SEC Expansion: Could Missouri Stay in the Big 12?

The Big 12 had a much-ballyhooed meeting today, in the wake of last week's news that Missouri was getting ready to bolt for the SEC by giving the authority to make conference decisions to Chancellor Brady Deaton. Would Missouri finally tell the Big 12 that it was headed for greener pastures? Apparently not.

In a regularly-scheduled meeting today at an undisclosed Dallas area location, the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors reaffirmed previous action to execute institutional grants of Tier 1 (over-the-air) and Tier 2 (cable) television rights to the Conference.

The Board also discussed a wide range of topics including NCAA legislation, the Bowl Championship Series, and exploration of a Conference dedicated TV network. Additionally, a strong desire for the University of Missouri to maintain its Big 12 affiliation was expressed. All 10 member institutions and TCU participated in the meeting.

If you're still not convinced, the current head of the Banana Republic of the Midwest told the Kansas City Star that Missouri has not pulled out of the conference. At least not yet.

Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas just told The Star that Missouri did not submit a letter of conditional withdrawal nor did it notify the Big 12 on Monday of its plans to leave the Big 12.

Which is not to say that Missouri won't bid the Big 12 adieu -- haven't we all learned in the last couple of months how seriously to take these post-conference meeting statements? -- or even that it won't do so relatively soon. But it does mean that if the plan was actually for the Tigers to shove off on Monday, something gave them pause.

To be honest, I find that a little bit implausible. The idea of a Big 12 network -- even after the idea was initially rejected by the conference -- was apparently discussed just a few months before Texas A&M decided it was going to head to the SEC. But nothing is ever completely implausible in the conference realignment world, which means that Missouri might be having second thoughts.

Or maybe we're all jumping the gun. Remember, these are decisions worth decades and hundreds of millions of dollars that we're talking about. You might have a pretty solid idea of where you want to go at the moment, but it's not unreasonable to wait just a few more days before pulling the trigger.

UPDATE: 7:35 p.m. ET

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that it's a matter of crossing t's and dotting i's.

A university source indicated that Monday was too soon to expect Chancellor Brady Deaton to work out several details with both the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference before formally completing the withdrawal process.

(HT: Mizzou2SEC on Twitter)

END UPDATE

So we're back to waiting. Oh, and there's supposedly some football season or something that's going on. You might want to pay attention to that, if you have nothing better to do.

Read more of Team Speed Kills' conference realignment coverage.

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