaton will have to remove himself from his role as chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.  How can a man explore other conferences while simultaneously trying to hold the Big 12 together?

While Missouri folks continue to debate the trustworthiness of the Big 12, the league’s interim commissioner Chuck Neinas continues to beat the “They’re Midwestern, not Southern” drum regarding the Tigers.  He has also stated that he believes Mizzou will stick around because the school sees how the league is working toward greater revenue-sharing and expansion.

“I do think they’ll consider what we’re doing,” Neinas said.  “We have some things in mind that I’m not prepared to reveal at this point.  We’re working in a positive way to improve the conference.”

“I think they have to look at not only what the future best interests are for the University of Missouri, but for the state of Missouri.  There’s a lot to be considered not only for the institution but for the state.  You know they have the Big 12 conference basketball tournament in Missouri, they’ve got the long-running games with the University of Kansas which is their traditional rivalry, going back to, what, 1893?  The other thing is it’s one thing to talk about the Southeastern Conference, but how many people are going to be able to afford the travel to Gainesville, Florida, or Columbia, South Carolina, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama?”

(Probably about the same number who could afford to travel to Provo, Utah, — the Big 12′s most rumored expansion candidate — to Lubbock, Texas and to Austin, Texas.)

When it comes to Big 12 expansion, Deaton is not the chairman of the Big 12′s expansion committee as had been previously reported by other sites.  At least not according to Neinas.  He still holds the chair for the board of directors — though he had to shoot down rumors he was abandoning that post last week.

But according to Neinas, Deaton has pulled back in some areas.  PowerMizzou.com — the Rivals site covering the Tigers — reports that MU’s chancellor took part in the recent board of directors meeting but “he recused himself from a certain part based on legal advice from his counsel.”  Neinas would not specify what topic Deaton avoided.

Meanwhile, to the east, messageboards are humming with rumors regarding a new West Virginia-to-the-SEC movement.  But those same boards were filled with ridiculous rumors last week that the Big 12 — a league that can’t seem to get its own ducks in a row — had given WVU a 48-hour window to join the league or else.

Former Mountaineer quarterback Major Harris was quoted yesterday as saying that he was “hearing a little buzz about the SEC” but “that’s just people talking.”  Could that be all it took to spawn the new chatter?  Possibly.

Speaking to a well-positioned source inside an SEC institution today, we have been told — again — that the SEC did not deny WVU’s entry into the league when the school reached out to conference brass last month.  But they weren’t bearhugged as Texas A&M was, either.

WVU remains a fallback choice due to the small population and small number of cable households inside its state borders.  Academics are also an issue with some presidents in the league.

However, if Missouri stays in the Big 12, the rest of the landscape stabilizes, and the SEC faces multiple years as a 13-school league… then WVU might become a lot more attractive.

If that occurs, expect the SEC to tout WVU’s fan passion, similar culture, and its close proximity to Pittsburgh and other major metro areas as part of its spin.

For now — from what we’re hearing — it’s Missouri or bust.  And the SEC isn’t sweating Mizzou’s decision.  West Virginia remains a deep fallback option.  The only other school that our sources continue to mention as a possibility is Florida State.

We trust our sources because they’ve been right in the past and because they’re coming from different areas of the league.  But when it comes to the many variables and politics involved in conference expansion, we wouldn’t be shocked if the SEC announced the addition of North Dakota State this afternoon.

 


88 comments
John J.
John J.

WVU will be a great fit for the SEC as we travel well to away games and if you would be able to view all the tv sets that are turned on in the state and elsewhere when WVU is on the air you will realize that WVU is very able to compete in the SEC eastern division and in fact would win it within three years after they are in the conference and the people of West Virginia loves the mountaineere as they are the only real game in the state of West virginia.

George
George

Here is the truth! WVU football spanked Georgia, Auburn, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, etc. etc. etc. and the list goes on and on. Our Basketball team made it to the final four only two short years ago. Our merchandise sales are in the top 15 nation wide! Oh yeah, our state is only one of three who has shown job growth and prosperity over the past 8 years. The SEC is a juggernaut conference.....no argument there. The ACC isn't. Simply put. When it comes to conference realignment, athletic program success is rarely taken into account. It is the almighty dollar.

Vance Ryder
Vance Ryder

Hello, I am an avid MIZZOU fan and I root for several of the teams in the SEC, mostly Alabama, LSU and even Arkansas. The opinion of our fan base is that we would love to be part of the SEC, in a recent poll over 95% choose the SEC over the Big 12 and B1G. Just thought I would stop in, say hi and offer a sane viewpoint in all this crazy realignment stuff.

Stan Cardwell
Stan Cardwell

just a very big issue - i don't know how you minimize shifting the SEC west by two teams. Is there any good scenario for maintaining the iron bowl if AU and Bama have to move to different divisions and if the game can be maintained (on Thanksgiving? dicey if they have to play each other again a week later) and how happy will GA and Tenn be at losing their big game with AU and Bama? moving Vandy west to be able to bring both AU and Bama east? can't you hear the whole traditional southeast falling into the Atlantic with the power teams comprising a monstrous east division and leaving LSU to hold down the western fort?

am I missing some way to make traditional games stand if SEC brings in two teams from the west of current SEC country

Vt says they only date ACC boys. Who else will you invite to the dance from the east?

John Daniels
John Daniels

The proper move for the SEC is WVU in the East.

Medloh
Medloh

Mizzou did not get what they wanted. They wanted Texas to agree to not show HS football highlights on LHN and some sharing Tier 3 revenues (LHN). Texas said no way. Mizzou decided to explore their options, and hopefully GTFO of the BigTU.

Darren Beanard
Darren Beanard

I have a hard time believing that anyone wants Mizzou after their wishy-washy back and forth sloshing around with the SEC and Big 12.
Last week, they got everything they wanted from the Big 12. New commish, equal money, everything. So, they say, 'ok Big 12, where in.'
Now, Mizzou says, 'wait minute, we liked the view sitting on the fence so much, we're going to climb back up there again.'

John Daniels
John Daniels

You are right. No one except the Big 12 wants Mizzou. If someone wanted them they would be there. They have made that much clear.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

They don't have equal money in the Big 12. It looks like 1st and 2nd Tier rights are going to be split evenly, but Texas is not playing ball with 3rd Tier rights.

Darren Beanard
Darren Beanard

FSU will never be in the SEC. Period. No ACC team will make that move so you can rule out VT, VA, Clemson, and anyone else from the ACC. The reason is money. An ACC team would be stupid to make the jump to the SEC right now.
The exit fee for the ACC is $20 million. The difference in revenue between the ACC and SEC is only about 3 to 4 million. that means it would take at least 6 years to recoup the ACC exit fee by jumping over. Add to that the lawyers fees and other legal fees, you have a debt that could take 10 years or more to pay back. To do what? To make what some might argue is a near lateral move in athletics, given that any prestige gained from moving to SEC football would be offset by the loss of prestige in SEC basketball. SEC basketball is no where near what ACC basketball is and is about to become. It just isn't worth it to move from the ACC to the SEC.
Additionally, the ACC will likely have as much revenue as the SEC in coming years when new contracts are worked out given what the ACC has just done to bolster their market value.

andshar
andshar

Your comments are right for many ACC teams but not all. FSU badly wants to join the SEC. If the SEC or another conference invited them, that conference would help with the exit fee. The SEC specifically is expanding for the sole purpose of renegotiating their TV deals. A lot of schools would love to join the SEC because the SEC will end up with the most lucarative TV deal in the long run. The reason is that the SEC is clearly the premiere football conference and football brings in the most bucks.

andshar
andshar

As I tried to explain, this isn't about the quality of football or the enthusiasm of the fans, its primarily about TV money. Missouri has 3 times as many people as West Virginia and the average income is higher. More viewers with more money means advertisers pay more to TV channels which in turn pay more to the conference. Its also about exclusivity. SEC schools don't want in-state competition. Florida is blocking FSU, So. Carolina is blocking Clemson, etc. I agree that WVU, FSU and a few others make more sense from a football perspective than Mizzou, but that's not what's driving SEC expansion.

drummerhoff
drummerhoff

Someone explain to me why Mike Slive would take a Mizzou program that Jim Delany rejected? Since when does the SEC take leftovers from anyone, let alone the Big10's???

I don't believe any of this Mizzou hype. They are a middling athletic program that is quintessential 'Big12 North' weak.
Slive famously said, "I can get to 16 in 15 minutes". He's not sitting around waiting for a program the was rejected by his top competitor.

Cary
Cary

Why is MIZZOU better than WVU? Somebody explain this to me. Seriously. Thank you.

NDSU2SEC
NDSU2SEC

I like the idea of North Dakota State, but I hear you can't get ND State without also taking North Dakota!

andshar
andshar

The SEC didn't need to expand. They chose to expand so they could renegotiate theirTV deal. They have either done their own research or talked to ESPN, etc. directly about which additional schools would maximize a new deal. As a football fan, I agree that a few other schools might make for better football than Mizzou but Mizzou must have better demographics. Anyway, the SEC already has plenty of good football. If Mizzou goes to the SEC as now looks likely with the Chancellor's vote, the BIG "12" will respond and likely go after Big East and/or ACC schools to build back up, probably to 12. Then the BE and ACC will have to respond. It should be an interesting few weeks.

drummerhoff
drummerhoff

When is someone going to point out the obvious: Mizzou athletics is second rate and doesn’t sell locally, regionally or nationally.

Why would the SEC water down their prime time product with the “Winter’s Bone” of the college football world?

JEH
JEH

YES YES YES...

M - I - Z

S - E - C

Alan
Alan

Missouri Board of Curators gave Deaton full permission to pursue changing conference affiliation

John Daniels
John Daniels

That is irrelevant. The SEC does not want them.

rmft
rmft

Looks like the WV fans are back in full force to convince all how awesome their Tier 3 school really is

its 3 weeks ago all over again

John Daniels
John Daniels

And what pathetic school did you attend? Did you even go to college?

Pudge
Pudge

How awesome would LSU be on a WVU budget? Or, how well would WVU do on an LSU budget. That game was all about the 'haves' vs the 'have nots' and the 'have nots' didn't do too bad at all until the end of the 3rd quarter. That is were the extra millions in the athletic budget kicked in.

mizzou mike
mizzou mike

if you guys want to watch what the future holds the conference is on KOMU.com .

Stan Cardwell
Stan Cardwell

mr sec, you add a lot of you own bias to the articles. in fact most of the news here is your news and opinions. glad you're not the one making the call.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stan Cardwell...

What bias did I add. I stated that my opinions were formed by sources across the SEC, two of which I spoke to this morning.

If you don't believe me or my sources, that's fine and dandy. But I'll invite you to find another site on the web that was saying 18 months ago that A&M and Missouri would be good SEC fits.

John

Stan Cardwell
Stan Cardwell

this last article contains more commentary by you than source quotes and your objective factors series selectively omitted other data that could have been added to what was an attempt to be unbiased.

what data? - ability to expand a stadium after admittance to SEC (not just current seating), bowl attendance, using Director's Cup (which is weighed to schools that fund more sports) as a factor when this is all about football, using USNews and World report rankings as objective data (which it's not) and excluding other sources of academic excellence and/or not recognizing schools mission in academics, school size and number of alumni to predict TV sets, using states as boundaries rather than choosing a radius around the school, claiming a whole state for a school even though there are often multiple Div 1 schools that divide the population . . .

i applaud your attempt to offer facts in the midst of all this madness. but selective facts can produce any result you like.

that being said, we all have our blind spots - so do you.

it shows up whether you want to admit it or not.

i've got my biases too.

and why is Mizzou such a good fit? based on the factors you deem most important. i asked below how the SEC will figure out how to bring in two teams into the West and not mess with traditional rivalries - huge for this conference.

wheresthecredibility
wheresthecredibility

leatherhelmet blog suggests otherwise, WVU IS ALREADY IN!

John Daniels
John Daniels

It is just a matter of proper announcement time. Too much controversy right now. Let it all settle down and we'll see the announcement. The SEC does not want to be seen as predatory like the scumbags in the ACC.

frank
frank

IF WVU has a chance to go to big 12 they better grab it becuse they arent going to get into ACC or SEC OR BIG 10 so unless they want to stay in big east that the big 12 is there only chance.

John Daniels
John Daniels

Completely wrong. The SEC wants us and we want the SEC. Go back to living under you bridge.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

I have to agree with everyone on here. I would hardly call West Virginia a fallback school. If we're talking about schools that WANT to join the SEC, they would probably be second behind Missouri. Lets be honest. Does anyone here want Missouri over FSU, Virginia Tech, or UNC? Heck no. But those schools don't want to come to the SEC. We can make a 50 part series on all the schools out there all day long. The problem is you have to pick from the best choices available. Well, tell me someone better then West Virginia, after Missouri? Great athletic program and a very passionate fan base. They play in a small college campus like the rest of the sec, but Morgantown is only 60 miles south of Pitsburgh. Pittsubrgh is a huge WV market and would add a lot of tv's. So west virginia already has 2 of 3 major points needed for entry(quality of athletic department, Academics, tv markets). SO If Mizzou turns down the SEC today and says they're staying in the Big 12, the SEC would be stupid not to take west virginia. Unless FSU, UNC, or Virginia Tech gives Birmingham a call.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I agree that WVU is a good quality selection. From purely a fan's perspective I would rather have WVU over Mizzou. If the question is how many cable subscribers an SEC Network could get then the SEC will go after Missouri if they can get them. I'm not so certain though that West Virginia wouldn't be a more lucrative long term option.

WVU would supply about a third of the local cable subscribers that Mizzou would, but much like the Big Ten Network there is going to be national distribution with any SEC Network. If the BTN can get on cable and satellite outlets in the Southeast then I'm sure the SEC Network can get on outlets in other parts of the country as well. As has been discussed, whether those subscribers on the national level or the local level are watching the network or not doesn't matter. Well, actually that's only half right.....

The BTN gets a large portion of its revenue from the subscription rates themselves, but a roughly equal portion of the revenue comes from ad sales. And we all know that in the TV business in order to generate the maximum amount of revenue for ad sales you have to have good ratings. So the question becomes "what ratings can you get within the new SEC footprint as well as on the national level?" I haven't run any numbers and I'm not privy to all the stats, but I do know that you see WVU on national TV a lot more than you see Mizzou. I also looked at the merchandise sales people have been talking about. There may be more up to date rankings, but this comes from USA Today and is complied for the FY ending in June 2010. I didn't want to post a link, but here is the top 25.

The top 25: 1. Texas, 2. Alabama, 3. Florida, 4. LSU, 5. North Carolina, 6. Georgia, 7. Michigan, 8. Kentucky, 9. Penn State, 10. Oklahoma, 11. Notre Dame, 12. Tennessee, 13. West Virginia, 14. Nebraska, 15. Auburn, 16. Wisconsin, 17. Kansas, 18. Missouri, 19. Florida State, 20. Arkansas, 21. Texas A&M, 22. Illinois, 23. South Carolina, 24. Texas Tech, 25. Clemson.

Ohio St, USC, and Iowa are not on the list because they are not contracted with the CLC so you could probably throw all those in the top 25 if this was a comprehensive list. The vast majority of schools are contracted with the CLC though so you can see this list is pretty accurate.

I find it interesting that WVU ranks 5 spots ahead of Mizzou, but it also ranks ahead of Nebraska. Nebraska, as we have heard, was chosen for the Big Ten not because their state is largely populated, but because they are a great national draw. I wouldn't say that WVU is as big a national draw as Nebraska and honestly I don't know how the average ratings of the 2 schools compare. I would love to see the ratings on all the national TV broadcasts. I have to say though that WVU seems to bring in a lot of fan support not just from the state of West Virginia, but in other parts of the country as well.

I think we should also consider that the SEC will renegotiate its 1st and 2nd Tier rights one of these days and you will always make more money with teams that draw the larger audiences. Seeing as any team that is added to the SEC will receive a bump in the quality of its program then I have to say any benefit Mizzou or WVU would receive from being in the SEC will probably be a wash.

I understand the argument that adding Mizzou makes more money from new local cable subscriptions, but my guess is that WVU makes more money in the long term.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

just read a report on the georgia bulldogs sites that leaked out from the sec saying the conference wants to stay away from missouri. that there are to many legal issues and the sec doesn't want to be the cause of the big 12 breaking up. THis would make a lot of sense. One reason Baylor laid off, was OU staying. If someone like OU decided to leave,because Mizzou now leaves; it could bring lawsuits back up against A&M. I wouldn't be shocked if this is 100 percent true, because the SEC wasn't even going to take A&M until all legal issues were cleared up.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Well, you never know about these internet reports, but I think we'll know a lot more when the Missouri Board of Curators make some sort of announcement after their meeting.

Mendham Mountie
Mendham Mountie

Explain this... for school in a state with a small TV footprint (1,800,00 people).....

WV has the highest rated Thursday night game on ESPN ever (2006 vs the Ville) & the highest rated Friday night game on ESPN ever (2008 vs Pitt) Someone is watching.

WV #1 export ...people are fans are everywhere!!

John Daniels
John Daniels

As I mentioned previously, We have had to spread out like Notre Dame fans. The Mountaineer Nation is everywhere.

rmft
rmft

because it was the ONLY game on TV that night?

real games are played on Saturday, not thursday. Thursday is for the JV games

Pudge
Pudge

Folks are watching. That is the point. Put Rutgers vs Duke on there and see who watches... even though it is the only game on.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Because people don't understand Morgantown is really PA not WV. It's right on the border. Pittsburgh is a major market and is only 60 miles away. A ton of West Virginia fans live in Pittsburgh. Yet most people can't figure this out. They look at a map and say, how many tv's are in the state of West Virginia? They don't consider the fact that Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and VIrginia are all right there.

Fix'd
Fix'd

Because people don't understand Auburn is really GA not AL. It's right on the border. Atlanta is a major market and is only 80 miles away. A ton of Auburn fans live in Atlanta. Yet most people can't figure this out. They look at a map and say, how many tv's are in the state of Alabama? They don't consider the fact that Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina are all right there.

dcpowergator
dcpowergator

That is my experience as well. However, expansion for the SEC is being considered in terms of a future SEC Network containing the Tier 3 broadcast rights that are currently owned by each of the member schools. A network receives money based on the number of subscribers that receive it, whether or not anybody actually watches it. Not very fair but that's how it is.

Missouri has 6 million people, WV has 1.8. Even if you throw in the entire Pittsburgh MSA for another 2.3 million, you still have nearly 2 million fewer bodies than the state of Missouri and that is before adding any out of state areas that are relevant to Missouri such as southern Illinois and the Kansas portion of the KC metro area.

WVUFan12
WVUFan12

Ok, so I'm currently going to WVU, origionally from just outside Uconn's main campus. The LSU game this year was incredible, great atmosphere and overall good game. I was completely disappointed with the result but hey, Geno went out there and showed that we could absolutely hang in with SEC schools, I could garuntee that if we get into the SEC, we can absolutely be competitive in football, and would provide a great season in basketball. Its just wierd to think that the Big East I've grown up with is collapsing, when you figure that just 4 years ago, we had two different Big East teams reach #2 in the country 3 times. I personally am just sick of hearing that WVU doesn't give a big TV market, fact of the matter is that we bring a good football product, passionate fans, and an entire state's support. I mean, yes, we burn couches, which isn't condoned by the local public, but hey, we don't go around like that wacko 'Bama fan and destroy other universities' property.

John Daniels
John Daniels

Couch burning is not un-condoned by a majority of us. We would love to have our old bonfire back and if you wanted to throw a couch on, then so be it. What do other schools do when they have bonfires, are their any left? The bonfire was a great tradition and easy way to dispose of unwanted furniture. We have always taken what people look down on us for as a matter of pride, live here and see if you do any better.

Karen
Karen

I watch WV football/basketball as much as possible - but given that I live in Minneapolis, MN, I often have to watch games online. I'm really curious if folks are figuring in internet viewership when they are counting TV households.

John Daniels
John Daniels

They aren't. Are there many quality internet only shows? Until there are, internet stats won't count.



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