Monday, November 7, 2011

Missouri Officially Joins The SEC

After weeks of hearing there were legalities holding up Missouri's move to the SEC, probably having to o with an exit fee from the Big 12, the move was made official Sunday. Missouri will begin playing in the SEC during the 2012 season.

The Southeastern Conference now enters the Kansas City and St. Louis television markets and expands to fourteen teams. Missouri will play in the SEC's East Division despite being one of the conference's westernmost schools. The nearest SEC East school to Columbia is Kentucky located 463 miles away by car. Missouri will sacrifice its rivalry with Kansas, the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi River. It is unlikely the two schools will be able to play each other in football every season like they have done since 1891. The only year the two teams did not meet during that period was in 1918 due to the flu pandemic. The Border War is the second-most-played rivalry in FBS college football. Too bad it will be put on the backburner. Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a statement Sunday, "The decision by the University of Missouri to leave the Big 12 Conference is disappointing. I personally believe this decision is a mistake and that Missouri is a better fit in the Big 12." Missouri will have trouble competing in football if it does not upgrade its facilities and recruiting. The fanbase needs to step up as well. Missouri only sold its stadium out once last season despite a 10-2 regular season. It seems people in Missouri are more excited about the St. Louis Cardinals than the Mizzou Tigers. Missouri is a better academic school than most of the current SEC schools. They seem to just not fit in well with the SEC, but hey, money rules college athletics. I agree with Chuck Neinas that Missouri was a better fit in the Big 12.

I think the SEC has expanded too far. Travel costs will now rise when traveling out to Columbia and College Station. With two seven-team divisions and an eight game conference schedule, It will take a full eight year cycle to play every school in the conference in football in a home-and-home series. Even if the SEC moves to a nine game conference schedule, which I think will happen sooner than later, it will still take a full six year cycle to play every school in the conference home and away. Scheduling will have too big of an impact on who goes to the SEC title game. Also worth noting, there are now three teams with Tigers as their mascot in the Southeastern Conference.

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