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Dennis Dodd

Dodds and Ends 

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    Missouri officially looking (unofficially at SEC)

    Posted on: October 4, 2011 8:12 pm
    Edited on: October 4, 2011 9:02 pm

    Note: Dodd's words are in black. @Mizzou2SEC comments are in red. You can find the original article here.

    Since it started it, maybe Missouri figures it can finish it.  [Missouri didn't start anything. Read this.

    Or as finished as conference realignment can ever be.

    Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton got permission Tuesday night from the school's board of curators to seek new conference membership. Nothing surprising there. In case you haven't been following, this would the first move toward Missouri becoming the SEC's 14th team. One problem. No one is sure if the SEC even wants a 14th team at the moment, much less Missouri being that school.  [And no one was "sure" Texas A&M would be accepted either, but it was widely believed to be true.] 

    The hand-wringing, then, will  [possibly]  continue from BYU to the Big East. Missouri's decision controls  [or possibly affects]  the fate of several teams and conferences, including their current one, the Big 12  [Big 12 Comissioner Chuck Neinas has already stated that the Big 12 would "remain viable" without Missouri.] . The fractured league cannot move on with expansion, or even a future, without knowing if Missouri is going to be a participant  [and yet the Big 12 is already planning for scenarios without Missouri] .

    And all indications are Missouri is going to take its good, old time  [what indications?] . That was evident when Missouri AD Mike Alden met with the curators for four hours on Tuesday  [The meeting ran a few hours overtime and you think that indicates how MU will proceed in the future?] . Perhaps Missouri was contemplating the fact  it kicked off this latest round of realignment  [kicked off by...] . Reacting  [...reacting]  to Dec. 9, 2009 statement that the Big Ten was considering expansion, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon  [who is not an MU official]  quickly added:

    "I want to look at what options the Big Ten may have to offer. This is not something that should be kept on the sports page and treated with the back of the hand. We have an obligation to make our schools as excellent as they can be."

    Big 12 nervousness followed. In the next month, Nebraska began talking with the Big Ten  [because the Big Ten was expanding, and Nebraska and Texas had been at odds since 1996] . In June, issues came to a head at the 2010 Big 12 spring meetings. Shortly thereafter, Nebraska left for the Big Ten. Colorado went to the Pac-10.

    "The [Missouri] governor's remarks got me going. We had to do something, and fast," CU AD Mike Bohn said at the time.  [First off, Dennis, you should know by now that AD's don't make these decisions. Second, I've got a quote for you from CU's President (the guy who DID make the decision): "One of the reasons - and there are a lot of reasons - we got in the Pac 12 is to play regularly on the West Coast." (link) Colorado has wanted in the Pac-10 for decades. And CU even objected to adding OU in the Pac-12 this year.] 

    Turns out Missouri wasn't near the top of the Big Ten's list  [for all you know, the Big Ten could have flipped a coin to decide between MU and NU] . Now things have come full circle. Everyone can blame Texas for throwing its weight around  [and everyone does] , but how is Missouri different at this point? It suddenly has leverage. It is holding a league hostage. It is making a perceived money grab.  [It is fighting for a level playing field in a leauge that Texas has destroyed, just like it did to the SWC 15 years ago.] 

    It could be the fourth school to leave the Big 12 in 16 months -- and it doesn't care  [Deaton has done everything in his power to save the Big 12] . Expect the next few weeks -- if not months -- to be a period of introspection for Brad Pitt's school  [random] . Missouri has to decide if it wants to leave its ancestral home. The Big 12 has roots that go back 104 years for Missouri  [and those roots are gone; the KU rivalry can continue out-of-conference the same way UF-FSU and UGA-GT do] .

    It has to decide if it wants to change its culture from a Midwestern school to one with its base in the heart of Dixie.  [It wouldn't change the culture. Do you think West Virginia has the same culture as Rutgers? A little cultural diversity is a good thing.]  Does it want to be Bubba or Brad  [again, random] ? Does it want to be at the center of the Big 12,  [center? MU is the eastern-most school in the Big 12]  or a western outpost in the SEC?  [MU is east of A&M, no further west than UA, and no further north than UK.] 

    There is no right answer  [except for a level playing field like every other major conference has] . The difference in revenue is negligible  [I wouldn't call millions of dollars "negligible", and when the SEC renegotiates Tier-1/2 at 14 members and eventually pools its Tier-3 content, the difference will become even more substantial.] . Missouri could stay in the Big 12 and be secure at least the next six years  [even with a 6-year agreement, UT/OU could get out] . But the SEC would provide long-lasting security  [indeed, well beyond 6 years] . Missouri football is an above middle-of-the-road program in the Big 12. It would be a middle-of-the-road program in the SEC.  [5 different SEC schools have won BCS National Championships, so one could argue the SEC gives its schools the best opportunity of any conference to win championships. MU would become more competitive with the increased revenue, exposure, and recruiting pipelines the SEC offers.] 

    But this isn't about football  [really, not at all?] . This is about emotion  [or... stability and equality] , which can be a dangerous thing. That's why Deaton merely has permission at this point. The last two presidents to get similar permission from their boards of regents, came to different conclusions  [Actually, Oklahoma only stayed because the Pac-12 said no thanks.] . Texas A&M went to the SEC  [a very wise decision] . Oklahoma, eventually, stayed  [again, was forced to stay]  in the Big 12.

    For now.  [For now... Missouri would be very wise to get out while it still can.] 

    Dennis, can you see now how incredibly flawed and biased this article is? It seems like you're the one getting emotional, not Missouri.

    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author  [and @Mizzou2SEC]  and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com

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