2:21 pm: I tried to stay away from realignment/expansion as long as I could and actually enjoy some football this weekend.
There is some news to pass along.
First off, over the weekend Texas A&M formally joined the SEC. No surprise here. It was all but a formality.
With the loss of Texas A&M official, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports all the Focus on Mizzou, who last week didn’t necessarily sound like a school that was “all-in” for a reformed Big 12.
Things got interesting last night when their reports surfaced that West Virginia was going to be the SEC’s 14th team, less than a week after it was said they were declined by both the ACC and SEC.
This was started via a tweet from 97.3 FM ESPN radio in New Jersey, hosted by a West Virginia alum, “I’m hearing #WVU will leave Big East, for the SEC. Expect announcement by weekend.” Two hours later he added, “Hearing there will be a press conference on Wednesday to announce that #WVU will be a member of the SEC.” That was followed by with a recant, “There is nothing concrete as of yet, as I said…the hope from WVU people is that this will get done.”
Is it possible that West Virginia was turned down and now the SEC is interested again because Mizzou is remaining in the Big 12?
Or is this guy just full of you know what? This guy seems to be backing off a bit. Why?
I’m still hearing, and a lot of other are too that if the SEC goes to 14, MU is the team they want, but is the offer still on the table if the Big 12 stays status quo?
A few good quotes from various sources, PowerMizzou’s Gabe DeArmond or from others to him in reference to Missouri and the SEC:
“They’re behaving like they have an offer.”
“This ain’t the same ol’ approach by Mizzou.”
“I’m a lot more convinced they might go than I was earlier today,” after Thursday’s press conference on the state of the Big 12.
“The Oklahoma press conference may have been the final straw,” in reference to Oklahoma having a press conference 15 minutes before Missouri last Thursday, just to steal their limelight.
“Missouri has all the leverage here and will use it to get what they need.”
No one else was reporting West Virginia to the SEC last night, but this morning West Virginia’s rivals site reports that WVU to SEC, Big 10 interested in MU?
In addition to West Virginia to the SEC, the article mentions Mizzou to the Big 10. Here we go again, been there done that.
According to the article, West Virginia will soon be announced as the SEC’s 14th. I’ll believe it when I see it. I think this guy is reporting what he wishes, not what is fact.
In regards to Missouri, he says “The Big 10 dragged its feet, but the ship is still at the dock,” referring to the Big 10 not wanting Missouri but still wants them.
Take this info for what its worth, but the credibility of this clown has to be in question.
Rutgers has always been mentioned as a possible expansion candidate and the talks are heating up again: Rutgers in contact with Big 10.
In this report, Missouri is also mentioned linked with the Big 10, “Mizzou has been awfully quiet for a few days, are they up to something? With the Big Ten perhaps?”
Once again, no one really knows what is going to happen. If I were to bet, I’d say:
50% MU stays in Big 12
35% MU goes to SEC
15% MU goes to Big 10
And I’ll say it again, if I had my choice, I’d stay in Big 12, if Missouri can get equal revenue sharing. Will their rumored departure give them the leverage they need to get what they want? What do you think?
So what does interim commissioner Chuck Neinas think?
On Friday, he said that he feels Missouri wants to stay, will try and keep A&M. Obviously, he wasn’t able to keep A&M, and I think he was foolish to think he could, as was T. Boone Pickens.
Friday, before his conference call with the Big 12, Neinas had his introduction press conference.
Some of the highlights:
- He won’t officially start until Oct. 3 and he took the job because the Big 12 was so good to him (1971-80) and he has several ties to the AD’s (He was on the committee’s to hire both Mike Alden at Missouri and Joe Castiglione at Oklahoma)
- He added that even though his position is interim, he will do what it takes until someone else has the position full-time, “They’ve hired me to be the commissioner,” he said. “I’ll act like a commissioner. I might be there for the interim, but, for the record, I’m not afraid to make decisions.”
- When asked about if the fractured relationships in the league can be pieced back together, he said: “I think it comes down to one word: Trust. We gotta make sure that there’s a trust that exists between the members,” and that he would try to create this missing trust.
- He spent a lot of time discussing Missouri and Texas A&M:
- “You’ve gotta be concerned about it,” he said about Missouri and the SEC. “Yes, [the Big 12’s survival] will be viable because there’s a lot of strength in the conference.
- “I plan to talk to Bill,” Neinas said in reference of Texas A&M’s Bill Byrne. “I don’t know what the answer will be, but if nothing’s ventured, nothing’s gained. They belong in the Big 12. That’s where they belong. The history. I’m a history major, and I think their history belongs in the Big 12. They’re from the Southwest Conference. They’re in the state of Texas. That’s where they were born and bred. That’s where they should stay…I think the Aggies are probably gonna go, and I do think Missouri is gonna stay,” he added.
- Neinas discussed some expansion and other Big 12 topics, saying he had not been involved in any expansion talks, but the ideal number of teams for the conference would be 10 and that the league was on track to move toward equal revenue sharing of the Tier 1 (ABC) and 2 (FOX, FX, ESPN) television rights and that he expected the Longhorn Network‘s revenue to be used solely for its owner (Texas).
- Neinas added that he was going to meet with all AD’s in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday and that he will take a tour to all of the campuses in October, saying, “people will tell you on their campus things that they may not tell you in a meeting,” he said. “I like to get a feel for what are their concerns, what are their objectives, where do they think we should be headed. What you do is you try to get as much information as you can and then distill it.”
Chris Level, Texas Tech’s rivals site reporter, indicated that Tech president Guy Bailey said the Big 12 is ready to stabilize and Missouri is certainly staying
He said, “From everything they’ve said to us, and again I’m going directly with what Brady Deaton has said, he said the things you read about the SEC were untrue,” Bailey said. “They did not have an offer and did not have an interest. All we can do it take him at his word.”
Since, Missouri President Brady Deaton said he did not say that. Here is yet another circumstance where Deaton could have cleared the air and didnt.
As always, stay tuned…