Missouri’s decision on what it does in the football conference shuffle will have a monumental impact on college conferences. As of Friday, the power to pull the trigger on the move to the Southeastern Conference is in the hands of University Chancellor, Brady Deaton.
In taking another step toward exiting the Big 12, the Tigers, who have been linked with the SEC, put Deaton in position to move the school into another athletic conference if he feels it’s in the school’s best interest.
Deaton was given no timeline, but if he decides to make a move, then it shouldn’t be too long from now.
Hofstra University Men’s Basketball head coach, Mo Cassara even believes Missouri holds all the power.
“The next big move is Missouri,” said Cassara. “If goes to the SEC, then [the Big 12] will get someone from the Big East so then the Big East will lose out on five good teams and are going to be scrambling. The Big East could then go grab a bunch of smaller teams and screw up even our conference.”
The Tigers have the potential to completely overhaul the college conference landscape. That power must weigh heavy on the chancellor.
It looks like Deaton is pushing forward. According to a news conference following a two-day curators’ meeting, Deaton revealed, “We’ve provided information to the SEC.”
SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said, “Missouri has not applied, nor has an invitation been extended.”
They might not have formally applied, but SEC school presidents have discussed the potential of the Tigers joining the conference. The Big 12, however, has already lost Nebraska (Big Ten), Colorado (Pac-12) and will lose Texas A&M to the SEC next year. TCU will join the Big 12 in the wake of the Aggies’ departure.
With all of its loses, the shaky ground the Big 12 is standing on looks less than desirable.
Deaton recognizes the chances he’d be taking in leaving the Big 12. The big concern for the school is broadcast and television dollars it would stand to make in the Big 12, as opposed to a potential revenue boost it’d get from a leap to the SEC.
Another big concern with the move is the possibility of the school burning all of its Big 12 bridges and the loss of Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City, a big money maker for the school.
It comes down to whether or not chancellor Deaton wants to take the risk, and as of right now, it looks as though he is going to. He’s gambling with millions of dollars, ties to other large universities and his own professional reputation. I wouldn’t want that on my shoulders.