The SEC has already unofficially secured Texas A&M from the Big 12 – could Missouri be next? The Kansas City Star is reporting Missouri has been extended an offer to join the SEC. However, the Tigers aren’t ready to act on the offer and are waiting to see what happens with the Big 12.
With the Big 12 on the verge of collapse, all 10 teams have been scrambling to secure a future home for 2012 and beyond. Missouri has been committed to making the Big 12 work, but the clock is ticking and the conference could be approaching its final hours.
The future of the Big 12 is squarely locked into Norman, Okla. and Austin, Texas. The Sooners have indicated heavy interest in joining the Pac-12, but could remain in the Big 12. Texas has also shown interest in the Pac-12, but may not be willing to fold its Longhorn Network into a conference regional network.
The Pac-12 could take Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and get to 14 teams, but Texas is unlikely to stick with a watered-down Big 12.
Texas A&M has yet to officially be announced as a SEC member, but all signs point to the Aggies joining the conference next season. However, when Texas A&M joins, the SEC would be at 13 teams, which creates unbalanced divisions and why the conference is interested in Missouri.
The Tigers may seem like an odd fit for the SEC to some, but Missouri is bordered by Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas (three SEC states). And Columbia, Mo. is almost halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City – two key markets the SEC would love to tap into.
If the Tigers join the SEC, they could be placed in the West, while Auburn is moved to the East to balance out the divisions.
Although Missouri has an offer on the table, the report indicates saving the Big 12 is still priority No. 1. However, if the conference implodes, the Tigers would have an opportunity to join the SEC.
But would the Tigers accept an invite to the SEC?
Missouri was believed to have interest in joining the Big Ten during last year’s expansion craze.
If the Big Ten decides it needs to expand, would the Tigers be more interested in staying in the Midwest or joining the SEC?
There are still a lot of scenarios still to play out with conference realignment, but it appears Missouri is going to be attracting a lot of interest from a couple of conferences over the next couple of weeks.