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Would Mizzou leave for SEC?

Would Mizzou leave for SEC?

Credit: KMOV

The Missouri Tigers celebrate after beating the Iowa State Cyclones 34-24 in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009. (Photo credit: Nathan Giannini for KMOV)

by Doug Vaughn

KMOV.com

Posted on August 11, 2011 at 12:02 PM

(KMOV)-- Here we go again. More talk about major college conference re-alignment. Just when you thought the Big 12 had settled into the new alignment with 10 teams, there's talk that Texas A&M may be eying a switch to the Southeastern Conference. Texas Governor Rick Perry says his Alma mater, Texas A&M, is already discussing a possible move with the SEC. Bowen Loftin, the President of Texas A&M, didn't do much to dispel that idea when he issued a statement that says he is "committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also into the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics." Not exactly a denial of A&M's interest in moving.

Why would Texas A&M want out of the Big 12, and start all the confusion all over again? Blame the University of Texas. They've set up a new Longhorn television network with plans to televise Texas high school football games. That could give them a huge recruiting advantage in that talent rich state. It's not hard to image officials at Texas choosing to televise high school games involving players they're trying to lure to Austin. Every other school in the Big 12 is opposed to the idea, but ultimately Texas usually gets what Texas wants. It's a very unhealthy situation when one school dominates a conference, and dictates policy for the other members. It's easy to understand why Texas A&M, or some other current Big 12 member school, might be easily convinced to leave the Big 12 for a conference that offers a more level playing field.

If A&M does move to the SEC that conference would then have 13 teams, and would likely try to add another school to get to 14 for scheduling purposes and to have two divisions of seven teams each. The most logical team to also make the move would seem to be the University of Missouri. Mizzou would have several natural rivals in border states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee), not to mention an eagerness to get away from the bullies at Texas. Mizzou could maintain its historic rivalry with Kansas in non-conference match-ups. So far, there's been no word out of Columbia indicating any interest on the part of Mizzou to make a move to the SEC. But if Texas A&M bolts, the SEC in all likely hood will put in a call to Columbia to gauge Missouri's interest in becoming the 14th team in the SEC. Based on what happened in last year's re-alignment fiasco, and Texas' desire to dominate the Big 12, I believe Mizzou would accept an invitation to the Southeastern Conference and never look back.

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