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Mizzou AD writes letter reassuring school’s commitment to Big 12

Adventures-of-Pinocchio

With Texas A&M’s official announcement that it would withdraw from the Big 12 to pursue another conference affiliation (i.e. the SEC) earlier today, many have already wondered/speculated/fantasized about how the move would affect the college football landscape over the course of the foreseeable future.

In other words, would the conference realignment apocalypse that never quite came to fruition last summer begin to take shape now?

Regardless of what may or may not happen elsewhere in the country, the now nine remaining members of the Big 12 conference have pledged — even throughout this entire A&M drama — that their loyalty remains in their current home. To reinforce that notion, a search committee has already been established to find a replacement for A&M; Notre Dame, Arkansas and BYU are reportedly on the shortlist.

But one member of the current Big 12 is still a question mark: Missouri.

Yes, yes, we know they’ve denied talking to the SEC. There’s even a nice letter below written by Mizzou AD/professional rumor debunker Mike Alden about the commitment the Tigers have to the Big 12.

And, in case you were wondering, yes, we’re talking about those Tigers.

But Missouri is one of the few remaining Big 12 members who are valuable enough to be plucked by another conference. They have a presence in both the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets, they’re a good academic institution and they field a competitive football team.

But, Alden insists MU is content on staying right where they are. Here’s his letter below:

Dear Tiger Fans:

As you are likely aware, Texas A&M has informed the Big 12 Conference that they will be making application to another league for their future athletic conference affiliation. That announcement was made this morning in a letter to the Big 12 from President R. Bowen Loftin of Texas A&M.

With the impending departure of the Aggies, where does the Big 12 Conference stand on its future? Dan Beebe, as our Commissioner, is focused on maintaining the Big 12 as a strong and viable league in college athletics. Dan and his leadership team at the Conference Office are working to expand the schools in our league and they have taken an aggressive approach in this manner. As you might imagine, those workings by the league offices are highly confidential and require a great amount of research, coordination and focus.

Dr. Brady Deaton, who is our Chancellor at Mizzou, is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Big 12. I know that Dr. Deaton, myself and all of us at Mizzou are committed to working hard to keep the Big 12 a strong and successful conference*. We look to Commissioner Beebe and the Big 12 staff to develop and implement the plans necessary for the future.

Rest assured that the Mizzou “brand” is extremely strong nationally**. We are the flagship institution of the State of Missouri with nearly 6 million residents who passionately follow our University and the Tigers. As a proud member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, we are equally proud of the national recognition Mizzou Athletics has received for our academic, social and competitive accomplishments. Our success wouldn’t be possible without the great support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans.

The landscape of college athletics continues to evolve, and we will collaborate with the Big 12 staff leadership to guide that direction of our league. Thanks for your patience, understanding and support.

Go Tigers!

(*note: unless the SEC calls)

(*note: strong enough for the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-38, whoever wants us!)

I’ll give Alden credit, though. Even in writing he kept a straight face longer than I did.

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10 Responses to “Mizzou AD writes letter reassuring school’s commitment to Big 12”
  1. polegojim says: Aug 31, 2011 7:46 PM

    I don’t give a flip about Mizzou or the Big 12….
    ……but that is an absolutely awesome PIC, and a great article to back it up Ben.

    Enjoy that Longhorn Network Texas, other programs are weary of your ‘game’… see Nebraska… Texas AM… Colorado… more to come

  2. tigersgeaux says: Aug 31, 2011 8:07 PM

    Maybe now the rumors will cease, like the rumors that Notre Dame would join the Big 12 (NOT!). Maybe the SEC will look eastward to balance A & M….Florida State? Up to VA area? It’s all speculation but fun.

  3. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 8:46 PM

    Sounds more like a Big Ten please welcome us letter.

    1. No “we are staying/still strong” Just “we are working to make it strong and keep it going”

    2. The Mizzou brand is strong nationally. (Ha! ok) Totally a message to the Big Ten, hey, we bring fans too.

    3. Mentions the AAU. Why? It’s almost like the AAU is important to the Big Ten (kinda). The Big Ten mentioned it when Nebraska was invited, since at the time Nebraska was a member. They have since been removed from the AAU, and Jim Delaney basically brushed it off, cos it doesn’t reallllllly matter all that much, but a selling point.

    4. The landscape is evlolving. If conference shifts weren’t in their plans or others in the conferences plans the evolution would have slowed way down in that regard, yet they are making a point to emphasize that it’s still changing, aka “we have our plans/goals, so we’ll see”.

    Missouri is planning to go to the Big Ten. I can smell it now. They may work with Kansas to bring in Kansas and Missouri as a package deal. They get 2 teams that would expand the Big Ten’s reach to St Louis and Kansas City, also strengthens the Big Ten’s basketball prestige by bringing in Kansas and a strong Missouri basketball program. This would be an easy addition, you put Missouri in the Legends with Michigan and Nebraska, and Kansas with OSU and Penn St. They’d each be there cross rivalry.

    When I first hear this letter earlier today, I immediately thought of it as a plea to the Big Ten to rescue them.

  4. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 8:51 PM

    Missouri goes and I think OU and Okie State will make their move. I think OU is hoping Texas will grab Texas Tech, and the 4 can round out the Pac-12 into the Pac-16. Texas can negioate their LHN into the “regional” Pac-12 network package, and OU can have their own. Which OU has been in favor for awhile.

    Last year, when all this was going down all 3 schools: Texas, Oklahoma, and yes Nebraska were all looking into their own network. Nebraska decided that a conference network would be better for all involved, and likely themselves as a National Husker Network would struggle just like the LHN is, and told Texas, you agree to a Conference network, and not just a Texas Network and we stay.

    That didn’t happen, so Nebraska went forward with their move. Texas has the ground work laid, the Pac-12 could easily bring in all 4 (Ok St, OU, Texas, and Tech) and be very well off.

  5. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 8:54 PM

    @Ben

    Everyone keeps talkin about the avoided conference Armageddon that didn’t happen but, considering how contracts and by-laws work isn’t it possible that it’s actually happening and started last year?

    Things in legal areas move very slow. Granted the Big Ten and Pac-12 did an overhaul of their stuff but the Big Ten logo looks very much as if they are forming a 16, and it’s setup so new members would be easily added.

    You mentioned that it could possibly happen now, but seems like it’s already happening.

  6. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 31, 2011 9:00 PM

    bender,

    I think you could make the case that last summer was the “beginning of the shift” — that at some point the 4 16-team superconferences could come to fruition because of the moves last summer.

    But it laid dormant for about a year and now you have probably a few more shifts coming. Whether that means it’s going to happen all at once this time around is speculation at this point. People love use the dominoes metaphor to watch it all come crashing down, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable that just a few changes occur without the “Conference Armageddon”.

  7. lesleyvissersfacelift says: Aug 31, 2011 9:49 PM

    Resurrect the Southwest Conference (minus A&M, of course).

  8. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 9:53 PM

    It collasped for a reason.

    Thanks Ben. It should be interesting to see what happens.

  9. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 9:53 PM

    collapsed*

  10. mizzouram says: Sep 1, 2011 12:20 AM

    Missouri is a mid western state so it belongs in the mid western conference: the Big 10. Screw Texas and all their money grubbing.

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