Why Mizzou Should Stay Put in the Big 12

Categories: Mizzou
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Could Mizzou be heading south in more ways than one?
The University of Missouri Board of Curators emerged from a four-hour, closed-door meeting last night to announce that they'd unanimously approved a decision to allow the school to shop around for a new athletic conference.

Speculation is rife that the university will now leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. Yesterday, some Mizzou fans reportedly found the teleconference number for the Board of Curator's meeting and began chanting "SEC, SEC!"

Here's one Mizzou fan, however, who'd be chanting the exact opposite. The Tigers should stay put in the Big 12.

Why? For starters, the Big 12 has left its deathbed in recent weeks with the PAC-12 announcing that it's not looking to expand and with the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma agreeing to play nice and stay put in the conference. The Big 12 is now attempting to secure its survival by asking its member schools to sign over their media rights to the conference for the next six years. If a school leaves within those six years, it would forfeit its TV money for those years.

You'd think that Mizzou would be pleased to see such proactive actions on the part of the Big 12. Instead, it's using the changes to explore its options before signing on the dotted line.

Here's the thing, though:

At this point, it's unclear how much more television revenue Mizzou would generate with a move to the SEC. In my mind, though, the bigger question is what an SEC membership would do to the Mizzou football program. Would it elevate the Tigers' game, or would they join the SEC just to become the perennial doormat of the conference -- the Iowa State of the Big 12?

The SEC is widely regarded as the best program in the nation. Its teams have won the last five national championships. Currently, five of the SEC's twelve teams are ranked in the AP Top 25, with LSU and Alabama ranked No. 1 and No. 2. But the Big 12 is no slouch either. It actually has six teams among the Top 25 if you include Texas A&M, which is leaving for the SEC next year.

Moreover, I thought Gary Pinkel liked being in a conference that played Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech each year? Something like half of all players on the Tigers hail from Texas, and Pinkel uses the Big 12 affiliation to lure kids to the Show-Me State. "Hey, kid, UT passed on you? Well, how would you like to go down to Austin and kick their ass as a Tiger?" (Of course, it rarely works that way, but still.)

But beyond football, what happens with Mizzou's great basketball rivalry with KU? Yes, it's been a somewhat lopsided affair over the past 104 years (KU leads the rivalry 171 to 94), but it remains immensely fun -- a David v. Goliath tale -- when the two teams meet up twice each year.

Finally, with the exception of Vanderbilt, the SEC isn't exactly an academic powerhouse. Back when Mizzou was hoping to leave the Big 12 for the Big 10 last year, the argument being made in Columbia was that the Big 10 would boost the quality of admissions for the entire school. Will the SEC do that? Or with an influx of kids from the SEC, will NASCAR become the No. 2 sport on campus after football?

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SEC_Native
SEC_Native

If Missouri wants to stay in the sandbox with big bullies Texas & Oklahoma stealing their lunch money everyday, fine.  If Missouri would like to be an equal partner with common rights just like any other school in the SEC, come on over.  We will gladly welcome y'all.

UTexas is the problem
UTexas is the problem

I totally get wanting to be rid of the university of Texas. They started all the instability by flirting with the big 10 in february 2010. They are like that girl who, no matter how hot, fun, funny or smart you think she is, you have to remember that somewhere there is another guy tired of putting up with her BS. MU should stay in the big 12 and vote Texas out.

GRR
GRR

This and similar stories are totally missing the point---who wants to be in a conference that has been brought from the brink of death not once, but TWICE in the last 12 months? Not Missouri, and we're not so stupid to just sit back and wait for the 3rd Time's The Charm...

TLW
TLW

As a PhD grad from an SEC school, I'd like to point out the fact that we do indeed care about more than just football and NASCAR in the South.  Also, it is very difficult to consider Missouri as being a  "Southern" state, yet alone "southeastern".  Regardless, Mizzou will have a very hard time competing with the athleticism of the SEC. 

Billly
Billly

As I often argue with my Lexington-born, UK alum parents-in-law, it's at least as "southern" as Kentucky.

PsychoTim
PsychoTim

Missouri had slavery -- it's a de facto Southern state.

Justin_james753
Justin_james753

Every state once had slavery. Southern Missouri belongs culturally to the south, that is why people from Kansas City and St. Louis call it the "Out-State," but Columbia, the location of MU, was strongly Pro-Union. St. Louis and Kansas City are not culturally southern.

Justin_james753
Justin_james753

Except those that were specifically founded as free states, like Kansas. But all the original 13 colonies originally had slavery. In any case, in terms of sports culture, Missouri does not parallel the SEC, where basketball is not very important.

jma019
jma019

The Big 12 may have left its deathbed, but it is merely in remission.  Someday soon, Texas or OU will decide to leave, at which point the Big 12 becomes the nation's best mid-major conference.  Best to get out now while the opportunity presents itself.  The SEC may not be the Ivy League, but it is probably better top-to-bottom academically than the current Big 12, especially with the likes of Boise, Louisville and WVU in line to replace Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M.

handsome jimmy
handsome jimmy

Who gives a fuck about academics, this is the big league of all college conferences. These fucking football players are all dumb as dirt, they don't care about some lame English class. 

Tom54
Tom54

We leave for the SEC and we can kiss any chance of winning a conference title away.  Heck, we couldn't even do it in the Big 12.  Also, academically we will taking a hit as we all know the SEC reputation is awful.

Dave
Dave

Current AAU members in the Big 12: Mizzou, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas. Current AAU members in the SEC: Florida, A&M, Vandy --- Mizzou would be the 4th. Not to mention the fact that the average ranking of all schools using the US News 2012 Ratings would actually favor the SEC. Average ranking for Big 12: 104, average ranking of SEC (including A&M, not including Vandy since they are rated 17 overall): 102. So I think academics would be a wash. If you're under the impression the SEC is academically inferior to the Big 12 then you should probably take another look because the Big 12 is not an academic powerhouse.

g_mon
g_mon

If Mizzou alumni are relying on Brady Deaton and Mike Alden to do the right thing, based on history they should be very, very, very concerned.

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