Big 12 Expansion: Missouri Controls Own Destiny in Conference Realignment

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2011

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 24:  Tail back Henry Josey #20 of the Missouri Tigers rushes up field during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners on September 24, 2011 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma defeated Missouri 38-28.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Big 12 wants Missouri to stay.

They want the Tigers and their large St. Louis market to stick right where they are.

New York Times reporter Pete Thamel had this tweet outlining the Big 12’s plan:


The problem with all of this is the allure of the SEC for Missouri.

It’s the best football conference in America by far and the money flowing into the league is mind-boggling. It’s on a whole different level from the rest of the power conferences.

So naturally Missouri wants in on the action and is sitting by their phone waiting to get the call. The SEC currently has an odd amount of teams with the addition of Texas A &M and they can tap into the Midwest with the Missouri addition.

What about the natural rivalries in the Big 12? What about the odd geographic setup the SEC would be facing?

Missouri board chairman Warren Erdman talks about all of the factors that go into this kind of major decision: 

"The cultural and economic effects of a decision like this on all parts of the state are important," he said. "And we should be sensitive to those factors as part of our overall consideration. However, when it's all said and done, our fiduciary duty is to the University of Missouri."

In other words, sure we care about other factors besides the size of our wallets…but at the end of the day we are going to make them as fat as humanly possible.

Missouri certainly isn’t the first team in this whole conference realignment saga to jump for more money, but they really are doing their conference a disservice by making their interest in the SEC so public.

Now it’s only a matter of time until the rest of the SEC signs off on the Tigers once they see all of the additional revenue involved and an announcement is made.

The Big 12 already nabbed TCU to take A&M’s spot, and could sign up Louisville or Cincinnati in a heartbeat if Missouri bounces.

And the conference carousel continues to spin. 

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