Yesterday I discussed in my previous post about the move to share revenue equally in the Big 12. This measure would be one which would potentially help bring some stability to the conference, and keep its nine member intact for the time being, while they considered further expansion and adding more teams to try and strengthen the conference. Today the University of Missouri curators met in a private meeting in St. Louis. The agenda made available to the public mentioned nothing about a vote, but it seemed everyone knew it was coming. ESPN has reported that the curators have voted to allow Mizzou to explore their options, and potentially leave the Big 12. Looks like that revenue sharing deal to keep things stable was too little too late (I’ll admit I am using this phrase too often lately, but the Big 12 seems to be enticing me to do so).
So what does all of this mean? Mizzou has not officially left, but they are definitely looking around and are going to explore their options. The SEC could use another team next year to move from 13 to 14, and Mizzou would be a decent fit in regards to their location. The Big Ten could also be an option, as the conference literally sits next door to Mizzou, and some teams like Illinois have had rivalries with Mizzou. Of course the bigger part of the equation is money, and the SEC and Big Ten are both big revenue generators. Mizzou leaving for either conference would probably enhance Mizzou’s fortunes, the question would be whether the conference would want to take Mizzou.
On another note, this really is another strike against the leadership of the Big 12, most notably the commissioners. Previous commissioner Dan Beebe resigned recently, and I have never been a fan of his leadership (as evident in this post way back in April when I called how the Big 12 was being run into question). The new head of the Big 12 Chuck Neinas has inherited a bad situation, and he needs to take some stronger actions quickly. It has seem that a lot of the talk here in Missouri has been about playing it safe, but sitting on the sidelines may set the Big 12 back even further.
Things don’t look good for the conference. If the Big 12 is considering staying alive, they probably need to act fast.
On a more random note, if Mizzou does join the SEC, we will have a Tigers (Mizzou) vs Tigers (LSU) rivalry here at IJSF in the coming year.