Now that Missouri is officially in the SEC, the “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” remarks can begin in earnest.
Case in point, the Tigers’ biggest rival, Kansas.
Shortly after the announcement was made that the SEC had vote unanimously to add Mizzou, Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little offered the following statement:
“We’re sorry to see a century-old conference rivalry end. Missouri’s decision may have implications for fans and for the Kansas City area, but it won’t affect the long-term strength of the Big 12.”
It would be a shame if KU and Mizzou didn’t meet on a regular basis anymore, but it’s flat out misguided to think the long-term strength of the Big 12 is filled with rainbows, puppies and gumdrop forests after — count ‘em — four programs have left in the past two years and the conference was thisclose (again) to completely dissolving.
The Big 12’s grant of rights that will equally distribute revenue to the conference is a six-year agreement. Perhaps my definition of long-term is outdated in the current college football landscape.
West Virginia and TCU are fine additions, make no mistake, but it’s hard to lose Missouri’s geographical footprint and Texas A&M’s tradition (of blowing second halves! zing!) and not have the the long-term strength be affected. And that’s not even addressing the loss of Nebraska and Colorado.
But, okay. Kansas has to issue a statement that reflects a positive — albeit backhanded — spin on the situation. I get that. But as ESPN’s David Ubben pointed out via Twitter earlier today, Kansas’ true colors (and no, not blue and crimson) were on display with this official tweet from the school:
Head shaking; intern fired.