September 20, 2011
College football expansion seems to change every day and on Tuesday, Missouri found itself on the realignment carousel after a report in the Kansas City Star cited a booster claiming the university had received an invitation from the SEC.
The Southeastern Conference has an offer on the table for Missouri to join its league, and SEC officials are willing to wait for an answer from Missouri until the future of the Big 12 is decided.
That information has come to The Star through a Mizzou booster who spoke directly to a MU official. Another source told The Star on Tuesday that an Oklahoma official had said the SEC is interested in Missouri.
The Missouri Board of Curators announced that it will hold a public meeting Thursday.
Missouri was supposedly headed to the Big Ten last year before the entire deal blew up and the university had to slink back to the Big 12 with its tail between its legs. After that debacle, the school pledged its allegiance to the Big 12 and has continued to do so as Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton head the Big 12's Board of Directors.
But after Monday's news that Oklahoma and Texas were shopping for a new conference allegiance and rumors swirling about potential superconference pairing between the Big12 and Big East and Mountain West and Conference USA, all bets are off.
And Missouri isn't the only school looking to the SEC as a safe haven. West Virginia also tried to get off the sinking ship that is the Big East and sought refuge in the SEC — and the ACC — and was denied entrance to both conferences. The Big East is in such disarray that its current members and future member TCU are meeting Tuesday night to discuss its future.
As for Missouri, moving from the Big 12 won't be easy. Texas A&M, which has continued to stress that it will not be in the conference after this year, is facing legal action from Baylor to try and stop the move. The SEC already has said it doesn't want to get into the politics of another conference, but also hasn't revoked its invitation to the Aggies.
Right now, the fate of the Big 12 hangs in the balance. If Oklahoma decides to go to the Pac-12, it would likely take Oklahoma State and perhaps Texas Tech with it, sending the conference scrambling to fill its membership.
However, there has been a little Pac-12 athletic director backlash, and now the Sooners have said there's a possibility it could stay in the Big 12 if commissioner Dan Beebe was removed and there were extensive rules placed on the Longhorn Network.
So stay tuned. The expansion carousel seems like it has no intention of stopping any time soon.