Still think this is a mistake, but if it's true, we'll welcome the third group of Tigers to the SEC. Missouri has an offer from the SEC on the table, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.
The Southeastern Conference has an offer on the table for Missouri to join its league, and SEC officials are willing to wait for an answer from Missouri until the future of the Big 12 is decided.
That information has come to The Star through a Mizzou booster who spoke directly to a MU official. Another source told The Star on Tuesday that an Oklahoma official had said the SEC is interested in Missouri.
All of that makes sense, which is why it seems credible even with the relatively thin sourcing -- essentially two second- or third-hand sources of information. But local media often know these things first -- or at least people who would have a reason to know these things first -- and the SEC is going to stay quiet, so this is the best lead we've got right now.
Obviously, neither the school nor the SEC has a reason to let this get out. The defense against tortious interference claims with Texas A&M has been that the Aggies came to the conference, not the other way around. This sounds a little less like that and a little more like something resembling tortious interference.
“Apparently they’ve come to us,” the MU booster said of the SEC. “I’ve been told there is an offer on the table.”
That same source said it was the second time the SEC has made an overture to Missouri, the first coming last year.
That might be why the report hints at a mutual understanding that Mizzou would head to the SEC if and when the Big 12 imploded. I wouldn't be surprised if this is not an "offer" in the strictest sense of the word, but a nod-nod, wink-wink sort of deal. Missouri knows that the SEC will accept it if the Big 12 falls apart, and the SEC knows that Missouri will apply if the Big 12 falls apart, but neither has has happened yet.
That would also explain the outright rejection of West Virginia, at least for now. The SEC thinks it has a 14th team lined up, at least if the Big 12 dies, as everyone pretty much expects it to.
What happens to the division alignments? There's a possibility of trying to shoehorn Missouri into the SEC East. If the Dallas Cowboys are in the NFC East and the St. Louis Rams are in the NFC West, I suppose anything is possible.
I'm still skeptical of the Vanderbilt-for-Alabama and Auburn concept, because I don't understand why any member of the SEC East would accept that swap, and it only takes four votes to put the kibosh on league matters like that. But Mike Slive appears to be willing to take Missouri now, and find a fit for them later.
SEC P.R. guy Charles Bloom officially denied that Missouri was given an invite.