In acknowledging that it appears to him that Texas A&M was likely leaving the Big 12, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman Friday that nine members would be a solid option for the conference, although 10 would be optimum.
What Dodds didn’t address was a scenario in which A&M and another current Big 12 member left, leaving the conference with just eight schools. Based on one report, such a turn of events could very well be the death knell (wait, haven’t we heard that dirge before?) for the Big 12. Again.
According to the Daily Oklahoman, and citing Oklahoma University sources, if Missouri were to leave for the SEC as has been rumored, any optimism that the Big 12 could survive the departure of A&M would be gone if Mizzou left as well. The good news for those inclined to maintain at least a semi-viable Big 12 is that Mizzou earlier today vehemently denied that they are currently involved in any discussions with any other conference about leaving their current league.
“No, no, no,” Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden said when asked if there was any veracity to an ESPN report that had his school headed to the SEC. “There’s nothing [to the report]. … We haven’t been in discussions with anybody.”
Again, you should take these public denials for what they’re worth, which is next to nothing. But, it appears that, at least for now, Mizzou is committed to the Big 12.
And, if they’re ultimately not and they jump ship to the SEC? The Oklahoman writes that, if the Big 12 were to splinter, an “OU official said he assumes that OU would move to the Pac 12 Conference, probably to be joined by Oklahoma State and Kansas among others.”
Of course, before the Sooners head out west with others in tow, the first domino — that being the A&M-to-the-SEC talk coming to fruition — has to fall. How many more would tumble after that remains very much in doubt. And, if this report is accurate, could very well come down to a school that was publicly embarrassed in their pursuit of a spot in the Big Ten just a year ago.