I'll address that headline in a minute....and forgive me if you just spit up soda or coffee or whatever all over your monitor.
I got to thinking tonight about all the conference realignment going on these days and how my beloved Tigers of Missouri are affected in all this. I have to say that I am both confused, annoyed, exasperated, and curious about just what the heck is going on.
A few months ago, Missouri seemed like a logical choice for Big 10 membership, but after the events to this point, it seems less and less likely that an invite is forthcoming. All we've heard from Mizzou admins is "We are proud members of the Big 12 Conference...." yadda yadda yadda. If there was no approach from Big 10 admins, all Mizzou would have to say is there has been no approach, no application, no invite, or anything else along those lines. If Mizzou had not approached the Big 10, why can't they say so in those exact words? And why was Mizzou given an ultimatum to pledge a commitment to the Big 12 if they weren't going anywhere?
Missouri AD Mike Alden sent out a press release today how open and honest they have been throughout the process and that something big and exciting was on the horizon. So why all the secrecy? If anything I would say Mizzou admins have been less than honest when it comes to sharing information and keeping their fans calm. They preach "Stay Calm" but please, explain to us why we should?
While it's not over until it's over, I am beginning to think that Mizzou is leaning another direction. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, I don't know, but here's my thought: With Texas about to pull out of the conference as well, Mizzou, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, and Baylor may seek to build a new conference, a new Big 12. Add a few up and comers, throw in Memphis from Conference USA and another big name or two and voila...instant rebirth.
And for the sake of argument....why not add Notre Dame? The worst that could happen is they could say no. But expansion has always been and always will be about money. So if all the teams saying sayanara to the Big 12 are paying buyout fees equal to a certain percentage of their television revenue shares; and the schools with the biggest shares are the ones who are leaving (see ya Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc...) then therein lies a huge chunk o' change. I'm not certain of the numbers, but there are 7 schools and counting contributing to a fund that just might be used to help persuade the Fighting Irish to consider the option and tell the Big 10 that No means No.
Hey, I never said it was a solid plan, just a possibility. And it wouldn't be the first time an administrator has had delusions of grandeur. Just don't rule it out until after the dust has settled.