Missouri would fit logically in the East or West division of the SEC (click here for a full map)
Hover over the buttons below to switch Missouri between the East and West divisons.
As you can see below, the SEC's relative geography is very similar to that of the Big 12. Travel time is comparable to the Big 12 and features destinations that would appeal more to student-athletes and fans. Atlanta, New Orleans, Florida, Tennessee, The Grove at Ole' Miss... these destinations sound a lot more appealing than Ames, Lawrence, Stillwater, Lubbock, and other cities of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
According to the latest US News & World Report rankings, and factoring in Texas A&M's move, the SEC surpasses the Big 12 academically by a significant margin:
|# 45||Texas||Big 12||yes|
|# 58||Texas A&M||SEC||yes|
|# 75||Baylor||Big 12|
|# 97||Iowa State||Big 12||yes|
|# 101||Oklahoma||Big 12|
|# 101||Kansas||Big 12||yes|
|# 111||South Carolina||SEC|
|# 132||Oklahoma State||Big 12|
|# 143||Ole Miss||SEC|
|# 143||Kansas State||Big 12|
|# 157||Miss State||SEC|
|# 160||Texas Tech||Big 12|
Summary (excluding MU):
|Average ranking (SEC):||# 96|
|Average ranking (Big 12):||# 107|
|AAU Members (SEC):||3|
|AAU Members (Big 12):||3|
SEC schools, on average, are ranked in the top 100 academically. This cannot be said for the Big 12.
It's estimated that SEC members could receive $30-34 million per year when contracts with CBS/ESPN are reopened in the near future. That's $15 million more per year than Big 12 schools receive. The revenue differential will increase even more over time as US migration trends continue south, the SEC launches its own cable network, and Tier-1/2 contracts are fully-renegotiated in 2024. If you want more information about the SEC's future network and projected revenue, you can read this article.
It's also worth mentioning that as a public university funded by the state, Mizzou is fiscally obligated to pursue opportunities that would significantly increase its revenue. Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said it best regarding his school's move to SEC:
The following table summarizes why Missouri is the SEC's best option for expansion:
|Athletics||Missouri has been consistently ranked in football and basketball. The football program that Gary Pinkel has built is one of only a few in the country to have 40+ wins over the past 4 seasons, including a run in 2007 when MU ascended to #1 in the polls. In basketball, Missouri has made two Elite 8 runs since 2002, and is among the top 30 in all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.|
|Academics||Missouri is an AAU member (one of only 61, in fact). The number of AAU members in a conference is often the metric used to gauge the academic quality of a conference, along with USN&WR ranking (Missouri is ranked in the top 100). The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri would double the number of AAU accredited universities in the SEC.|
|TV Markets||Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the U.S. with 6.0 million people. Missouri has two top 30 media markets (KC, St. Louis), and Mizzou is the only university in Missouri with major athletic programs, giving it nearly a full market share.|
|Geography||Missouri borders three SEC states (Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky), and could logically be added to the East or West division of the SEC, as shown above.|
The Big 12 could survive a few more years, but many analysts doubt its long-term viability. Since 2010, the Big 12 has lost 3 flagship members – Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas A&M. Oklahoma has made it clear it would bolt for the Pac-12 as soon as it comes calling. And Texas won't commit beyond 6 years so it can also reconsider its options in the future. These circumstances make it possible (if not likely) that the Big 12 will eventually collapse. For Missouri, it's crucial to be in a conference with long-term stability like the SEC.
MU would receive more national exposure in the SEC. It's more popular and more talked about in the media. Games are on CBS. Bowl game affiliations are better. And it makes recruiting top talent a lot easier (for athletes and coaches). Athletes like the exposure/competition, and coaches like the stability/salary. MU would be able to compete at a higher level.
And for those of you who prefer the Big Ten:
The academic benefits of joining the Big Ten are not as significant as many of you seem to think. Consider this timeline for the University of Nebraska:
- 1909: Nebraska is accepted into the AAU.
- 2010: Nebraska becomes a member of the Big Ten conference.
- 2011: Nebraska is kicked out of the AAU by majority vote.
Academically speaking, Nebraska was better off before it joined the Big Ten. And hypothetically speaking, if Nebraska had joined the Ivy League instead, do you really think there would have been a majority vote (among 61 AAU universities) to kick them out? Very unlikely because the Ivy League actually does have a significant academic reputation. It's the only athletic conference in the country that does, and that's because it's loaded with top-20 ranked universities. The Big Ten only has one (Northwestern), as does the SEC (Vanderbilt), ACC (Duke), and Pac-12 (Stanford). Major athletic conferences exist for money and exposure, and the SEC sets the bar in both.
Sep-04-2012: Mizzou's football stadium has SEC potential (in 3D)
Jan-27-2012: Mizzou-SEC graphics & wallpapers
Oct-12-2011: Can Missouri Compete In The SEC?
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