Mickey giveth and Mickey taketh away.

From a lookback at Missouri’s move to the SEC:

Seven and a half years ago, a single television network broke the Big 12 for good. Years of infighting and disdain for the league’s self-appointed leader, the University of Texas, had laid the foundation. As the Longhorns reaped the benefits of one-sided media contracts, their conference counterparts fell further behind. Texas was one of the first three schools nationwide to amass more than $100 million in athletics revenue in a single fiscal year in 2006; no other Big 12 program, save for Oklahoma State, which in 2006 received a $165 million gift from booster T. Boone Pickens, hit that mark until 2010.

When news surfaced of Texas’ potentially eschewing a league-wide television network in favor of an exclusive 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN that featured a channel devoted solely to the Longhorns, its league partners had enough. Colorado, an original member of the Big Eight, left for the Pac-12 in June 2010. Nebraska escaped to the Big Ten soon after; and with the threat of the league’s implosion looming, Texas A&M, which had nearly bolted for the Pac-12 a year earlier, announced its move to the SEC in late August 2011.

Left to decide its own fate was Missouri. Two years earlier, Missouri governor Jay Nixon had floated the idea of a move to the Big Ten. But an offer never came, and Missouri stayed in the Big 12, the league it helped found 15 years earlier.

Days after Texas A&M’s announcement and an unsuccessful last-ditch attempt to convince the Aggies to stay, then-Missouri athletic director Mike Alden, Chancellor Brady Deaton, Interim System President Steve Owens and Interim General Counsel Phil Hoskins met on a roof atop the press box during Missouri’s season-opening game at Memorial Stadium to assess the school’s future. They determined a future in the Big 12, or at least what was left of it, wasn’t viable. Two months later, Missouri became the 14th member of the Southeastern Conference.

How fortunate for the Tigers the very same broadcast entity that drove them from one conference was willing to finance Mike Slive’s expansion power play that in turn provided them with a convenient landing spot.  “When one door closes, another one opens” may be a cliché, but when you’ve got the same doorman working both, that’s real power.

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10 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football

10 responses to “Mickey giveth and Mickey taketh away.

  1. Mayor

    Actually Mizzou landed on their feet. The SECEast is the best place they could be. First, the $$. They are a lot better off than where they were. Second, the competition will make them improve everything—facilities, Stadium, recruiting—across the board. This was a program that regularly won the Big 12 South and after joining the SEC won the East twice. The Tigers had a program that was on the rise with an excellent HC. Then disaster struck when their HC developed health problems and the program took a step back. They made a bit of a comeback last season but I’m not sure their current HC is the right guy to lead them forward. I do think Mizzou will benear the top of the East though once they get their ducks in a row. Maybe a new HC, maybe with the HC they already have. But IMHO Mizzou looks better long term than anyone else in the East except Georgia and FU.

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    • Junkyardawg41

      I agree Missouri is often underrated but I am not sure they have the talent bed to be a consistent top SEC football program (even in the east). I have made some good friends from MIZ since they joined the conference but I see them as a consistent team that once stabilized will win 8 or 9 games every year with a 1 out of 4 seasons hitting the 10 or maybe 11 win mark.

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    • Missouri was in the Big 12 North. Their entry to the SEC was good for them and bad for the existing 12 members. If we end up losing Georgia-Auburn as an annual game for a “rivalry” with Missouri, college football as a sport becomes the loser.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        Agree. If sec reps were smart about it they would’ve opened up that 12th spot to the best candidate. It’s difficult to speculate what school we could’ve had that might be a better fit than Mizzou. Perhaps Oklahoma.

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        • gastr1

          Oklahoma was never going to leave, though, unless the whole conference imploded (which, of course, it never did). And even then they would almost certainly have gone wherever Texas went.

          There was real talk at that time of what would happen to Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. They might seriously have been looking at joining the Mountain West or some other non-P5 conference. For Kansas in particular, with its legendary BB program and status as one of only 60 members of the Association of American Universities, that would have been a real slap in the face.

          They were lucky to escape it, IMO.

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      • Mayor

        Right. Big 12 North–my mistake.

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  2. Nurse Joey Herb

    I am all in favor of giving Missouri back to the big 12.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      I 2nd this…

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    • Mayor

      Well, if we are going there…I am for kicking out the last 4 entries into the SEC, having 10 SEC members, going to 9 conference games and playing a round robin schedule every year. That way every team plays every other team every year and every team plays every other team’s stadium every 2 years. If you still want to have an SECCG that’s fine–let the top 2 teams play in it.

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  3. ChiliDawg

    Never let Texas off the hook for the role they played in all of it. There may not be another school in the country outside of Notre Dame that would be so arrogant as to seek out their own television network at the expense of destroying the conference they play in. Burning down the house to make a buck. The Longhorns can wander in the wilderness for eternity, AFAIK. We’re stuck with Missouri like Atlanta is stuck with the Saints fans who moved in after Katrina.

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