I just read your blog entry, Missouri official looking (unofficially at SEC)
. Let’s assume for a minute that somehow Governor Nixon’s remarks in fact “kicked off this latest round of realignment”. Of course that makes no sense at all since you clearly state his remarks were in response to a statement that the Big 10 was considering expansion. Wouldn’t that mean that the statement of the Big 10 considering expansion was the triggering event for realignment since Nixon wouldn’t have said anything were it not for that statement?
Let’s leave that gaping logic hole aside for a moment and look at what was happening at the time of that statement by Nixon. Missouri, with an 8-4 record, was just passed over for Insight Bowl (who selected the 6-6 Iowa State Cyclones) and the Independence Bowl (who selected the 6-6 Texas A&M Aggies). This did not sit well with Missouri fans especially coming only a year after having Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe publically shill for getting the rival Kansas Jayhawks into a BCS bowl during the game in which the Tigers defeated said Jayhawks. When your own conference commissioner won’t go to bat for you, you have to go to bat for yourself.
No one outside of the administration knows what happened in those initial talks with the Big 10, but Missouri was not chosen to bring that league to 12 members. Instead, Missouri pledged it’s loyalty to the Big 12 along with every other remaining member. This summer, as Texas’ new Longhorn Network came into being, rumors began to swirl that Texas A&M was perhaps looking to join the SEC. This created instability in the Big 12 and once again Missouri was put in a position to look out for its own best interests. Oklahoma President David Boren announced that Oklahoma was not going to be a “wallflower” in all of this and started to explore other conference options. Just when it seemed they were leaving for the Pac-12, the Pac-12 decided it didn’t want conference killer Texas and Oklahoma’s options disappeared.
If the Big 12 really wants to find what forced Missouri’s hand in all this, it need only look in the mirror. Instead of working to create a Big 12 Network to benefit all members, Texas decided that it was better than its conference brothers and created the Longhorn Network. Missouri fans were tired of being treated like doormats and when an opportunity arose to perhaps get out from under the thumb of Texas, we all got excited. While Missouri may never win an SEC championship in football, it will not feel like a second-class citizen any more nor will it have to worry about conference stability. As the saying goes, “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”Edited by Nick at 11:37:00 on 10/05/11