State of the Tiger Nation: Where Missouri Currently Stands in Conference RealignmentPosted by cwilliams on October 27th, 2011
Yesterday, I examined the “inevitable” move of West Virginia to the Big 12. At the end, I made a point to note that this move revolves around Missouri, and whether or not they are jumping the Big 12 ship for the SEC. Today, I’ll discuss just where Missouri is in terms of that move to the SEC. Then, I’ll feed you my two cents on the matter, something fans have been very active in doing during this entire conference realignment saga.
- Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton has said he expects to make an announcement on Missouri’s conference loyalties in coming days… or a week. Or two weeks. I agree Chancellor Deaton, this conference shuffle business needs more waiting.
- However, in the same article, Deaton discusses the reason it could take longer than a few days is because he is dealing with two legal counsel, two financial analysts, two board of directors and two conferences. Because of the ongoing negotiations seemingly being more than just exploration, I feel like this is close to a done deal.
- Deaton also says that Missouri is “united on plans” for its conference future. Seeing firsthand how frustrated many Missouri officials and boosters have been with the Big 12, I believe the underlying message is they all expect Missouri to venture towards the SEC, and they are happy about it.
- Whether the Big 12 decides on West Virginia or Louisville as a replacement school for Missouri’s departure, it appears that the Big East is shakier than ever.
Missouri has been the focal point of conference realignment for the majority of this saga. This has led to a huge amount of national media attention, much of which has come in the form of a heavy dose of criticism. In a day and age where every fan has a voice (thanks to the Internet), folks have been vocal about their dislike of Missouri having so much influence on expansion. Some think Missouri’s athletic program does not have the history or wins to justify being highly pursued by more prestigious conferences. Whether you’re a fan of the Missouri program or tired of reading about them on ESPN.com, it seems as if the Missouri chapter of the expansion saga is coming to an end. A Missouri jump to the SEC is expected by most, and it seems to not be a matter of if but when.
So how will they fit in in the SEC? Missouri’s football program has put up solid numbers in recent years (40 wins from 2007-10), yet many SEC fans doubt their ability to be competitive in football with the likes of powerhouses such as Alabama, LSU, and Florida. In terms of basketball, Missouri appears more likely to find immediate success. The Tiger hoops program has been one of the nation’s most exciting teams to watch in recent years, and as long as Frank Haith recruits well, they should be primed to immediately compete in the SEC West (assuming that’s where they land).