Last night, the University Of Missouri Board Of Curators met with Chancellor Brady Deaton and Director Of Athletics Mike Alden. The results of the four-and-a-half hour meeting was that Deaton has resigned as the Big 12’s Chairman and a unanimous vote by the Board to explore other conference options.
In sports terms, Missouri announced that they are officially a “free agent” for the highest-bidding conference.
In layman’s terms, Mizzou changed their Facebook status from “In A Relationship” to “Single”.
This quote came from Nebraska’s Tom Osborne: “To me, the people down there (Texas) joined the Big Eight. When they (Southwest Conference schools) joined up, my understanding was that they were going to accept the Big Eight’s rules and play by the Big Eight’s rules and they were happy to get in the Big Eight.”
Not long after the union of the SWC and the Big Eight… the conference headquarters were moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Dallas, Texas. Pretty symbolic, don’t ya think?
Tom Osborne and Nebraska would eventually leave the Big 12. So would Colorado and Texas A&M. Now Missouri is “single”. So, last night’s long wait for a decision from the Board Of Curators left us with “we’re looking at options”. More questions popped up… most importantly… WHEN will Mizzou DECIDE?
To answer that question, let’s look at the blueprint Texas A&M used to leave the Big 12:
JULY 2011: Texas A&M contacts the SEC as a back-up plan because they’re worried Texas may leave the Big 12 for Independence in a matter of a few years.
MISSOURI: (You would be crazy to think MU hasn’t had contact with the SEC by now)
AUGUST 14: When “A&M To The SEC” rumors swirl, the SEC covers their legal butts and state that “they will be staying with 12 members for the time being”.
MISSOURI: (When asked about Missouri, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive stated last week that “we anticipate being a 13-team league”)
AUGUST 15: Texas A&M Board Of Regents gives Bowin Loftin “the power to negotiate and determine all aspects of Texas A&M’s conference affiliation”.
MISSOURI: (MU Board Of Curators gave Deaton the same power last night)
AUGUST 25: In a letter, Texas A&M notifies the Big 12 of their intention to “explore their conference options”. A&M also requests to be informed of procedures for withdrawal from the Big 12.
MISSOURI: (The Big 12 was informed of this yesterday by Missouri, as well as Deaton stepping down as Chairman. MU already knows the “procedures for withdrawal” thanks to the Aggies)
AUGUST 31: Texas A&M releases a statement that they intend to apply for admission into “another conference”. If accepted, they plan to leave the Big 12.
MISSOURI: (This is the next step for Missouri. See where I’m going with this? Could be any day now.)
SEPTEMBER 6: The SEC conditionally accepts the Texas A&M Aggies. Baylor threatens law suit.
MISSOURI: (MU will likely be able to dodge a law suit with Texas and Oklahoma determined to keep the Big 12 together)
SEPTEMBER 25: When Baylor drops legal threat, the SEC drops their conditions and unanimously accepts Texas A&M as the 13th member of the Southeastern Conference.
MISSOURI: (Tic-Toc… Tic-Toc… Tic-Toc…)
So, when will Mizzou decide? I don’t have a specific date. The leadership and decision makers probably don’t either. But it won’t be long, and it shouldn’t be a surprise.