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Mizzou board grants Deaton autonomy in deciding conference future

Moving Day

Inevitable and imminent indeed.  Probably.

Following a path blazed by Texas A&M in September, and after what some perceived as the institution dragging its feet on a decision, Missouri is on the verge of joining their conference brethren in leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

A couple of month’s worth of speculation continued to trudge toward a conclusion Friday as Mizzou’s Board of Curators gave president Brady Deaton sole power to determine the school’s future conference affiliation, which is academia code for “send an application to the SEC”.  The latest announcement comes after two days of curator meetings and one back-door exit.

The decision was unanimous among the board members to empower Deaton to make a unilateral decision — pending legal approval by the school’s attorneys — on whether to move to another conference or remain in the Big 12.  In other words, if Deaton decides to move to another conference, which is expected, he would not have to go back to the board for approval.  This move comes exactly 17 days after the curators gave their president limited power to look into moving into another conference.

In addition to the board giving Deaton autonomy on deciding the school’s future conference, the curators passed another resolution that involved keeping an MU sports presence in Kansas City, specifically future football games — i.e. continuing the Kansas rivalry — as well as hosting an invitational basketball tournament.  It’s believed boosters of the school are concerned about those issues if Mizzou were to leave the Big 12, particularly as it involves the Big 12’s hoops tourney.

Once Deaton officially decides on the school’s conference course he will chart, the next two step for Mizzou would be to inform the Big 12 of its decision to withdraw from the conference and officially apply for membership to another conference, which, barring an unexpected development, will be the SEC.  It’s highly unlikely Mizzou would have taken this latest step, or any of the other steps they’ve taken since last month for that matter, unless they had received back-channel assurances from the SEC that they have enough votes for membership approval.  SEC bylaws state that nine of the current 12 members — the Aggies will not have a vote as they won’t officially become a member until July 1, 2012 — must vote in the affirmative for a new school to officially enter the conference.

Perhaps the biggest unknown is when exactly Mizzou would join the SEC, if that’s indeed the culmination of this process.  Schedule-wise, the SEC would like nothing more than to add Mizzou for the 2012 season, giving the conference 14 members and a balanced slate of football games.  During the press conference this afternoon, Deaton indicated that any actions he takes would result in Mizzou playing in that conference in 2012.

Another unknown?  The division in which the Tigers would reside.  Some assume that would be the West — with Auburn moving to the East — although at least one current member favors sending Mizzou to the East.

As for the Big 12, it’s operating under the assumption that Mizzou will be in the conference in 2012 regardless of their future SEC intentions and that the league will have 10 members next year.  Irrespective of Mizzou’s timeline for a departure — again, we’re operating under the assumption that there will be a departure — the Big 12 will look to add a replacement for MU.  Or, as the case may be, replacements if the conference decides to get back to 12 members.

It appears that a school from the Big East would be the Big 12’s top target for a new 10th member, with some reports suggesting West Virginia is that school while most others point to Louisville as the likely candidate.

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24 Responses to “Mizzou board grants Deaton autonomy in deciding conference future”
  1. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2011 2:24 PM

    Right step for the Mizzou board. Wrong steps are to exit out the back door. At least exit out the front and take the 5th or something…

    The SEC charter states 9 of 12 members. The practical process requires 12 of 12 or at least a unanimous vote from all voting members. With Texas A & M all members were voting for A & M’s application except Vanderbilt, which was voting against in the pre-leminary unofficial straw votes. Several founding member presidents took aside the Vanderbilt president and asked him if he truly wanted his no vote to exclude A & M from membership because that was about to happen.

    At least 3 other founding members were going to vote with Vanderbilt so that there would not be a passing vote. Vanderbilt’s president indicated he did not want A & M excluded on his vote, so they offered him the option of abstention, which they exercised and A & M was voted in 11-0.

    Hopefully, Dr. Denton has been busy plying Slive with the finest Kentucky bourbon and Double Corona cigars and he has Slive working for the the admission of Missouri. We would think that has been done with some fine touches yet to be worked out. It is not an easy process on purpose.

  2. rockiemtnhigh says: Oct 21, 2011 2:39 PM

    The shot heard clear to New York. Mizzou leaves for the SEC which leaves the Big 12 as the Smaller 9. It would seem they would go after Louisville and/or WVU, but will they have to wait 27 months like Syracuse and Pitt? Might be a major roadblock to those schools moving trucks. Of course, if it happens then ND doesn’t stay in a league with East Carolina, Central Florida, and SMU.

  3. deadeye says: Oct 21, 2011 2:46 PM


    Come on Mizzou, get on the horn and get this done in time for 2012. Then the SEC can TEMPORARILY place Missouri in the East. That arrangement won’t be necessary beyond two seasons, and probably just for one.

    Now the poor Big East will get raided by the BIG12 for Louisville and WVU, and the conference-carousel will continue to spin…

  4. burntorangehorn says: Oct 21, 2011 2:50 PM

    All this conference realignment reminds me of the banking industry. Lots of acquisitions, liquidations, collapses, etc.

  5. mhalt99 says: Oct 21, 2011 3:00 PM

    All this conference realignment reminds me of the banking industry. Lots of acquisitions, liquidations, collapses, etc.

    Yeah but in the banking industry they overpay their employees…… they work for free….kinda like indentured servitude for a billion dollar industry. It is actually more like living under a despot. Football players are more akin to the libyans than the bankers.

  6. sssjim7 says: Oct 21, 2011 3:08 PM

    I think Missouri will fit into the SEC nicely. I also think the ACC should grab Conneticut and Louisville now (Louisville would make a great SEC-ACC rivaly with Kentucky and fits in nicely with the basketball tradition of the ACC).

    That would leave the football schools of the BIG 12 and the BIG East to join together to form their own big, stable conference…

    Just my .02

  7. pastabelly says: Oct 21, 2011 3:21 PM

    The ACC will never take Louisville because of it’s poor academic standings. The same goes for West Virginia.

  8. latrobe21 says: Oct 21, 2011 3:23 PM

    Groundhog Day.

  9. judge41 says: Oct 21, 2011 3:30 PM

    mizzou should go to the SEC east, which is almost like the SEC north with Tenn, Vandy, and Kentucky there.

    big 12 should take BYU, louisville, and WV. kill off the big east football league once and for all.

    let the big east remnants join the SuperConferenceUSA and give em a BCS autobid.

  10. fcmlefty1 says: Oct 21, 2011 3:41 PM

    “mizzou should go to the SEC east, which is almost like the SEC north with Tenn, Vandy, and Kentucky there.”

    Yeah, if they would just tweek the division names a bit, it would give a much better picture. Instead of East and West, change them to Northeast and Southwest, and be done with it. Gets Mizzou in the division that they appear destined to be in, and gives the divisions more appropriate names for the areas they cover. Pretty easy fix.

  11. tradeassociation says: Oct 21, 2011 3:54 PM


    “Right step for the Mizzou board. Wrong steps are to exit out the back door. At least exit out the front and take the 5th or something”

    Nah. Even though it is a “done deal” in many respects, until the SEC presidents actually vote the Tigers in AND until the Tigers officially accept the SEC’s offer, it could fall apart just like the Texas/Oklahoma/Texas Tech/Oklahoma State/A&M to the Pac-10, also a “done deal”, did at the very last minute last year. There is significant opposition to this on both sides, and the last thing the board of curators wanted to do was accidentally give the opponents the very fodder that they are looking for. Avoiding the press – a press that does include a lot of people that are very hostile to this idea – until the process could be formally, publicly handed over to Deaton was the best way to handle it.

  12. tradeassociation says: Oct 21, 2011 4:07 PM


    I hope you are patient, but this things could still take weeks.

    A list (by no means exhaustive) of things still needing to be done:
    A. Missouri has to ask the Big 12 about exit procedures.
    B. The Big 12 has to reply.
    C. Missouri has to send their application to the SEC.
    D. The SEC presidents have to meet and vote on the application.
    E. Missouri has to accept a membership offer from the SEC.

    Missouri and the SEC will be diplomatic about the whole thing publicly, but the truth is that they could care less about the Big 12’s need to get a team (or teams) in the fold to replace them for 2012.

  13. thefiesty1 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:33 PM

    Go now Missouri! Force Neinas to get off the spot and go back to 12 members for the 2012 season and back to a North – South championship game. If the Big 12 doesn’t act quickly they’ll be left out just like what’s going to happen to the Little East.

  14. Liga Del Tacos Rosa says: Oct 21, 2011 4:33 PM


    As a former Aggie, it pains me to think about how annoying it is for you to put spaces between A&M when writing that first comment.

    I appreciate all of your posts as they are very well thought out and articulated.

  15. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2011 5:30 PM

    Liga Del Tacos Rosa: Sorry. Not only am I a poor typist (did not learn until my mid 60s) but I am following the example (poor as it probably is) of our Baton Rouge Advocate (now called The Advocate) daily newspaper which types it out that way. You know better so thank you for teaching us better.

    Who gave you a thumbs down for your post? We have some real jerks here on CFT. Thank you again.

    Thank you for your kindness, though you give us too much credit. We are an extended family of retired professionals (teachers, nurses, doctor, businessmen), all LSU alums, but one who is a Georgia alum and former football player there. We try to think correctly but oftentimes what is in our heads is not communicated to our fingers. JT, our great moderator and writer of many of the stories on CFT has requested the NBC to help us with an edit feature, which should be named after us, since we need it so much, and have requested it for a long time now…ha.

    My nephew by marriage is/was an Aggie. I will get him for not correcting me sooner! ha.

  16. bozosforall says: Oct 21, 2011 5:45 PM

    I’d love to see Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also get absorbed into the SEC, allowing both Alabama and Auburn to be in the SEC East. Even better, Texass would be left out in the cold, which would be fitting for those overbearing chumps.

  17. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2011 6:12 PM

    bozosforall: As we told a dear Oklahoma fan who lives in OK, write the president of Oklahoma, former U.S. Senator David Boren at
    Evans Hall, Room 101, 660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019-3073 Phone:(405)325-3916 . This is for you and for all Oklahoma fans who would like to see Oklahoma in the SEC.

    President Slive of the SEC has met with Dr. Boren about 1 year ago and communicated with him again about 2 months ago, expressing interest in Oklahoma (and Oklahoma State, of course) joining the SEC. The next step with with Boren.

  18. Liga Del Tacos Rosa says: Oct 21, 2011 8:18 PM

    It is funny how I am getting thumbs down for trying to get southernpatriots familiarized with his new SEC brethren. Why all the hate people?

  19. deadeye says: Oct 21, 2011 9:25 PM

    “President Slive of the SEC has met with Dr. Boren about 1 year ago and communicated with him again about 2 months ago, expressing interest in Oklahoma (and Oklahoma State, of course) joining the SEC. The next step with with Boren.”


    southernpatriots, I have two related questions to this statement if you would be so kind:

    1) I have repeatedly heard that the SEC’s strategy for expansion centers on the idea that the conference wants one new university in each prospective state. If this is true, would the SEC also take OSU to pull OU into the conference? That runs counter to the stated strategy.

    2) If the SEC does eventually take in both OK universities, would this prevent expansion into the Virginia/North Carolina states? I have the personal opinion that the SEC could easily expand to 20 instead of 16 due to the ease of scheduling four five-team divisions. It’s only slightly more difficult than scheduling four four-team divisions, and could provide expansion into three or four more states.

  20. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2011 9:55 PM

    deadeye: Thank you for your questions…we will try to answer them….

    The rumor and part truth out there about the SEC wanting one team per state is a straw man. When the SEC was founded it had: two teams in Louisiana: LSU & Tulane; two teams in Mississippi: Ole Miss and Miss. State; three teams in Tennessee: Suwanee (now College of the South); Vanderbilt; and Tennessee; two teams in Georgia: GA Tech and Georgia, and Kentucky, and Florida. You can see where there remain two teams in MS, and TN to this day.

    Even under the old “gentlemen’s agreement” this agreement was not in effect for any state whose teams okayed more teams. Okahoma would never move to the PAC or to the SEC without Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State goes with Oklahoma. Take the Big O, you get the little O.

    Oklahoma has not been reciprocative of the advances made by Slive. It is hard to read what they may want, but obviously they were wanting to go to the PAC just a few weeks ago. If Dr. Boren leads Oklahoma to the SEC, Oklahoma State will follow, must follow.

    LSU has now been able to schedule Oklahoma for 2018 and 2019 home and home. This is a big accomplishment for the LSU AAD, upon our strong encouragement over the past months. LSU has also scheduled TCU, another on our “wish list.” Others not yet scheduled include: Boise State, Notre Dame, and Michigan.

    The SEC is wanting to proceed slowly. 14 members soon, but not too soon. 16 members following that eventually. No plans yet beyond that. No plans for 20. If OK and OK State come in, that would preclude any other teams unless the SEC were willing to move beyond 16, which we doubt they would (at least for the next few years or so).

  21. deadeye says: Oct 21, 2011 10:10 PM

    Aha! Thank you for the prompt response southernpatriots.

    I suppose the opportunity to take in OU would be too great to pass on, and thus I would greatly support any move in that direction for the SEC.

    Expansion is something that has to occur slowly, and I certainly don’t want any “willy-nilly” additions that could damage the SEC’s brand. However, over time if the conference successfully goes to 16, I believe the idea of 20 will be considered. Especially if “natural” regions like VA and NC remain untapped.

  22. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2011 10:28 PM

    deadeye: You are very welcome. Absolutely, if initial and subsequent expansion goes well, further expansion would be considered at that point.

  23. waynefontes says: Oct 26, 2011 8:33 AM

    Welcome to the SEC Mizzou. I think you’ll like it here.

    I do hope the Big 12 can survive somehow. Add TCU, Houston, maybe West Virginia..

    If WVU does leave, it will be very interesting to see what happens to the Big East.

    Their automatic bid should go away and be an at-large. Let them earn their ticket.

  24. southernpatriots says: Oct 26, 2011 9:02 AM

    waynefontes: A last ditch effort is going forth against Missouri from the Missouri politicians, even the sports and news media in St. Louis (according to friends and confirmed by others who live and/or work in St. Louis). Even though the popular sentiment is 80 to 20 in favor of the SEC among the normal citizens of Missouri, the politicians and media want Missouri to stay in the Big 12. All sorts of last minute pressure is being brought to bear on Missouri and its president and board.

    Don’t know what Missouri will do because they need to make a formal and official request to join the SEC, but before that they are supposed to make their desire to leave tghe Big 12 known to the Big 12. They have not done either one at this moment, as far as we know.

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