Wait.................why bury Missouri and think that its hands down the SEC is that much if any better than the Big 12. Look at Missouri this year since present is what all that really matters. The only teams that would beat Missouri would be LSU and Alabama. The others Missouri would probably be favored or a pickem. So why say they couldn't compete or place very well in the conference. Week in and Week out the Big 12 is ever bit as harsh a schedule as in the SEC. I am glad all are thinking Missouri is coming to be fodder like Kentucky, Vandy, Miss. St., Ole Miss, and Auburn of this year. Underestimate them and their defense and Mizzou will laugh its way to first in the West. Again thanks to Alabama for letting us go to the Weaker division. And in Basketball its a step down in what Missouri is used to facing game to game so that will be a nice transition for them in your conference.
And still we wait.
With Missouri trying to extricate itself from the Big 12 as painlessly as possible, those in the SEC are believed to be sitting back, waiting, and planning for what could be a 13- or 14-school athletic season in 2012-13.
The ball is in the court of the Big 12 and Mizzou. It’s likely for that reason that talk of expansion and Missouri has cooled in SEC circles. Not cooled in a negative way toward the Tigers, just cooled because there’s really nothing new to say.
Any leaks on the MU-Big 12 breakup are likely to come from the Show-Me-State of the state of Texas at this point. So what’s being said to the west?
1. Blair Kerkhoff of The Kansas City Star writes that Missouri will have to become “more NFL-like” if/when it lands in the Southeastern Conference. The writer believes that the Tigers will need to get more defensive in their approach.
“To me, proof positive came in the national title game for the 2008 season. Oklahoma, which had scored 60 points in each of its final five regular-season games, mustered 14 in a 10-point loss to Florida.
Strong defense and power running games win the SEC. This is not Missouri’s modus operandi.”
There’s one notable exception to that rule. Arkansas. Bobby Petrino’s spread offense is a pass-first attack with a complimentary ground game. And no one will confuse one of his Razorback defenses to date with the ’85 Bears.
As we’ve pointed out here before, if Gary Pinkel’s system can help 3-star players play like 4- and 5-star players — as is the case with Petrino’s — then Mizzou might be just fine as a passing-centric spread team.
(Sidenote — Tommy Tuberville — now at Texas Tech — tells Kerkhoff that the Big 12 has better quarterbacks and receivers, but the SEC has better linebackers.)
2. Jeff Gordon of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Tigers will have to recruit better, expand their football stadium from 70,000 to 85,000, and “boost the size of its fan base by another 25% or so” in order to compete in the SEC.
3. Vahe Gregorian — also of The Post-Dispatch — sums up the current wait in a short, poorly headlined post. “Mizzou still awaits word from the SEC,” is the title to the piece, implying that Mike Slive’s league has teased MU to the point of leaving the Big 12 without giving them a final go-ahead.
The actual piece just breaks down where things appear to stand at the moment.
“… the crux is Mizzou wanting to leave for 2012 with no legal complications and minimal exit fees, and that cause may be helped by the conference indicating it plans to be without Missouri and interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas’ spoken stance that it would be “viable” without Mizzou.
Yet, the withdrawal perhaps is complicated by the Big East intending to jam West Virginia for 27 months after notice, per Big East bylaws.”
We continue to hear that the Big 12 is playing hardball and refusing to do much negotiating when it comes to Missouri’s exit fee which is believed to be — on paper — between $26-30 million dollars.